Dec 27, 2010 at 11:46 pm #1267019
OK, so this is my first actual "let's put it all in one place and see where it stands" gear list for my PCT thru this next year.
Details (to follow proper "GL" protocol):
Starting at Campo and heading north. Hopefully very far north.
Items with an asterisk in front of them are Sierra and beyond items.
Items listed with maker (where applicable), and weight in ounces to right.
My pack is 36 ounces by itself, so obvioulsy I'm not falling into the "SUL" group. I'm ok with that. :)
I welcome any and all feedback. I've been looking forward to posting to see what the BPL community has to say/offer in advice.
PCT 2011 Gear List
("*" denotes gear carried from Sierras —> north only)
McHale "SubPop": 36oz.
Shoulder Pouch: ZPacks Cuben Pouch: .3oz.
Pack Liner: MountainFitters: .7oz..
CLOTHING: (from the head down)
*Hat: OR Seattle Sombrero: 3.2oz.
Visor: GoLite visor: 1.7oz.
Beanie: Sherpa Adventure Gear "Sangye" wool: 3.5oz.
*Bug Head Net: MLD Head Net: .5oz.
Balclava (regular): Smartwool Balaclava: 1.75oz.
*Balaclava (insulated): BPL Cocoon Pro 90": 2.4oz.
*Poncho/Rain Top: GoLite "Poncho Tarp": 7oz.
Light Jacket: Patagonia "Houdini": 3.7oz.
Long Sleeve Shirt: Patagonia "Capilene 2" 1/3 zip: 6.2oz.
Long Sleeve Top: Patagonia "R1 Hoodie": 11.2oz.
*Insulated Jacket: Patagonia "Nano Puff": 11.3oz.
Gloves: Arctery'x "Delta SV": 1.9oz.
*Mitts: OR "Rain Mitts": 2.8oz.
Pants: The North Face "Paramount Convertible" pant. 17.3 oz.
Briefs: ExOfficio "Give-N-Go" boxer brief: 3oz. (don't have yet)
*Baselayer (bottoms): Patagonia "Capilene 2": 5.7oz.
Shorts: part of pants (convertible)
*Waterproof Bottoms: TrailLite Designs "Cloud Kilt": 1.6oz.
Gaiters: Outdoor Research "Flex-Tex": 2.8oz.
Socks (lightweight liners): Patagonia Lightweight Crew": 1.4oz. (3 pair)(1 with me, others on stand by)
Socks (midweight): Smartwool "Trekking Heavy Crew": 3.2oz. (2 pair)(1 with me, others on stand by)
*Socks (heavyweight): Wool: 3.6oz. (2 pair)(1 with me, others on stand by)
Shoes: haven't decided yet. Leaning towards La Sportiva "Wildcat": 24.74oz/pair
*Tarp: Alpinlite Gear "Stratiform III" tarp: 13.8oz.
Tarp: GoLite "Poncho Tarp" (use as desert shelter, poncho after))
Sleeping Quilt: Jacks'R'Better "Sierra Sniveller" (long): 24oz.
Cuben Quilt Stuff Sack (MountainFitters): .2oz
Bivy: BPL "Vapr": 8.3oz. (with bug netting and custom side zip)
Sleeping Pad: ThermaRest "Z/Rest". Weight TBD.
Groundsheet: Alpinlite Designs Tyvek w/ stakeouts: to be weighed
Tarp Stakes: Easton 6" aluminum stakes: 2.8oz. (.34oz. ea. x 8)
Stove (part 1): Homemade cat food can stove: .5oz.
Stove (part 2): Ikea pot stand/wood burner (see thread on BPL "MYOG") 3.7oz.)
Cookware: MSR "Titan Kettle": 4.2oz.
2 titanium stakes (for stove): ZPacks: .4 oz. (.2oz. each x 2)
Windscreen: Aluminum foil: .2oz.
Fuel bottle: 8oz. sized water bottle: .7oz. (empty)
Fire source #1: Bic disposable mini lighter: .4oz.
Fire source #2: H2O proof matches: .1oz.
Emergency fire tinder: cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly: .3oz.
Utensil: Lexan spoon: .5oz.
Food Bag: ZPacks Cuben "Blast": .85oz.
*Bear Canister: Garcia Model 812: 2.7 lbs. (looking at lighter options, but I do own this one)(also, ONLY Sierras)
– Big Stuff: Bandana + coffee filters
– Small stuff: Aqua Mira: 1.5oz.
– 2 liter soda bottles: 1.9oz. ea. ( x 2 in the desert)
– 1 liter soda bottle: 1.2 oz.
Petzl eLite: .9oz.
Princeton Tec "Eos": 3.1oz.
Waist strap for PT "Eos": .7oz.
Apple "Touch 4G": 3.6oz. (hi-def video, video editing, journaling, wi-fi, etc.)
Digital Camera (compact): don't have yet
Cuben Camera pouch: ZPacks: .1oz.
Otterbox Case: (made for "Touch"): 3.5oz.
Aloksak 6"x6": electronics protection: .4oz.
Paper: (back of section maps)
Toothbrush w/ shortened handle: .3oz.
Dropper bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap/toothpaste: .4oz.
Aloksak 5"x4" for TP: .5oz. (w/TP)
Wipes ("Wet Ones"): 1.1oz.
BPL balm jars for sunscreen, hydropel: .7oz.
BPL dropper bottle (for isopropyl alcohol): .2oz.
Aloksak 6"x9" (for quick access to Nav materials needed): .5oz.
Gallon sized Ziplock (for remainder of navigational materials): .2oz.
Watch/altimeter tool: don't have one yet. Weight TBD.
PCT Handbook: 5.5oz.
Copies of maps, etc.: 1oz. (per section)
First Aid Kit: miscellaneous needed items (detailed kit on website later): 2.2oz.
— Prescription shades (protective). Don't have yet. Weight TBD
— Glasses (basic/regular). Don't have yet. Weight TBD.
— Sunglass case: 2.1oz.
Paperwork/Permits: License, backcountry permits, cash, CC, etc. (Passport to be mailed farther north)
*Camp Corsa Ice Axe (50cm): 7.2oz.
*BPL Dropper Bottle (DEET): .3oz.
Assorted cuben stuff sacks & cuben dry bags. (Mountain Fitters and ZPacks): 2.8oz.
Thanks guys!Dec 28, 2010 at 4:40 am #1678218
OK, I'll take the easy one….. Bear spray????
Electronics. Can you use the Iphone's camera and eliminate the need for redundant camera. And there has to be a lighter form of protection for the phone.
Isn't the watch and altimeter redundant with iphone as well.
Why two lights? you also have your iphone in a pinch if your primary goes out.
I would can the Garcia and get anything else.
What is the purpose of the heavy socks in the sierras. These will get wet and never dry.
I believe the windproof fleece and Pat R5 is excessive with all the other layers. Isn't the Houdini redundant with your wind vest? Bottom line you have a total of 8 layers for the sierra. (unless you are replacing vs adding for the sierras.)
Why a beanie and a balaclava?
Do you have a start date set yet?Dec 28, 2010 at 6:40 am #1678244
@sschloss1Locale: New England
I don't think you need to completely change your clothing system when you get to the Sierras. My basic clothing system for the entire trail (when hiking) was: l/s nylon button-down shirt, nylon zip-off pants, Houdini windshirt, and then my rain jacket over that if it got really cold or rainy. I had a Montbell Thermawrap that I used in camp and slept in on colder nights. For the Sierras, I added a Driclime Windshirt and a l/s poly t-shirt that I slept in. We had a super cold/wet June in the Sierras, and I never felt like I needed more clothing.
From Tahoe to Ashland, it's going to get hot again. You can get rid of most of that cold-weather gear.
Why 2 stoves? I used my SuperCat the entire way. You can get alcohol in almost every town.
Bring a reflector to put under your stove.
2 lights seems like overkill. I'd take one plus a little photon if you want a backup.
An 8-oz case for your i-pod seems excessive. Two ziplock bags will work just as well. Stick in some bubble wrap if you're worried about cushioning.
Don't bother with the bear spray. The bears aren't interested in eating you–just your food.Dec 28, 2010 at 6:41 am #1678245
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Fleece is too heavy, except for small items like hat. Probably don't need more than base layer, insulated layer, wind/rain jacket.
I've read that you need more water bottles on first part of trek, like several gallons.
I hate BIC mini lighters. When my hands get cold and if it gets wet it's too hard to operate. Better to get disposable with electronic ignition.
Good luckDec 28, 2010 at 10:47 am #1678315
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
You will need to carry a 1.5-2 gallons depending on how far you hike in the south but there is only really one section where it is needed. Get a couple collapsible carriers and send them home once they are no longer needed.
For me…. looking at that list I'd eliminate half of it. You don't need back-ups for every little contingency. You have done a good job of picking out light weight choices but you have too many of them. I'd go through and eliminate anything that you don't absolutely need. My guidelines would be Clothing <2.5lbs Shelter: <2lbs Sleeping System < 3lbs. As long as I kept it in that range pick your poison.
First snow will be Jacinto but it is a short stretch. By then… you should know pretty well what to send home and what to keep.Dec 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm #1678349
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I hiked with a fellow who wore the Seattle Sombrero Hat for the whole PCT and seemed to like it, but I would have hated it — too warm IMO. Hats, however, like many other gear items are a personal taste so maybe you would be fine with it.Dec 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm #1678361
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
I use a baseball cap but I don't remember what I took for Southern California. I may have went without because I had hair then. Cheap watch from Wally World and cheap sunglasses from the same is what I had. I don't like wearing the cap on uphill sections because I overheat.
I don't see a sleeping pad in there. Is that part of the Tyvek ground sheet? Tarp + bivy is a personal choice but you probably won't need much rain protection in California. It didn't rain on me once. There are a ton of rattlesnakes. It gives you a good adrenalin rush the first several times you hear them but you get used to them quick.Dec 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm #1678364
Thanks for all the feedback so far guys.
I'll respond with my thoughts as much as I can.
Bear spray might be unnecessary. Although, I looked at my can & it's less than what I listed, under 2 oz. Still, I'll definitely consider leaving it home.
Im actually using the iPod "Touch," which has a very substandard still camera feature. The iPhone has a 5mp, this…wow! Bad. But it's main feature is the hi-def video & video editing capabilities.
I agree: there has to be a lighter option to protect it, I'll be looking into it. Also, I really need to rotect it, it's clumsier than the iPhone & very expensive. By far the one piece I need to baby.
I like what you did there ("can the Garcia". Nice! :) )
I would love to, but it's all I have. I'd swap it for a lighter alternative in a heartbeat.
The Petzl eLight is great! But for night hiking, which I'll do some of, it's weak just to the point of being unsafe/slowing you down to be safe that I'd rather just pack in for the night than night hike with it. The Eos is there for night hiking/backup.
Poor weather, can't take the Touch out. No altimeter or GPS on the new Touches either. :(
definitely leaning your way on this for sure. Thanks for that.
Smartwool balaclava is pretty thin, some days I'll want something thicker & more wind resistant (and not covering my face).
I'm eyeballing late April for my start date. Seems like a La Nina year, meaning more snow/longer Winter. I'm about 90 minutes west of Tahoe, & so far it looks accurate.
Thanks for the feedback Greg, good stuff.Dec 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm #1678368
Another vote for fewer layers! :). Thanks for that.
Will be bringing good H2O storage for sure.
I like the Bic alot, but am also bringing matches as well.Dec 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm #1678373
Thanks Scott. Appreciate your thoughts on the clothing options.
Re: Tahoe —> Ashland, bouncing some cold weather items ahead, if not needed.
Reflector: thanks for reminding me. The aluminum foil windscreen will be multiple-layers, one will fold under for that purpose.
"Touch"Case: really like this idea! I don't care what Santa says, you're brilliant :)Dec 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm #1678375
I agree, the "Sombrero" is not uber-breathable. I'd die in the desert. I'll be using a visor w/ a bandana or other piece of cloth under it for sun protection. I have a lack of follicular growth on the top of my head ( guess you could say bald/shaved, but follicular is a fun word!) so I need protection on my white Irish/Scottish noggin. :)
Sombrero will be nice come the Sierras/N. OR/Wash, though.Dec 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm #1678376
Edited for sleeping pad :). Oops! I knew I'd forget something. ( oh, wait, I also left out my 12 gauge for bear & rabid marmot protection!!). Haha
Going to need decent shades because I'll be getting prescription lenses put in. Figure I'd want to see what I'm walking through!
Would like to have altimeter, but I'm ok w/out it. Definitely need a watch to see how far I've walks though, especially in the first 2-3 weeks. It'll be invaluable to help find my pace. Plus, you can use the watch hands if you ever get lost! :)
Tarp will be farther north, and Rattlers… I grew up in So Cal, those little guys are cute. I make sure to give them space though. Not as scary as a black cobra though. Was inches from one in India a couple years ago, hood up and everything. That nearly emptied my innards!Dec 30, 2010 at 8:22 am #1678947
Thanks for sharing your list. I'm planning a PCT 2011 trip, but starting in Ashland, Oregon and heading north. I don't have time for a complete trip. Maybe head south from Ashland in 2012, but I'm really thinking of hiking the 500 mile Camino De Santiago in northern Spain that summer. I really appreciate seeing others gear list to compare and prepare my own.Dec 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm #1679310
Thanks John. This list has been a work in progress & still has a little ways to go.
Anything in Spain sounds fun. sounds like an adventure! Have you read Francis Tapon's review of his trek of the Camino de Santiago? I'm pretty sure I read it on his website. Good luck on this years hike, Oregon and Washington will be beautiful to hike through. When are you thinking about starting?Jan 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm #1680294
@steveclimberLocale: So Cal
yo I just gotta to say FREAK OUT!!! YOU NEED MORE DEET!!! dude, if you are willing to wear it then plan on having the whole bottle of maxdeet, I carried 2-3 sometimes in 2010. just in the seirras and north cali, after ad before that you are fine. Thrus get the worst of it as you will go through sections of the sierras (watch out for Dorothy Lake Horse Camp) during hatching season, it sucks. I have literally run 2 miles straight thru swams. DEET is god.Jan 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm #1680297
@steveclimberLocale: So Cal
yo so on your gear list, nice work, well though out. your clothes look well picked and light as pieces, but heavy as a group. I rocked a t shirt, the nano (nice choice), and a shemagh( like a big cotton scarf), and a beanie. rain pants for warmth on the bottom over shorts. thats it. I am NOT saying copy this, just saying that i thought i was going to need more layers and I didn't, the reality is you will spend "time in camp" but it will most likely not be as much time as you think. plus think of your JRB as a jacket (these are cool dude, nice choice), but most importantly as addition warmth, lightening the load on your clothes weight. given your sweet list of gear here is what I would pick for you (this is fun…)
-your waterproof bottoms for extra warmth.
-cap 2 shirt
-balaclava(you can make a beanie out of this if you want ((double-duty)
– (if you don't think this is enough bring the Houdini)
-socks (at least 3 pair in my mind)
your done!! anything else should be labeled in ziplocks and make a list with your base camp person so when you request something they send the right thing.
ditch the coffee filters and bandana (not in a war zone, jk..water is delicious and the aquamira will kill the bad stuff. i was fine with aquamira only.
Light: just bring the elite. that is plenty.
recording: iphone and some back up battery type, plus headphones. my camera broke on a self arrest on fuller ridge (early on) and a I did the rest of the PCT with my iphone and took amazing photos. great way to cut weight cause you can do videos and photos straight to youtube and facebook (basically backing up your data ever time you push it).
everything else is fine, except as far as navigation:
I had everything: a fancy watch, an expensive altimeter, etc. etc…. I know about the Vector and the Expedition etc etc. they are cool but your don't need em. just a SUUNTO CLIPPER COMPASS ( a little guy that clips to your wrist watch (just need a time and alarm on that)) and you are good. The PCT is pretty easy, and in the challenging parts you will be will people.
CHeers dude, hope that helped, you are gonna love this hike.Jan 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm #1680298
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
Agree on the bear spray…you won't need it unless you decide to do the CDT.
The e-Lite is good for many things, but night hiking is not one of them. It works but it will slow you down when compared to a more suitable light. I personally liked using the e-Lite for camp, and a more substantial headlight for hiking, but it does come with a weight penalty. However, I did night hike more than I would have liked to in order to make post offices (where food drops were).
Carry a lot of sunscreen initially and through the Sierras especially. You can't wear too much and even with massive sunblock, I developed a deep tan. You don't want to suffer a sunburn. I am a pasty white northerner, however, so your mileage may vary.
Like sunscreen, do not skimp on the DEET. You don't want to run out in certain sections (think Sierra). The number of mosquitoes you may encounter is function of many factors, including the snow pack level, spring melt, temperature, and how fast you hike. But in the parts where mosquitoes are heavy, they can be very, very assertive. I was a slowish hiker and after reaching Oregon, DEET was rarely necessary. Others have experienced harsh Oregon mosquito conditions.
I guess I would rather have a camera seperate from my phone….The pictures from a phone camera are underwhelming compared to a good compact, especially if you print. But I will concede that the iPhone can take some very nice pictures under the right conditions.
The Garcia is not a great choice compared to its main competitors. It hold less and weights more….my two cents.
Have fun! You will do great!
DirkJan 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm #1682609
Thank you guys for your insight, I appreciate it very much…
Anyone else?Jan 11, 2011 at 8:00 am #1682660
Looks pretty solid. For clothes, simplifying would help. you could remove some hats. 1 shade hat, 1 light beanie or balaclava, and 1 for sleeping. For tops, I would go with only 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve base layer, 1 insulating, and 1 rain. It should cover all possible scenarios. For bottoms- shorts (not zip offs), thermals, wind pants, kilt. The wind pants would stand in for zip offs whenever the legs would be used. For socks, light hiking socks are best almost all the time. I usually go with 2 pairs crew socks + 1 pair of sleep socks that can also be used in a pinch if you need them when hiking (i.e. not fleece socks). This happened a few times to me on the AT, but i suspect it would be less of an issue on the PCT.
Cooking- jim woods super cat stove it great. no stakes or pot stands required, great performance. made with a hole punch and a little can. light as can be.
I have a decent excel sheet made up for gear lists. i can email it to you if you would like.Jan 11, 2011 at 8:39 am #1682678
Thanks, David, I'd love your gear list spread sheet my email is: dugisdug at yahoo
I won't have all the hats at the same time.
— Beanie throughout;
— sleeping balaclave from mile 600 on (approx);
— visor through the desert, then dropped;
— wide brimmed hat the rest of the way.
I won't be carrying an iPhone (which carries a solid 5 megapixel camera)…I'll have the iPod Touch. It looks like an iPhone, but a little slimmer. It takes hi definition video, and to do that they took out the better still camera and replaced it with a very seriously deficient one, and removed the GPS capabilities. I've known people who took serious DSLR camera kits complete with tripods, so adding a smaller point and shoot will be worth it for me. I'm a photographer, it's how I make my money, so I have to bring it. :)Jan 17, 2011 at 6:09 am #1685008
@legkohodLocale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Dug, congrats on your decision to hike the PCT. I did it in 2009 and it was a pivotal experience. I want to do it again.
Can I refer you to my PCT preparation blog? — Hiking the PCT on a Budget. I think you'll find tons of useful information there regarding various gear and logistical choices, especially if you're on any kind of budget.
The key item missing from your list, IMO, is the Golite Chrome Dome umbrella. I can't understand why anyone would not choose to hike through the mountain and desert heat without one. No sun hat can come close to the level of comfort of hiking under a reflecting umbrella. I wore no sunscreen on the PCT and never got sunburned. Yes, occasionally you'll have to take it down because of gusts, but never long enough to get burnt.
I would get two shoulder pouches. Camera, toiletries, snacks… you'll wish you had two pouches, not one. Even Joe at Zpacks said the same thing after his PCT thru-hike.
Everyone on the PCT wears the convertible pant, but no one converts them. It takes too long. Much better, IMO, are separate shorts and wind pants (lighter, too). Hiking in the high desert in airy breathable shorts, a short sleave shirt (or none at all) under an umbrella is the best! I recommend running shorts comfy enough to wear without underwear (you'll discover why after a week or two).
Shoes are very personal, so just whatever fits your foot well works. But on socks, I'd recommend plain nylon socks (Jardine's idea). You'll almost never want to wear more than one pair at a time. You'll find that quick-drying socks are most convenient. In fact, all clothing needs to be quick-drying unless you choose to go the route of "get all stinky and avoid washing for several days at a time, then wait around in town washing clothes." Many PCT'ers do this, but it is suboptimal.
A tip: if you can at all avoid overcompressing your quilt, it will retain its insulating properties much better beyond the first month. Get a loose stuff sack and don't put it at the bottom of your pack.
In 2009 nearly everyone used the Z-Rest, but believe me, it's not half as soft as a couple Gossamer Gear pads under your torso.
If you get a Platypus with the sucking nozzle, you will be the envy of many hikers who have to take their packs off to drink. It's very well worth it.
Aloksaks: worse than regular ziplocks (try them both and you'll see what I mean).Jan 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #1685150
Seems like using a 1 oz light and having a 3 oz backup is a little backwards.
Have you considered the Fenix LD01 as a replacement for the EOS or the EOS and e+lite? It has the same max output (70 lumens) but weighs only 1 oz. You can also vary the number of spare batteries depending on how much lighting time you'll need. Two spare batteries would give you 75 hours on low, 4 hours on high and 9 hours on medium, with a total weight of ~47-56g depending on if you use alkaline or NiMH. If it's a backup, you probably wouldn't even carry spares…
We're pretty attached to the headlamp concept, but setting up a hands free system for walking is pretty simple and light:
Hope your hike goes well!Jan 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm #1685163
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
There sure is a lot of very positive feedback on this thread. Good job everyone!
As most of you know, I live in the lower desert and wear my Tilley LT4 everywhere. However this winter I have been experimenting with two baseball type caps. Both are from REI. One is a standard cap, the other is fleece lined, and both are made from eVent!! So far so good. Won't replace my Tilley in the heat of summer here, but will be used on a lot of hikes.Jan 18, 2011 at 3:05 am #1685384
@legkohodLocale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Ditto on the Fenix! But the burn times may be overstated. Depends what type of battery you use it with and the outside air temperature. If you're wearing a cap, you can use the clip to turn it into a headlamp (see picture):Jan 28, 2011 at 12:41 am #1689276
Richard, Nick, Kane, thank you guys for your input!
I'm going to update my list, as there's been a couple changes, but nothing major.
Only 3 months to go… Hard not to want to just start for Mexico.
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