May 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm #1317222
Just got an annual membership the other day (to any other new people thinking of joining, use coupon code "packlessbemore2011" for 60% off!), and figured I would post my gear list.
I will be hiking the PCT in 2015, starting April 1st. Not sure what to expect exactly, but I have an idea from reading the forums.
There are a few items that I know are a no-no to a lot of people (the umbrella, fishing pole), but I figured I would try them out and send them back home if needed. The tent is relatively heavy but unfortunately it is too late to return. I thought it was 41oz, but recently realized that that weight was for the tent body only, not including the stakes/ guylines. Oh well.
I am approaching 14 pounds but I think it may be more after everything is accounted for. If there is anything on the list that you think would be better replaced with a different item, or if there is something I am missing please let me know!
Thanks.May 26, 2014 at 4:02 pm #2106058
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
I've never hiked with an umbrella, so can't speak to whether this is worth the weight or not. There do appear to be lighter umbrellas out there than the one you list.
You could lose half a pound or more with a different cook system.
But there really isn't a way to substantially reduce your base weight and keep that shelter (will you need the condensation liner?) and that pack (will you really need 65 L capacity?). Are they worth the extra weight? Only experience will tell.
My advice: you've got almost a year before you start the PCT. Get out as soon and as much as possible so you can dial in your kit and figure out what works and what's too much. Then use Gear Swap to sell/replace what you want to change.May 27, 2014 at 5:30 am #2106156
@dougpgreenLocale: North Carolina Piedmont
The tent mistake is not at all unrecoverable. Tarptents have an incredibly high resale value both on this forum and on Ebay and Double rainbows are very popular 2 person tents. They make an awfully heavy luxury for a thru hike, especially compared to a 27 ounce Notch or a 10 ounce tarp.
As noted above your cook system is heavy, although you included fuel in your base weight which makes it seem heavier than it is. You also are using the larger size fuel canister. How many times a day do you plan to cook and how far between resupply? Take some time to experiment with how much you can get out of a canister and see if you might get by with less. Also, your 250g fuel canister won't fit inside your Jetboil like a 100g will.May 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #2106211
I've thought about trying to sell my tent, but I've never sold anything online before (never used ebay at all). I would prefer to sell it through BPL, though I don't know how that works beyond posting it on the Gear Swap. It is in perfect condition (lightly used twice), with the original box it was shipped in and all that (any takers!?).
The cook system I thought was pretty light for something that wasn't alcohol. I keep hearing about fire bans on the PCT so that's why I chose the canister stove. I can still return it to REI though, so suggestions on this one would be appreciated. I was going to go with a SnowPeak set, which was like 9.1 oz w/o a windscreen, so I figured I would go with the Sol which apparently has better fuel efficiency. I included a full canister in the baseweight because that is what I would be hiking in, and yeah I meant 100g not 250g.
EDIT: Doug, I will probably average between 3-4 for resupply. My longest w/o resupply will be about 10 days. Not sure how much I will be cooking until I get out there, but I'm assuming at least once per day.May 27, 2014 at 11:48 am #2106225
All you do is put up a post, then you and the buyer trust each other and it works out fine the vast majority of times. Just be a good seller by posting all key details, include photos or links to photos of your actual item (not stock photos), full disclosure on the item's condition, specify price and payment terms. Many sellers specify they are including shipping, but that is your choice (just keep in mind what will motivate or de-motivate a buyer). Many also ask that the Paypal gift/friend option is used because that avoids fees, though the buyer gets less protection that way, so back to the trust factor.May 27, 2014 at 2:07 pm #2106253
Is it usually the buyer who sends the money first, or the seller who sends the item first? The trust thing is obviously the biggest issue for me. I don't doubt it's an issue for the buyer as well.May 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm #2106326
@cgrafLocale: So Cal
You might want to set up your account so you can send/receive PMs…….and I may be interested in your Double Rainbow.
ChristopherMay 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm #2106330
Is it usually the buyer who sends the money first?
Yes.May 27, 2014 at 7:26 pm #2106354
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Other than what has been mentioned, I think better usage of smaller dropper bottles could take some easy weight off (deet for instance).
You have some really nice gear (other than the heavy rainbow, but still nice). You will quickly learn what you use and don't on the trail. Then you can send back what you don't.
I got to see a bunch of PCT hikers when I was up by Mount Laguna and everyone of them was trying to get their pack weight down.May 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm #2106356
Squeeze pouches can fail. I carry more than one. Sawyer or Evernew are compatible with the filter. It's OK to carry unfiltered water in them, so a smaller water reservoir will do.May 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm #2106371
Thanks guys and gals.
Someone asked about me getting the PM thing set up, I did I think.
Yeah the tent is a killer. I *may* be meeting someone in Oregon who is gonna hike the rest of it with me, but that is a lot extra weight to carry for a maybe.
Been looking at other options. There is the obvious Zpacks Hexamid. I've also discovered the Big Sky Soul which looks really nice, but it's even more expensive than the Hexamid. I hate the thought of losing the money if I sold the DR. Still got a year to think about it. Any cool new UL tents coming out in the next year?May 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm #2106764
@dougpgreenLocale: North Carolina Piedmont
Regarding not getting all of your money back on the tent…I do understand the sick feeling of loosing money on a recent purchase, but the difference between a double rainbow and a notch is almost a pound. How much would you be willing to spend to take 14 ounces off your pack weight? Regarding the fuel…you can likely get away with a single 100g fuel canister and maybe add a second for your long resupply interval. As far as selling…set up a PayPal account, this is what it was created for. It allows strangers to exchange funds while lowering the risk.May 29, 2014 at 12:46 am #2106826
Thanks for the advice on Paypal. I've never used it before (never had a reason). Might be a good time to start! How does it lower the risk exactly? I always assumed that it was for doing business with actual internet businesses, not person to person transactions.May 29, 2014 at 8:17 am #2106882
You have a lot of stuff that can be replaced with lighter options or even left at home. Problem is everyone has their favorite items and will insist their solution is best. As mentioned earlier, get out and hike a lot. You will soon figure out what works for you and what does not. Experience is the best teacher.May 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm #2106963
You start in the desert. You could at the very least have the fishing pole shipped to you at kennedy meadows.May 29, 2014 at 7:37 pm #2107068
@ Nick: What are some of the things I can replace for lighter options? That is what I'm looking for mostly.
Also, I will indeed be sending the fishing pole to Kennedy Meadows.May 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm #2107093
Many lighter options. Many have done the PCT with a simple tarp.
You can get by with recycled water or Gatorade bottles. I would ditch the filter & components and use Aqua Mira only.
Many lighter options. Caldera Cone alcohol system would be my choice. Would switch to Giga Power or similar where and if alcohol is banned in some areas.
Thousands have done long trails without an umbrella.
Replace headband and umbrella with a hat.
Replace battery charger will wall USB plug. This are less than an ounce.
Do you need 4 spare batteries?May 29, 2014 at 11:31 pm #2107113
Shelter: Yeah, I'm definitely thinking of switching out the tent, that would be the main thing. Maybe a Big Sky Soul or Hexamid.
Hydration: I kinda went back and fourth on this one. A 1L Gatorade bottle weighs 1.8oz on my scale, so three of these would be 5.4oz, vs 6oz for the 3L BigZip. The lightest recyclable bottles I can find are 1 Liter Smartwater Bottles. These each weigh 1.3 oz. So three of these would equal 3.9oz. The Platypus BigZip 3L is 6 oz, so I would save 2 oz right there, but lose the ability to drink and walk. The regular Platypus 3L is 3.8oz, but I think it would be too much trouble to refill. But between a regular Platypus and three Smartwater bottles I don't see why I would go with the bottles?
The filter, I just don't like to wait to have to drink! But yeah, I can see how I might not absolutely need it. I could at least leave out the water pouch, straw, and syringe (just use a water bottle to clean).
Cooking System: I took your advice and checked out the Caldera Cooking System. I didn't have time to go through them all but I checked out the "Caldera Sidewinder System", which includes the cone, the stove, the pot, the lid, and the bottle. It came out to 13.75 oz, which is 2.75 more than the Jetboil. The fuel weight is kinda the deciding thing, I'm not sure how much alcohol would be equal to a 7oz canister. If there is a less heavy bundle please let me know, but I'll keep looking through it.
Other: The umbrella, I might send back or ahead if I feel it's not worth the weight. There are lighter options too, but not hands-free.
The charger and batteries I would be using for the headlamp and to recharge my phone/camera/musicplayer/gps on the trail. Probably don't need four, yeah…except that I use an electronic cigarette X). Didn't want to let that one slip, that son-of-a-bitch is heavy. Hopefully I can quit by next year!
Thanks for your time.May 29, 2014 at 11:45 pm #2107117
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
This may not be too difficult, but when I head out, I split up my cook gear weight into two parts. The metal stuff is in my base weight, so this includes the empty butane canister (assuming that is what I use). The actual butane gas weight is in the consumables along with food and such. Granted, the total weight is what I have to carry, but since the consumable weight is reduced as you go along, it is generally treated differently from the base weight.
Some people lean over backwards to lower their base weight down as low as possible, but sometimes they gather a heavier consumable weight in the process. I suppose it is ideal if you lower them both.
I can cook a lot more on one ounce of butane than I can on one ounce of alcohol.
–B.G.–May 30, 2014 at 1:04 am #2107121
Would you consider things like soap, bug repellent, and sanatizer consumables? I could knock out like 4oz right there ;).May 30, 2014 at 6:37 am #2107139
@richardcullipLocale: San Diego County
Consumables can get tricky if you let them. You could consider the containers as base weight and the stuff in the containers as consumables. Have fun.May 30, 2014 at 6:39 am #2107140
I have never used a hydration "system" so I really can't say much about their benefits versus just bottles. I have never used a filter either. Normally I use 1L Platys @ .9 ounces or 2L @ 1.3 ounces.
I normally use a Caldera Keg system with Esbit – total weight of every thing under 4 ounces. Esbit might not be the ideal fuel for the PCT unless you mail the fuel to yourself ahead of time. It may not be allowed in some areas next year.
Remember total weight is more important than base weight!!
If you go to my profile there is a link to my website. There is plenty of information on gear. Many of the backpacking trips have gear lists you can look at.May 30, 2014 at 10:15 am #2107192
I through hiked in 2013! It's an awesome trail!
I won't rehash the tent, stove debate but here's a few things:
-I notice you don't have an ice axe or microspikes listed. Depending on the snow conditions in the Sierra, you may need them. The last 2 years have seen very low snow levels so you won't see much mentioned about it in recent blogs. Since there is a chance you'll need them – LEARN HOW TO HIKE IN SNOW! This winter take an intro class in mountaineering to learn self arrest with an ice axe and when to use crampons.
-You won't need anything bug related until Kennedy Meadows (mile 702).
-Buy a Chrome Dome it's lighter, reflective and stronger. You can make them hands free with some shock cord. The whole hands free thing only works when there's very little wind.
-Almost as important as the ice axe, learning blister care is really really important. You will get lots of blisters in the hot sandy desert. Moleskin will not cut it. Also add at least some duct tape, neosporin and bandages to your first aid. "Fixing your feet" is a great book and has lots of tips.May 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm #2107355
Unless you are married, don't carry a double size shelter as even the best of friends can break up on the trail. You are hiking most of the trail alone and don't know if someone is joining you. If they do join you, have them carry their own shelter because you may split up. You will be in your top physical shape and anyone joining you will slow you down. A PCT thru-hike is a race against winter. Its one thing to slow down for a section or two, but more then that probably isn't going to work. You should be using a solo shelter that weighs under 2 lbs that uses your trekking poles instead of a regular pole. There are even several good UL shelters that weigh about a pound. Check out other shelters by Zpacks, 6 Moons Designs, Mountain Laurel Designs, and some other Tarptents. I never needed a freestanding shelter on the PCT and in fact cowboyed camp most of the trail. I had rain/snow about 9 nights total though your mileage may vary. Replacing your shelter is the single biggest weight savings you can make.
As someone else mentioned, the GoLite Chrome Dome is only 8oz and is the most popular umbrella on the trail. I'd dump it at Kennedy Meadows at the latest when you get a bearcan and maybe an ice axe if it isn't a low snow year or a very late entry into the Sierras.
That stove is heavy. If you are actually doing real cooking a jetboil may make sense. But for most backpacker meals where you are only boiling water, its not worth it. Though it does make it easy to cook fish as I hiked with a guy in the Sierra Nevada that boiled his fish everynight in one. The Sierra is the only place you'll likely need the fishing rod as the fishing is good and you walk right pass the lakes. For the rest of the trail, its not worth it.
A regular platypus is lighter the the big zip version. Worked fine for me.
The inflatible sleeping pad is heavy but if you are fine carrying it for the comfort then so be it. You may have problems with leaks. I know many that add a 1/8" foam thinpad from Gossamer Gear under an inflatilbe pad to help protect against punctures. I personally used a foam pad under 8oz.
You don't need a down jacket and a fleece jacket unless you are hiking in October. Instead just carry a regular baselayer top. A Terramar Long Sleeve Lightweight Helix Crew top (size L) weighs 5.4oz.
That battery charger looks heavy. A USB wallcharger with short cable for the phone should be under 2oz. If you think you need a battery pack for the phone, consider carrefully how large of one you really need for your electronics usage.
Overall, your gear list isn't bad and I've met many through hikers carrying more weight. Just keep your baseweight under 15 lbs and you'll be fine. Yes lighter is better, but you have to consider how much you want to spend at one time.May 31, 2014 at 2:11 am #2107424
Thanks for the tips. Honestly I am hoping against hope there isn't a lot of snow come 2015. I don't have very much experience in it at all.
On the blisters…it seems like a lot of people recommend popping the blisters. I don't really understand that. It seems like it your body's natural defense mechanism against the chafing, by providing a pad of sorts. I know that blisters are a huge problem on the trail but I will look into it. Thanks!
Yeah, I'm looking into a new tent. I mainly like freestanding tents because they seem faster to set up, and I can move my campsite easier if needed. I can also shake them out if need be. However, if I bought a new tent it would probably be a Hexamid, or maybe a Big Sky Soul. Lots of money though. I do love me some cowboy camping though, but I think I would need to bring a groundsheet of sorts for that? Especially with an inflatable.
On the stove, I thought the Jetboil was mainly for simply boiling water? I think I would prefer a canister stove, as opposed to alcohol or esbit. Just a little less finicky. Plus the fire bans, and faster boiling times. I don't know if you saw, my "Cooking System" weight includes a full canister. I could drop the stand and cup to lose a couple ounces. I thought about getting a Snow Peak litemax or whatever it's called @ 2oz, it's the pot and lid that I am unsure of. Can you recommend a light pot and lid?
On the phone charger, I really don't know how many batteries I will be needing. I want to be able to charge my eadlamp, phone/gps, and possibly, but hopefully not, and e-cig in the field. I want to avoid having to charge up batteries (which generally takes about 4-5 hours), take them out, and have to put new ones in to charge when I have limited time in a town. Which is why I might go for the 4 capacity charger instead of a 2 capacity.
On the fleece layer, I could definitely get something lighter. I forget how cold it gets out there, so I may be over-compensating. I was thinking of going with the listed one because it includes mittens (which is one thing I don't have to pack), and a facemask. Mostly would be using it for the mittens though (I think it would be warmer having the mittens attached to the layer, as opposed to seperated). I probably would rarely hike in it, it would be a mostly sleep wear. I will look into the one you mentioned though, still have a year!
One more thing: When I am replying to specific people, I keep having to go back and re-read their posts, and editing my response. Is there any way around this?
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