- Jan 13, 2018 at 3:06 am #3512128
I’ve been a member on here for a while now, but this is my first post. I’ve learned so much from all of you and really want to say thank you. I’ll be thru-hiking the PCT NOBO this year beginning on April 24th. I would really appreciate some feedback about my gear list and how to get my base weight lower. Feel free to be as brutal as possible. Thanks so much!Jan 13, 2018 at 5:15 pm #3512205
What’s listed is pretty good. You have listed some worn items but not all. Is the 30° quilt going to be warm enough for you when you go up high as you get north?Jan 13, 2018 at 11:38 pm #3512286
I haven’t made a final decision on all my worn gear yet, but most likely going to be wearing pants and long-sleeved top. I’ve been debating whether the 30 degree quilt will be warm enough, but haven’t had a chance to test it out in similar conditions (recently it’s been too warm or way too cold up here in Canada). I was going to wear the fleece, puffy, and long johns to sleep in if it got chilly. What’s your opinion on the sufficiency of pairing the 30 degree quilt with these items on the PCT?Jan 14, 2018 at 2:46 am #3512328
Even in late Summer, while only at 9,000 feet, you can get freezing nights in the Sierra. If that 30F bag plus some clothes really gives you comfort at 30F, fine. But often people need a 20F bag to sleep well at 35F. Depending on your speed, you may similar issues in WA by late September.Jan 14, 2018 at 2:57 am #3512329
Your “Big 3” look good (if the EE quilt is warm enough). I like the umbrella for the desert – a lot. I also like it at 7,000-10,000 feet. It’s intense sun up there, and I feel 10F cooler under an umbrella.
That’s a lot of compass (and GPS) for an established, well-traveled trail. I’d bring a button compass and put the Guthooks app on your phone.
Later in the trip you’ll need a bear canister, does it work with you pack?
Jan 15, 2018 at 9:51 pm #3512626
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by David Thomas.
Thanks so much for your feedback. Ya, I’ve been going back and forth on the temperature rating of the quilt. I generally sleep hot, and have used it down to freezing and was comfortable (With just a light sweater). EE offers a ‘Down Add’, so I was considering that after testing it in cooler temps (down to 20F) a couple of more times (My PCT start date isn’t until April 24th).
Regarding the GPS, taking the Delorme is more so a required item to keep family a little less worried. I was going to take SPOT, but due to lack of 2-way communication and poor reviews, I decided against it. Good feedback on the compass though. I’ll have to look into some smaller ones.
My pack hasn’t arrived from MLD yet (it should be shipping soon though). I have heard that the BV500 fits vertically into the MLD Prophet, but will have to test one the pack arrives.
Thanks again for your feedback. Much appreciated!
ChrisJan 16, 2018 at 2:26 am #3512688
And I’d bring a button compass only for that 1% (when I’m turned around) of the 10% of day-time hiking and that 2% of 30% of night-time hiking where I can’t deduce north from the sun, stars, etc. There was a time on Mount Washington, NH, that I couldn’t see 5 feet. So I kept heading uphill until I found the visitor’s center and went in and had some soup and chili. I’ve been in starless night skies wondering which way was north, but that has most often been in a city. Oh, and your phone is a compass. In addition to being a GPS.
A mirror can be a good thing. You can check yourself for sunburn, pull a splinter out of your cheek (IME, prickly-pear cacti have some VERY small thorns on their fruit) or inspect your hinny for, well, whatever you want to look at there. But a 1- or 2-cm mirror does all those things. No one in the history of the world has ever flagged down a passing jet by waggling a mirror in the sun, so let’s all save that easy ounce of weight.Jan 17, 2018 at 3:40 pm #3512892
I’m still a relatively novice hiker, so I feel that some of the ‘extra’ items I’m carrying are more so to compensate for that. My plan is to eventually shift some of them into my bounce box as I make my way up the trail.
Regarding bear bags: On sections of the trail that do NOT require a bear canister, does anybody actually hang their food? I seem to see very few bear bag hanging kits on the gear lists of experienced thru-hikers. I’m carrying an OpSak bag plus CF bag to store my food in anyways.
Thanks again for all your help!Jan 25, 2018 at 10:03 pm #3514477
John RowanBPL Member
Incomplete thoughts as a give this a quick peek between calls at work:
Bear bag: I’ve seen exactly one bear hang on the PCT over ~2,000 miles worth of sections (inc. a thru attempt). I personally like the Ursack for non-canister sections, but the vast majority of folks were just sleeping with their food. (Be careful in a few sections of SoCal- there are a few areas where there are problem bears)
Bearcan in Prophet: I’ve never owned a Prophet (I had some friends use it last year on the PCT, though), but I’d say you’re probably fine here. I currently own a Burn, and I can get a BV500 into it even with a folded ZLite for support (although it comes pretty close to the line between “can” and “should”). I’ve also used a can extensively in my old Exodus with no issues. I’d definitely give it a test pack with all of your stuff, though, especially since the clothing you’re carrying is gonna take up a decent bit of room.
Bag: 20* is by far the most common, but people do use 30*. If taking a 30*, I’d be really sure it works for you. I also wouldn’t make too many assumptions about what weather in the different sections- I’ve had plenty of freezing/near-freezing nights in SoCal, while the average night during both of my runs through the high Sierra was about 45-50*.
Fleece: You don’t really need a fleece on the PCT. I carried a Cap4 hoodie along with my puffy when I was on my 2015 thru attempt, and while I really liked it, it wasn’t necessary, and it was one of the things I ditched from my pack when I went back out for another 750-800ish miles last year.
Clothing in general: Seems like a fair amount of stuff, although I’ll confess that my personal tendencies in this area get pretty minimalist. I’d probably consider ditching the fleece, buff, some of the gloves. (Of the three, I’d keep the sun gloves (since it looks like sun protection is a priority), since they’ll be good enough to take the edge off on a cold morning,although you might want something more depending on when you hit the Sierra. I stopped bothering with gloves at all, but I’m a bit more skittish about the sun these days.
By and large, even with no changes, this looks like a pretty solid list- for the weight you’re carrying, you’re getting quite a bit of comfort and functionality. Only general thing I’d look out for is bulk- the Prophet isn’t tiny, but it’s definitely worth doing a test pack once you’ve got it in hand to see how things fit in.Jan 26, 2018 at 12:30 am #3514493
Thanks so much for the very helpful feedback. Definitely all things I’m going to be considering over the next three months leading up to my start date. Since I’m still relatively new to long-distance hiking I feel like I’m probably going to carry a wee bit too much stuff at the start and then start putting it into my bounce box (so I have it handy later on in the hike) as I figure out what works for me. I actually just got the Prophet today so am going to start doing a couple of test packs soon. Thanks again for all your awesome feedback. It’s much appreciated.
ChrisJan 26, 2018 at 1:57 pm #3514563
Erica RBPL Member
I don’t see the shirt you will be hiking in on the list. Maybe I missed it. I hike in California lots, and find a shirt like this: http://exoticindia.com/product/textiles/plain-white-v-neck-short-kurta-top-SPB62/ to be very comfortable. It is mosquito proof, and light and airy (I buy it 2 sizes too large) for hot weather. Excellent sun protection. Sometimes I will dip it in a stream to cool down while hiking. Of course cotton is worse than useless when wet in cold weather…. so keep it dry in your pack in that case. It’s a great hot weather garment.
- This reply was modified 8 months ago by Erica R.
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