Mar 15, 2010 at 7:02 am #1256501
Thought I'd post my gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail, for all to see and maybe get a little feedback. Follow the link below.
RyanMar 15, 2010 at 8:03 am #1586588
@tippymcstaggerLocale: North Texas
Desert and short sleeve shirt don't mix in my mind. Flip flops save 12oz. and 2/3 the volume of Crocs. I think Mike Clelland also carries equal parts TP and vitamin I.Mar 15, 2010 at 8:21 am #1586592
Your weight of the bear canister is way off. I agree on the camp shoes. While I'm not saying to get rid of them, I think you can get something lighter and/or more useful. Check out Saucony Fastwitch shoes. About half the weight, plus you can actually ford creeks in them. Do you really need the mug? I think you're the first person that I've seen actually put fingernail clippers on their list. That's good that you're not leaving that out. I'm not really sure you need toothpaste. Maybe go without or swap with Dr Bronners, which would serve dual purpose. Liner socks?Mar 15, 2010 at 9:25 am #1586621
Yeah I agree those are kind of heavy. My thought was to have them for just until I got my trail legs and my feet were used the trail. I imagine they will get droped for the Seirras and beyond. Flip Flops are a great idea! I'm just kind of thinking crocs might nicer for walking around trail towns. I'll have to concider that one.
@ Eugene L.
Your are totally right about the Bear Canister. I don't know how that happened. I fixed it on my list. I'll have to check out those shoes. I was thinking of just doing all stream fording in my regular shoes. The mug I think I'll keep. I think it's a nice mental uplifter to have hot chocolate at the end of the day or coffee in the morning mmmmmmm. Yeah the finger nail clipper could be put into the bounce bucket. I have heard you can brush your teeth with Dr. Bonners. Have'nt tried it yet, but noted. I have tried liner socks before, but works for my feet are those smart wool socks as long as I change them out and let them dry every few hours.
Thanks for the Feedback so far! Very helpful.
RyanMar 15, 2010 at 9:30 am #1586623
Oh, I wasn't suggesting you bounce the fingernail clippers. I won't. I know my nails seem to grow in spurts, so bouncing wouldn't work for me.
If you get the shoes, they're priced (online) very well at the San Diego Running Institute in San Diego right off the freeway…and on the way if you're taking public transportation to the border. If you don't have them size you, you get the online price. I like creek fords in these shoes because they're all mesh. Even the outsole has mesh.Mar 15, 2010 at 11:35 pm #1586959
I hiked the trail in 2009.
You have both a fleece and a down jacket at some point on the trail. I carried a single 6oz down jacket (Montbell Ex Light Jacket) for the entire trail with no fleece as it doesn't compress and its heavy in comparison. I never was cold.
I was happy to have a light pair of gloves in the Sierras a few times. I carried the MLD eVENT mitts (1.7oz) but they are pricey. If I was you, I'd at least throw in a 1.7 pair of fleece gloves such as Mtn Hardware Powerstretch gloves.
If you already have the ice axe then its fine. There are a few lighter models out there.
I never used camp shoes. Unlike with boots, my feet never get tired of wearing trail runners. I tie the laces loosely in camp so I can slide them on and off easily (especially in case they freeze overnight). I just wore them through the fords, stopped and wrung my socks out and hiked them dry.
The Pot is kinda big. Most people get away with a 0.8L one just fine. Do you need a seperate mug to drink out of? Can you drink out of your pot?
I bounced my finger nail clippers. I always dealt with my nails when I had them in town even if I didn't think I needed to as insurance for not needing them on the trailMar 16, 2010 at 12:00 am #1586968
Maybe consider a solar charger. A powerfilm AA&USB is like 6-7 oz including a pair of AA batteries. That may be a better option than carrying 3 other chargers and extra batteries.
I personally don't care much for gloves. They're not very warm, they tend to leak, they're heavy, expensive, etc. Mittens are better in every respect, except for dexterity. I get around that with convertible mittens. Even cheap ones are great. Combine that with lightweight shells for the rain.
Those trekking poles are heavy, but I assume you already have them?Mar 16, 2010 at 12:03 am #1586969
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
This is a nice list. I would make the following remarks:
A trash bag as rain skirt may work okay in parts, but in exceptionally brush areas the bag will get destroyed rather quickly. There are silnylon rain skirts (I think ULA makes one) and just plain old rain pants that are nice to have when the weather turns cold and wet. I was among the last to finish the trail, and I can attest that it was cold and rainy in Oregon and very cold in central/northern Washington come October. Washington is a tricky subject – from living here I know that August is generally the nicest month, but September can be a real crap shoot.
My hands get cold so I brought mittens/gloves with me the whole way. I used them in the Sierra and Oregon/Washington. It can snow in the mountains just about anywhere (look at the pct-l list serve for past five years – people have been snowed off several peaks in SoCal and last year, it snowed in the Sierra around the second week of June. Every year is different, but honestly, I believe the weight penalty to be worth the comfort. But to each his or her own.) They do wet out sometimes – I brought a couple of pairs through Washington but I was weird this way.
I didn't use a fleece. I did bump up my thermals to 200 weight IceBreaker in Oregon/Washington, which was nice and toasty. The Feathered Friends down jacket would be nice to have beginning around Sisters, Oregon. You can send it to Big Lake Youth Camp along with more cold-weather gear. Again, if you are fast on the trail, you may not need any cold weather gear. That much said, the further north you travel, the fewer and fewer the town stops with legit post offices. But you get in better shape so to me, I added gear and the weight penalty didn't slow me down a bit. I had lost way more weight off my body than ever could be gained in my pack by a few items.
Finally, and this is just again, my opinion, if you plan or must night-hike, make sure your lamp is up to the task. I tried with lesser (UL) headlamps and regretted it. You want the very best headlamp with the brightest beam that is reasonable to carry when night-hiking.
You may never need to night-hike, nor want to, but what may happen is that you will need to get to some posto ffice somewhere to pick up your food box/bounce box. You may need need to get there before it closes for the weekend. And thus, you will need to hike into the night. And when your headlamp is lousy, there will be much cursing and slowness. Not fun.
Finally, if you have Yogi's book, great. But she sells these cards with all the town stops including post office/fuel information/phone numbers and even some lodging. Four-card set. Nice to have.
The most important thing is to have fun and not to worry. If you get desperate enough, drop me a line and I can send you something if you need it.
DirkMar 16, 2010 at 3:32 am #1586987
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I think you're the first person that I've seen actually put fingernail clippers on their list.
Oh no he's not! Essential things for long walks. Beats hell out of black toe-nails,.
CheersMar 16, 2010 at 6:03 am #1587001
@sschloss1Locale: New England
I hiked the trail last year…
Searching my memory, I can only think of a handful of thru-hikers who carried camp shoes. If you use relatively light shoes, you just don't need camp shoes. And once you get in shape, you'll be doing long days and you won't have a lot of time in camp period. I usually was asleep within 45 minutes of stopping hiking for the day, and most of that time I was sitting. Who needs special shoes for that little time?
I carried a compass the entire way but only used it one time. I understand why you'd carry one, but if I did the trail again, I'd leave it home.
Your trash bag is going to get absolutely destroyed in Washington, when you'll need it. There's a lot of brush on the trail in places. And the Glacier Peak section is completely overgrown for miles. Get a ULA rain wrap or rain pants.
I carried a pack towel almost the entire way and used it maybe once. I wouldn't bother again.
A few other things: Sunscreen? A couple of feet of extra cord in case you lose a tarp guyline? Duct tape? You'll get a thru-hiker bandana if you go to the kickoff.
Looks like a good list otherwise. Have fun. And if it turns out to be a bad snow year, start as late as you can. The snow is doable, but hiking on the trail is a lot more fun.Mar 16, 2010 at 10:24 am #1587074
Nice feedback here.
-OK I think the main things I want to switch up here is the down isulating layer and nix the fleece. There was some great reviews in here about the Montbell Ex Down 5.4oz for a medium. Just take that the whole way. I could pick that up and sell the Feathered Friends Down and probably break even. That will eliminate some ounces.
-I may pick up an acctual rain skirt instead of the trash bag for rainy weather.
-Finger nail clippers are now in the bounce bucket.
-I know the crocs are a pretty heavy thing that I could do without. I think I'll take them at first until I get the trail legs.
-I don't need a solar charger. I have all chargeres and some electonics in the bounce buket so I'll recharge in town.
-Gloves are a tough one. Guess my main concern is having cold hands when it is wet out. Maybe a very light liner to take the edge off and then some kind of waterproof glove/mitten for wetter climates? I dig the MLD E-vent mitts, but really don't want to spend $45 to save a couple ounces. Any other cheaper options?
-I already have the ice axe and the trekking poles.
Ok that all for now.Mar 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm #1587135
@dharmabumpkinLocale: San Gabriel Mtns
In regards to nail clippers: ditch them completely. Take a tiny nail file instead and keep it with you. Put an extra one in your bounce box if needed. WAY lighter than clippers and they wont leave you with sharp-edged nails.Mar 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm #1587140
The clippers are actually useful when you snag/tear a nail. It happened at least 3 times to me on the PCT last year. While I carried an emery board to file my nails with me on the trail, it proved useless to this problem and I had to wait until town where my clippers were to fix it. It would take forever to file off the half attached portion of the nail so that it is smooth and when the tear is too deep, only clippers will work. And since almost all clippers come with a small file, there shouldn't be any jagged edges left after you clip your nails.Mar 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm #1587142
Nia SchmaldBPL Member
I have a different opinion on rain pants. Getting your legs wet isn't really a problem, it's wet and cold that's the problem. You already have wind pants on your list. Combine those with a light weight base layer to stay warm even if wet and you should be fine. This is more functional than rain pants or wrap that you won't use more than a few times (I had 3 days of rain and 2 days of snow in 09).
The cheap option for gloves is a a light weight liner glove for most conditions plus a pair of disposable nitrile gloves on the inside for when it's really wet and cold. The nitrile makes a very light vapor barrier plus they're waterproof.
My preference for nail clippers is the scissors ripped out of a swiss army knife. Lighter and more functional then single use clippers.
As you can tell by the small suggestions being made your list is fine. Don't worry about trying to dial everything in before you leave. Plenty of opportunity to change gear throughout the hike.Mar 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm #1587277
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
"As you can tell by the small suggestions being made your list is fine. Don't worry about trying to dial everything in before you leave. Plenty of opportunity to change gear throughout the hike."
Sage advice! Plenty of time to refine your list – especially if you have someone back home who can mail stuff to you.Mar 26, 2010 at 11:31 am #1591120
@tradjaLocale: Central Oregon
List looks good so far. The Crocs seem unpopular, but you can mail them out from anywhere in SoCal when you want to. I don't do the camp shoes thing either.
+1 for ditching or bouncing the nail clippers. On my past thru-hikes, I just use the scissors on the Victorinox Classic for fingernails and toenails. Ripping the scissors out of one is a cool idea too, but I like having the blade, and tweezers. Even the nominally useless file and mini-flathead have been useful for odd repairs or light prying. Your generic "knife" is listed at 0.8oz, might this already be the Vic Classic?
I'm going out on a limb here but keep the FF Down Jacket. At 14oz, I assume it's a Helios? Sure, you could save some weight by selling it and getting a Montbell Ex Light (and that's not a bad idea) but you will lose a LOT of warmth. My wife carried her 25oz MHW Sub Zero down jacket on the CDT and loved it.
Keep your compass. Sheesh.
See you out there this year!Mar 27, 2010 at 4:28 am #1591342
I may not go with an off brand headlamp or ice axe. Petzl makes both and they are high quality :)
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