Jan 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm #1311786
Hey everyone, loving this forum and have learned a lot in a really short time.
I’m planning on starting a Thru-Hike of the PCT starting late April/Early May heading north and would love some advice on fine tuning my gear list. I’m 34, an avid marathoner, trail runner and cyclist. When I hike I go at a pretty good clip. I won’t have any support so I need to start with pretty much everything and I will mail myself a few things to Kennedy meadows (ice axe, bear canister, etc…) and decide there what I need to get through the sierras with. I’ll be buying food as I hit towns and will bounce food forward as I need. I’m also going to start stoveless and make that adjustment in Kennedy Meadows if I need to.
I’m pretty happy with the list but I love some advice on what I’m missing, or some "what would you do" comments and even some "are you nuts" comments. Some of the list I already own and some I don’t so that may influence some of my decisions going forward.
BTW I know my pack is a bit heavy but I already own it and fits like a glove. Not sure I want to take a chance on something lighter and regretting it a few weeks in. I live in Canada and won't have anyone to send stuff if I need.
And I will be wearing trail runners with dirty girls, long hiking pants, long sleeve light tech running shirt, wide brimmed hat. I may add a short sleeve tech shirt in the mix, not sure yet.
Anyways, have at itJan 5, 2014 at 6:28 am #2060495
@sschloss1Locale: New England
It's a good list, very similar to what I carried. A few thoughts:
– I didn't pick up rain pants until Sisters, OR. If I hiked again, I might move that up to Ashland, but I think that most years it doesn't rain enough in CA to make rain pants worth the weight.
– Buff + fleece hat + wide-brimmed hat might be overkill. Maybe drop the buff.
– Instead of carrying extra AAAs (which will be dead weight 99% of the time), I would just get one of the little Photon lights as a backup. You couldn't night-hike with it, but it would work fine around camp. Just pay attention to how bright your headlamp is and get new batteries when they start to run low.
– I'd ditch either the aquamira or the filter.
– The Nightlight pad might not be enough on its own down to the mid-20s that you'll get in the Sierra.
Have fun out there. And maybe think about starting early if the snowpack stays as low as it currently is.Jan 5, 2014 at 7:14 am #2060503
Dan DurstonBPL Member
– Montane makes some rain pants (Minimus, 4oz) that are lighter than the GoLite's if you don't want something robust.
– Zebralight makes really nice headlamps (ie. H52) that are, brighter and lighter than your BD one and nicer to use (1 x AA vs. 3 x AAA).
– A lot of people recommend 2 extra pairs of socks – and many skip the underwear.
– Unless you're planning on some huge sections without resupply, I'd be thinking hard about replacing that pack even though it fits well. You could find something else that also fits great and shave off a pound.
– It's tough to comment on your clothes because your worn gear doesn't seem to be here.
– Do you already have a whistle somewhere else on your gear? (ie. pack sternum strap? headlamp strap?)
I'm a fellow Canadian who is also headed for the PCT this year. Have you made any progress on applying for a tourist (B-2) visa? It looks like we need to attend an interview at a USA embassy in Canada, of which there aren't too many.Jan 5, 2014 at 8:38 am #2060518
Here's the gear worn list http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=16729
– The fleece hat is for sleeping. I've tried to sleep in my buff but it just feels weird and my buff is a never leave home without it kind of thing. I may switch the wide brimmed hat to a very light running hat and throw my bandanna underneath if i need more sun protection. I'm carrying an umbrella so I may be over doing it with the wide brimmed hat.
– I have both the nightlight pad and a thermarest Z-light. I'll look and think about cutting down my z-rest a bit
– The backpack thing is by far my biggest dilemma. I really want to go lighter and I'm aware of what's out there but it gives me a since of security. I had the thing loaded right at 30 pounds with my snowshoes hanging off the back last week and didn't even notice the pack during the hike but it was only 7 hours.
– The whistle is already attached to my pack
– I'll look into the zebra but I already own my black diamond light
– I have dual citizenship so I've got it pretty easy with the whole border crossing thing.
– On the water filtering. Would using the bandanna along with aquamira (or any other chemical method) be reasonable? I've thought about this but have never done this in practice.
– Rain pants. I honestly may switch out to running tights in the later stages which could eliminate rain pants all together. My pair here weighs 5.25 oz.Jan 5, 2014 at 9:21 am #2060532
Eli ZabielskiBPL Member
@ezabielskiLocale: Boulder, CO
– You could use a Golite Umbrella + windshirt + windpants and save 3-5oz. This would also massively improve your sun protection in the first 700.
– Like someone else said, wool buff+fleece hat might not be worth it. A Katabatic Hood would give similar coverage as both of those for 1.35oz. This saves you ~1.3oz.
– Thermal bottom and top? If this is for hiking you could go lighter with MB Dynamo Windpants and the MB Tachyon Jacket (or Patagonia Houdini Pants/Shirt) to save 4-9oz. If it's for sleeping, you've already got a 20deg bag. If it's just for comfort for sleeping or something, then you know what's best and HYOH, etc.
– You could carry two 70oz Platypus bags (35g each) and a 1L Gatorade bottle for the same volume and save ~5oz.
– You can use 25' of Zpacks Slick 1.6mm cord (~10g) to save 1oz.
– You could save at least 1lb on your pack and still have a framed pack. You could save 1.5lbs if you went frameless and used your GG pad as a frame (like it is designed for).
Good luck! Hopefully I'll see you out there!Jan 5, 2014 at 10:35 am #2060553Jan 5, 2014 at 11:44 am #2060577
Eli ZabielskiBPL Member
@ezabielskiLocale: Boulder, CO
Just so you know, there is the Tachyon Anorak with a full hood, but only half zip. The Tachyon jacket is 1.6oz and doesn't have a hood but has a full zip.Jan 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm #2061286
@yucaipatimLocale: Southern California
Nice list. My suggestion would be to consider omitting the polycro. It's redundant because the bivy can be utilized as your groundcloth. Polycro is great stuff, but the PCT can be very windy and polycro is a pain in the wind.
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