PCT 2017 list

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    Chris E
    BPL Member


    Hi all, I’m beginning my preparations for a PCT 2017 thru-hike and have drawn together the following prospective gear list.

    At the moment my pack weight is coming in at 14.4 lb (6.5kg).

    I’m very keen to iron out my gear selections good and early so I can get on with testing and refining it over the next year. As such, I’d really appreciate any comments you might have on the suitability of the items I’ve selected, opportunities to shave off some weight, and of course anything that I’ve missed entirely.


    • Those items marked (x) have not yet been purchased and so are more easy to change than others.
    • In the desert I will carry an additional 2l water capacity (39g). In the Sierras I will carry a Bearvault BV500 (1.6kg), Kahtoola MICROspikes (338g), and a Petzl Summit ice axe (380g)


    • I could perhaps loose some weight by going with cuben stuff sacks, but I’m not sure about the long term durability given the cost
    • I may pick up four lighter titanium stakes for the Solomid inner and so save a few grams.
    • Aluminium Pacer Poles have been chosen as they also have to double as tent poles. I could switch to carbon, but they might not have the reach to hold up the shelter, the extender would add grams, and they may break over rocky ground (e.g. the Sierras). An expensive change too.
    • There is potentially 100-150 grams to be saved by switching the Rab Inferno jacket (more adapted to UK climes) to a Patagonia Ultralight or Ghost Whisperer down jacket.
    • My plan in is to use the Helium II as a wind shirt and light waterproof, supplemented with the Liteflex Umbrella (I’ll be testing this combo pre-hike, as we’re guaranteed plenty of rain here in England!). I will perhaps switch this out for a full waterproof in Washington if it gets wet. The Umbrella will also provide shade in the desert sections.
    • I’m not certain whether I will go ahead with the Ti-Tri or the Micro Rocket gas stove. I may just bounce box the Rocket in case of fire restrictions.
    • The Platypus GravityWorks should perhaps be under luxuries! I think the weight may be worth the ease in acquiring water, especially in the early sections of the hike.
    • I’ve gone with compass and map, plus the Half Mile app on my phone in terms of navigation. I may bounce box my hand held GPS if heavy snow is predicted for the Sierras, leaving the trail obscured.
    • I’m going to try using Solar power in the early, more open sections of the hike. I’ve got a sunny practice hike coming up in Turkey where I can test this approach. Later on I may switch to a battery that I’ll bounce box.
    • I’ll switch to a tougher and lighter titanium trowel when I have the cash.
    • The camera is pure luxury, but hey it’s a trip of a lifetime.
    tom lakner
    BPL Member


    Locale: midwest

    Just a thought but you should be able to cut your nails with the leatherman

    Kevin E


    With the pocket hat and buff the balaclava seems redundant

    Garrett McLarty
    BPL Member


    Locale: New England, PNW, Northern India

    If you load oruxmaps on your phone, you shouldn’t need a dedicated GPS as long as you keep you phone away from water.

    Dylan Atkinson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest

    Couple things:

    • I think you could get away with lighter insulation – the Inferno seems like the wrong kind of insulation for the dry climate. Though it has been raining here more and more, I still think down is the way to go. No need to shell out too much for Patagonia either – look used here or budget jackets like Uniqlo.
    • Speaking of rain – are you planning to use a pack liner? Cover?
    • Are you planning on setting up your inner every night? I assume based on the weight it’s the cuben bottom – make sure you have the means to repair the bottom. Also, the weight seems off on the inner, I think it’s more like 212g/7.5oz. Mostly concerned about taking care of your inflatable mattress in the desert.
    • Your buff/balaclava/hat does seem a bit redundant.
    • Are you carrying soap of some kind? In the long term soap (Dr. Bronners) is, I think, more hygienic and useful. It’s toothpaste and detergent too!
    • I would keep your stakes for the desert at least – it’s nice to be able to use ’em as deadman anchors in the event you can’t get purchase in the ground.

    Edit: just saw this thread.

    Some good advice for the start of your trip.

    Chris E
    BPL Member


    Thanks all, the tips are really appreciated!

    • Agree that the balaclava is probably redundant. I included it as a just in case it’s freezing at night back up, as I’ve never gone hoodless with my sleeping arrangements before!
    • I’m on the look out for a used down jacket, some GW’s and Patagonia’s go for reasonable prices on the Bay and i’ll have to check out Uniqlo too (thanks!)
    • I’m going to use waterproof stuff sacks to keep things dry.
    • I imagine I’ll throw in some Tvek as an additional sheet to protect the mattress and also to give me something to sit on during breaks. I’m not sure about carrying the inner all the way – are there any stages that will be more bug free?
    • Soap is a must, yes! I’ll add that.
    • I’ve realised that I need to throw in a rain kilt too…

    Thanks for the desert tips. That stage will certainly be the furthest from my hiking experience to date, so the better prepared I can be the better.

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