GEAR

I love it, if you care enough to be reading this you probably understand where I’m coming from. I’ve spent more money on it than I’d like to admit sometimes, but it sure is fun.

The Pack

I’ll just dive right in then, I’ll start with my pack – I’m using the Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet. It’s 48L, lined with a trash compactor bag, and I use 1/3 of a Therm-a-Rest ZLite folded in half as a “frame.” I also wear a Gossamer Gear fanny pack – everything in it is worn weight, duh. Honestly, though, it’s mostly for snacks.

Big Three

My big three include the Gossamer Gear The Two (not listed in base weight or pictured because Angler carries it), polycro, eight MSR Mini Groundhog stakes, a Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite, and a Nunatak UL ARC 10 degrees quilt. I’m a super cold sleeper, so 10 degrees is perfect for me, I splurged and got extra filling in the toe box also.

Camp Kitchen

For food storage, I use an Ursack Major paired with a scent-proof bag (SmellyProof or OpSak), I hang my food when seen fit so I also use a 50 ft length of ZingIt! and a carabiner. I use a Katadyn BeFree as a filter. Being gluten and dairy free I prefer warm food, so I have a 1100mL Toaks titanium pot (for two people) and an MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove. I also use a Sea to Summit long handle spork along with an MSR collapsible cup. Angler and I share this cook system so having the extra cup really helps out.

Electronics/Emergency Items

For electronics, I carry an Anker PowerCore 10000mAh charger (as well as an iPhone power cord and usb power brick), a Res-Q Link Emergency Beacon, and a Black Diamond headlamp (honestly can’t remember what kind). My first aid contains ibuprofen, Benadryl, Imodium, some ulcer medication (thanks GERD), two strips of KT tape, small tweezers, nail clippers, and some assorted bandages.

I also have a small repair kit with some sleeping pad patch kits, tent patch kits, needle with thread, small scissors, and a few safety pins. I always carry at the very least a Frogg Toggs poncho mostly because I’m a little bitch in the rain (so much so that I consider it a “first aid kit” item at this point).

Luxury Items

I carry two Black Diamond trekking poles (which I rarely use I must admit), but I will probably use more with a heavier load. I have the other 2/3 section of a Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite that I use as a sit pad and yoga mat.

Because of my spinal issues, I prefer to have a pillow. I use a Klymit Pillow X blowup pillow and pair it with a Therm-a-Rest pillowcase (I stuff my puffy/other clothes in with it because it adds extra firmness which I like). Lastly, I will bring a pair of cheapie corded headphones to get down on some dope chillwave beats.



Two luxury items that I’m on the fence about (but will honestly still bring because I know I’ll want them) are a pair of Chaco camp/town sandals and a Rawlogy cork ball.

Misc. Items

Since I suffer from chronic insomnia, I need to take extra care to get a good night’s sleep. I remedy this with a pair of earplugs and an eye mask to block out the light (it’s just a cheap fleece headband that can also double for warmth during the day). Along with chronic insomnia, I also grind the shit out of my teeth at night so I use an NTI unit. I always carry a bug net hat cause it’s better to have than not (gnats are extra calories but I’d rather eat Doritos for that). I like the Deuce of Spades because it digs better holes than just using a rock.

Clothing (Packed)

I’ll be packing an extra pair of athletic shorts to sleep in (or change into in case I shit my pants) as well as an REI athletic T-shirt. I’ll also carry an extra pair of Darn Tough micro crew socks and a spare pair of Patagonia Barely brief underwear. For added warmth, I have a Melanzana Micro Grid fleece, a Patagonia Micropuff puffy, fleece gloves (might ditch later), a Carhartt beanie, and a pair of Odlo base layer leggings.

The Sierra

I will be carrying a BV500 since it’s required.  I use an old plastic hotel key card to help me open it when it’s cold (not pictured). For snow situations, I’ll be carrying a Petzl Glacial Literide ice axe and a pair of Kahtoola MICROspikes.

For extra warmth, I’ll be packing an Odlo base layer top, a pair of Odlo long johns, and some glove liners. I’m very slender and get cold super easy, so I’m trying to compensate for that.

In case of turbulent weather, I’ll be bring a Frogg Toggs rain jacket (if the durability issues I’ve read about prove to be a nuisance I’ll switch it out for a Northface Venture 2 rain jacket) and a ULA rain skirt in lieu of the Frogg Toggs poncho (might swap out the rain skirt for a pair of Helly Hansen rain pants…. But ugh that added weight, totally packing my fear of the rain here).

Clothing (Worn)

This is what I’ll be wearing every day. I wear a Northface sun hoodie (got off Poshmark, not sure the style), Patagonia barely baggies, a MinkPink sports bra, and Patagonia Barely Bikini Briefs (nobody likes chaffing).

I wear a Patagonia trucker hat for added sun protection and a pair of Oakley Sutro Light sunglasses (a gift from my good friend, Brandon – gotta look good to play good!). I wear Altra Lone Peaks (specifically the 10th anniversary 5s) paired with Darn Tough Vermont Micro Cushion socks and some silly Dirty Girl gaiters.



All in all, my base weight comes in at around 11 1/2 lbs with the sandals and cork ball.

Questions?

So that’s my gear! I’ve been lucky enough to have tested everything out before embarking, and have a pretty good idea of what works for me. I absolutely love gear, so if you have any questions or just wanna chat about it, reach out in the comments or add me on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hike_more/

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 5

  • Poppa D : Feb 20th

    Gram weenies and gear junkies are some of the most irritating hikers on ANY trail… blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam.

    Reply
  • Scott Naucler : Feb 20th

    I had to laugh when I saw the reference to the NTI night guard. I have been using mine for about 20 years, and I love it. You are the only other person I have heard mention one.

    Reply
  • Joe Hunnings : Feb 24th

    Best of luck on your PCT thru hike. Your gear kit is nicely locked-in. As a PCT section hiker, I would suggest you make sure you have the micro spikes and ice axe before entering the San Jacinto mountains. The only reason not to have them would be your start date puts you crossing that area well past the danger of snow/ice. Multiple deaths in this short but tricky section makes it a no-brainer. You can mail them ahead to Kennedy Meadows after using them here.

    Reply
  • Mark Shier : May 5th

    Love your blog. Am jealous of your trip, I’m sure you will have a wonderful time!

    I admit, I used to backpack in the 70s so not familiar with current gear. But all that stuff is only 11.5 lbs base weight? Does your stove use gas or cartridges (I always found those to be heavy)? I guess some of it is split so that helps. I always considered gas/stove to be part of my base weight I guess.

    Last question; Does your tent have open screen top (without rain fly)? I can’t tell in the photo and one of my great joys was looking at the night time sky through the tent roof. Of course in rain you need the fly. My mother liked to camp cowboy without tent to look at sky. But if I do that bugs eat me alive!

    Thank you,
    -Mark

    Reply
    • Lightning Rod : May 6th

      Hey ya! The stove uses isobutane canisters. It has the option to have open screen doors but not an open screen rood unfortunately!

      Reply

What Do You Think?