Let’s Talk Gear
Researching gear has been my obsession since planning my first thru-hike. Scrolling through r/Ultralight on reddit has been how I got through boring lectures in college and what I fall asleep to many nights. After all that, here’s everything I’m taking with me on my PCT thru-hike in two days and why.
Knowing how I hiked on the AT, I’m not going to set up my shelter unless I really need to. I’ll probably cowboy camp a lot. I got myself the most minimal shelter I’d be comfortable with and could afford. I chose the Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus. Having a non-freestanding tarp tent is mostly new to me, but I’ve practiced setting it up and have gotten comfortable with it. I used polycro as a footprint or when I would cowboy camp on the AT and it surprisingly lasted me the whole hike. It’s an obvious choice for me to bring it again.
My Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 degree quilt served me well on the AT. However, I rarely opened up the footbox and I was a little cold if it dipped to or below 20 degrees. For the PCT I got a 10-degree Enigma (before they added 30% more down to their quilts). I also regretted my decision of not getting purple and yellow for my first quilt, so now I have purple a purple and yellow quilt. (That’s the most important part, right?)
I’m using the same pad I had on the AT for the PCT, the REI Flash Pad. It worked well for me out there and is still in pretty good shape. If it pops at any point I’ll probably have my Therm-a-Rest Z-lite pad sent out to me.
I loved my Gossamer Gear Mariposa on the AT, but I wanted something smaller for the PCT since I’ve pared down my gear a lot. This time I went for the Gorilla, which I got on sale during Black Friday. I was hoping to use it frameless with their Fast Belt until the Sierra. After feeling my pack with the full water capacity I’m bringing the frame to start with. Maybe I’ll ditch it after the Sierra and I get rid of my bear can.
I ditched my compression dry bags for a Nylofume pack liner this hike too. It should save me pack weight as well as time packing up in morning.
This is basically the same as I carried during the AT. I’m carrying my puffy to start with this time, which I did not do on the AT. I am bringing a baseball hat for the PCT. I’ve never worn one while hiking before so hopefully I’ll like it. I’m figuring I’ll want something to keep the sun out of my eyes. I have the Trek McAfee Knob Trucker hat. Side note: On the AT, I flip-flopped and my ending point was actually McAfee Knob so this hat holds a special place in my heart for that.
As for shoes, I rock Saucony Peregrines. They work pretty well for me, but the new version of them fits bigger so hopefully they’ll still work for me or I can find the old versions somewhere.
I’m trying out no cook/cold soaking for the PCT. I’m not sure if I’ll keep the Talenti jar or just use ziplock bags to cold soak. The jar idea is good, but I know I’ll hate cleaning it. I’ve been trying cold soaking recipes at home and eating them cold hasn’t bothered me at all. I haven’t found any particular recipes I’m crazy about yet, though. I suffer from not enjoying the most common hiking foods, like ramen. Oh well. We’ll see how it goes.
I like watching Netflix on the trail sometimes. Sue me. Having extra battery allows me to enjoy myself and just not have to worry about it. Right now I have an Anker 1300mAh battery pack. I may up my battery capacity if I find I’m running out too quickly.
I leave tomorrow and I still haven’t 100% decided on taking camp shoes. I’m leaning toward not bringing them and buying a pair if I need to. I have a pair of pretty light water shoes, but they’re a little tight. Another thing we’ll have to see how it goes.
As far as snow gear goes, I’m just planning on figuring it out as I get closer. Starting in May, I knew the snow might be gone by the time I get to the Sierra anyway. It doesn’t look like that will be the case this year, but I’ll still wait to buy the gear anyway. I’m hoping to rent a bear can or buy one used as I get closer too.
Here’s the full list of everything, including all that I talked about and everything else that I didn’t mention. Of course I have the obligatory gear photo as well.
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