Maggie’s PCT 2020 Gear: The Rest of the Stuff
In the interest of procrastinating several long-term projects and avoiding cleaning my house, here is a (mostly) comprehensive look at the rest of what I’ll be taking on the PCT.
The Big Stuff can be found below, with the notable exception that I’m swapping out the Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 for the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2. Basically I packed my bag, walked around the house yelling about how heavy it was, and decided I couldn’t ignore the 10-ounce weight difference between the two shelters. Also note that I was informed: “You’re smart enough for a trekking pole shelter, you’re just too lazy to set them up.”
Absolutely no one asked how I pack my bag, but here you go.
Main Compartment: Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, down jacket, rain jacket crammed in the pack. If the tent gets wet, it’ll go on the outside of a trash compactor liner.
Clothes Stuff Sack: Still in the main compartment. Base layers, beanie, gloves.
Food Bag: Probably plopped at the top of the pack for easy access, or more toward the middle if it’s heavier.
Electronics Dry Sack: This is the yellow one. External battery, small notebook, hiker wallet, charger cables, and small toiletries ziplock go in here.
Hip Belt Pockets: Snacks! Also a headlamp, snacks, water filter, lip balm, and snacks.
Shoulder Pocket: This is an add-on from HMG and I’m a big fan. Phone, headphones, and snacks (!) go in here. It’s also detachable for wandering around town.
Side Pockets: Water bottles, sunscreen. Pretty standard.
I’ve been testing this jacket all season (review coming soon, I swear) and I love it. It’s a synthetic fill, weighs less than 8 ounces, and is as warm (and lighter) than my similarly styled down jackets.
Rain Jacket: Enlightened Equipment Visp
EE killed it with the apparel, y’all. This rain jacket weighs 4.5 ounces, has super long pit zips, and a deep hood. I swapped this out from my other 8.5-ounce jacket and there is no performance disparity at all.
Base Layer Pants: Ugliest Merino Pants in the World That Isobaa Doesn’t Make Anymore Thank God
These pants…. oh my god. Never have I (a moderately proportional, occasionally athletic individual) ever looked worse than when I wear these leggings. But let’s make one thing clear: I am not trying to impress the hiking community with my fashion sense, and these are light, warm, packable, and odor-resistant. Somehow, the hoodie they came with (linked below) is my favorite merino base layer, and these pants are so unflattering. They were recently referred to as: “Saggy butt preschooler pants you’d see a kid wearing crying on the playground.”
Base / Mid Top: Isobaa Merino 200 Zip-Neck Hoodie
Same company, but somehow this top is my #1 base layer top. It fits perfectly, has a snug hood, and thumb holes. I’ll wear it at camp, and as a mid layer for hiking if it’s chilly. I brought a mid layer and camp clothes and town clothes on the AT, but this time I’m just bringing this merino base layer set.
I was gifted an Arc’Teryx beanie and I found some nice liner gloves in the lost and found. Carrying both beanie and gloves might be overkill to start, but as a few recent backcountry trips showed me, I am A Fragile Woman Who Hates Being Cold.
Hiking Top: KYKU Unisex 3D Printing Graphics Wolf Shirt
Don’t @ me
Shorts: Smartwool Sport Lined Shorts
I found these on sale and I had a gift card. Not attached to them, and sort of concerned the 3″ inseam is too short. #chafing
Shoes: Altra Timp 2
Also reviewing these. I was an Altra convert after the AT, and while there have been some discussions about the durability going downhill with certain models, I’m going to stick to what I know my feet like. I have a few more pairs to send to myself along the way, mostly Lone Peak 4s I got on major sale. I’m starting in the Timps, though, since I’ll be testing and reviewing them for the first few weeks out there. I wore them out of the box in the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago and they are fantastic.
Socks: Swiftwick Pursuit Hike
These socks have a snug fit, don’t bunch, and stay up around my ankle. Swiftwick uses Olefin fiber in addition to merino, which adds to the moisture wicking. I like crew height socks not for the fashion statement (there is none) but to help prevent sand and debris from getting into my shoes. And no, I don’t wear gaiters.
Sunglasses: Julbo Spark
I tried these on at Outdoor Retailer last month and fell in love with them. They’re high performance without looking geeky, and have enough coverage that I feel confident taking them to the desert. I’ve been running, hiking, and skate skiing with them, and they don’t bounce at all. Plus, they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Hat: Trek Cap
I have a metric buttload of Trek hats. I’ll take whichever one strikes my fancy at the moment.
Filter: Sawyer Squeeze
I have the Micro now, will probably grab a full-size Sawyer OG before I leave. Flow rate is better on the Original, and I’m not making the Sawyer Mini mistake again. I’ll carry two Smartwater bottles and also a spare Platypus reservoir for the desert. I’d like to have four liters of water capacity for longer stretches, and I’ll ditch the Platy after the desert.
Utensil: Sea to Summit Alpha Long Spork
That’s it… the rest of my kitchen. I’ll use this long boi to fish the scraps of tuna out of the packets. I don’t cook in the real world and I definitely don’t cook on the trail.
Bear Can: BV 500
Big guy for big amounts of food. Not amped to lug it around, but I’ve always wanted to carry a super bulky seat with me while I hike over snowy 10,000-foot passes.
Mid Layer: Arc’Teryx Delta LT Hoodie
I love this layer. Throwing it in my Sierra box in case I want another camp layer, but not sure if I’ll end up taking it.
Traction: Kahtoola Microspikes
The classics. I’ve worn them with Crocs before, so don’t tell me they’re not versatile.
Ice Axe: Something Like This Petzl Model
This is actually one of the only things I don’t have yet. I was going to borrow my roommate’s, but might as well have my own for my bright future in mountaineering. Waiting on a fat REI dividend to make the purchase.
Trekking Poles: Gossamer Gear LT5
These are lightweight and haven’t failed me yet. I wish they had a flick lock instead of a twist lock, but they’re super comfortable and weigh 10 ounces for the pair, 8 ounces more than my Black Diamond set. I have some duct tape wrapped around the poles to tape blisters and do field repairs.
Headlamp: BioLite Headlamp 200
I am death to headlamps. At one point I had four, then I had zero, now I have one. I’ve been on the fence about rechargeable models, but our reviewer loved this BioLite model. Ideally I would have gone with a 300+ lumen model, but I didn’t think of that because I am not perfect.
iPhone 7 (?) / Corded Headphones / External Charger
I had a meltdown a few months ago and impulse bought AirPods because I thought it would make me feel better about my life. Spoiler: it didn’t, and I will not be bringing them. Again… don’t want to worry about charging something else. Also I think Bluetooth kills phone batteries faster? External charger was a freebie from a media event. iPhone is from a few years ago, but works fine. I’ll be using it for Guthook, the Kindle app, for photos, and music.
Mini Swiss Army Knife
I hosted some CDT buddies at my house this summer and they left this here. Mine now.
Government Tracking: SPOT GPS
My parents are making me.
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