AT vs. PCT Gear

Hello there! It’s been six years since my last thru-hike and foray into blogging so I needed an easy way to get back into the game and figured gear talk would be it! Everyone loves dissecting gear, to the point that it’s probably overdone, but I wasn’t sure how else to start up again.

This is also my way of saying, I’m hiking the PCT! Start date May 4th. (I’ve already heard “may the 4th be with you” a bunch of times from the dorks in my life but keep it coming because this year we will all need it. #toomuchsnow). New trail means new gear, so here is my AT gear compared against some of the choices I’m making for the PCT. (All my PCT gear that’s still on market is linked below, but a couple things aren’t sold anymore.)








AT Gear

PCT Gear


If so, why?


Osprey Exos 48

Hyperlite Unbound 40


I love my Exos and still have it, but it’s 7 years + 1 thru-hike old and it’s pretty ripped up. Since Osprey no longer makes a unisex Exos, I figured I’d try something new – and waterproof.


Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 mtnGLO

Durston X-Mid Pro 1


Ditto above – I loved my Copper Spur and would carry it again, but my particular tent is just a bit too worn to take on another thru-hike. Also, this go-around I was interested in testing out a non-freestanding tent.

sleep system

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20

Feathered Friends Petrel 10 UL


I was always cold; a quilt is not for me.

(started with) Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (and switched to) Big Agnes Q-Core SLX

Therm-a-Rest ProLite


I switched to the ProLite after my thru-hike and I like it so much better – it’s quiet, comfortable and really low to the ground which all outweigh that it has a lower R value, for me.

cook system

MSR Micro Rocket stove

MSR Micro Rocket stove


MSR Titan Kettle 0.85L

MSR Titan Kettle 0.85L


food bag

Ursack Major

Ursack Major


(For the PCT will also be using the BearVault BV500 where needed)

water filter

Katadyn BeFree 0.6L

Katadyn BeFree 1L



Darn Tough

Darn Tough


trail runners (started with) Brooks Cascadia (and switched to) Brooks Caldera Brooks Caldera no
camp shoes Crocs Swiftwater Sandal Bedrock Sandals Cairn Pro II yes I had a gift card to Bedrock

puffy Patagonia Nano Puff Rab Xenon 2.0 yes No real reason – both are great synthetic jackets, which is my preference

headlamp Black Diamond Cosmo Black Diamond Spot 400-R only kind of Pretty much the same thing, just upgrading and switching to rechargeable

battery pack Anker PowerCore 10,000 Anker PowerCore 20,000 only kind of You carry your fears? Mine is lack of juice.

poles Leki Micro Vario Carbon Lady Leki Micro Vario Carbon Lady no
satellite messenger n/a Garmin InReach Mini 2 yes Not needed on the AT

You’ll notice that other than puffy and socks/shoes, I didn’t include any clothing because I don’t think your clothing makes a whole lot of difference either way. If you’re comfortable and not in danger of exposure, you’re good on clothes. If you’re interested, I did a whole post on my AT gear here for more info on why I made some of the changes I did above; and I’ll likely do the same thing for the PCT gear after this hike.

So, yeah, I guess I’m back at it. More to come!


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Comments 1

  • Brian : Apr 8th

    I recommend you consider a foam pad while in the desert. Sharp thorns and sticks will deflate a blow up pad quickly in southern California.


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