Taylor’s 2018 PCT Gear List

I start hiking in less than a week, so I’ve been figuring out my final gear setup and logistics. I thought I’d do a gear list for the folks who have shown interest so far and as a way to document how my setup changes over the course of my hike.

As is stands, my base weight (pack weight without food or water) is around 12 to 13 pounds. I’ve tried to keep the weight down to reduce the impact on my body while maximizing my chances of being relatively comfortable and safe. I intend for this to be a general summary of my gear. As such, I have not listed the weight of each item and there are a few small items missing from the overall gear photo. I have also added links to most of the items. 

Let’s do this – this is what I’ll be starting with when I hit the trail.

The Big Four

The big four refers to the items that make up most of your pack weight – your tent/shelter, backpack, sleeping bag/quilt, and sleeping pad. I’ve had to upgrade almost all of my backpacking gear to reduce my base weight. The exception is my Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, which has served me well for many years.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60L Pack – I decided to go with a fairly large pack that can handle more weight than many ultralight or lightweight packs. The Mariposa seemed like the best combination of volume, comfort, durability and weight for me.

Tarptent ProTrail – I like the simplicity of the ProTrail, including how quick it is to pitch and that it uses trekking poles. I have only set it up in relatively easy spots and conditions, so I’m sure there will be a learning curve, especially with soft ground and high winds.

Tarptent ProTrail.

Enlightened Equipment Revelation 10 Degree F – I decided to make the switch from a mummy bag to a quilt for the PCT because of the range of temperatures I will experience on trail.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite – I’ve used this sleeping pad for about five years. My first one lasted about a year before it blew a baffle, which resulted in a huge, rugby-ball-sized lump. However, the Mountain Equipment Co-op warranty crew replaced it quickly and I’ve used the replacement since without issues. This pad has been a game-changer for me, especially for side sleeping. It’s also well broken in so the annoying crunchy noise is gone.

Worn Clothing and Footwear

Patagonia Duckbill Trucker Hat – This hat was a combo birthday and Christmas gift from my friend Laura. The mesh is nice, it’s packable/foldable, and fits my big head. Two thumbs up.

MEC Long Sleeve Shirt – Keeps the sun off and makes it look like I’m out for a fine afternoon of birding.

Patagonia Baggies Shorts – Simple shorts with pockets.

Dirty Girl Gaiters – I have loved these so far and wish I had discovered them sooner.

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Trail Runners – I have been wearing my Altras since the fall and have yet to find an issue with them. I bought them a size larger than I would normally use, which I’m hoping will be sufficient for the start of the desert.

Sole Performance Thick Insoles – So far so good with these. The thickness has greatly improved the fit of my Altras by filling up some of the excess volume. You can heat them in the oven and then mold them to your feet.

Fitovers Sunglasses – These were my Grandma Bette’s sunglasses many many years ago. I’ve decided to hike with glasses instead of contacts so I will be bringing these huge but functional things with me. They have great lenses and the coverage is ridiculous, plus it’s cool that they were hers and that I can still use them.

Injinji Trail Midweight Mini-Crew – I’ve decided to start my hike with these Injinjis as well as a combo of Injinji liners and Darn Tough socks. I think I’ll figure out what I like best in the first few days.

Patagonia Sports Bra and Barely Bikini

Packed Clothing and Footwear

Patagonia Alpine Houdini Wind/Rain Jacket – I’ve found that this jacket is fairly effective for moderate rain. I’ll probably use it the most for wind and cold. I’ll probably trade this jacket out for my Arc’teryx shell before Washington.

MEC Light Degree Hoody – This puffy has served me well over the years and I’m happy it’s coming along.

Icebreaker 200 Long Sleeve – My base layer top for sleeping.

Arc’teryx Base Layer Bottoms – For sleeping and chilly times.

Injinji Liners with Darn Tough Socks (hiking) and Darn Toughs (sleeping)

Holey Soles – I was debating over the need for camp shoes, but have decided to start with these because I know that having them will help me take better care of my feet. In the past I haven’t cleaned or dried out my feet as much if I didn’t have something to change into.

Patagonia Fishing Hat – I plan to wear this when it’s sunny and I’m not using my umbrella. Having two hats is a necessity for me because I will wear the trucker basically whenever I’m not hiking or in direct sun.

Toque  – Made by a dear friend. It’s not in the photos because it’s still in the mail.

Buff and Gloves (not in photo).


Samsung Galaxy S6 with Lifeproof Case – I’ll be using my phone as a camera, GPS, for music and podcasts, and to check in back home.

RAVPower 10,000 mAh Quick Charge 3.0 Portable Charger with Anker QC Wall Charger – I’ll be using this to charge my phone in between town stops (not in photo).

Bose Soundsport In-Ear Headphones – I love these and am willing to have them get well-used because the sound quality is awesome.

Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp.

Food and Water

Sawyer Squeeze Filter – Screws directly onto my water bottles.

(4) 1 Liter Happy Water bottles.

(2) 1 L Sawyer Pouches – I’ll use these pouches for extra water capacity when needed.

Fiasco Gelato Jar – I’m going to go stoveless for the first few (or maybe several) hundred miles of the trail. I’ll use this jar as my main container for cold soaking and making food.

GSI Titanium Spork.

Mountain Equipment Co-op Dry Bag – I’ll use this as my food bag until my hunger gets crazy and I need to replace it with something bigger.

Miscellaneous Gear

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles – No complaints with these. My knees love these and I can’t set up my tent without them.

Liteflex Hiking Chrome Umbrella – I’m taking this to make my own shade in the desert.

Journal and Pen – I love journaling and expect to go through several while on the trail.

Repair Kit – Therm-a-Rest repair kit, duct tape, needle and thread, tenacious tape, lighter.

Health and Hygiene – Leukotape, lip balm, backup contacts, Polysporin, Lanacane, DivaCup, toothbrush/toothpaste, sunscreen, floss, vitamins/supplements, hand sanitizer, Deuce of Spades trowel.

Victorinox Multitool – Knife, scissors, and tweezers.

Permits and Paper Maps.

That concludes my last post before I start hiking. Thanks to everyone, including all my awesome friends and family, who have shown their support so far. I’m stoked to start the trail and get this thing going.


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Comments 1

  • Bob Martin : Apr 27th

    I’m excited for you Taylor! Smooth, safe travels!


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