Saturday, March 15, 2014

PCT Gear List

You will be hard pressed to find a blog about the PCT without at least some mention of gear. People love to talk about gear! And who can blame them? Gear is an important consideration as it can save your life in certain circumstances, and can make the difference between an enjoyable walk or a death march.

However, I would be remiss if I did not at least mention the most important piece of gear, that thing between your ears. Paying attention and using common sense is going to be more important than any single item. There is no substitute for experience, and if given the choice between researching every minutiae of the latest sleeping bags or going on a backpacking trip, take the trip! No amount of gear is going to replace the knowledge gained from practical experience. What I choose to take with me is based on thorough research as well as thorough testing in the field under as many different conditions as I can find.

I have written reviews on a few things but if you are really curious about something I mention, feel free to ask a question in the comment section below.

The following gear is what I plan on bringing with me on the PCT, it supersedes my previous blog entry on what I carry on most of my 3 season backpacking trips. Although I have most of my gear decisions nailed down, there may be a few changes made before and during the trip, so this is somewhat of a work in progress. This list does not include consumable items such as food and fuel. I will break it down into six categories:

1. The Big Three
2. Clothing
3. Cooking and hydration
4. Camera and electronics
5. Everything else
6. Sierra specific gear

1. The Big Three:
The big three refers to what are generally the three heaviest items; shelter, sleeping bag and backpack. For me, it is actually the big six as my shelter is a two piece affair and I would also include the sleeping pad with the sleeping bag.

Zpacks Hexamid solo tarp (see my review)
MLD superlight bivy (see my review)

Zpacks Hexamid and MLD bivy

Enlightened Equipment RevelationX 20 quilt (with 2oz overfill)
Gossamer Gear 1/8" thinlight pad
Thermarest NeoAir regular sleeping pad (see my sleeping pad post)

EE RevX quilt, Neoair and thinlight pad

Zpacks Arc Blast 60L (see my review)

Zpacks Arc Blast

2. Clothing:

Clothing worn while hiking
Columbia Tamiami long sleeve shirt
Nylon shorts
Synthetic boxers
Darn Tough ultralight wool socks
Brooks Cascadia 9 shoes
Outdoor Research Sunrunner hat
Simblissity Levigaiters

My usual hiking outfit, minus the Llama

Other Clothing
Patagonia Houdini windshirt
Montbell stretch wind pants (no longer made)
Patagonia Capilene 1 long underwear (top and bottom for sleeping)
Montbell Ultralight down jacket
2nd pair Darn tough socks (for sleeping)
Outdoor Research Helium II rain jacket
Zpack cuben rain wrap
Mountain Hardwear liner gloves
MLD rain mitts
Fleece hat
Cheap Flip Flops

Montbell down jacket, polypro top and bottom, darn tough socks
OR jacket, Patagonia wind shell, fleece hat, fleece gloves, montbell wind pants, zpack rain wrap

3. Cooking and Hydration:

Snow Peak Litemax canister stove (for California)
1100 mL Evernew titanium cook pot
Snow Peak titanium mug
Insulating Pot Cozy

Soda can alcohol stove + Caldera Cone system (for Oregon and Washington)

Sawyer mini water filter
2 - 2.5 liter Platypus bladders
1 to 2 misc. water bottles (Gatorade or Smartwater bottles work well)

4. Camera and Electronics:

Camera, lenses and accesories
Olympus OMD EM-5 camera (see my initial review)
Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens
Olympus 12-40 f2.8 lens
filters + filter holder (polarizer, 3 stop reverse grad. ND)
Cleaning cloth, blower
Battery charger
Hipbelt pouch (for carrying camera)
Lens case for extra lens
Zpacks multipack for carrying extra lens and accessories

picture from

Smartphone (Motorola Moto G)
Solar charger (Homemade - Thanks Dad!)

5. Everything Else:

First Aid kit
Gear repair kit
2 Zpacks cuben fiber stuff sacks for clothing and sleeping bag
1 cuben fiber stuff sack from Lawson equipment for tarp and bivy
Homemade silnylon sack for misc. items
Large sized Alocsack for food
Brunton ADC Pro
Headlamp (Petzl Tikka)
Black Diamond Trail hiking pole
Halfmile maps
PCT data book
Swing Lightflex umbrella
Polycro groundsheet
8 titanium stakes
Zpacks hipbelt pocket
Brunton Compass

6. Sierra Specific Gear:

BV500 Bear Canister
Sea to Summit headnet
Sea to Summit Nano Pyramid Net (see my review)