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Gear List The Gear List forum is the place to post your actual backpacking gear list, and to read what others have in their packs. Don't forget to specify weight.

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Old 02-07-2011, 08:37 AM
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roberwl roberwl is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Question First Timer PCT Thru Hiker Gear List

Practical Backpacking Universe,

I am thru-hiking the PCT with a friend this season. We are splitting up the weight of the stove and shelter. I would love any weight saving ideas. Do i have enough clothing? With this weight, are trail running shoes appropriate? Will I be able to resupply my fuel easily? Am I forgetting anything essential>?

PCT Thru Hike Gear List: Weight (oz):
Granite Gear Vapor Trail 3600 37
Marmot Sawtooth +15 Sleeping Bag 48
Tarptent Ultralight Shelters 42
MSR WhisperLite Stove 13.78
MSR Fuel Bottle w/ Cap (33oz) 7.3
Katadyn Water Filter 15.63
Columbia Titanium Wicking Shirt (black) 6.14
Long-sleaved Wicking shirt 8
North Face Apex Elixer Jacket 16
Patagonia Long Underwear (upper and lower) 10.96
Mountain Hardwear Trekking Pants 12
Polartec Bottom Underwear 5.32
North Face Shorts 7.17
Columbia Rain Jacket 16.64
Wools Socks (3 pairs) 11.43
Beanie 2.07
REI Duck's Back Rain Cover 6.4
Alluminum Mug 5.35
Camelback Bladder (3L) 8.41
Platapus 1 liter flask 0.8
Titanium Pot/Lid 6
Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite Sleeping Pad 14
PCT Guide Book 20.55
Survival Kit 6.83
Spork 0.363
Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Compression Sack (20L) 3.02
Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Compression Sack (15L) 2.75
Toothbrush/Toothpaste 1.4
REI Jungle Juice (98% deet) 2.38
Journal and Pencil 3.35
Small Water Proof Bag 0.82
Iphone 5

Total Weight = 21.6789375 lb Total Weight On My Back = 19.0539375 lb Total Weight In My Pack = 14.8051875 lb *Weights don’t include food, water, fuel
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:32 PM
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Tonyapple Tonyapple is offline
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Backpack: REI Flash 65
Sleeping Gear: REI Sub Kilo 20
Shelter: Alps Zephyr 2
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 9
Cut a Few Ounces

I think your Columbia rain jacket is a bit heavy. You could go with a Sierra Designs Hurricane, which weighs approx 8oz. I have one and it works well. I think its $69
Also, I have found that the Platypus Water reservoir is half the weight of the Camelback and works just as well.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:13 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
Sleeping Gear: ALPS +20 mummy
Shelter: Kelty Noah 9x9
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,482
not much of a weight saving idea, but you might want a backup for the whisperlite. MSR's products don't crap out often, but when they do, they're not easy to fix in the field. something simple, like an esbit set, would do the trick.

i notice you're carrying at least three wicking shirts. i admire a 'be prepared' approach, but since you're looking to save weight, you might want to drop one. ideal is two sets of clothes, one to wear, one to wash.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:27 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,954
One thing that comes to mind regarding your questions has to do with your shoes. I highly recommend that you become familiar with what works for your feet before the trip, as much as possible. Load up your pack, put on the shoes that you find appropriate, and go on some challenging day hikes. Your feet will teach you in swift order.

Regarding weight savings, I could list lighter alternatives for every single item that you have selected. However, I'll offer a few suggestions. I'm sure others will offer advice to you too.

Consider using an alcohol or lightweight canister stove.

You can definitely save weight by dividing up your trail guide book and only taking the pages for the section you are hiking at a given time (and have the other pages waiting at future locations).

If you are set on taking a water filter, consider something like a modified Sweetwater.

Again, there are lighter options for everything you have listed -- and those lighter options are practical and sufficient in most cases. But the wilderness, your body, and others will help with those decisions along the way (if you haven't resolved them beforehand).

By the way, while there are lighter sleeping bag (quilt) options, don't let anyone talk you too far off of the rating (15-20* F) you've selected. Assuming you are starting a NOBO PCT hike at the typical time (May-ish), the nights will be somewhat cold in the desert.

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:16 AM
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mkdixon1 mkdixon1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 47
I only have one major suggestion: Carry your own shelter. Unless you are intimate friends, you’ll most likely want to have a little space out there on the trail. Sleeping 2 inches from somebody for 5 months every night with all that wilderness out there might get old after a while. The smell of a thruhiker after a few months can be pretty bad. Your own smell will disgust you, but another hikers smell in a small tent after 5 days………Whew!

Everything else you listed will work fine for a thru hike. Your pack weight is low enough to have a reasonably enjoyable start. As you progress north you’ll figure out what to send home and what you would like to replace. Along the way you’ll see other hikers and get a good idea of gear that works well and is lighter than what you have. At this point I wouldn’t buy anything new, just go with what you have. Having said that, I agree that you could save weight on almost everything. For example, I think you’ve got one too many clothing layers for top and bottom. I assume the North Face jacket is an insulation layer? I would get rid of the Polartec bottom and the long underwear top. You already have long underwear bottoms and wind pants, and you have 2 other wicking tops. You should be able to wear all of your clothes at the same time if necessary.

Since you asked, I’ll suggest the two least expensive ways to save weight: 1. I would leave the water filter and use aqua mira drops instead. 2. I would make or buy an alcohol stove, stand and windscreen. You can carry a small plastic bottle for fuel instead of the big aluminum white gas fuel bottle.

You should be able to use light, low-top hiking shoes with this weight. I think most people are using alcohol stoves these days, so white gas might be a little more difficult to come by than in the past. In 1998 most people used white gas, but even then it was occasionally difficult to come by. A few times I had to buy an entire gallon and leave the rest behind. Of course it was only a couple buck back then, now you may have to spend upwards of $15. Check out the pct forums for info on fuel availability.

Have fun out there and remember to remain flexible.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:08 PM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: SMD Comet
Sleeping Gear: WM Ultralight/KookaBay custom insulated air pad
Shelter: Tarptent/Gossamer Gear Squall Classic
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 418
Are you including clothing worn in your list? If not, you have too many spares. Most folk take a single set of clothes and wear their rain clothes while laundering. Exception--spare pair of socks.

I took a very quick look at your list and was easily able to cut 5 lbs. This would put your base weight (total pack weight minus food, fuel, water) in the range of most thru-hikers, 12-15 lbs. Your feet and knees will appreciate the weight savings, especially when you hit the Sierra with longer between resupplies and carrying the required bear canister (which will add another 2-2.5 lbs. to your pack weight).

Sleeping bag--get a down bag and save 1/2 to 1 lb. If the temp. rating of the bag is accurate, a 20*-25* bag will do.

Tarptent--if that's a shared 2-person tent, work the other items so the one carrying the tent carries 21 oz. less of other weight. Note mkdixon's comment re what happens if one of you has to drop out or you decide to separate, and consider a 1-person shelter.

Whisperlite--switch to alcohol stove, save 1 pound.

Water filter--use chlorine dioxide tablets, save 1 lb.

One shirt is plenty; save 6 oz.

Convertible pants are about 12 oz.; eliminate shorts, save 7 oz.

Rain jacket--get one less than 12 oz.; better, get a Dri-Ducks jacket and save 1/2 pound.

Rain cover--won't keep your pack contents dry. Immersion is bound to happen in June Sierra streams! Use a waterproof pack liner, such as a trash compactor bag or contractor's bag instead.

Guide book--cut in sections and carry just what's needed for each section. Maps might be better; consider halfmile's maps.

Compression sacks aren't needed or recommended; just plain S-to-S Ultrasil dry bags weigh half as much.

Repackage your bug repellent into a tiny bottle; don't take the whole bottle at once. You probably don't need more than half an ounce between resupplies.

For half the weight of that TNF jacket, a Montbell UL Thermawrap jacket will keep you just as warm. Save another half pound.

Missing (although I may have missed it): You'll want rain pants in Washington, where there's lots of high brush that stays wet for hours after rain or dew. Sunglasses, sunscreen (again, repackage and carry just what you need between resupplies) and a sun hat are definitely needed. Matches and/or lighter. Gloves for cold weather. Soap or hand sanitizer. TP? Bandanna (doubles as towel)? Knife? Blister kit (or that in your "survival kit")?
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:36 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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Backpack: No Limits
Sleeping Gear: No Limits
Shelter: No Limits
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Boise ID
Posts: 456
You have gotten a lot of good advise so I would think about all of it and focus on getting your pack weight (without food & water) down to 10-14 lbs as it will help a lot.

My brother ChemicalBurn will be part of class 2011 also.

Oh yeah we (my bro and I) hiked last year from Elk lake to Cascade locks and we Hated the PCT guide book and the 6 thru-hikers we met on trail had the same bad things to say about it, and they said the general feel was the Atlas, Yogi's and the guide books were only good for comparing what one sucked more that day while at camp.

Now the data book seemed to have better info and "Shera" said she used only that on her PCT thru in 2006 but I am not sure I would try that.

Last edited by SSDD : 02-13-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:50 AM
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roberwl roberwl is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Thanks for all the great advice backpacking universe. Ive already invested in a lighter weight pertex jacket and a pocket rocket. Ill make changes to my clothes and possibly my filter. But also, im about to graduate from college and dont have much money. I know there are many light weight alternatives but I, like all of us, must work within my means. I wanted to make sure I didnt forget anything. Thanks again.
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