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Another PCT Gear list
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Locale: Greater Gila
Another PCT Gear list on 12/26/2007 18:36:34 MST Print View

I’m somewhat shocked that my in pack weight is so high. Definitely dissapointed. When I had been calculating before, I thought it was around 8 lbs. All of the stuff sacks and other items really add up. I’m not positive on some of the weights, such as the lighter, socks, Buff, or stretchy LS shirt. You’ll see that I don’t have any true insulation layer, but instead I plan on using my quilt as insulation. I’ll either wear it around my torso while sitting around camp, or just crawl inside and lie down. As always, suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

GEAR WORN in Ounces

MLD Zip w/ belt 11
RailRiders Adventure top 6.8
Macabi Men's Skirt 10
Inov8 Terroc 330 21
Darn Tough short socks 2
DirtyGirls Funky Gaiters 1.3
Buff Bandana 2
Coolibar Sun Gloves 1
High Gear Altimeter Watch 2
TiGoat Adjustable Trekking Poles 6.4
Smith Axis Sunglasses 1

Total Weight Worn (oz) 64.5

Total Weight Worn (lb) 4


Walmart tight polypro L/S 3
Patagonia Capiline 1 Bottoms 5.5
Darn Tough Socks (spare) 2
Golite Wisp Windshirt 3
Fleece Beanie 3
Balaclava 1


Ti Goat Ptarmigan Bivy w/ Bugnet 6.6
Birdiepal Swing Liteflex Umbrella 8
Nunatak Arc Alpinist 20
GG Nightlight 3/4 sleeping pad 8


AGG 3 Cup Pot w/ foil lid 2.1
Supercat Alcohol Stove 0.3
Aluminum Pan Liner windscreen 0.6
Mini Bic Lighter 1
Nalgene Flask (mod) 2
Heet 8
Lexan Spoon 0.5


32 oz Gatorade Bottles (4) 4.8
Platypus 3L Reservoir (2) 3
Aloksak 4x7 to store what's below 0.2
BPL .3 oz Bottles (4) 0.7
Aqua Mira in BPL Bottles 0.6
Baking Soda Powder (toothpaste) 0.3
Dr Bronners (for desert funk) 0.3
Sportslick Stick 1.2
Hydropel in BPL Balm Jar 0.6
Travel Toothbrush 1.5
TP in Aloksak 4x7 0.7
Ibuprofin in 2x3 Aloksak 0.7
Baby Wipes in 4x7 Aloksak 2
Purell 1.5


Canon Powershot A540 w/ Li AA's 7
Sony Walkman mp3 player 1.9
Mp3 charger 3
Harmonica 3
Small writing pad and pen 4


Silnylon Stuff sacks (3) 6
Silnylon wallet w/ ID, cash, CC 2
Trail guide pages 3
Duct Tape 0.6
Victorionix Classic knife 1
Petzl Tikka Plus Headlamp with Alkalines 3.4


Campe XLA 210 Ice Axe (60 cm) 7.5
BPL Headnet 0.3
Aloe Gator Sunblock 1.3
Golite Poncho Tarp 10
MLD Guyline 0.4
Ti Stakes (8) 1.7

Total Weight in Pack (oz) 148.8

Total Weight in Pack (lb) 9.3

EDIT: bump for attention

Edited by vaporjourney on 02/14/2008 19:27:46 MST.


Locale: Greater Gila
PCT gear list bump on 02/14/2008 19:28:26 MST Print View


Ross Novak
(Aurator) - F
PCT Gear List on 02/14/2008 22:53:25 MST Print View

Hi Eric;
Nice list, just a couple of things: no hat, no tarp, Hydropel and Sportslick together, why?

Also with a full load of water for the desert and 4 or 5 days food you will be pushing 30lbs. Have you tried the pack on with this kind of load?

When are you jumping off? I should be starting the trail April 19 of so.

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re:Another PCT Gear list on 02/16/2008 20:17:27 MST Print View

Eric, your list looks good. I pulled your list into a spreadsheet because I wanted to try Google docs.

Adding food and water could put your high water mark for carried weight in the 25-30 pound range.

It looks like your raingear and shelter is the GoLite poncho/tarp. That makes sense. Ross is right that a hat would be useful to pair with your sun gloves. A hat would seem to be much lighter and lower volume than an umbrella.

Are you really comfortable walking all the way to Kennedy Meadows with no shelter? I have no experience there but am just wondering. Once in the Sierras how about a bit more insulation? I guess that may depend on how early you arrive.

And, uhm, did you forget your pants?

Edited by flyfast on 02/16/2008 20:43:19 MST.


Locale: Greater Gila
PCT gearlist mods on 02/16/2008 21:12:48 MST Print View

All good questions guys.

No, I have not had an opportunity to try this pack out yet with these weights since I'm still waiting for Ron to ship it out to me. The way I figure it, there will only be a few times when I am carrying 6 days of food, 12 lbs worth. When added to my base weight, this would equal 20 lbs. Well within the range of a frameless pack. On average, I think people carry around 4 L of water. Then there are a few sections where carrying a max of 8 lbs would be the norm. So, on those 4 L sections, my max possible packweight off of a fresh 6 day resupply would be 28 lbs. This would be uncomfortably, but only for a couple of days until I could get the food weight down. I can deal with a few days of discomfort, especially knowing that having to carry that much food isn't the norm. By not hiking in the heat of the day, 1-4, camelling up at water sources, I hope to keep the water to around 4L carried. Of course this is all a gamble since I haven't used this pack, but people wear frameless packs all the time out there, and my base weight is low enough to try it. If I'm really unhappy with the packs performance with higher weights, I'll just get my ULA Catalyst shipped to me, which will definitely handle the weight. Also, I have had MLD put wider shoulder straps on my pack, 2.7" to help distribute the weight.

I haven't listed a hat since I will be carrying the umbrella. Yes, the umbrella is heavier, but I figure it will keep me cooler. I can't stand hiking with a hat on my head since it traps in so much heat. We all know that a huge amount of heat is retained and lost through the head. By using an umbrella, I will allow the heat to escape from my head, allow breezes to blow across my head, and hopefully allow me to need slightly less water. I will be more comfortable, happy, and possibly better hydrated as a result. In the High Sierra, I may be ditching the Umbrella, and using a visor/neck bandana combination. I'll also add that my RR Adventure shirt came in the mail today. I got it one size larger than I typically wear, which looks completely ridiculous, but should be really cool in the heat of the day.

I'm not too worried about getting rained on before Kennedy Meadows. I know that it is a possiblity, but I believe that most people don't get rained on in California but a couple of times. I'm willing to take that risk. At the worst, I'll have my bivy to zip up all the way. Heck, i could even flip it upside down so that the silnylon floor is facing skyward to repel most of the rain. I also think that having an umbrella would help stop the rain from soaking my bivy. Now, this would be a completely miserable night, but I think the odds are in my favor. From what I have heard, the showers in the Sierra are predictable and short. I just don't like the idea of carrying a poncho/tarp and never once using it. Especially when I have a few other options. I'm not going out there with absolutely NO shelter.

I should say that my insulation system has changed since I posted the gear list weeks back. Now I am thinking of using my summer quilt, a JRB Shenandoah, in concert with a WM Flight jacket. The lofty down jacket will keep me warm around camp, and when worn to bed under the summer quilt, and inside a bivy to prevent drafts and retain 5-10 deg of additional warmth, I hope to sleep fairly warm. I'm not totally sure that this will keep me warm down to freezing (which seems to be the typical PCT low temp), and will be testing this out on a 4 day hike in northern GA in a few weeks.

I'm taking hydropel to prevent blisters thru the High Sierra. I had planned on using it in the desert as well, but now I may carry Leukotape for that to ditch the hyrdopel. I will definitely carry Hydropel in the High Sierra with all of the stream fords since Sportslick doesn't work as well when feet are submerged. Well, if someone has experience using Sportslick through lots of water, please let me know. This is all hearsay on my part. I want the Sportslick to prevent chaffing between the thighs, which is an on and off problem.

Finally...pants. Well, the Macabi skirt has an option of converting the skirt into Arabian-looking pants. This may help prevent drafts in camp. In the High Sierra, I'm going to be switching to Rail Riders eco-mesh pants. These will help keep the mosquitos away, breath well enough to stay cool while hiking, and retain warmth in the chilly nights when coupled with my Cap 1 bottoms and rest of my insulation.

Ross: I'm aiming for an April 23rd start date, just before the kickoff to avoid it and be at the very front of the herd.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Another PCT Gear list on 02/16/2008 23:02:21 MST Print View

missing from Sierra list:

Bear canister

Useable shade is rare in the desert regions. Consider adding something like a mylar space blanket that you can rig above you as a solar shield so you can lie down during the hottest hours of the day. Speaking from experience, an umbrella alone won't do the job. I also had a cord loop at each end of my umbrella so I could hang it and tilt it as the sun moved. I used a tarp with mylar on one side and an orange panel on the other. A little heavy at 14 oz but worth its weight in gold. Could also serve as an emergency shelter if push came to shove, or as a ground cloth/wind break.

Edited by wandering_bob on 02/16/2008 23:09:56 MST.

Ross Novak
(Aurator) - F
PCT Gear List on 02/17/2008 12:34:34 MST Print View

Hi Eric;
Sounds like you have thought out your pack choice and have a plan to go to if it does not work out and is too uncomfortable.

I think the norm for water is 5-6 liters per day, 4 sounds a little light. I would have a hard time doing 20 plus miles on 4 liters in hot weather. You might want to read this:

I am a big Railriders fan but one tip on the Adventure Top is to cut off all the buttons now and resew them with dental floss. It will save you searching around for your buttons later. Same with the RR pants if you are going to wear them.

Sportslick does a reasonable job in water.

How are you solving the hiking pole/umbrella dilemma?

I would also add DEET for the Sierras north and tall socks.
The short ones give ready access to our bug friends.

Are you going to skip the kick off? My plan was to hike to Warner Springs at mile 109 and then drive back to the KO to stay ahead of the "herd".
I will keep on the lookout for a guy with no hat,an oversize shirt, wearing a skirt and carrying an umbrella ;-)


Locale: Greater Gila
PCT water/bugs on 02/17/2008 14:30:14 MST Print View

Nice suggestions Ross. I hadn't thought about the tall sock issue in the High Sierra. Are you recommending tall socks so that if the mosquitos sneak a bit up the pants that they won't quite reach skin before being 'shooed' off by the motion of your legs? I guess tucking pants into socks is also an option. I'm just not a fan of hiking in tall socks because they just keep you even warmed than you need to be when hiking. Compromise. Luckily, with the RR Eco Mesh pants, they are sealed a bit at the bottom by elastic. Although this is ugly in a style sense, it's perfect to avoid overheating with tall socks and still keep the mosquitos at bay. I hadn't even thought of this before you mentioned it.

It should be interesting to see how the h2o situation goes. Naturally I plan to start hiking before sunrise, stopping at noon, then going from 4 to sunset. Still, I'm not sure how hot it gets in these 'cool' times of the day. On the insane long dry stretches out of Aqua Dulce and Mojave, I'll most likely nighthike. I'm hoping to experience a desert nighthike on a full moon anyway, and tihs would be a good excuse to make sure I do it. Interestingly enough on that badwater hydration link, they recommend drinking only half a liter of water pre hour in extreme heat. That would equate to about 1 L for ever 6 miles of hiking, assuming a 3 mph pace. I'm not sure that this jives with info I've ever seen about the PCT. Perhaps you can do this with proper electrolyte replacement?

I'm still working on my method of rigging my umbrella to the pack. There is no way I'm carrying it though. If I had to carry it, I'd just switch to wearing a hat. I'm hoping to loop the cord from the handle around pack strap, and held in place behind the sternum strap possibly. I've also read of attaching some tubing and velcro combination to the umbrella handle. That seems like unnecessary complexity, but we'll see.

Bob: do you think that draping my bivy overtop of me would help a bit? Sure it'd be hot, but at least the sun wouldn't be baking me. You bring up a good idea though. If the sun is at the right angle, I could probably position my umbrella to give some angled shade to help stretch out. The TiGoat bivy uses Reflectex for the floor. I still haven't seen this in person, but supposedly it reflects heat back to you like a mylar blanket does. If it actually has exposed silver on the inside, i may just turn the bivy inside out and lay underneath. This would be perfect.

And yea, I forgot to add a bear canister and DEET for the high sierra. When I made that list I wasn't planning on taking a canister. Instead I was going to take Odor Proof sacks and take my chances. I'm not comfortable with the idea of a ranger being in a grumpy mood and fining and/or kicking me out of the park though because of this. I'll probalby just get my Catalyst for this section, and carry the canister. Although I've never done this either, i want to take DEET in a mini dropper bottle and hope that a few drops of deet in key areas kill keep those evil-doers away. I'll have pants/long sleeves/sun gloves/headnet all treated in permethrin treated anyway.

Edited by vaporjourney on 02/17/2008 15:30:50 MST.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Another PCT Gear list on 02/17/2008 20:34:51 MST Print View

Since you are not carrying a shelter before Kennedy Meadows, I would not risk the bivy sack by tying it to, in, or near a Joshua tree to serve as a sun shield. As you know, the "leaves" of the JT are long and sharp-edged, like a sword and the tips are hardened into real needles. They will do serious damage to eyes, skin, and your bivy sack. You only need one mistake to compromise your bivy.

I can't imagine it being wide enough to provide enough shade. We were SOOOOOOOOOO glad we had the mylar blanket with us. Unless you've been in the desert, you really have no idea just how hot that sand gets by mid-day. I was wishing for more than my 3/4 Ridgerest to lie on under that solar shield. Had to keep my feet up on my pack the whole time.

Since you are using a Gatewood Cape, you might want to at least consider adding Ron's soon-to-be-available Serenity Net Tent that fits inside it. Quoting Ron's blog:

"It's designed to mate with the Gatewood Cape to provide excellent bug protection. At 7 ounces it's a tad heavier than a number of the bug shelters available. However, this one is full size, has a zippered door and is tall enough to sit up in. It also works well as a standalone without the Gatwood Cape.

When you marry the Gatewood Cape with the Serenity at 18 ounces you've got the worlds lightest double wall tent."

Edited by wandering_bob on 02/17/2008 20:52:19 MST.


Locale: Greater Gila
Re: mylar blanket on the PCT on 02/19/2008 16:20:28 MST Print View

After thinking about it some more, I'm liking the idea of a mylar space blanket. Not only would it provide valuable shade, but I could also use it wrapped around my quilt/down jacket (stored inside bivy) to form a second layer of protection in case I get hit by a freak rainstorm while hiking. No need for a pack liner or proper stuff sack. Of course in the Sierra I'll switch to proper water proofing gear because of all of the fords. Also, the mylar could be thrown on top of my bivy if rain comes when I'm camping. Since I won't be carrying a true shelter other than a bivy, any layer of water-resistance is my friend. So an umbrella and space blanket overtop of my bivy may keep quite a bit of water at bay. Then the next afternoon I can just catch up on all of the sleep I lost the night before.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 02/19/2008 17:07:31 MST Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/19/2014 22:37:49 MST.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
deploy the mylar how? on 02/20/2008 09:15:07 MST Print View

I saw a picture somewhere of a guy with a space blanket just draped over him; seems to me you could get pretty hot under it that way, even though the direct sun is deflected.

I've been planning to set up a mid-day lean-to with my poncho and attaching the mylar to that with a few paperclips. My concern with this approach is the wind. But it seems like wind would be a problem with mylar no matter how I tried to use it.

For those of you who have used mylar (with success ...) to ward off the hot sun, exactly how did you do it? And how would you do it next time?

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
peanut butter on 02/20/2008 09:20:25 MST Print View

Oh, and I should mention that my gear list includes a little extra peanut butter for strategic use should I ever camp near you and you're playing that harmonica ... ;-)

I was in a sort of running play years ago where the event leader would always open and close things with a little trumpet that he played rather poorly. For the close of the last day of the event, a friend had filled the trumpet mouthpiece with peanut butter. When the leader tried to blow his first note --- his expression was priceless.

Edited by brianle on 02/20/2008 09:21:36 MST.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Another PCT Gear list on 02/20/2008 11:35:19 MST Print View

Brian -

Those desert winds will overcome paperclips in a heartbeat and you'll be chasing your space blanket across the sands.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Another PCT Gear list on 02/20/2008 12:05:53 MST Print View

I recognize three basic types of Mylar blankets for the purposes of this discussion.

1) The SPACE Emergency Blanket. This is the heaviest but most sturdy version, and the one I used in the desert. It's the only one with grommets for rigging. It has one side fully colored - orange or blue - and the other side aluminumized. Available at REI and many outdoor stores.

Addendum - Stansport makes a slightly smaller 10 oz version of this.


2) The Emergency Medical HeatSheet - either one or two person size. Available at REI and most outdoor stores.


3) the old-fashioned, cheap, very thin mylar space blankets. I find these almost useless but they're better than nothing if you're caught out somewhere.
Example: the Stansport Emergency Blanket 54 x 84 2.2 ounces.


Edited by wandering_bob on 02/20/2008 12:20:37 MST.

Kirk Beiser
(kab21) - F

Locale: Pic: Gun Lake, BWCA
Re: deploy the mylar how? on 02/20/2008 12:51:21 MST Print View

Brian - I think you would need to knot each of the corners of mylar and then tie a line on the knots.

The mylar might be too slippery though.