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Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List
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Will Rohrer
(princewcheech) - F
Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List on 06/28/2009 18:55:25 MDT Print View

I'm starting my PCT section on Monday, July 6th, and will be taking about 7 weeks to get to Cascade Locks on the Columbia river. I'm going to post a more detailed list with weight breakdown in a day or two, but I wanted to post a quick list to get advice on what I should have that I don't, and what I do have that I should leave behind. Thanks in advance for the advice!


Marmot Palisades hard shell ~ 30 oz
Mirabell UL Thermawrap jacket ~ 8 oz
Spyder long sleeve Base layer
Techwick short sleeve base layer
2 pairs convertible pants
ULA rain skirt
Hot Chillys mid weight legging base layer
2 pairs wicking boxerbriefs
2 pairs sock liners
2 pairs mid weight hiking socks
1 pair heavier wool/synthetic socks
Mountain Hardware fleece cap
Convertible brimmed cap
Water Resistant synthetic gloves
Salomon trail runners

I was considering buying a heavier weight upper body base layer to protect against cold weather, but perhaps that would be overkill with my big shell, mirabell thermawrap, and long sleeve base layer. I also have another pair of underwear and sock liners, but I'm hoping 2 pairs of each would be enough

Shelter etc

Tarptent Contrail - 24 oz
HiTec 15 degree synthetic bag - 40 oz
Silk sleeping bag liner - 8 oz
NeoAir mattress - 14 oz
Black Diamond trekking poles

Not sure if I need the liner - I heard it was nice to be able to wash that and not the bag, especially because I'll be covered in sunscreen and deet


Jetboil PCS w/ 100g fuel ~ 18 oz
3 Two-liter platypus bladders
2 One-liter platypus bladders
Water filter (yet to purchase)

Love this stove - do you really get 60 minutes of burn time for 1 100g canister? I'm thinking about leaving 1 of my one-liter bladders at home, making a carrying capacity of 7L

First Aid etc

Assorted Band Aids
Large Band Aid adhesive pad
2 rolls of gauze
1 roll of medical tape
Ace Bandage
SPF 45 Chapstick
SPF 55 Sport sunscreen
Travel toothbrush/toothpaste
Dr. Bronners soap in 1 Floz bottle
Toilet Paper

Too much stuff? Any unnecessary? Anything I'm missing?

Other Assorted items

ULA catalyst pack w/ pack cover ~ 49 oz
Mosquito netting for head
2 3/4 buck knife
2 Pens
Topo Maps from WP guides
Headlamp w/ spare batteries
50 ft 1/8 inch nylon cord
30 ft 1/8 inch nylon cord
Duct Tape
Camp Towel
Camera (yet to purchase)
Cell phone w/ charger
Watch (yet to purchase)

Missing anything? Should I get a whistle? Too much nylon cord?

Storage - I have small silicon stuff sack with which I will use a removable ziploc for human waste. I have a larger silicon sack with either Ziplock or Loksak odor bag (not sure which one to use - advice?) for all other trash.

Then a small stuff sack with a loksak bag for toothpaste, sunscreen etc, and a large stuff sack/loksak for food. Finally, ziplock bag for maps/journal and ziplock for toilet paper/kleenex. Lining the entire pack with garbage bag.

That's "all." Typing this up, I feel like I have much, much more than the typical section hiker and I would love to lose anything I don't need. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.


John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List on 06/28/2009 19:09:55 MDT Print View

post deleted

Edited by jcarter1 on 06/28/2009 19:13:03 MDT.

Will Rohrer
(princewcheech) - F
Insulating jacket on 06/28/2009 19:19:27 MDT Print View

I was planning on using my marmot shell and mirabell thermawrap jacket as my cold weather gear, possibly buying another, warmer base layer as well (this is one of my biggest questions - should I bring a warm base layer too or will I be ok with my longsleeve wicking spyder base layer + the goretex shell and mirabell jacket?)

On the marmot shell and synthetic bag - not surprisingly, these are the two big ticket items I received, as gifts, before I decided to go on this hike. The shell is my outer layer for skiing, and the bag is probably not ideal for a july and august trek. Their combined weight (and insulation!) is another reason that I hope I can get away with just the mirabell thermawrap and a longsleeve, wicking base layer.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
weight savings. on 06/29/2009 00:50:25 MDT Print View

Well, I have NO IDEA what conditions are like on that trail segment at the moment, but I doubt it is severe. So, after just a cursory review...

Yes, a 30 oz shell seems a bit overkill for mid July. If the weather gets that bad move downhill and pitch camp. A light rainshell can weigh 8oz. Or just a windshell treated with DWR for 4 oz. Then just layer that with the Thermawrap if needed. Some people will say to use a poncho (I just read Gary's post, and they can be handy for all the reasons he mentions), but many people find them uncomfortable and think that they are best used on short trips. Unless you are a fanatic like me and use a poncho-tarp as raingear AND shelter. But this all costs $, and I understand that you hike with what you have... And I can't imagine that you need more insulation than a base layer, Thermawrap, and shell, unless you plan to do a lot of sitting still into the late evening. Far better to hike until bedtime, then dive into your bag...

Likewise, the 40oz 15-degree bag is a bit too much. But you have mentioned that you are aware of this, and you got it as a gift and, I assume, aren't ready to shed $500 on an Arc Alpinist even if it saves you a pound. :o) Actually, you could probably get away with less bag than the Arc Alpinist- it's just a decent all-purpose three-season option. The *average* nightly low in Leadville, Colorado (10,000 feet) in July and August is only 40 degrees, after all, and I doubt you'll hit worse in Oregon. My all-purpose mountain bag is 32-degree rated and 26oz.

The Jetboil is a lot of stove, too. They aren't terribly popular among BPL users. A Pocket Rocket only weighs 3 oz or so and isn't THAT much less efficient than the Jetboil. Use a piece of double-folded aluminum foil or aluminum flashing for a windscreen. If you go really long between resupplies the Jetboil *might* come out ahead on fuel weight savings, but I doubt you're going that long between resupplies.

Why so much duplicated stuff? TWO pairs of pants? I'll make allowances for two pairs of boxers if that's one of your personal foibles, but why two pants?

Why two base layer tops? Just pick one. Make the call.

That's a lot of socks, too. But you are going to be 7 weeks, so carry whatever you have to for your comfort. I would think that you could lose one pair of socks, at least.

Do you really need Crocs if you're wearing trail runners? If you absolutely can't stand wet feet from stream crossings, ok, but you probably don't need the Crocs.

8L of water? Wow. That's a lot of water. You could at least halve that and save *9 POUNDS*.

Why the shovel? That one kind of puzzles me. Am I missing something?

Many people have argued that you don't need a honking-big knife. I carry a Leatherman Micra and I'm considered extravagant, but I consider the scissors and nailfile handy for personal hygeine and foot care. OTOH a Leatherman Squirt is nice for gear repairs because it has a pliers. Both are less than 2 oz. Some people here just carry a razor blade or the scissors removed from a Victorinox knife (not the whole knife, mind you, just the scissors). But I think they are insane. :o)

Well, that's the stuff that really jumped out at me. I won't get into minutiae- I'm sure others can give more advice on cutting your weight down to almost nothing, but it will be expensive and I'm sure you'd rather be out hiking than emptying your bank account.

for bad spelling and scandalously bad grammar...

Edited by acrosome on 06/29/2009 04:52:04 MDT.

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Re: Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List on 06/29/2009 03:59:45 MDT Print View


Marmot Palisades hard shell ~ 30 oz *LEAVE IT
MONTbell UL Thermawrap jacket ~ 8 oz *KEEP IT
Spyder long sleeve Base layer * KEEP
Techwick short sleeve base layer * KEEP
2 pairs convertible pants * LEAVE 1
ULA rain skirt * REPLACE w/ Poncho
Hot Chillys mid weight legging base layer
2 pairs wicking boxerbriefs * LEAVE 1
2 pairs sock liners * KEEP 1
2 pairs mid weight hiking socks * REPLACE w/ LW
1 pair heavier wool/synthetic socks * LEAVE
Mountain Hardware fleece cap * KEEP
Convertible brimmed cap * LEAVE
Bandana * KEEP
Water Resistant synthetic gloves * LEAVE
Salomon trail runners * KEEP
Crocs * LEAVE

Shelter etc

Tarptent Contrail - 24 oz * KEEP
HiTec 15 degree synthetic bag - 40 oz * REPLACE
Silk sleeping bag liner - 8 oz * LEAVE
NeoAir mattress - 14 oz * KEEP
Black Diamond trekking poles * KEEP


Jetboil PCS w/ 100g fuel ~ 18 oz * REPLACE
Spoon * KEEP
3 Two-liter platypus bladders * KEEP 1
2 One-liter platypus bladders * LEAVE
Water filter (yet to purchase) * REPLACE w/ tablets

First Aid etc

Assorted Band Aids * LEAVE
Large Band Aid adhesive pad * KEEP
Moleskin * LEAVE
2 rolls of gauze * KEEP 1
1 roll of medical tape * LEAVE
Ace Bandage * LEAVE
Neosporin * KEEP
Ibuprofen * KEEP
SPF 45 Chapstick * KEEP
SPF 55 Sport sunscreen * KEEP
Travel toothbrush/toothpaste * KEEP
Floss * LEAVE
Dr. Bronners soap in 1 Floz bottle* KEEP
Kleenex * EH? LEAVE
Toilet Paper * KEEP

Other Assorted items

ULA catalyst pack w/ pack cover ~ 49 oz * LEAVE pack cover
Mosquito netting for head * KEEP
2 3/4 buck knife * REPLACE w razor
Journal * KEEP
2 Pens * LEAVE 1
Compass * KEEP
Topo Maps from WP guides * KEEP
Headlamp w/ spare batteries * KEEP
50 ft 1/8 inch nylon cord * KEEP
30 ft 1/8 inch nylon cord * EH? LEAVE
Shovel * LEAVE
Matches * KEEP
Duct Tape * KEEP
Camp Towel * KEEP
Camera (yet to purchase) * KEEP
Cell phone w/ charger * KEEP
Watch (yet to purchase) * KEEP

NOTE: I have not hiked the PCT, but I can tell you I couldn't imagine needing a 15 degree bag ANYWHERE in the US in July, also you have way too much redundant gear. It is a bit scary not being redundant, but that is why we have duct tape. This is what I would feel comfortable with, obviously we're all different and HYOH and all that. If you can only reasonably expect temps at night to be in the 40s then take a 40 degree bag, if you get colder than that then put on that jacket. Use a poncho instead of a pack cover and rain skirt and rain shell. I have alloted keeping most of the other assorted items simply because they are your pleasure items that really will help you enjoy yourself, which is why we go light to begin with. But be practical, if you have never used a journal before and just sort of dream of recording your thoughts, probably leave it at home. If you don't really care if you have pictures leave it at home, and if you will only use your phone in case of emergency leave the charger at home and leave the phone off. Right before you take off for the hike spread everything out on the table that you're going to take with you and try to eliminate anything you have that you can't reasonably see yourself using. If you're picturing yourself fighting a bear with a Buck Knife that's not a reasonable use, toss it.

Yes you should have a whistle, as far as base layers go, if you use a very light shirt and then get a good base layer to use as pajamas (so your bag doesn't get dirty and it feels warmer) then you will have the base layer if you need the warmth and wont need a bag liner.

What temperatures can you reasonably expect to come across in July in this area?

Edited by debiant on 06/29/2009 04:10:42 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Bag temps - yes it can be cold!!!!! on 06/29/2009 08:29:35 MDT Print View

For those questioning a 15* bag, YES the Cascades can be that cold in July!
I carry a 15* bag year round when backpacking - it often dips well below freezing.
As for a pack cover..if UL, I say yes, carry. While rain becomes less in July and August the chance is there. If you are lining a pack with a trash compactor bag you could dump it though.

As for water shoes, plenty of streams and small rivers to be walked through. Myself, I carry the weight.

And guys on the underwear - the poster is going for 7 weeks! Even I would carry 2 pairs so I could wash one ;-)

Will Rohrer
(princewcheech) - F
Thanks for the advice on 06/29/2009 11:06:41 MDT Print View

This is very, very helpful, thank you to everyone who has posted so far.

I'll leave one of my convertible pants at home. I think I will look into replacing one of my midweight outer sock with a lightweight and ditching the heavier pair as well. I was thinking of replacing my long-sleeved wicking base layer with a warmer layer, and the idea of using my warm base layers as pajamas and leaving the silk liner is intriguing. I never sleep in clothes or pajamas at home and the synthetic bags work best when there aren't any layers between you and the bag, but using a silk liner might render that moot anyways. In that case, why carry a silk liner when you already have these warm base layers, which will keep the bag clean reasonably clean?

I drink a lot of water, but 3 2L platypus bladders is probably overkill. I'll take 2 2L bladders and probably both 1L bladders for the few ~20 mile dry stretches, but probably only carry 3-4L at a time.

I'm keeping the crocs, for crossings and camp. The shovel was misnamed; it's a camp trowel for digging a hole.

Thanks again to everyone, and if you have more advice, keep it coming!

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List on 06/29/2009 11:33:44 MDT Print View

I hiked through there last year at around that time of year, and my biases pretty much match with those of Gary Boyd, i.e., I like a poncho, I in fact myself use a Montbell Thermawrap as my only warmth layer in most cases (definitely on that trip), I used a lighter (32-degree rated) sleeping bag happily in that area at that time, and of course you can augment by wearing the Thermawrap inside it.

I don't see the need for two pairs of pants. Bring a small sewing needle and use dental floss as thread if you rip any holes in your one pair (I did, worked fine).

One other comment is on mileage. You're planning on doing 650 miles in 7 weeks, which works out to about an average of 13+ miles per day. That might be reasonable for the first week or two, but as you're trying to keep your gear weight low, and as Oregon in particular has lots of great trail --- thru-hikers love Oregon, it's easy to cruise a lot of miles --- you might find yourself speeding up some.
Maybe not too, if you just explicitly want to take it slow, or like a lot of zero and nero days, dunno.

Have a great time in any case!

For a 7-week journey, an alternative to a second pair of underwear is a pair of running type shorts that have mesh liner and can work as underwear. Dual use is to wear these in town when you're washing your pants.

The issue with the Jetboil is resupply. If that's not a problem, it's a great stove. The more common choice for thru-hikers is some sort of alcohol stove, because the fuel is more readily available, but in the stretch you're talking about, resupply options are more far-between, so whatever works for you is good.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List on 06/29/2009 17:58:53 MDT Print View

> Jetboil PCS w/ 100g fuel ~ 18 oz
Blimey. Weighs a ton. Replace with a Snow Peak or Vargo Jet-Ti. Add very light aluminium foil windshield.

> 3 Two-liter platypus bladders
> 2 One-liter platypus bladders
Between my wife and I we carry 4 off 1.25 L PET fizzy drink bottles. That's usually enough for the two of us even fro a high dry camp. What you have listed is way overboard.

> Water filter (yet to purchase)
Heavy stuff. Some like chemicals, I don't. I suggest a Steripen Adventurer with Tenergy CR123R rechargable batteries (blue ones NOT silver). Good brand-name CR123 cells are also OK, but do NOT buy the cheap ones: they won't work.

> 2 rolls of gauze
never ever used it.

> 1 roll of medical tape
Micropore tape? Wonderful stuff.

> Ace Bandage

> 50 ft 1/8 inch nylon cord
> 30 ft 1/8 inch nylon cord
One bit would be enough.

> Shovel
Huh? What for?

> Watch (yet to purchase)
Altimeter is nice. Electronic compass is a disaster. They either don't work, or cannot be trusted (I have 2).


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Altimeter? on 06/29/2009 19:08:28 MDT Print View

Get a tiny GPS watch unit for a watch...I use one, a Foretrex. The ability to grab a reading for elevation is good in most places (in deep woods it can be an issue though if I sit long enough I can pick up a signal usually)

As for the ACE bandage? Some might consider it overkill. Yet...over the years we have handed out a number of them to people who hurt their ankles/feet. They also work if you have a plantar fascists issue pop back up, to hold your foot in place at night.

So...on gear, take what you feel you need - but don't NOT take something you feel you need - just find something else to cut back on ;-)

PS: As for the shovel, the OP mentioned later it was a poo shovel, not a big shovel.

Will Rohrer
(princewcheech) - F
More updates on 06/29/2009 23:50:17 MDT Print View

Thanks again to everyone, and if you haven't commented or have more thoughts, please add them!

I bought a Marmot PreCip at ~13 oz to replace my Marmot Palisades, for a savings of more than a pound. I'm going to leave my heavy 2/3 wool socks at home and just carry my two pairs of moderate cushion light weight hiking socks. Leaving the 30ft nylon cord, just taking the 50 ft. Bought a lightweight watch w/ altimeter, etc, and a small digital camera. Bought a Patagonia midweight base layer, and will be leaving my longsleeve spyder wicking base layer at home.

I am still thinking about taking my silk bag liner, because I'm not used to sleeping in clothes and the silk liner will be easy to wash.

Again, thanks for the posts and any advice yet to come

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: More updates on 06/30/2009 00:24:27 MDT Print View

I like the silk liner idea.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Castle Crags - Cascade Locks Section Hike Gear List on 06/30/2009 20:00:18 MDT Print View

I don't know what that entire section is like, but maybe there are some things on your list that you can bounce ahead?

For Castle Crags to Ashland I plan on not taking any warm insulating layers. It has been so terribly hot I have had to sleep half the night with just my bivy sack until it cools down enough to drape my 20 degree sleeping quilt over me part way. And it's still June!

Here's what I have as far as clothing:
To wear: Long sleeved shirt, tank top, convertible pants (although I never take the legs off), socks, dirty girl gaiters, sun hat, undies.

Insulation/extra: Patagonia Houdini, fleece sleeves cut out from a sweater, fleece balaclava, fleece fingerless gloves, socks to rotate.

I am hoping that will be enough. I have barely needed more than that even in the cold High Sierra. (I did have more, but definitely don't need it now.)

Maybe I will see you! I will be at Castle Crags on the 3rd maybe. I promise not to ask you for any warm clothing.

EDIT: I'm not sure why you need to haul around so much water. Even hiking in the desert I've never needed quite that much. I can understand if you like to have some containers for when you are cooking though. I have been hiking with just two 1 liter containers and one 20oz. It's been cutting it close, though, but not too bad. I plan to add my 2.5 liter platypus. It weighs little and takes up little space and with all my containers, I can select the optimum ones for whatever conditions arrise.

As for a whistle, unless it's a tin whistle to amuse yourself with, I'm not sure what good a whistle will do if you are hiking alone.

Edited by sbhikes on 06/30/2009 22:33:55 MDT.