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Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
PCT/JMT List on 08/17/2009 18:09:47 MDT Print View

This list would be for the JMT, PCT section hiking as well as an eventual PCT thru hike.

I'd like to get the list under 7lbs if possible.
If anyone has any ideas on how to lighten the load a bit I'd greatly appreciate it! (without giving up the hammock)

If anyone sees anything that I'm missing or that they think would serve me well, I'm all ears!

Any other comments welcome. Thanks.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
pct/jmt on 08/17/2009 18:17:27 MDT Print View

It looks really good. Since you want to get under 7 lbs from 7.6, you can ditch the umbrella and use a Rainshield jacket instead of the Event to save a total of approximately 8.7 oz. Since you have rain gear and a hat, umbrellas are a luxury item (and quite nice in the desert, just not necessary).

You might want to add blister treatment items (leukotape, etc).

Edited by on 08/17/2009 18:18:49 MDT.

Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
.. on 08/17/2009 18:41:04 MDT Print View

The Adventure Medical Kit has some blister stuff in it I believe. Is tape necessary? Was thinking about bringing the Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister. I walked about 5-6 miles in dress shoes and had some pretty big blisters. I drained them all that night and put some of these over them and went to work the next day. Took showers, completely forgot about them for about 4 days.

When I took them off the skin underneath the dead skin was shiny and new, not painful at all. I was able to cut the dead skin with my fingernail and peel it off.

Does anyone have any field experience with these?

I love umbrellas! The sun protection down here in SD (where most of the PCT sections I'll be hiking are) is near a necessity. The reasons for the rain jacket are to protect the down jacket, if it were extremely windy and to double as a windbreaker (which is why I chose eVent, for the breathability).

I thought about getting MLD's Cuben Fiber Hex hammock tarp which is about 6.4oz, saving me 3.4 oz.

Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
Synthetics? on 08/17/2009 18:49:59 MDT Print View

What if I ditched the rain jacket and got a synthetic top insulating layer that would replace the down jacket?
Perhaps something with DWR? Any suggestions?

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
ditch on 08/17/2009 18:59:57 MDT Print View

The 4l water tank, umbrella, camp suds (or repackage into smaller container.)

Add a bear can, maybe you want to do that under food? Remove pack cover and add trash compactor for bag liner.

Could ditch the stuff sacs, get lighter (silk) longjohns for sleeping, compass could be left/changed to a small button compass if you are doing just the JMT, pretty hard to get lost on that trail. Is the towel for bathing?

Deet + headnet?

Don't know what the underquilt is like, can you drop the pad? or is that for nights where you might not find a hammock spot?

What are you going to eat out of?

Thats questions I came up with after checking out your list.
Its a bunch of really nice stuff and nice list good job.


Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
Re: ditch on 08/17/2009 19:45:33 MDT Print View

I had the 4L water tank for desert portions where there won't be many water supply points. I will probably put the camp suds in a BPL container, which would mean that I'd take a lot less of it. Any Dr. Bronners VS Camp Suds insight? I can see ditching the umbrella when not in harsh sunlight or heavy rain.

Would probably rent a bear can for the JMT and use an Ursack in other problem areas. Funny you should say something about the trash bag liner, I did that in the military. How much do they weigh?

I've hiked quite a bit without even using a compass, I'm pretty good at terrain association (military land nav training beaten into my head). Having the "real" compass is just sort of a comfort thing. I'm sure 95% of the time dead reckoning covers it.

The towel is for bathing, drying off after rain, etc.

I may just apply permethrin to problem areas rather than bringing Deet.

The underquilt is 3/4 length, which means I'd have to place my pack, a rain jacket, or something else under my legs to keep them warm without a pad. The pad would also be used for sitting/resting. It also adds a nice bit of insulation for 5oz. And yes, for a situation where I couldn't find a tree (not likely) *or* more likely would be being in an area where I'd be worried about deadfalls.

I dehydrate and prepare my own meals in vacuum sealed bags, I can eat out of these.

I really appreciate the questions, you have me moving in the right direction now! :)

Edited by thinkpol on 08/17/2009 19:54:50 MDT.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
jmt/pct on 08/17/2009 19:53:52 MDT Print View

You should probably just put together a desert (umbrella, no deet, etc) and then a separate JMT (no umbrella, deet, etc) gear list. Both would probably be under 7 lbs?

Your PCT thru-hike gear list will vary depending on location, so it's always better to put together very specific gear lists for the areas you will be in.

Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
Desert/JMT lists on 08/17/2009 19:57:20 MDT Print View

I might go unsupported, which is why everything is on the list.

If I do end up going unsupported I'll probably bring the container that goes with the Caldera Keg GVP system for eating out of.

I've read a lot about thru-hikers getting sick of the food they made months ago, I can totally see this happening. I've been taking the same granola bars to work every day for 2+ weeks and I can't stand them anymore.

Edited by thinkpol on 08/17/2009 19:58:34 MDT.

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
re on 08/17/2009 20:32:28 MDT Print View

Trash compactor bags weigh in at 2.5 oz, the benefit is a 100% waterproof liner vs. a cover which can still allow a pack to get wet. I use Bronners for everything, toothpaste/shampoo/soap etc. I'd say realistically Ill use 2 drops for toothpaste, and like 10/small squirt for bathing. I don't do the hammock thing but if you already purchased everything on the list then maybe go with it, but I know there are lighter tarps out there. What I don't know is if they are as well suited to hammock camping.

How do you like the skaha?

Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
.. on 08/17/2009 21:43:36 MDT Print View

I think I'll go with the GG waterproof liner:

I don't have the Skaha yet. In fact, I don't have a lot of things.
I recently separated from the military, was stationed in DC.

I'm all too familiar with non-enjoyable wilderness experiences, which is why I'm trying to ensure that my next setup is focused on comfort: lightweight, hammock (no bugs, water drainage issue, aches and pains in the morning, etc), umbrella to keep from sweating.

I just sold all of my old gear, which included the military sleep system, the new eureka tents they use, gregory baltoro, etc; all ridiculously heavy stuff although it did serve its purpose. I'm accustomed to carrying 60-80lbs in my ruck/pack along with vest/weapon/etc. I've had shin splints in the past from a combination of marathon training and 12-20 mile death marches (10 minute pace with 60lbs of gear). Doing everything I can now to prevent an injury that would deter or prevent me from doing what I love most.

Edited by thinkpol on 08/17/2009 21:45:10 MDT.

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
Gotcha on 08/17/2009 21:54:20 MDT Print View

The trash compactor bags are a 3 mil white plastic that hold up well. The gossamer gears should do the trick. By doing it this way you are saving yourself a TON of money, even though that kit will set you back probably around 2.5k it will be money that needn't be spent twice. There are wait times on the majority of that stuff I'm sure you know about.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Unsupported? on 08/17/2009 22:00:29 MDT Print View

Maybe I missed this part, but what are you doing unsupported? Going back to my suggestion to make a few gear lists for different circumstances, everyone who thru-hikes the PCT carries different gear at different times of the hike (ice axe, varying forms of insulated clothing, etc). I didn't mean to only carry certain items for a few days at a time, more like a few hundred miles at a time...

Also, are you familiar with setting up your hammock as a tent? I would try to be well versed in that, as I had some horrible storms on the PCT that were nowhere near trees (at least that I remember).

Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
.. on 08/17/2009 22:35:03 MDT Print View

I don't plan on sending food to myself for the PCT thru-hike.
I may end up sending a few packages with esbit tablets, dr bronners, shoes, etc.
It depends if I can find retailers that sell this stuff on the way.

I don't really want to switch out gear. I'll have my insulative gear in the desert. There's just something about using 1 pack for the entire PCT that makes me warm and fuzzy inside. I won't carry an iceaxe to start, if I feel that I absolutely need one I'll buy one on the way. I've heard from people that brought them that they only used it once or twice.

Edited by thinkpol on 08/17/2009 22:43:39 MDT.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: .. on 08/18/2009 00:30:41 MDT Print View

Only used them once or twice, and it saved their lives. Like when it happened to me and I avoided crashing in to rocks with a self arrest.

Gear list looks cool. I want to get that light, but have a hard time wrapping my head around carrying 5 days of food and 7 liters of water in such a light pack. Have you used that sleep system? I bet I'd be mighty cold a lot of the time. You might want to consider how to protected from the bugs when it's too hot to be wearing your down jacket. Rare though. That pad is skimpier than I'd like and will wear down to nothing very quickly, needing to be replaced often. I'm not a fan of carbon fiber tent stakes at all. I think they shatter too easily.

Where's the maps, toothpaste, hand sani, tp, mp3 player, book and camera? It'll boost you well over 8lbs.

Josh Greninger
(thinkpol) - F
CountourHD on 08/18/2009 07:21:24 MDT Print View

dr bronners = hand sani, toothpaste
no mp3 player (im deaf in one ear, headphones are annoying to me)
no camera.

I am considering the ContourHD:
4.3oz HD camera
16 hours of footage non HD, 8 HD per memory card. The MicroSDs are basically weightless.

Would use as a video journal, and to capture sights.

Nunatak said this system should be good to around 20-25F.

I dropped the umbrella, switched to a 20.5 oz version of the hammock, dropped the sleeping pad and I'm down to 6.9 pounds. This is before clipping anything as well.
I'll do test runs with the Umbrella to see how much I use it. :P

Edited by thinkpol on 08/18/2009 07:37:10 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
not switching out gear on 08/18/2009 07:48:15 MDT Print View

"I don't really want to switch out gear. I'll have my insulative gear in the desert. There's just something about using 1 pack for the entire PCT that makes me warm and fuzzy inside."

I don't know how to say this without sounding patronizing or something (not intended), but I suspect you'll change in this regards. Most people swap things out to some degree (not talking JMT here but the whole PCT). I didn't carry a tent for the first 700 miles and didn't miss it (poncho plus light bivy), but was happier to swap to have an enclosed tent later, primarily against bugs, and later rain in WA state.

You have to have a bear can in the Sierras, that's one swap anyway, so you might as well just do what others do --- swap in the right gear for the Sierras via mail at Kennedy Meadows and swap again at the end of the Sierras. I would absolutely bring a (light) ice axe, even though in my year (2008) pretty much no one needed them; you can't know for sure what kind of conditions you'll face, and it's just not that big a deal to mail stuff home if you don't need it.

I was happy to swap to a lighter sleeping bag after I finished the Sierras, for example.

The great thing is that you can always change your mind about this kind of thing on the trail, so long as there's someone home with access to your gear to help facilitate a by-mail swap.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: CountourHD on 08/18/2009 08:04:12 MDT Print View

Have you hung in a hammock in weather that isn't hot without a pad? Were you warm? I most definitely am not. Consider what you will do in Southern California, where on many nights you won't be able to hang your hammock.

Have you used Dr. Bronners as toothpaste? Which flavor do you use? I haven't found one that I can stand.

I'd definitely bring the video camera (personally I'd bring a camera as well). It's a significant event, and I enjoy my records of things like that.

Agreed that you'll likely do some switching of gear. And at the very least you'll be using to post office for other things. It's a PITA to hike with zero mailing.

Edited by Found on 08/18/2009 08:09:17 MDT.

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
PCT/JMT on 08/18/2009 08:15:59 MDT Print View

Take a closer look at the map of the areas where bear cans are required:
Personally, I use the bear can all the time in the Sierra whether there are requirements or not. Many areas not on the map are slowly heading toward requiring canisters as the bears are becoming increasingly bad in other wilderness areas. The JMT is not the only area requiring the cans - the entire YNP and some distance south of Whitney also do.

I'm not so sure about going unsupported. Have you looked at the pcta page on resupplies? hiking out to some means quite a side trip in some cases. If you're researching this and okay with that inconvenience, that's that. I think I would do a combo of mailing food drops and trips off trail. Some of those stretches between stores are 150+ miles, and some of the stores are quite small.