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Novice PCT gear list draft 1
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Evan Chartier
Rail Riders on 02/10/2010 15:55:38 MST Print View

Yeah I keep hearing about that eco mesh shirt. Did you get it when it was on sale about a week or 2 ago? Ahhh I missed that by a hair. :(
I am always nervous about white though. I was thinking of getting the birch, and there are a few floating around on gear swap for about 45 bucks. What pants are you going to wear?

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
PCT shirt on 02/10/2010 16:16:45 MST Print View

I was going to suggest you get the REI lightweight MTS long-sleeve zip tee. It is thin enough for hot weather and UPF50. Low and behold they just got rid of them and replaced them with a Powerstretch version. Wish I would have known, the old one is my favorite shirt.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Rail Riders on 02/10/2010 17:55:23 MST Print View

Yep, I caught that sale a couple weeks ago. Shipping was pretty fast, so you might want to wait to see if they do another sale. I paid less than $30 shipped, so you may want to think about that if you buy from someone trying to sell theirs for $45.

I'm wearing my old REI convertible pants. I'm not sure what they are since I don't see any tags on it. It's super thin though. It's probably the Sahara pants. Both are brown, but one is lighter, and it's the lighter pair that's coming with me. I've been using these pants since around 2002 in temps from low 20's to 120's, and while it would be nice if they breathed as much as the ecomesh pants, I want convertible more than mesh because of creek crossings.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Rail Riders on 02/10/2010 18:14:02 MST Print View

In the desert the Eco-mesh or adventure shirts are my first choice. But if I have a good tan and will not be in a lot of temps over 100F, I may opt for the RR's Eco-speed T. I also have a Madison River Shirt that I really like.

If high temps are going to be 70F or less, then I hike in a BPL Merion Hoody. Also it is the baselayer. This is an awesome piece of gear!!

Evan Chartier
Shirts on 02/10/2010 21:55:37 MST Print View

Brandon: What a bummer- I hate when a piece of your favorite gear gets discontinued or changed for the "worse."
Eugene: Darn. I tried catching that sale. I am sure the people selling it for 45 caught the sale and are trying to sell it back for a profit. I will hold off a bit and maybe they will have a new sale. If not, I will probably save the money and put it towards a cuben tarp or something- more important to me than my shirt. I can probably find something in the closet that will do fine. I also plan on taking some convert pants, they are great- shorts and pants. I thought the mesh might get annoying on the RR pants, and I would probably rip them pretty fast.
Nick: Thats a lot of shirt choices! What about if you were on the PCT and were going to experience all of those temp ranges? Would you take them all and bounce them, or what?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Shirts on 02/10/2010 22:30:45 MST Print View


Actually your question about what shirt to take is complicated. I only want one shirt that will also function as a base layer when it is cold. I live in the desert and I have dark complexion. I do well in heat. So if water is not a huge concern, I often don't wear a shirt. If water is critical, I wear a long sleeve shirt (RR) to help reduce evaporation. If I were to start the PCT in April, I would take the BPL Merino Hoody, and go shirtless when it got warm. Note: I would have already worked on my sun tan before starting out. Depending on the year, I might want to switch it out at Cajon pass, as there is a lot of desert. Then before Kennedy Meadows back to the merino hoody. Depending on the time of year in the Sierras, shirtless might be problematic with the insects. However again, I am not bothered much by mosquitos. So often with a little DEET I can hike shirtless. To be honest you could probably get by with an off-the-rack synthetic shirt of any kind. Buy one at Goodwill for $5.

Evan Chartier
Shirts on 02/10/2010 22:39:04 MST Print View

Nick: Its funny how sometimes we can ask a simple question which requires a complex answer. Thanks for that info- I dont think I would be able to go shirtless, but I'll go look at that BPL merino hoody right now. I have a goodwill near my house, so I am checking out what gets dropped over there too :)

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Shirts, budgeting on 02/11/2010 02:42:19 MST Print View

Any synthetic top will do, frankly. Wool is great for not stinking, but don't plan on it lasting very long under pack straps.

I got my hiking shirt from the thrift store. Pure polyester, pure disco. Fairly tight weave, blocks the wind fairly well, and sun too, breathes; collar up makes it a stylin' turtleneck, unbuttoned and I'm ready for some hairy-chested trail town action.

Only once, in a 3-day rain in central OR, did I ever wear more than this and a windbreaker (carried an umbrella).

There are better options, to be sure; but if you've got a limited budget, the one thing you can't buy or make for cheap is a lightweight sleeping bag/quilt (down works, but nothing's easier to make than a synthetic "quilt"). Spend your dough on that, and on lots of shoes.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Bearikade on Whiteblaze on 02/11/2010 12:21:13 MST Print View

Just an FYI, you didn't miss any deal with that guy on Whiteblaze. I contacted him a year and a half ago about his expedition and he wanted almost as much as a new one then. He still hasn't sold it. After I contacted this guy, I found one and ended up getting an expedition for $209 shipped to me. It was like new. The guy who's selling it goes by the name of chicken-something. I had put up a Bearikade wanted ad and his reply was "found one in my supply closet I want to sell I will take $265.00 + shipping". I emailed him about it and told him that was $10 less than a brand new one if it was the expedition. The guy got really wierd. Looks like he's still trying to sell it a year and a half later. So you didn't miss anything except a waste of your time with this guy.

Edited by mjkline on 02/11/2010 12:27:34 MST.

David T
(DaveT) - F
evan/book. on 02/11/2010 12:37:34 MST Print View

hey evan. just fyi, i mailed the book yesterday. i put it in media mail, so it will be there in a week probably. cool.

Evan Chartier
Everything on 02/11/2010 14:36:07 MST Print View

Andrew:Will be getting a cheap synth shirt and spending the 58 bucks elsewhere. I can just picture you walkin around town in that shirt...oh wait, that will be me too in a few weeks :)
At the moment for clothes I am thinking just a shirt, wind jacket, and trash bag. Should cover my bases, right? I dont care much about getting wet, just cold and wet. As long as I have a dry quilt/tarp area I should be ok.
I am taking your advice and investing in a good quilt. I have narrowed it down a bit, can you shed your 2cents? Posted this on another thread, with no real luck...

Option 1: Quilt Kit 800+down Momentum90 and MLD Superlight bivy total cost: approx. 370USD Total weight: approx. 29oz

Option 2: enLIGHTened Epiphany XP with 6.2 or 5oz combat synth insulation and .48 cuben Approx cost: 280USD weight: 20-22oz this option relies on the use of the cuben to get rid of the bivy. Tarp will be carried in each option.

Can you (or anyone else) comment on those choices, or come up with something else? Tim said I should be good with 6.2oz with many 20*nights or the 5oz with only a few 20*nights considering the VB.

Mike: Yeah he told me 220 USD. There is no way I am going to spend that much. I am thinking about using the BV500 because its much cheaper. Seems like to buy a new one is the same price as to rent one, about 65 USD? weird...

Dave: Thanks so much, I look forward to reading it. Very cool :)

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Quilts, rain. on 02/12/2010 05:17:27 MST Print View

If you can DIY, Ray-Way's kits are very reasonably priced, especially as they come with very detailed instructions for the novice, as well as first quality materials; get the "Alpine Upgrade" for a total of $85.

If you already have pattern (it's really not too complicated) You can go slightly cheaper ordering from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics: 2.5yds 5oz Climashield XP ~$35 (perhaps more, I'm not sure how these weights work vs other thicknesses), ~$30 for 5yds of 1.1 ripstop.

A trash bag might work... give us a report! I used a modified run of the mill umbrella and found it very effective and moreover pleasant to have as walking shade. For $25, a Go-Lite dome is very cheap, 100% breathable rain (and sun) protection.

Evan Chartier
Quilt on 02/12/2010 11:25:28 MST Print View

Andrew: Thanks so much. Looks like I might be going with the enLIGHTened quilt after all. It is cheaper than making a quilt and getting the bivy I want because I can use it without a bivy. Lighter as well. Guess everyone convinced me that I need to spend the $ to get a good quilt-the rest (except shoes) I can cheat more on.
I will give a report of the trash bag for sure, along with the rest of me gear when I get back. Just cant wait to leave!

Evan Chartier
Thanks Dave on 02/18/2010 01:24:36 MST Print View

Wanted to let you know that I got the book in the mail today. Its really great. I sat in a coffee shop all afternoon reading it, can't get it out of my hands! Thanks so much.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Bivies, breathability on 02/19/2010 03:22:57 MST Print View

Don't let the world convince you that you need a bivy, or a vapor impermeable quilt. Useful, to be sure, especially in extreme situations, but I think you would be more comfortable on the PCT with a regular quilt and good technique. You might get some serious internal condensation camping high in the Sierra, but for 90% of your nights that are not there, you'll be better off with something a little less extreme. A simple synthetic quilt will work well; and indeed, sequester your mothers quilting skills.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Novice PCT gear list draft 1" on 02/21/2010 23:16:19 MST Print View

Wow, so I read this entire set of posts with interest. I hike the Here is some infor that may help you:

Expect the temps to drop below freezing some nights you spend over 8,000 ft. It isn't unusual. I went with a down bag for this reason. I froze my tail off with bags rated over 30F. I prefer a 15F. I use them like a quilt and I love being able to pull the hood over the top of me.

Go with the Thermarest closed cell pads, they are cozy. They work great, you won't slip off of them on uneven ground and they are plenty warm. You will pay $30-45 depending on size. I camp where I drop and I don't eat where I sleep, except for a . Good for dealing with bears. You usually won't see them if you practice this. Also, put the shirt you use during the day with you bear canister. Practice eating leaning over the bowl and not over your clothes. It looks funny but keeps the food smell off of the body. Don't give them a reason to lick you :)

Stoves - The White Box stove in a tuna can stove works best in the Siera for me. I have made at least a dozen others and I like the versatility. You put the white box stove inside the tuna can stove for quick boiling or heating of water. The thing about the alcohol stoves no one seems to mention is you need to prime them and get the body of them warm. The combo of these two work so well that I got faster boil times. If you areally interested I could take some pictures and measurements of what I use and send it to you. Also you can make a pot cozy with metalized bubble pack and flume tape. I even have one for my bottle.

I use the BPE Nalgene bottles to cook my home made dehydrated meals in and my bag meals. then when I rinse the bottle out I drink it. You said calories were an issue. This helps you get every bit. Plus the measuring cup is right on the side of the bottle. Eat chocolate or your favorite candy bar at night, I call this supper, to get the added calories and fat you need in your diet. Don't forget the fat. I tried one of those low cal fat free trips and it was really horrible. Lots of things go wrong if you don't get the fat and calories you need. Especially at altitude. For a cheap home made goo you can find at stores along the trail I pick up Peanut Butter, Honey, gram crackers, coconut, marshmallows, and choclate or chips. That will cover the fat and calorie needs.

Also, freeze dried meats are a winner add to any meal. They will help with flavor and protein. Cheese is designed to last a while. That is why it exists. Expeirament with a few of these on the trail and it is also a good add for fat and calcium when you get sick of the junk food. There is lots of good flavor here.

OK, the pack. Everyone says use this and that. I have bought 6 different packs. All light weight (I have 4 kids, they are the best excuse for buying new gear). Here is what I have found in the Sierra. The Golite Pinnacle pack is the best size/weight/cost value. I have purchased all of these on clearance too. They are tough, 1 lb.10 oz. and you can use a pad to roll and hold it open (just like using the pad to hold the Army Duffel bag open, drop your shelter in the bottom, sleeping bag in the middle, bear canister on top of that, and whatever else you like to have access to on top. I actually am able to avoid stuff sacks for my bivy, sleeping bag, and tarp using this bag. It is really tough to. I used it's smaller cousin the Jam for 9 months continuosly with loads to 30 pounds (yes overloaded) and it is still in good yet used condition.

You are going to have an amazing time. I hope to live long enough and healthy enough to do what you are doing. I wish I would have gotten this bug when I got out of the Infantry.

Oh yeah, if you are man enough (haha) use Dr. Bronner's soap for doing dishes, washing yourself, cleaning wounds, and brushing your teeth - no not kidding, it isn't that bad. Otherwise just carry some baking soda for the teeth.

PM me if you need anything. I don't mind doing a resupply for you at some point if I am in town (I travel for work). Plus any excuse to get out. I have 4 kids who are just now asking to try backpacking again. So I have had several solos in the last few years. I would love to feed you some good dutch oven cooking on a trail day off if you are interested. By the time you get to Northern Cali you will be able to teach me something. The campsite and food will be my treat. Let me know if you are interested and I can work this with you as you go. Anywhere north of and including Sonora Pass (Stanislaus National Forest) would be best as I love these areas.

Evan Chartier
Thanks on 02/26/2010 21:40:54 MST Print View

hey there- sorry I didnt see this earlier, I have been having problems with a virus that shut down my computer. I will be using a warm quilt as you suggest as I sleep really cold. I also use my bag like a quilt, so I figure I should just use a quilt this time and save the weight.
I will also probably get the thermarest ccf pad. I am cutting up the cheap blue pad I was going to hike with for a cozi and other such items, so I will need a new pad. Hopefully I can find one here cheap (I know they are cheap new too, but trying to save every penny for trail food.)
First time hearing about bending over while eating to not attract bears- clever idea. Wouldnt want to get near that tongue!
Can you send me a picture of your stove setup? I have an alcohol stove I am bringing along to see how I like cooking. Never heard of a white box stove and tuna can setup. Each time I use the alcohol stove however I have not needed to prime it- lights up right away.
Calories are a huge issue because I cannot afford to lose weight. At 6'3 and 145lbs, I want to gain some weight even. Was planning on eating the highest fat/protein foods I could cram into a "food bullet" canister.
That goo sounds tasty! I hope I can find those things along the trail. I love PB, but will probably hate it after the trail. I dont want that to happen though!
Freez dried meats like beef jerky? that would be good, I like those, but they tend to be expensive. Are they found easily on the trail?
You sure have used a lot of packs! I think I am going to stick with my ULA catalyst. I would like to change, however cannot afford a new pack at the moment. Hopefully on day! However I do really love the catalyst I have- what a great piece of art.
I cant wait to get out on the trail! all this advice and planning will finally translate to happy miles under my feet. I can almost feel it now.
When were you in the infantry? With kids it can be difficult, but it seems you are able to get out at least a little bit.
Using Dr. Bronner's soap sounds good for everythin...except the brushing my teeth! I would take your advice for that...but find it hard to wrap my mind around. Will probably go the baking soda/powdered tooth paste route
I will send you a PM if I need anything, but it will probably be difficult once I am on the trail, and I dont like to plan things this far in advance. However it would be nice to meet ya (or anyone else here on BPL!) on the trail where we belong.
Dutch oven cooking? Never had it, but sounds awesome! And sharing camp with a fellow hiker is always great in my eyes. I'll send you my contact info in a PM. Thanks again, and cant wait to hear from ya!

Evan Chartier
Help lower pack weight on 03/01/2010 22:31:01 MST Print View

Hey there-
Can someone offer advice on how to lower my pack weight according to the new, updated list? Thanks...

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Help lower pack weight on 03/05/2010 11:09:07 MST Print View

Replace the trowel with a Montbell trowel. It'll save about an ounce, only costs a couple dollars, and you can order it with your umbrella and snow shovel to save on shipping costs.

Use lithium batteries to save a little weight there, plus get better performance in the cold.

I forget, why do you have a backup light? The sun will be setting later when we start hiking, plus the moon will be out early and stay out most of the night for the first few days. And then the days will continue to get longer.

I've been considering replace the curtain on my Sunrunner hat with noseeum/nanoseeum mesh to reduce weight and heat buildup. It wouldn't provide as much sun protection, but I think it'll offer enough shade. I'll order some material and give this a shot.

Ugh, that axe.

You'll need more fuel unless you only intend to cook a few times. I think you can conservatively use 1/2 oz to heat a cup or two of water under optimum conditions. I think an ounce is closer to the amount you'll actually use unless you optimize the stove (add a wick) and really practice with it. I know I had a difficult time lighting a cold stove when temps were around 40 degrees, which resulted in lost alcohol due to evaporation. This is with a firesteel and 99% isopropyl alcohol.

Oh, and edit your post on the first page to delete your email address. It shouldn't be needed anymore and attracts spam.

Btw, I used one of my down jackets this weekend. It got rained on a little, but still held a lot of its loft which came right back shortly after the rain stopped.

Evan Chartier
Eugene on 03/05/2010 12:25:23 MST Print View

Hey man. Thanks for commenting on the updated list, havent gotten any interest in a while. I'll have more updating to do this evening after I get my hands on my friends scale. After reading other people's gear lists is doesnt seem they use this just missing, or unnecessary? Not sure about the backup light. I read a few posts and PCT gear reviews saying that it was very important to have a backup. I dont like carrying 4oz in headlights though, so maybe I will skip it and go dark should the batteries run out till the next resupply?
Let me know how that mesh on the hat goes. I should be getting mine in the mail in the next few days. What a cool thing that hat will be.
Yeah totally a bummer about that axe. Of course I would like to go with the suluk one you have or the camp corsa but they are so much money! Got this one for 20 bucks. What can ya do? :) I bet it will work though!
I'm really hoping to cool as little as possible. If I need to I can bring more fuel, maybe in a small coke bottle. I'll analyze that situation once we start in...2.5 weeks!! Yeah man! Will probably need a lot for the snow course too.
Took the e-mail off, thanks.
When did you use the jacket? While hiking, or in camp?