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PCT 2011 Gear List: Feedback VERY Welcomed!
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Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
PCT 2011 Gear List: Feedback VERY Welcomed! on 12/28/2010 00:46:17 MST Print View

OK, so this is my first actual "let's put it all in one place and see where it stands" gear list for my PCT thru this next year.

Details (to follow proper "GL" protocol):

Traveling solo.
Starting at Campo and heading north. Hopefully very far north.
Items with an asterisk in front of them are Sierra and beyond items.
Items listed with maker (where applicable), and weight in ounces to right.
My pack is 36 ounces by itself, so obvioulsy I'm not falling into the "SUL" group. I'm ok with that. :)

I welcome any and all feedback. I've been looking forward to posting to see what the BPL community has to say/offer in advice.

PCT 2011 Gear List
("*" denotes gear carried from Sierras ---> north only)


McHale "SubPop": 36oz.
Shoulder Pouch: ZPacks Cuben Pouch: .3oz.
Pack Liner: MountainFitters: .7oz..

CLOTHING: (from the head down)

*Hat: OR Seattle Sombrero: 3.2oz.
Visor: GoLite visor: 1.7oz.
Beanie: Sherpa Adventure Gear "Sangye" wool: 3.5oz.
*Bug Head Net: MLD Head Net: .5oz.
Balclava (regular): Smartwool Balaclava: 1.75oz.
*Balaclava (insulated): BPL Cocoon Pro 90": 2.4oz.
Bandana: .16oz.
*Poncho/Rain Top: GoLite "Poncho Tarp": 7oz.
Light Jacket: Patagonia "Houdini": 3.7oz.
Long Sleeve Shirt: Patagonia "Capilene 2" 1/3 zip: 6.2oz.
Long Sleeve Top: Patagonia "R1 Hoodie": 11.2oz.
*Insulated Jacket: Patagonia "Nano Puff": 11.3oz.
Gloves: Arctery'x "Delta SV": 1.9oz.
*Mitts: OR "Rain Mitts": 2.8oz.
Pants: The North Face "Paramount Convertible" pant. 17.3 oz.
Briefs: ExOfficio "Give-N-Go" boxer brief: 3oz. (don't have yet)
*Baselayer (bottoms): Patagonia "Capilene 2": 5.7oz.
Shorts: part of pants (convertible)
*Waterproof Bottoms: TrailLite Designs "Cloud Kilt": 1.6oz.
Gaiters: Outdoor Research "Flex-Tex": 2.8oz.
Socks (lightweight liners): Patagonia Lightweight Crew": 1.4oz. (3 pair)(1 with me, others on stand by)
Socks (midweight): Smartwool "Trekking Heavy Crew": 3.2oz. (2 pair)(1 with me, others on stand by)
*Socks (heavyweight): Wool: 3.6oz. (2 pair)(1 with me, others on stand by)
Shoes: haven't decided yet. Leaning towards La Sportiva "Wildcat": 24.74oz/pair


*Tarp: Alpinlite Gear "Stratiform III" tarp: 13.8oz.
Tarp: GoLite "Poncho Tarp" (use as desert shelter, poncho after))
Sleeping Quilt: Jacks'R'Better "Sierra Sniveller" (long): 24oz.
Cuben Quilt Stuff Sack (MountainFitters): .2oz
Bivy: BPL "Vapr": 8.3oz. (with bug netting and custom side zip)
Sleeping Pad: ThermaRest "Z/Rest". Weight TBD.
Groundsheet: Alpinlite Designs Tyvek w/ stakeouts: to be weighed
Tarp Stakes: Easton 6" aluminum stakes: 2.8oz. (.34oz. ea. x 8)
Guylines: .8oz.


Stove (part 1): Homemade cat food can stove: .5oz.
Stove (part 2): Ikea pot stand/wood burner (see thread on BPL "MYOG") 3.7oz.)
Cookware: MSR "Titan Kettle": 4.2oz.
2 titanium stakes (for stove): ZPacks: .4 oz. (.2oz. each x 2)
Windscreen: Aluminum foil: .2oz.
Fuel bottle: 8oz. sized water bottle: .7oz. (empty)
Fire source #1: Bic disposable mini lighter: .4oz.
Fire source #2: H2O proof matches: .1oz.
Emergency fire tinder: cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly: .3oz.
Utensil: Lexan spoon: .5oz.
Food Bag: ZPacks Cuben "Blast": .85oz.
*Bear Canister: Garcia Model 812: 2.7 lbs. (looking at lighter options, but I do own this one)(also, ONLY Sierras)


Water Filtration:
- Big Stuff: Bandana + coffee filters
- Small stuff: Aqua Mira: 1.5oz.
Water Storage:
- 2 liter soda bottles: 1.9oz. ea. ( x 2 in the desert)
- 1 liter soda bottle: 1.2 oz.


Petzl eLite: .9oz.
Princeton Tec "Eos": 3.1oz.
Waist strap for PT "Eos": .7oz.


Apple "Touch 4G": 3.6oz. (hi-def video, video editing, journaling, wi-fi, etc.)
Digital Camera (compact): don't have yet
Cuben Camera pouch: ZPacks: .1oz.
Otterbox Case: (made for "Touch"): 3.5oz.
Aloksak 6"x6": electronics protection: .4oz.
Pen: .2oz.
Paper: (back of section maps)


Toothbrush w/ shortened handle: .3oz.
Dropper bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap/toothpaste: .4oz.
Aloksak 5"x4" for TP: .5oz. (w/TP)
Wipes ("Wet Ones"): 1.1oz.
BPL balm jars for sunscreen, hydropel: .7oz.
BPL dropper bottle (for isopropyl alcohol): .2oz.
Chapstick: .2oz.


Compass: 1oz.
Aloksak 6"x9" (for quick access to Nav materials needed): .5oz.
Gallon sized Ziplock (for remainder of navigational materials): .2oz.
Watch/altimeter tool: don't have one yet. Weight TBD.
PCT Handbook: 5.5oz.
Copies of maps, etc.: 1oz. (per section)


First Aid Kit: miscellaneous needed items (detailed kit on website later): 2.2oz.


-- Prescription shades (protective). Don't have yet. Weight TBD
-- Glasses (basic/regular). Don't have yet. Weight TBD.
-- Sunglass case: 2.1oz.
Paperwork/Permits: License, backcountry permits, cash, CC, etc. (Passport to be mailed farther north)
*Camp Corsa Ice Axe (50cm): 7.2oz.
*BPL Dropper Bottle (DEET): .3oz.


Assorted cuben stuff sacks & cuben dry bags. (Mountain Fitters and ZPacks): 2.8oz.

Thanks guys!


Edited by Pittsburgh on 01/30/2011 19:50:06 MST.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: PCT 2011 Gear List: Feedback VERY Welcomed! on 12/28/2010 05:40:07 MST Print View

OK, I'll take the easy one..... Bear spray????

Electronics. Can you use the Iphone's camera and eliminate the need for redundant camera. And there has to be a lighter form of protection for the phone.
Isn't the watch and altimeter redundant with iphone as well.

Why two lights? you also have your iphone in a pinch if your primary goes out.

I would can the Garcia and get anything else.

What is the purpose of the heavy socks in the sierras. These will get wet and never dry.

I believe the windproof fleece and Pat R5 is excessive with all the other layers. Isn't the Houdini redundant with your wind vest? Bottom line you have a total of 8 layers for the sierra. (unless you are replacing vs adding for the sierras.)

Why a beanie and a balaclava?

Do you have a start date set yet?

Edited by gg-man on 12/28/2010 05:50:18 MST.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
PCT Gear List on 12/28/2010 07:40:34 MST Print View

I don't think you need to completely change your clothing system when you get to the Sierras. My basic clothing system for the entire trail (when hiking) was: l/s nylon button-down shirt, nylon zip-off pants, Houdini windshirt, and then my rain jacket over that if it got really cold or rainy. I had a Montbell Thermawrap that I used in camp and slept in on colder nights. For the Sierras, I added a Driclime Windshirt and a l/s poly t-shirt that I slept in. We had a super cold/wet June in the Sierras, and I never felt like I needed more clothing.

From Tahoe to Ashland, it's going to get hot again. You can get rid of most of that cold-weather gear.

Sleeping pad?

Why 2 stoves? I used my SuperCat the entire way. You can get alcohol in almost every town.

Bring a reflector to put under your stove.

2 lights seems like overkill. I'd take one plus a little photon if you want a backup.

An 8-oz case for your i-pod seems excessive. Two ziplock bags will work just as well. Stick in some bubble wrap if you're worried about cushioning.

Don't bother with the bear spray. The bears aren't interested in eating you--just your food.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 12/28/2010 07:41:57 MST Print View

Fleece is too heavy, except for small items like hat. Probably don't need more than base layer, insulated layer, wind/rain jacket.

I've read that you need more water bottles on first part of trek, like several gallons.

I hate BIC mini lighters. When my hands get cold and if it gets wet it's too hard to operate. Better to get disposable with electronic ignition.

Good luck

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Agree with Jerry on 12/28/2010 11:47:53 MST Print View

You will need to carry a 1.5-2 gallons depending on how far you hike in the south but there is only really one section where it is needed. Get a couple collapsible carriers and send them home once they are no longer needed.

For me.... looking at that list I'd eliminate half of it. You don't need back-ups for every little contingency. You have done a good job of picking out light weight choices but you have too many of them. I'd go through and eliminate anything that you don't absolutely need. My guidelines would be Clothing <2.5lbs Shelter: <2lbs Sleeping System < 3lbs. As long as I kept it in that range pick your poison.

First snow will be Jacinto but it is a short stretch. By then... you should know pretty well what to send home and what to keep.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
seattle sombrero hat on 12/28/2010 13:51:51 MST Print View

I hiked with a fellow who wore the Seattle Sombrero Hat for the whole PCT and seemed to like it, but I would have hated it --- too warm IMO. Hats, however, like many other gear items are a personal taste so maybe you would be fine with it.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Baseball cap on 12/28/2010 14:17:42 MST Print View

I use a baseball cap but I don't remember what I took for Southern California. I may have went without because I had hair then. Cheap watch from Wally World and cheap sunglasses from the same is what I had. I don't like wearing the cap on uphill sections because I overheat.

I don't see a sleeping pad in there. Is that part of the Tyvek ground sheet? Tarp + bivy is a personal choice but you probably won't need much rain protection in California. It didn't rain on me once. There are a ton of rattlesnakes. It gives you a good adrenalin rush the first several times you hear them but you get used to them quick.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Re: PCT 2011 Gear List: Feedback VERY Welcomed! on 12/28/2010 14:24:47 MST Print View

Thanks for all the feedback so far guys.
I'll respond with my thoughts as much as I can.

@ Greg:
Bear spray might be unnecessary. Although, I looked at my can & it's less than what I listed, under 2 oz. Still, I'll definitely consider leaving it home.

Im actually using the iPod "Touch," which has a very substandard still camera feature. The iPhone has a 5mp,! Bad. But it's main feature is the hi-def video & video editing capabilities.

I agree: there has to be a lighter option to protect it, I'll be looking into it. Also, I really need to rotect it, it's clumsier than the iPhone & very expensive. By far the one piece I need to baby.

Bear can:
I like what you did there ("can the Garcia". Nice! :) )
I would love to, but it's all I have. I'd swap it for a lighter alternative in a heartbeat.

The Petzl eLight is great! But for night hiking, which I'll do some of, it's weak just to the point of being unsafe/slowing you down to be safe that I'd rather just pack in for the night than night hike with it. The Eos is there for night hiking/backup.

Poor weather, can't take the Touch out. No altimeter or GPS on the new Touches either. :(

Windproof fleece/R.5:
definitely leaning your way on this for sure. Thanks for that.

Smartwool balaclava is pretty thin, some days I'll want something thicker & more wind resistant (and not covering my face).

I'm eyeballing late April for my start date. Seems like a La Nina year, meaning more snow/longer Winter. I'm about 90 minutes west of Tahoe, & so far it looks accurate.

Thanks for the feedback Greg, good stuff.

Edited by Pittsburgh on 12/28/2010 14:31:59 MST.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
@ Jerry on 12/28/2010 14:39:19 MST Print View

Another vote for fewer layers! :). Thanks for that.

Will be bringing good H2O storage for sure.

I like the Bic alot, but am also bringing matches as well.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
@ Scott on 12/28/2010 14:51:50 MST Print View

Thanks Scott. Appreciate your thoughts on the clothing options.

Re: Tahoe ---> Ashland, bouncing some cold weather items ahead, if not needed.

Reflector: thanks for reminding me. The aluminum foil windscreen will be multiple-layers, one will fold under for that purpose.

"Touch"Case: really like this idea! I don't care what Santa says, you're brilliant :)

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
@ Brian on 12/28/2010 14:58:41 MST Print View

I agree, the "Sombrero" is not uber-breathable. I'd die in the desert. I'll be using a visor w/ a bandana or other piece of cloth under it for sun protection. I have a lack of follicular growth on the top of my head ( guess you could say bald/shaved, but follicular is a fun word!) so I need protection on my white Irish/Scottish noggin. :)

Sombrero will be nice come the Sierras/N. OR/Wash, though.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
@ Kevin on 12/28/2010 15:06:48 MST Print View

Edited for sleeping pad :). Oops! I knew I'd forget something. ( oh, wait, I also left out my 12 gauge for bear & rabid marmot protection!!). Haha

Going to need decent shades because I'll be getting prescription lenses put in. Figure I'd want to see what I'm walking through!

Would like to have altimeter, but I'm ok w/out it. Definitely need a watch to see how far I've walks though, especially in the first 2-3 weeks. It'll be invaluable to help find my pace. Plus, you can use the watch hands if you ever get lost! :)

Tarp will be farther north, and Rattlers... I grew up in So Cal, those little guys are cute. I make sure to give them space though. Not as scary as a black cobra though. Was inches from one in India a couple years ago, hood up and everything. That nearly emptied my innards!

Edited by Pittsburgh on 12/28/2010 15:12:28 MST.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Thanks Dug on 12/30/2010 09:22:41 MST Print View

Thanks for sharing your list. I'm planning a PCT 2011 trip, but starting in Ashland, Oregon and heading north. I don't have time for a complete trip. Maybe head south from Ashland in 2012, but I'm really thinking of hiking the 500 mile Camino De Santiago in northern Spain that summer. I really appreciate seeing others gear list to compare and prepare my own.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Thanks John on 12/31/2010 16:11:50 MST Print View

Thanks John. This list has been a work in progress & still has a little ways to go.

Anything in Spain sounds fun. sounds like an adventure! Have you read Francis Tapon's review of his trek of the Camino de Santiago? I'm pretty sure I read it on his website. Good luck on this years hike, Oregon and Washington will be beautiful to hike through. When are you thinking about starting?


ryan Ashby
(steveclimber) - F

Locale: So Cal
oh man on 01/03/2011 23:26:22 MST Print View

yo I just gotta to say FREAK OUT!!! YOU NEED MORE DEET!!! dude, if you are willing to wear it then plan on having the whole bottle of maxdeet, I carried 2-3 sometimes in 2010. just in the seirras and north cali, after ad before that you are fine. Thrus get the worst of it as you will go through sections of the sierras (watch out for Dorothy Lake Horse Camp) during hatching season, it sucks. I have literally run 2 miles straight thru swams. DEET is god.

ryan Ashby
(steveclimber) - F

Locale: So Cal
legitimate response on 01/03/2011 23:57:14 MST Print View

yo so on your gear list, nice work, well though out. your clothes look well picked and light as pieces, but heavy as a group. I rocked a t shirt, the nano (nice choice), and a shemagh( like a big cotton scarf), and a beanie. rain pants for warmth on the bottom over shorts. thats it. I am NOT saying copy this, just saying that i thought i was going to need more layers and I didn't, the reality is you will spend "time in camp" but it will most likely not be as much time as you think. plus think of your JRB as a jacket (these are cool dude, nice choice), but most importantly as addition warmth, lightening the load on your clothes weight. given your sweet list of gear here is what I would pick for you (this is fun...)

-your waterproof bottoms for extra warmth.
-cap 2 shirt
-balaclava(you can make a beanie out of this if you want ((double-duty)
-your nano.
- (if you don't think this is enough bring the Houdini)
-socks (at least 3 pair in my mind)

your done!! anything else should be labeled in ziplocks and make a list with your base camp person so when you request something they send the right thing.

your good
your good.
ditch the coffee filters and bandana (not in a war zone, jk..water is delicious and the aquamira will kill the bad stuff. i was fine with aquamira only.

Light: just bring the elite. that is plenty.
recording: iphone and some back up battery type, plus headphones. my camera broke on a self arrest on fuller ridge (early on) and a I did the rest of the PCT with my iphone and took amazing photos. great way to cut weight cause you can do videos and photos straight to youtube and facebook (basically backing up your data ever time you push it).
everything else is fine, except as far as navigation:

I had everything: a fancy watch, an expensive altimeter, etc. etc.... I know about the Vector and the Expedition etc etc. they are cool but your don't need em. just a SUUNTO CLIPPER COMPASS ( a little guy that clips to your wrist watch (just need a time and alarm on that)) and you are good. The PCT is pretty easy, and in the challenging parts you will be will people.

CHeers dude, hope that helped, you are gonna love this hike.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Another set of opinions on 01/04/2011 00:08:40 MST Print View

Agree on the bear won't need it unless you decide to do the CDT.

The e-Lite is good for many things, but night hiking is not one of them. It works but it will slow you down when compared to a more suitable light. I personally liked using the e-Lite for camp, and a more substantial headlight for hiking, but it does come with a weight penalty. However, I did night hike more than I would have liked to in order to make post offices (where food drops were).

Carry a lot of sunscreen initially and through the Sierras especially. You can't wear too much and even with massive sunblock, I developed a deep tan. You don't want to suffer a sunburn. I am a pasty white northerner, however, so your mileage may vary.

Like sunscreen, do not skimp on the DEET. You don't want to run out in certain sections (think Sierra). The number of mosquitoes you may encounter is function of many factors, including the snow pack level, spring melt, temperature, and how fast you hike. But in the parts where mosquitoes are heavy, they can be very, very assertive. I was a slowish hiker and after reaching Oregon, DEET was rarely necessary. Others have experienced harsh Oregon mosquito conditions.

I guess I would rather have a camera seperate from my phone....The pictures from a phone camera are underwhelming compared to a good compact, especially if you print. But I will concede that the iPhone can take some very nice pictures under the right conditions.

The Garcia is not a great choice compared to its main competitors. It hold less and weights two cents.

Have fun! You will do great!


Edited by dirk9827 on 01/04/2011 00:55:35 MST.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
:) on 01/11/2011 00:38:54 MST Print View

Thank you guys for your insight, I appreciate it very much...

Anyone else?

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: :) on 01/11/2011 09:00:06 MST Print View

Looks pretty solid. For clothes, simplifying would help. you could remove some hats. 1 shade hat, 1 light beanie or balaclava, and 1 for sleeping. For tops, I would go with only 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve base layer, 1 insulating, and 1 rain. It should cover all possible scenarios. For bottoms- shorts (not zip offs), thermals, wind pants, kilt. The wind pants would stand in for zip offs whenever the legs would be used. For socks, light hiking socks are best almost all the time. I usually go with 2 pairs crew socks + 1 pair of sleep socks that can also be used in a pinch if you need them when hiking (i.e. not fleece socks). This happened a few times to me on the AT, but i suspect it would be less of an issue on the PCT.
Cooking- jim woods super cat stove it great. no stakes or pot stands required, great performance. made with a hole punch and a little can. light as can be.
I have a decent excel sheet made up for gear lists. i can email it to you if you would like.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Thanks on 01/11/2011 09:39:07 MST Print View

Thanks, David, I'd love your gear list spread sheet my email is: dugisdug at yahoo

I won't have all the hats at the same time.
-- Beanie throughout;
-- sleeping balaclave from mile 600 on (approx);
-- visor through the desert, then dropped;
-- wide brimmed hat the rest of the way.

I won't be carrying an iPhone (which carries a solid 5 megapixel camera)...I'll have the iPod Touch. It looks like an iPhone, but a little slimmer. It takes hi definition video, and to do that they took out the better still camera and replaced it with a very seriously deficient one, and removed the GPS capabilities. I've known people who took serious DSLR camera kits complete with tripods, so adding a smaller point and shoot will be worth it for me. I'm a photographer, it's how I make my money, so I have to bring it. :)