Forum Index » Gear Lists » PCT 2011 First Gear List Ever


Display Avatars Sort By:
Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
PCT 2011 First Gear List on 04/16/2011 21:44:14 MDT Print View

Hello Everyone,
I am leaving for the PCT on May 15th ( 4 weeks)and I still have a lot of shopping to do. I could really use some help on recommending gear as it is getting closer than comfort and I need to get this gear ready for my trip. I am extremely new to backpacking and would love to hear from you all. As you can see there is still a lot of gear that I need.
So far I think thats 5 pounds of gear listed and I am not looking to be a SUL backpacker. I would like to stay under 10 pounds if I can. As far as backpacks are concerned I have been looking at the ULA Ohm, and also a pack called the HMG Windrider ( I am worried about a bear can for both these packs). I could really use some help on this and any other recommendations. I am planning to buy a 2L platypus and I have two Nalgene bottles, but they are pretty heavy and i am not sure what to do there. The big areas of need are in clothing and in a medical kit. If anyone has a medical kit built for something like a PCT I would be interested in hearing what I need. Of course I will be buying a toothbrush/ deodorant, etc. at a local walmart as these items I don't need to have shipped,etc.

I look forward to your help in planning/ Thanks for the help.
Here is my gear list------

Packing-
None ( I was told to buy this last)

Shelter-
Zpacks Hexamid + Beak / Cuben Stuff Sack 9.1 oz
Vargo 6" Ti Sheperd Hook X 10 2 oz
Zpacks Cuben Ground Sheet 3.6 oz
Zpacks Cuben Stake Sack .07 oz

Sleeping-
Jdempsey Variable Quilt 18 oz
Large NeoAir 19 oz

Cooking-
Evernew 1.3L Ti Pot 4.6 oz
Caldera Ti-Tri Sidewinder 1.3 oz
Zpacks Large Blast Food Bag .85 oz

Hydration-
Aqua Mira 3 oz

Misc-
Zebralight H51 3 oz
Photon Micro II .2 oz
Mini-D Carabiner X4 .4 oz
Sunnto A-10 Compass .95 oz
Coldsteel Mini Hunter Knife 2.4 oz
Cannon S95 6.8 oz
Extra Camera Battery .6 ox

Cloths-
Darn Touch 1/4 Cushion Socks X2 5.2
Patagonia Houdini 3 oz
Inov-8 Roclite 315 11.11 oz
Tigoat AGP 7 oz

Edited by Jdthomas on 04/17/2011 12:49:32 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
PCT 2011 First Gear List Ever on 04/16/2011 22:07:52 MDT Print View

I haven't done the PCT so take my suggestions with a grain of salt; I'm sure others will chime in that have more (any!) long-trail experience.

The list looks fine, really good in fact. And costly. I'm guessing that I would feel a lot of anxiety about all the finishing touches that need taking care of before leaving on such a long trip, but you already have a lot of your gear dialed in.

I think the first aid kit will be not very difficult to take care of and won't need to be any different than for a 1-3 day trip, with maybe a few pieces added b/c of terrain, weather, etc.

The 1.3L pot seems large for 1 person, but if it already fits with the caldera, then keep it. You won't lose a lot of weight going to a smaller pot, but might get an easier fit in the pack.

I would think adding another 2L Platy PLUS 2 H2O bottles (like smartwater, dasani, etc) would be a little lighter and more flexible than the nalgenes. You can always mail back the extra platypus when you reach Kennedy Meadows.

Finally, the pack. I don't have any experience with either, but I'm not sure that you will need a cuben pack. The Ohm is approximately the same weight for less money.

GOOD LUCK!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List on 04/16/2011 22:41:39 MDT Print View

Looks good so far. There are some excellent pieces of gear in there.

Does your Hexamid have the netting? If not, you may want to get a bivy or a headnet. I prefer a bivy for windy nights. That area is experiencing the windiest year on record... Have you tested out your stakes? My BPL stakes have a terrible tendency to spin around and let go of the guyline. That problem was the main reason I bought Mountainfitter's stakes.

Changes:

You shouldn't need the cuben ground sheet for a while. I'd save it until you start getting lots of rain. For now use a polycro sheet from Gossamer Gear or the hardware store. It also packs a heck of a lot smaller. Or maybe get the Zpack rain skirt and use that as part of your groundsheet.

Dump the Nalgene bottles and maybe even the Platypus bottle. A pair of disposible 1.5 liter bottles would work very well, and they come with a free liter and half of drinking water. Some people prefer Gatorade bottles.

I wouldn't carry deodorant, although I smell like I should.

Lots of different ideas on first aid kit. Some of the things in mine are anti-diarrahea pills, flagyl for giardia, leukotape, anti-itch cream, tweezers and gauze. I have a sewing needle and thread in another kit, both of which can also be used for draining blisters. I also carry soap which is good for washing off poison oak, but that's part of my hygiene kit.

If you're not using an umbrella, get sun gloves or using sunscreen, at least until your hands acclimate. I'm sure you'll be using a hat...right?

If you can get a NB Fugu in your size, it will probably be the only warm clothing you need other than something for your head at night.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List on 04/16/2011 23:17:41 MDT Print View

Eugene mentioned some of the stuff that he carries for first aid. It seemed like fixes for most of the standard backpacker ailments... and that is a normal kit for many. Some people are traveling as a group, so they get different mixtures of first aid stuff. Then one person in the group carries the extra special serious stuff. That person is often the one who has the most first aid training.

Some hikers are so experienced and their feet are so tough that they hardly ever touch the normal kit, and they would laugh at the serious kit.

Some hikers are inexperienced at hiking up and down the rocky passes through the Southern Sierra, and then they get surprised and find a need for elastic Ace wraps for knees.

One backpacker I know carries about six aspirin per day for ordinary aches, and virtually nothing else in a first aid kit. I don't recommend that.

--B.G.--

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: PCT 2011 FIrst Gear List Ever on 04/17/2011 00:11:51 MDT Print View

Just a few thoughts -

You have a good start...skip the deodorant. It won't work very long and frankly, you will smell like grime no matter what you do. It's the way it is - I guarantee after 500 miles you won't notice the odor of other hikers, with the exception of the clean, shampoo-fresh smell of day hikers you meet along the trail.

Second, SoCal is tricky, but I would recommend based on my experience some insulated jacket. I think the Montbell line of jackets, they make some very light stuff in down or in synthetic (thermawrap). The tend to run small, so if you do decide on this route, go a size bigger. If you don't need it in SoCal (some years it can be chilly in the mountains, other years, warm), you will likely benefit from insulation in camp in the Sierras, Oregon and Washington. Just my two cents.

You will also likely want gloves for the Sierra or anywhere it gets cold. Nice to have to keep your hands warm. You don't need some huge pair, a small pair helps. Some people like sun gloves, at the very least, carry sunscreen through SoCal and the Sierras.

Agree on the bottles - the Nalgene collapsable bottles are good, but other than that, use Gatorade or cheap water bottles. THey are WAY lighter. Depending on the water situation in SoCal, you might have to carry up to 5 + Liters in a few stretches.

A wide-brimmed hat in SoCal to keep the sun off of you is nice. a warm fleece skull cap type of thing is nice in camp. You will want good (not necessarily expensive) sunglasses that fit well in the Sierra.

Do you have a lightweight sack to hold the food until you need your bear canister? A bear canister can be a tight fit in an Ohm - I know people do it. What is your resupply strategy in the Sierra?

Are you carrying any maps/guides?

Are you carrying trekking poles? Some people love them, others don't use them. It's a personal thing.

Medkit - I agree, the issue you are going to have is if you need serious medical treatment, odds are you aren't going to be carrying anything in your med kit for that. I carried some band-aids, plenty of Ibuprofen, a prescription-strength pain killing medication in the event I busted an ankle or something and had to walk out on my own, chapstick, tape for my feet (I taped my hot spots every morning prior to hitting the trail to prevent blisters), and I think tweezers (which came in handy when I accidentally brushed my hand against a cactus).

Have fun out there!

Dirk

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List on 04/17/2011 12:59:32 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies.

Eugene, the Hexamid comes with the netting and I added the addition Beak. Thanks for the advice on the deodorant. That will take some getting use to. I am not totally sure about the umbrella or even what type of hat to buy. I am using trekking poles; so the umbrella might not work out with them. As far as a first aid kit I am not sure what is needed at not needed. I do know that my feet are not toughened up yet for this trip. Is there a pre made kit that is popular to buy?

Dirk, what wide brimmed hat do you recommend? Also, I do have a lightweight food sack... I added it just not; I had forgot about the Food Bag that I have. It is now listed in my gear list. I will be carrying maps and I would imagine Yogi's guide to the towns and water sources,etc. I am also carrying trekking poles. The Tigoat AGP poles listed under the cloths section are my trekking poles and I also should mention I have a camera mount for the poles also.

It sounds like everyone is recommending just using gatorade bottles or water bottles. Are the Platypus not that important? Thanks for all your help so far. I was recommended to wear a EB First ascent down jacket. I am a broader shouldered guy and not sure where to go with that. I also am planning on using my PAtagonia Houdini as a rain jacket until I hit oregon/washington. Is that a good idea? Thanks

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List on 04/17/2011 13:32:55 MDT Print View

The OR Sunrunner hat is a popular choice. An umbrella seems like a big hassle to carry, but taking off the hat and putting up the umbrella feels so refreshing. It's like the ambient temperature dropped by ten degrees.

Are you planning on carrying Asabat's PCT water report? You can print it out tiny so it fits on a single page of paper.

The problem with any water container is that it can get nasty inside and old. The disposable bottles weigh about the same or less, but can be replaced frequently and inexpensively. Also, the low cost means it isn't a big deal to throw one or two in the trash or buy a couple more when your water capacity needs change.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List Ever on 04/17/2011 13:49:59 MDT Print View

Joshua -

I would just find any wide brim hat that breathes fairly well and provide sun protection. Honestly, you will see a lot of hikers (including myself) with the goofiest wide brim hats - it's to protect from sun and that is more important than style. Find one with a string that will keep if from blowing off your head in the wind.

With the first aid kit, here is what I would take:

Ibuprofen tablets (or your favorite pain reliever - be careful to note possible side effects - some are hard on the kidneys)

I'd bring tape - Elastikon, Leukotape or just plain medical tape works. Everyone has a preference, search this site for "foot tape". Anyhow, tape to me is probably the most cirtical piece of gear I have outside a sleeping bag - I know it sounds weird but to prevent blister and to dampen hot spots, taping up my susceptible toes really helps. Foot pain can ruin a hike faster than almost anything. Tape is great because it also serves for emergency tent/ground cloth repair.

A variety of band aids, compress, that sort of thing.

An antibiotic for bee stings, infections. If you have any allergies to bee stings, for sure an epi-pen

Imodium pills if you are susceptible to intestinal issues - however, you need to be careful about using this when hiking and not let yourself get dehydrated.

Any drug store carries these things - you could find them online.

Your jacket should be fine - you don't have rain pants/kilt listed but I don't know if you would need anything like that until you reach Oregon anyhow. There have been years when people ran into late-season storms in SoCal, and years when it only began to rain late in the season in northern Oregon and Washington. At worst, you can always setup your tent and call it a day if you begin to wet out.

As far as a warmer jacket goes, totally find whatever you like and will keep you warm. The biggest decision might be whether you choose down or synthetic. (I like down, but you gotta keep it dry in camp when you will be wearing it.)

You are smart to go light - I wish I had gone lighter in retrospect. It will make you faster. A platypus bottle is great, they work. I carried the Nalgene version (it has a wider mouth that worked with my filter). But they both work. If I were starting May 15th, depending on the weather, I'd carry enough bottles to carry at least 5 Liters. You don't have to fill them all the time, but it is helpful in a few key stretches.

But they have had a good snow year again, so maybe carrying all that water won't be as necessary.

Your feet probably will suffer early on in the trip. It's hard to avoid that, but your feet will toughen up over time.

Finally, you can always correct things on the trail. There are a few stores in SoCal and heck, I will be glad to send you gear/supplies if you find yourself in need.

Dirk

Edited by dirk9827 on 04/17/2011 16:14:42 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List Ever on 04/17/2011 14:18:40 MDT Print View

This does not apply to the entire PCT, but the California mountains in general have 165% of a normal snowpack. That may cause some thru-hikers to adjust schedules and foot equipment.

--B.G.--

Brendan L
(mechB) - F

Locale: Washington DC
Just a couple things on 04/17/2011 16:29:46 MDT Print View

Josh, if you live in South East Michigan, you might check out the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail as a way of preparing for the PCT. It's the only long distance trail that I know of in SE Michigan at 36 miles. It's a nice trail and would help you break in your feet and get used to your gear, and has the advantage that it's close to home. It starts/ends in Ann Arbor and Jackson (you can do it either way). Here's a link: http://www.waterloopinckneytrail.org/

Everything you've bought so far looks awesome, I'm envious. As far as packs, I have been researching stuff for the PCT as well (planning on going SOBO...) and I think the ULA Ohm would definitely work with your gear. That's the pack I'm planning on buying and my stuff is even a bit bulkier than yours. The bear canister might be a little bit unpleasant but supposedly they fit. The HMG Wind Rider pack looks sweet and seems to be about the same size as the ULA Ohm, it would probably be unique out there. I'm going to buy the ULA Ohm soon, so if you wanted to drive up to Lansing and look at it once I get it that would be fine with me. You may want to get something soon though, so you can put some miles on your feet and knees before you head out there.

As far as clothes, one thing I've always liked is this North Face fleece pullover: http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-tka-100-microvelour-glacier-1-4-zip-top-mens

It wouldn't be warm enough for the entire trip, probably, but it would be for the desert portion and a good supplement beyond that. It's super comfy, cheap, warm (to me) and weighs 7.8oz. It's also easy to find in stores, especially if you have a Moosejaw or something nearby (they are all over SE MI).

Brendan L
(mechB) - F

Locale: Washington DC
Something helpful (maybe) on 04/18/2011 01:32:12 MDT Print View

Josh, I am procrastinating so I decided to put your current list in my Excel spreadsheet for the PCT and see what it looked like, and then added in a few random recommendations to see what your total base weight would be like. The green boxes indicate something you own already, and the orange are things you need.

I included some recommendations (based off of what I plan on bringing and what people have told me...haven't hiked it yet so take it with a grain of salt!) and some very rough target weights / prices.

If you want the files, post or PM me your email address and I'll send them to you. Here's what they look like right now.

joshlist1
joshlist2
joshlist3

Hope this helps a bit.

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
Re: Something helpful (maybe) on 04/18/2011 17:24:42 MDT Print View

Hey Brendan!
Thanks for transferring to excel for me! My email is joshua.thomas83@gmail.com ; That would be really helpful and thank you for taking the time. Also, thanks for the heads up on the Michigan trail. I have been looking for a good hike before I leave. I already have stakes for the tent listed up top. I am not sure if I need a down jacket or just to have that North Face fleece? Also, do you think I need the marmot Mica or can I get buy with just the Houdini? As far as water storage it sounds like people are recommending to just buy a bunch of water bottles from the store and to not even bother with the Platypus? I have been looking at buying the BPL possum socks and maybe the hat? Still not sure on base layer/ pants. Also, is the bear line necessary? I hear a lot of people just keep there food in their food bag and are fine and use the bear canister in bear country. As far as a stuff sack goes... I have been looking at the Thermarest Stuff Sack Pillow. Any one here use this, or is it a waste? Thanks for the trash compactor bag idea; that is cheap! I am basically not wanting to spend much more than $500 if I can. I spent way to much $$ already! hah. I have my 5k for the trip and about $500-$650 to play with. Thanks for all your advice!! If you want to join me for a backpacking trip before I leave I would love to have you join me and a couple of friends. I am going to look into Dr. Bronners Soap also.

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
Re: Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List Ever on 04/18/2011 17:44:48 MDT Print View

BTW thanks Dirk for being so kind to open up your gear closet to me. Not that I plan to need to, but it sure is a great community of people here that would be willing to do so! I already got blessed by the Bear canister rental program! It just blows me away how nice people are. I have a trail angel picking me up from the airport... taking me in... feeding me and dropping me and 3 others off at the trail head on the 16th!! People are just so kind and I am just impressed! So thanks!! I will just buy Five 1 Liter bottles when I get to San Diego... It makes the most sense to me. What do you recommend for base layer/ pants/ shorts? Any advice on hats? gloves? Are single leggings needed/ or micro fleece needed? I have never did anything like this so I am not quite sure how prepared I need to be in California?

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: Joshua, no worries. on 04/18/2011 22:09:11 MDT Print View

Joshua -

You have a good amount of money for the trip - you will be fine. Get the Ohm pack, I have it, it is good, especially with the updated hip belt..I'd order it now so you can fiddle with it before you leave.

Here

Things you will need:

Mosquito Headnet - they sell them everyone but I actually liked the one I bought from Mountain Laurel Designs. This gear was necessary through Yosemite.
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=37&products_id=66

Base Layer - well, it kind of depends. Initially, I ended up going the long sleeved route cause the sun was intense early. I switched out later in the trip to a lighter running shirt (like the sell at any running or chain sporting good store - just a synthetic.) Long sleeve shirt? I liked the railriders shirt.
http://www.railriders.com/men-eco-mesh-shirt-p-963.html?cPath=104_111

Long Pants or shorts? What's your preference? I think in the desert, I was thankful for the long pants experience because of all the thorny stuff around and because it meant a savings in sunscreen. Long pants are really dependent upon fit - as a stocky short guy, I liked Columbia Titanium pants, but there are a number of different kinds. If you get long pants that have zip off legs (just below the knee), you can have the best of both worlds.

There is a whole thread on pants here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=41270

Hats - Wide brim. Honestly, you have to go to a sporting goods store to find one that works for you. Hats are personal, some fit well. Several people who've had these like 'em because the back of the brim doesn't interfere with your pack.
http://www.sundayafternoons.com/store/adventure-hats.html

I hear recommendations on the Possumdown Beanie cap on backpackinglight.com Here is an another insulated hat great for sitting around camp.
http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Outdoor-Research-Peruvian-Hat_10096511____?cm_mmc=CSE-_-GoogleBase-_-na-_-Outdoor-Research-Peruvian-Hat&ad_id=GoogleBase

Gloves or mits - Depends on how cold your hands get - I wore mine only in camp on occasion until northern washington, when it got cold. You could get a very lightweight pair of glove liners, and then some mitts.
Here is a great discussion on what works for people out there:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=41219

Buying bottles in San Diego - sounds good. But might be easier to carry bigger bottles - like a couple couple of 32-ounce Gatorade bottles and a 2 liter platy for backup. Or three Gatorade bottles. It makes no difference. In the Sierra, you will only carry a liter of water at anytime, since water is plentiful.

Dirk

Edited by dirk9827 on 04/18/2011 22:09:41 MDT.

Joshua Thomas
(Jdthomas)

Locale: SE Michigan
Re: PCT 2011 First Gear List on 05/03/2011 18:09:55 MDT Print View

Hello again everyone,
I am leaving in about 10 days for the PCT and could use some last minute help if you would be willing. As you can see I added a few items to my list since the last time I posted. I have a few questions... First off, I don't have a mid layer and I was curious how important it will be? I would imagine a LS shirt of some kind could be nice and need some help on what to get. I have been told a fleece, another icebreaker LS shirt and also to get a R1 hooded shirt. What does everyone recommend ( Brand / shirt; no shirt ; Material? Second, Is the running shorts instead of a second paid of underwear a good idea or should I just buy another pair of underwear and leave the running shorts behind? Is 50 SPF Sunblock good enough? 100% Deet to strong? Also... Should I buy some tights for warmth/ sleeping in? I also need a recommendation on a hat and gloves for when it gets cold. How much Doctor B's soap do you carry? Thanks for all of your help so far. I am getting closer!! I appreciate the last minute help everyone! Thank you all!
-Joshua-

Packing-
ULA Ohm 23oz
Trash Compactor Bag

Shelter-
Zpacks Hexamid + Beak / Cuben Stuff Sack 11 oz
Vargo 6" Ti Sheperd Hook X 10 2 oz
Zpacks Cuben Ground Sheet 3.6 oz
Zpacks Cuben Stake Sack .07 oz

Sleeping-
Jdempsey Variable Quilt 18 oz
LT NeoAir Trekker 16oz

Cooking-
Evernew 1.3L Ti Pot 4.6 oz
Caldera Ti-Tri Sidewinder 3.3 oz
Zpacks Large Blast Food Bag .85 oz
Sea to Summit Alpha Spoon .3 oz

Hydration-
Aqua Mira 3 oz

Misc-
Zebralight H51 3 oz
Photon Micro II .2 oz
Mini-D Carabiner X4 .4 oz
Sunnto A-10 Compass .95 oz
Coldsteel Mini Hunter Knife 2.4 oz
Cannon S95 6.8 oz
Extra Camera Battery .6 ox
Adventurers Medical Kit 3 oz
Chap stick .5 oz
Ben's 100 Max Mosquito Spray 1.5 oz
5- SPF Sunblock 3 oz

Hygiene-
Colgate Tooth brush cut down .3 oz
Colgate toothpaste .9 oz
Dr. Bronners Soap 4 oz

Cloths- Packed
Darn Touch 1/4 Cushion Socks 2.5
Running shorts with insert 5.5 oz
Eddie Bauer Downlight sweater 13.5 oz
Patagonia Houdini 3.8 oz


Cloths - Worn
Icebreaker 150 T - 5 oz
Tigoat AGP Poles - 7 oz
Inov-8 Roclite 315 shoes 20 oz
Darn Touch 1/4 Cushion Socks 2.5 oz
Ex Officio Give-N-Go Underwear 2.5 oz