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SOBO PCT '12, first time trying to go UL.
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Jared Hopkins
SOBO PCT '12, first time trying to go UL. on 04/29/2012 10:49:43 MDT Print View

Hello everyone!

Finally got a membership after weeks of lurking the forums. What a great resource.

So anyway, my girlfriend and I are planning a thru hike beginning sometime in the first week of July. We've never hiked out west, and we've never really tried going lightweight. Ideally, we'd both like to be closer to the ultralight range than not, but right now I'm somewhere in the 15lb range.

I do know the knife is too heavy. I have also probably forgotten some stuff -- such as camera, phone, and GPS unit. We're also planning on taking the Halfmile maps (which we've printed), but we're not sure yet on how many to take at a time/ideal locations to bounce the others forward/weight of maps. I also understand it might be a tough SOBO year, but we're sure as hell trying!

Any ideas?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: SOBO PCT '12, first time trying to go UL. on 04/29/2012 12:14:22 MDT Print View

It looks pretty good. I wouldn't change much except maybe get rid of a base layer, but I'd want to see what it's like with it on the trail first. One mistake is how you listed your trekking poles. I doubt you'll be paoking you ice axe and your trekking poles at the same time.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Good list, incomplete on 04/29/2012 13:32:09 MDT Print View

I think it makes perfect sense to carry both trekking pole and ice axe if you're starting SOBO. FWIW, last year I liked carrying a black diamond whippet as one of my two poles, and it saved my butt once in self-arrest-pole mode.

You can save a couple of ounces one your headlamp if you care to; there's a lot of light starting in June/July. Towards the end of the trip, though, you might want it again to have a more credible night hiking light.

4.5 oz does seem heavy for a knife to me; I carry an 0.8 oz knife and am happy with that.

Starting in the snow you might be happier with mittens rather than gloves (though liner gloves + mittens.

Dri-ducks not a bad choice for the PCT, combined with windshirt. Does the windshirt have a hood? You might want something covering your ears when the balaclava is too warm to wear.

About a 13 pound base weight would look good, quite good I think for a snowy start --- if it was a truly complete list. I suggest that you review other lists to include absolutely everything and repost.

How many maps to take vs. bounce ahead: I suggest you just buy yogi's guide to figure this sort of thing out.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: SOBO PCT '12, first time trying to go UL. on 04/29/2012 13:47:59 MDT Print View

Not a southbound trip like yours but if you haven't read this 4 part series you should

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Good list, incomplete on 04/29/2012 14:04:47 MDT Print View

Brian, perhaps you misunderstood. I was saying that both the ice axe and trekking poles shouldn't be listed as packed weight because one of them will always be unpacked and in hand.

Jared Hopkins
re: SOBO PCT '12 on 04/30/2012 12:43:30 MDT Print View

Thanks for the feedback everyone, and for the link Anna. Stunning photos.

Now that I've mysteriously become so obsessed with numbers, I appreciate the observation that I can deduct the poles or ax from my pack weight.

Regarding the wind shirt, yes, it does have a hood. It has not arrived yet, but has favorable reviews. I also have one of those multi-style bandanas -- another item I forgot to list -- that could perhaps be used to cover the ears.

Any thoughts on my layering for the potential temperatures on a SOBO hike? It is somewhat hard for me to set temperature expectations. I am thinking that I have enough, and if not I can just get under the quilt.

I am also facing the reality that my intended camera (Canon PS S100) with extra batteries, and some sort of waterproof DIY case is going to be heavy. Plus fire starting materials, and the other various stuff I am forgetting. I will finalize and repost my list soon.

I have purchased Yogi's book also. Thanks for the suggestion.


Edited by ic32987 on 04/30/2012 12:44:05 MDT.

Tommy Franzen
(Tomlike) - F

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
snow levels on 04/30/2012 13:13:21 MDT Print View

I am assuming you are tuned in to the snow levels in WA right now. As of two weeks ago, Mt. Baker was holding 137% of normal snow pack (230"). Early July is often too early to get into the high country of WA or OR without encountering extensive snow cover and buried trails.

Edward Jursek
( - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
SOBO PCT on 04/30/2012 14:07:39 MDT Print View

I second Tommy's observation about the snow pack. It is not as bad as last year, but I have seen the same 137% stat used by the WA DOT when evaluating the snow pack near Rainy and Washington Passes along Hwy 20. May is forecast to be only a bit warmer than normal. While summer is forecast as being drier and warmer then normal I would expect a lot of snow in the North Cascades in early to mid July. I have bumped both of my planned Cascade hikes about 2-3 weeks later then planned after researching the snow pack and summer weather forecast. Hopefully June is warm and sunny this year.

Edited by on 04/30/2012 14:09:31 MDT.