It may be 11 months away, but I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to hike the PCT (northbound) starting next april/may/whenever the conditions permit. I've been backpacking and climbing for about 5-6 years around the North Cascades, and I have gear fairly "dialed in" on that account. A couple of of things have changed, however, the foremost being I am done with school and have somewhat of a disposable income now. Thus, I'm looking to make a few purchases to lighten up the load and add some comfort/convenience/what have you to the trip. Assuming a "normal" snow year with "normal" PCT conditions for the solo traveler, I'm looking for counseling or comments on my list.
Pack- 32oz - ULA circuit. I received one as a gift a few years ago and love the heck out of it. Can't imagine wanting to change it.
Shelter- My current solo shelter is a MYOG Shires tarptent. While adequate, I'm looking to buy something fully enclosed, easier to pitch, and I just like the idea of buying a new tent :P I'm really pretty sold on the Tarptent Notch. 4 stakes, 26oz, modular, small footprint, nice and airy. I am 6'5", and hoping I will fit in it. Contacted Henry and he said it shouldn't be a problem. I suppose I won't know until I order one and try it out.
Sleeping- I am currently using a MYOG synthetic quilt that weighs 2 lbs and is good to about 30 degrees with layers. I feel like it is feasible to drop a half pound here I'm looking into a Western Mountaineering Megalite, for a few reasons. In a long size (25oz), it is comparable to quilt/down hood combinations in this range, and I feel like the thermal efficiency of the mummy shape means I might get a few more degrees out of it. If it is warm out I can wear it like a quilt (full zip), and it is roomy enough to wear with layers. The summerlite is tempting to drop a few more oz, but I would have to see how restrictive it is. Any thoughts? The EMS offerings with DriDown were attractive, as well as Feathered Friends and the Marmot Plasma 30 with that nice full draft collar... I plan on using my faithful old 3/4 Ridgerest (8oz) with whatever I end up bringing. I generally sleep fairly warm
Potential Big 3 (ULA, WM, Notch, RR)- 91oz
Clothing Worn- I haven't weighed my worn stuff. It never changes, so I don't much see the point.
REI Sahara convertible pants
Obnoxious neon yellow Columbia nylon button up long sleeve shirt (planning on treating both this and pants with permethrin?)
REI sun runner hat- 1.6oz, nice to have in sun or rain
Cotton Bandana- couple small patches of velcro sewn in for wearing with hat
REI powerdry boxers
Smartwool ultralight running PHD or whatever they are called- these sure aren't durable, but the most comfortable I have found.
Shoes- I'm currently dealing with a weird set of foot problems, and no shoes are comfortable right now. I'm hoping after a trip to the podiatrist and some PT/surgery/yoga/magic/whatever they suggest, I can comfortably return to my Brooks Cascadias, but if I had to leave right now I would probably bring Moon Shoes. Or roller skates.
Dirty Girl Gaiters- My wife picked me out giraffe prints. I have a long neck.
Will be using BD trekking poles. Never weighed em. They have survived 4 years of climbing, bushwacking, drunken fencing matches, fending off angry beavers, and general tomfoolery.
Insulation- I've had a hell of a time finding a lightweight puffy that fits my gangly frame. I currently have a Costco down jacket that weighs 13oz and is fairly warm, but has a pretty baggy fit. I'm currently looking at the LL Bean Packaway Pullover in a Tall size, or their Ultralight DriDown jacket. I like the idea of having some water resistance in my insulation. Any other tall-guy insulations pieces I should look at?
Beanie- MH windproof fleece that I picked up at a sample sale- 1.1oz
Neck Warmer- Shameless uber-soft luxury item. Turtlefur. 2oz.
Dollar store poly liner gloves- .9oz
Sunglasses- Native Eyewear Bolt. 1.6oz. The pair I have might not make it to next April, but I would buy the same pair again
Shell- Driducks- 6oz. May pair with trashbag skirt in Washington if its really nasty. I'm considering a poncho, like the 7oz Golite, just because of versatility and the fact it keeps your pack dry as well.
Socks- one extra pair Smartwool ultralights - 0.6oz - I don't use sleep socks, am blessed with warm feet.
Wind shirt- MYOG thru-hiker.com shell, 2.8oz. Might add a hood.
I don't usually carry any long underwear or anything for my legs. Anyone do the same and wish they hadn't?
Clothing-Carried: As it stands now, 28oz
Cooking- I enjoy the no-cooking aspect of backpacking. Dishes are something I do at home.
Food Bag- 0.9oz Sil stuff sack
Bamboo spoon- 0.8oz
Bear line- 0.7oz zpacks line 50ft
Trash Bag- 3gal hefty zip .8
Poweraid bottle x2- 2.2oz, a couple more in the desert
Food stuff- 5.5oz
I'm planning on carrying a BV500 through the sierra where required - 41oz. I'm assuming the 450 is too small. Haven't bought it yet. Can't see myself splurging for the only lighter alternative, Bearikade.
The only thing I have planned so far is to use Guthooks PCT app for Iphone. I nabbed the WA section on a whim and I really like it. Plus I figure the phone can be my camera/link to home/journal/whatever.
Iphone- I just realized I have never weighed it. Although my soul would tell you, it feels very heavy.
Paper maps...? Halfmile? Profile Map? Pocket PCT? I ordered the data book (I will have to learn how to read first...) do people usually take it with them?
Battery brick- from a recent thread here, I'm looking at the RavPower 5600 at 4.2oz
Thinking about nabbing a LifeProof case for the iphone. Pricey.
Don't know about the compass. Old silva ranger. 2oz. If something happened and I didn't have it, I would never hear the end of it from my SAR buddies. I could always tell them a raccoon stole it.
Headlamp- I like my Petzl E+Lite. 0.9oz. I haven't done a ton of night hiking, but I usually take my Mammut (I think it's a TR-1?) climbing. That's 3.9oz with batteries. Anyone use the S-lite? seems like a nice compromise.
Headnet- Myog 0.7oz
Minibic x2 with weber fire cube- 1.4oz
Sawyer squeeze filter with Platy+ handle bottle- 4.1oz
First aid- athletic tape, bodyglide, ibu, beni- 2.2oz
Sun screen- Won't really need it except on the snow. 0.5oz
SAK classic- 0.6oz
Purell- repackaged 0.5oz
TP- varies. call it 1oz.
towel- 0.5oz. Nosewiper.
Toothbrush- considering the zpacks 0.9oz
Misc- 13.3 oz
This puts my baseweight at 8.5lbs before factoring in iphone/navigation stuff and excluding the time with the bear can. What am I missing? I'm a guy that tends to underpack, and wind up wishing I had brought that one other thing. Any thoughts on the gear list as well as new purchases would be much appreciated. Now I just have to justify the cost to myself, which should be easy because I'm kind of a pushover.