PCT 2014
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Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
PCT 2014 on 11/01/2013 08:50:37 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

Its looking like I am going to be attempting a thru this upcoming summer starting around May 15th (class ends somewhere around there). I am looking for some constructive criticism on my gear list.

NOTE:

I am NOBO

I am splitting some gear with my hiking partner: he is carrying a cook set for the both of us.

I plan on switching to a MLD Prophet for the sierra.

I will also have a 3L hoser system from Platy for the desert, and depending on how much I like it, keep it the whole way.


Gear list: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=8073


Thanks in advance!

Edited by clintlum91 on 11/01/2013 12:55:56 MDT.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Link didn't work for me...... on 11/01/2013 08:58:11 MDT Print View

I tried the link ...nothing.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Link didn't work for me...... on 11/01/2013 12:28:02 MDT Print View

Hmmm the link work for me. Did you try copy and pasting it into your address bar?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Link didn't work for me...... on 11/01/2013 12:53:14 MDT Print View

hyper link

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Nobody? on 11/06/2013 12:02:58 MST Print View

Has an thoughts? Any information would be helpful, especially from you guys who have already thru'd.

I am sure that there will be questions that I will have to answer because my partner and I are splitting some gear.

Thanks!

And E
(LunchANDYnner)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
things to consider on 11/06/2013 12:33:28 MST Print View

Didn't see your list, but you may want to consider the splitting gear thing.

You'll need to consider each of your hiking speeds, need for stops/frequency of needing cooked meals/snacks, how many miles/day either of you will be able to do on a repeated basis, etc. Also, what will happen if one of you decides to end the attempt early. Will you be able to carry the rest of the gear you'll need, etc.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Looking good on 11/06/2013 18:55:04 MST Print View

Patagonia Houdini, pants or jacket?

It's a personal choice, but I don't like hiking all day in blazing sun in shorts. I saw lots of people with roasted legs in southern CA. I think loose long pants are cooler under such conditions and help prevent potentially dangerous sunburn.

Do you only have one pair of walking socks? You'll want two, or three pair.

What do you have protecting your head and neck from sun? Just a ball cap? I'd want at least a bandana for a Foreign Legion style neck shade if using a ball cap, or get a sun hat. Bring some sunscreen also. The sun ruins the day of many desert hikers!

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Looking good on 11/06/2013 19:35:01 MST Print View

"Patagonia Houdini, pants or jacket?

It's a personal choice, but I don't like hiking all day in blazing sun in shorts. I saw lots of people with roasted legs in southern CA. I think loose long pants are cooler under such conditions and help prevent potentially dangerous sunburn.

Do you only have one pair of walking socks? You'll want two, or three pair.

What do you have protecting your head and neck from sun? Just a ball cap? I'd want at least a bandana for a Foreign Legion style neck shade if using a ball cap, or get a sun hat. Bring some sunscreen also. The sun ruins the day of many desert hikers!"

Agree with all points.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Looking good on 11/07/2013 16:29:38 MST Print View

The jacket. Sorry for the confusion.

I agree about the pants. I think that I will be hiking in convertible pants the more I consider it. I have roasted my calves before in shorts and it is not fun.

I usually only take one pair of walking socks and one pair of sleeping, but perhaps I will take an additional pair. I know Skurka recommends two or three I think....

I will have a buff, forgot to add that to the list, I wll be sure to include it for my neck.

Edited by clintlum91 on 11/07/2013 16:31:22 MST.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: PCT 2014 list on 11/08/2013 08:13:19 MST Print View

Here's what I would change if it were my list.

add:
topo maps
compass
fire lighting device and backup and small amount of tinder
whistle
headlamp suitable for night hiking
sunscreen
maybe a few better stakes for the windward side, unless you can use sticks, or rocks as anchors

delete:
ear plugs
tp
towel

Edited by AndyF on 11/08/2013 08:14:18 MST.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Re: PCT 2014 list on 11/09/2013 11:47:31 MST Print View

Thanks for the thoughts,

-I have a whistle (just forgot to have it on the list)
-are topo maps necessary before the Sierra?
-have compass (again just orgot to put it on list)
-will ass fire starter
-plan on getting Zebralight headlamp

-also I have changed my mind and I think that I will be hiking in pants and long sleeve shirt for sun protection

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: Re: Re: PCT 2014 list on 11/09/2013 15:31:11 MST Print View

I'd carry some kind of maps the whole length of the PCT: USGS Topo or guidebook maps or Halfmile's maps; and/or a mapping GPS. In 2010 and '11 with the trail buried under crazy amounts of snow for hundreds of miles a mapping GPS was a nice thing to have. In a typical year I probably wouldn't carry one on the PCT but I definitely always carry a compass in the backcountry.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: PCT 2014 on 11/11/2013 13:01:36 MST Print View

Wind shirt and rain jacket? You only need one and I'd recommend just the windshirt. Get a reflective umbrella for sun and rain protection. And personally I'd get rid of the down jacket, you're starting late enough. I like the comments to add pants -- light windpants work well for me -- although I did hike all day in shorts without a problem but I did use sunscreen until my tan set in.

Sleeping underwear? Sounds like pajamas, get rid of them.

You'll want a minimum of 3L of water capacity in the desert. I'd often carry 5 and only ever really need 3 or 4 for hot dry stretches -- take with a grain of salt I move quickly and sweat very little so adjust for your needs accordingly.

You don't need a SPOT -- don't hurt yourself, common sense >> gadgets. And on that vein my first aid kit is gear repair items that I feel comfortable repairing myself with when needed: duct tape, needle thread, safety pins, and super glue. I agree with your sentiment, anything that requires more is probably a hike ender anyway. I am assuming the Nook is your journal/device other wise I'd say drop if for a smart phone that will do everything -- like voice recording for journaling which I am really excited to try myself this year. Bandana = towel (and neck shade as mentioned above). Learn to not use toilet paper -- the true divider between actual LNT and wilderness gapers.

You don't need a pack liner. Wet shit takes all of 10 minutes in the sun to dry. Dry bag? Get rid of your inner and just use a head net.

And my last suggestion is hit the trail with EVERY thing you and your partner might need solo. Hiking relationships should be fluid and relaxed. If you want to take an extra day in a town you should do it and if he wants to hike he should be able to do it too. Don't boat anchor yourself -- or set each other up for potential conflict/failure because the idea of 'solo' or 'alone' is foreign. Hiking alone is awesome and it makes you appreciate company when it's around.

Edit: Definitely keep your ear plugs. Mosquitos biting doesn't really bother me as much as the buzzing. Ear plugs let me at least pretend they aren't there. Ear plugs are also vital if you're hanging out with hikers at hostels/hotels/angels places that are still drinking and you might be trying to get some sleep. Or if you choose to camp next to a road to make a quick resupply run in the AM. Ear plugs are in every single box I send myself.

Edited by mzion on 11/11/2013 13:07:00 MST.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: PCT 2014: California on track for driest year on record on 11/11/2013 13:56:51 MST Print View

This information should be relevant for both water strategies & gear choices:

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/11/11/california-dry-record

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: PCT 2014: California on track for driest year on record on 11/11/2013 14:03:13 MST Print View

It's WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY.... TOO EARLY to be making plans based on what rain totals we've had or not had at this time of year.

It can change from drought predictions to wettest year on record in a matter of weeks.

By far, most of California's precip comes in February and March. If we get to March and it's still dry, then you can start making plans for a dry spring/summer.

It's actually quite common to be dry until late Januray, then pour like crazy in February and March.

Bill D

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: PCT 2014: California on track for driest year on record on 11/11/2013 14:23:24 MST Print View

Bill,

I imagine that the folks at the National Weather Center are also aware of the pattern(s) of California precipitation. I only posted it because I coincidentally heard this on NPR today; that's all.

I'd like to think I personally wouldn't panic and take 50 extra platypus bladders based on this article but a little scientifically-based information shouldn't hurt for those hiking the PCT this next year.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: PCT 2014: California on track for driest year on record on 11/11/2013 14:56:25 MST Print View

Yea, I think what you've got is scientific information that is based on a VERY limited sample that is too limited and for a time of year that is not able to predict the future of the spring precipitation and NPR, like other media, dramatizing it out of proportion to any kind of reality.

Best to relax and just see how it goes...

b

Andrew Zajac
(AZajac)

Locale: South West
mosquito headnet is a must on 11/11/2013 15:39:31 MST Print View

I would highly recommend a headnet for mosquitoes, some DEET around the sierras, and a woven nylon shirt (rail riders ecomesh looked good and is well reviewed although I have not tried it myself). They are comfortable in the heat and keep the bugs off pretty well too. Some sort of synthetic insulation might be better suited for WA and maybe some wpb mitts, but that depends on when you get there. Looks like a good list otherwise. Have fun!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
PCT 2014 on 11/11/2013 18:19:26 MST Print View

Bill D.,

I'm not advocating for any action from any hiker and even anyone who just lives in California. Also, your advice is sound to wait and see what conditions will be like in six months, when hikers start a northbound PCT hike. It's super easy to add or subtract gear as needed, even in the hours before a thru-hike was started. If I was going to hike, though, I would be putting together my gear list now and thinking about what those conditions might be.

What I don't understand is your rationale for doubting the science.

Here is the bio page for the interviewee, Bill Patzert.

https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Patzert/

The data that prompted this interview is apparently based on the National Weather Services' 164 years (!) of collecting information.

Those credentials seem enough to, at minimum, entertain that California might have fairly dry conditions next year.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Easier to keep it dry than to dry it on 11/12/2013 04:09:45 MST Print View

"You don't need a pack liner. Wet shit takes all of 10 minutes in the sun to dry."

I respectfully disagree. There might be lots of rain and little or no sun for days in Washington or even before. Most wet gear takes a lot longer than 10 minutes to dry. Plenty of people fall during creek crossings. Going light it's important to keep your sleeping gear dry. And water is heavy regardless.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Easier to keep it dry than to dry it on 11/12/2013 09:30:44 MST Print View

"You don't need a pack liner. Wet **** takes all of 10 minutes in the sun to dry."

I respectfully disagree.

+1

That advice may work elsewhere but it's no good for Washington (and probably much of Oregon as well). I personally use the Zpacks roll top dry bag as a pack liner. Weighs ~ 2oz and is well worth the peace of mind.

Edit weight correction

Edited by IDBLOOM on 11/12/2013 09:35:50 MST.

Scott Musack
(ScottM) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: Easier to keep it dry than to dry it on 11/12/2013 09:56:01 MST Print View

Agree with Buck, it's just plain smart to protect important gear (down bag, puffy jacket, etc) from getting wet. A trash bag liner in your pack is like 1.5oz (or less) and can double as a place to lay out gear in camp.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Re: PCT 2014 on 11/15/2013 10:14:09 MST Print View

Thanks for the comments Matthew,

--I am back and forth on the rain jacket. I thought about the umbrella but I still wonder about driving rain and how annoying it would be to hold it and walk for hundreds of miles, especially in the wind. I plan on adding hiking pants and doing away with the shorts.

--an extra pair of underwear is worth the few ounces for me.

--the SPOT is not for me as much my family and friends. I cant cut that because they like to know whats going on. And I will likely need the electronics because I will be working on my thesis for my Masters while I hike, this will include taking notes, recording things etc

--I would rather keep the pack liner and have dry clothes, and sleeping bag, but i could do away with stuff sacks and just use the liner as one big one...

--that is good advice for hiking with a partner... I will consider that some more

--thanks for the ideas regarding ear plugs, I will likely keep a pair, they weigh nothing and can come in handy.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Thanks on 11/15/2013 10:17:26 MST Print View

For all the ideas! These help out a lot and give me ideas for the hike.


What do you guys recommend as far as bear canisters are concerned for the Sierra?

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
bear can on 11/18/2013 15:13:31 MST Print View

"What do you guys recommend as far as bear canisters are concerned for the Sierra?"

Do you anticipate using a can other times so that you want to own one? In that case I'd get a Bear Vault.

If you think you only want one for the Sierras and never again, you could consider renting a Bearikade. Too expensive for me to want to own one, I have bear vaults, but a friend rented one to hike the PCT and was happy with it.

In part, the question relates to your resupply plan --- i.e., Kearsarge pass or not, climbing Whiteney or not, MTR vs. VVR, etc.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: bear can on 11/18/2013 15:22:15 MST Print View

"In part, the question relates to your resupply plan --- i.e., Kearsarge pass or not, climbing Whiteney or not, MTR vs. VVR, etc."

To extend this from Brian's post, I would say that before you acquire a bear canister, you need to know how much volume you need in a bear canister, and that is generally a function of how many days you will be out between resupply points, such as the long piece from around Mount Whitney up to MTR. If you say that is going to be ten days, then that means something. If you say that is going to be only three days, then that means something totally different. If you know that you can eat OK on 100 cubic inches of packed food, then that means something. If you don't know how much volume your packed food is, then that is a problem.

For short trips, I use a Bear Boxer or else a Bear Vault 450. For longer trips, I use a Bear Vault 500. You never want to have to carry more than one at a time, although it might be possible to switch between different ones during a trip by use of a bounce box.

--B.G.--

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: bear can on 11/21/2013 12:08:47 MST Print View

I would like to carry obviously the lightest and smallest possible. So I would not resupplying more often than normal through the sierra if this let me carry a lighter, and more importantly for my pack, a smaller can. But there are really long stretches through the Sierra that have no resupply correct?

I will be hiking likely around 25 miles a day (hopefully) if this means anything.

I am a bit worried that my pack (MLD Prophet) will not be able to carry a can. I usually have quite a bit of room left in the pack but I have never had to deal with a can.

Clint

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: bear can on 11/21/2013 12:38:52 MST Print View

Actually, if you can do 20 or 25 miles a day and are willing to camp at the existing bear boxes, then you don't need a bear canister at all.

Last time I checked with SEKI thru hikers are allowed to use the steel bear boxes for overnight storage. Outside the bear canister required areas you are allowed to hang your food from trees... but that also limits your camp selections somewhat...

you can google SEKI bear box locations... they are on a map ....

there are also web sites devoted to PCT/JMT hikers that relate to this issue...

Bill D.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
miles in the Sierras on 11/22/2013 11:18:03 MST Print View

Relating to this comment:
"Actually, if you can do 20 or 25 miles a day and are willing to camp at the existing bear boxes, then you don't need a bear canister at all."


Typically folks that are doing in the 20 - 25 MPD range in 'normal' terrain find themselves doing less through the Sierras in June. Snow, to include strategizing so as to not posthole a lot in the afternoons, plus the common strategy of "one pass per day" --- these tend to drop the daily mileage.

If beyond the slower-in-snow plus "try not to posthole much" and pass-distribution factors you add the requirement to sleep in one of the limited places that offer a bear locker, I think you end up with too many constraints. I would encourage you to carry a (large enough) canister. Mail it to KM (Kennedy Meadows) already pre-packed (carefully, densely) with food. Mail it home from, say, one of the towns you can hitch to from Sonora Pass.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Re: bear can on 11/24/2013 07:12:53 MST Print View

"Actually, if you can do 20 or 25 miles a day and are willing to camp at the existing bear boxes, then you don't need a bear canister at all.

Last time I checked with SEKI thru hikers are allowed to use the steel bear boxes for overnight storage. Outside the bear canister required areas you are allowed to hang your food from trees... but that also limits your camp selections somewhat...

you can google SEKI bear box locations... they are on a map ....

there are also web sites devoted to PCT/JMT hikers that relate to this issue..."

A very strong THRU hiker can get through SEKI without a canister but few would be able to do North Yosemite in a day and there are no boxes.

Howie Schwartz
(howiemtnguide) - F - M

Locale: Eastern Sierra
Bear Canister on 02/13/2014 15:23:32 MST Print View

If you do go with a bear canister, we rent bearikade canisters at Sage to Summit in Bishop, CA. We also sell quite a few ultralight products if you need to resupply. www.sagetosummit.com.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Re: Re: bear can on 02/15/2014 07:07:51 MST Print View

kilt should be 1.9oz.
exoficio underwear should go in clothing worn.