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CDT gear lists
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Jeff Howell
(swimming) - F
NB CDT gear list! on 03/03/2014 14:32:28 MST Print View

Looking for some feedback for my CDT gear list for a thru hike this year. There is no shelter listed, as my bf will be carrying that.

I am most unsure right now about my sleeping pad and down jacket... I have put down the heavier option as that is what I would use if and when we hit snow. I also have a Ridgerest Solite which is lighter, but was inadequate for snow camping on the PCT. I may carry it at least through the first part of NM. The jacket I have listed is also quite heavy duty. I could also bring a patagonia ultralight down hoody but it is considerably less warm. I am a very cold sleeper and will be sharing a Bear Paw Wilderness Designs Luna 2 Tarp.

Here it is-- let me know if you have ideas of how to lighten up!

Edited by swimming on 03/05/2014 16:51:27 MST.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
CDT gear lists on 03/03/2014 14:58:46 MST Print View

Please keep in mind that I have not hiked the CDT; I'm just going off blogs I followed from the 2013 CDTers, liked Wired's and Drop-N-Roll's. That said:

It seems like they all carried lighter-weight down jackets (like a MH Ghost Whisperer) from the start and starting wearing them at least by the time they entered the Gila NF north of Silver City. You may want the Patagonia jacket until Chama and then switch out.

Otherwise, it looks like you have your gear kit dialed in. There will always be small items were you could drop ounces (maybe don't need 2 pack liners) but I think you'd be hard-pressed to lose even one pound unless you went to a lighter frameless pack and maybe a small NeoAir. I don't think you should do that; just saying that would be the way to do it.

I'm curious about the Bad Elf GPS. I've never heard of it, but it looks really interesting. Have you had a chance to use it yet?

Finally, when is your start date?

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Re: CDT gear lists on 03/03/2014 15:38:17 MST Print View

Are you going north or south? SOBOs get a lot more cold weather. Either way, your list is fine, and you probably don't need to change anything if you don't want to. Some suggestions:

- 2 trash compactor bags is probably overkill. I used the same one the whole way.

- So, your capacity is 6 L for the desert and 2 L otherwise? Six is plenty for NM or the Basin. But I would want at least 4 L for the whole trail. There are random spots in CO and WY/MT with longer carries. When you're on the divide in MT, there are some long, dry stretches. There's a long carry near the Idaho border, too.

- If you get cold easily, you may want to start with your down jacket. We had some cold nights at high elevations well south of Chama (like Mt. Taylor and the San Pedro Parks).

- I used a z-rest sol the whole way and was fine. My wife used a ridgerest sol the whole way and was fine.

- Electronics are a personal thing, but iphone + mp3 player + extra GPS would be 2 devices too many for me.

- I always carry a book of matches and keep them somewhere dry as a backup fire starter.

Have fun out there. And don't be a slave to the official route--a lot of the best stuff is on alternates!

Edited by sschloss1 on 03/03/2014 15:43:22 MST.

Jeff Howell
(swimming) - F
thanks! on 03/03/2014 15:48:07 MST Print View

Thanks for the responses!

I haven't tried out the Bad Elf yet. I am bringing it mainly to track our route -- I want to collect gpx points for a project post-trip. It also can connect via bluetooth to iphone to show where you are on gaia when you don't have iphone GPS signal or want to save iphone battery.

I am planning to have 4 L capacity normally, 6L in the desert. I may be able to get away with one trash compactor and a pack cover when its raining.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Feedback on 03/04/2014 11:58:59 MST Print View

I hiked SOBO in 2011; each year and direction and certainly path choices are different, but ...

Your choices seem like very intelligent ones to me.

A 14 oz down jacket seems heavy; yes, there's a lot of snow, in either direction, but I brought an Montbell EX Light down jacket at 6 oz, plus a Montbell thermawrap vest at another 6 oz, and those did me fine as warmth layers, no fleece or anything else. The vest was good as I could hike in that when it was colder. I didn't use a windshirt, as my lightweight rainshell did double duty there.

Long underwear (bottoms) --- my gear list says I brought a 5 oz capilene 1 pair, but I don't recall using them. Maybe in the snow in Montana a time or two. Once you get out of major snow you can certainly mail that home, however.

I would not be inclined to bring a solar charger. If you own it already, however, and are going Nobo and can attach it to your pack ... then maybe. But I bet that at some point along the way you'll decide to mail it home. Resupply isn't really THAT much different than on the PCT. Longest carry I had was 8 days.

Microspikes and goretex socks --- yes to both, I suggest, until you're mostly or entirely out of snow.

Ice axe, btw? Might need one. What I did was bring a "whippet" self-arrest pole as one of my two poles, and then when I got out of snow I mailed it home to swap with a normal pole. The whippet is a bit heavy for a pole, but nice to always have your self-arrest pick deployed, and I did use it once in Montana, in GNP (though perhaps I could have arrested myself anyway, dunno).

Don't forget bear spray. If you're NOBO you can have it mailed to you, perhaps somewhere just south of Yellowstone (Atlantic city maybe) and at least by then you'll be in shape that the extra weight won't be a big deal!

You going with just Ley maps? I suggest adding Yogi at least. You can load yourself with paper on that trail, and I did --- Wolf too, and Bear Creek maps, and Delorme atlas pages ... do make sure that you have the latest gpx for the track (or if possible, trackS to include purple alternates). Navigation is indeed a bigger factor on the CDT.

Best of luck on your journey!

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: CDT gear lists on 03/04/2014 18:11:21 MST Print View

Looks like a pretty good list.

If you are a cold sleeper I think bringing that warmer down jacket is a wise idea. The CDT is a cold trail. I had a 16 oz down jacket and used it as part of my sleep system and was glad to have it many times both day and night.

Jeff Howell
(swimming) - F
two questions on 03/06/2014 17:03:21 MST Print View

thanks for your help!

I updated the list a bit, and I think most of the bigger weight savings would require swapping pad, backpack, or quilt. Switching packs seems risky, and while I would prefer a different closed baffle quilt design I don't want to spend the money.

and these are the two gear questions I have left:

1. Down pants vs. long underwear vs wind pants? I am currently making MYOG down pants, and am trying to decide whether to take them or just stick with wool long underwear. Wool wouldn't be as warm but I could wear them when wet. The other option would be down pants and wind pants. Then I could wear the houdini pants as a warm layer and save the down ones for camp.

2. Rain jacket vs wind jacket vs umbrella ? Do you think it's worth it to carry an extra 3 oz wind jacket in addition to the M10 and umbrella? Perhaps I should post this in the gear section idk..

Thanks everyone for your help!!

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: two questions list on 03/06/2014 17:53:52 MST Print View

I would just bring long underwear.

Just bring the rain jacket, it can be used as warmth in camp. Up to you if you want the wind shirt.

If you are thru hiking you don't need to bring a ton of in camp clothing, just jump in you sleeping bag and warm.

--------- all u need

T shirt, pants or shorts, underwear, baselayer top and b, down jacket, rain jacket. Add a cloud kilt for leg rain, and windshirt if wanted.

Any reason for more?

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
re: two questions on 03/06/2014 20:15:19 MST Print View

1) If it helps, we had some cold nights on the CDT but the evenings were usually fine. On the trail, I didn't have any warm layers for my legs. I have light tights that I slept in and rain pants. That was it. We hiked until near dark every night, so we weren't hanging out in camp for long most days. The few times we did, we were in the tent in our bags. But clothes are very individual--if you feel like you need down pants to stay warm, go for it.

2) I had a windshirt and a rain jacket on the CDT. I didn't use the windshirt as much as I did on the PCT because it was so rainy on the CDT. That said, I like having both because I like the option of layering the rain jacket and the windshirt when it's really cold. You could get away with umbrella + windshirt for light rain, but some of the storms we got on the CDT were nasty, with pouring rain and cold temps. Sometimes it was so windy that you couldn't use the umbrella. I think it would be a mistake to ditch the rain jacket just because you have the umbrella. The windshirt is more of a personal preference thing.

Will Govus
(willgovus) - F
re on 03/07/2014 20:09:57 MST Print View

I soboed last year.

I carried an umbrella + rain jacket the entire trail. You could potentially go windshirt + umbrella only but there is a decent chance you might get pretty wet and cold in some situations. For me that would of been the San Juans where I was already pretty cold/wet..

I carried a montbell alpine light parka. I think it was too much of a jacket for my hiking style really. I ditched it in Chama and hiked through all of New Mexico without an insulating layer. NM had the coldest temps and so I think I could of done without the entire trail. It just took me the first three states to become more confident with my methodology of hiking nonstop and immediately getting into my sleeping bag when in camp... of course it all depends on your hiking style. I was solo the whole time and didn't really have much of a reason to sit around. I think I missed much of the really cold weather for that reason.

It also took me until half way through Colorado to realize I didn't need to or like to cook meals that much.

I ditched my bear spray after seeing zero bears in glacier then saw ~7 grizzlies within the next week including a mother and two cubs that scared me pretty badly. I regretted that.

Your list looks fine and will of course work well.