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  1. #1

    Default more newbie questions!

    I just recently bought the PCT Data Book and I have been skimming over it and reading through these forums but I still have some questions Im missing...

    Most important, what is a good baseline cost for a thru to ensure I make it the whole way? nothing fancy just cut to the chase hiking.

    My current pack that I use for AT section hiking is a 3051 cu in., the Osprey Atmos 50 that I can fit all my ultralight gear in with plenty of room for food and water and a ton of extra space. Will I need to upgrade to a larger pack to accomidate the longer resupply times and the extra water?
    My current gear list is as follows: Neoair, sea to summit 20 degree down bag, eno pro fly, GT nano 7 for backup and hangin, GT silk liner, snowpeak titanium pot and spork and a pepsi stove. Thats it! anything I left out as well?

    I live in GA and would prefer to not fly for my drop off. What is the closest amtrak/bus station to the trail head and likewise for the northern terminus.

    I heard that I will need health insurance to aquire a thru permit, is this true? I am young and have never had a desire for insurance or docters. If so is there any way around paying it, It might be cheaper for me to buy seperate permits then to get an insurance plan in the long run.

  2. #2


    Cost: varies of course, quite a bit. Possibly a bit less than the AT just because there are less places to stop and spend money (?). This FAQ entry suggests on the order of a dollar per mile, FWIW:
    I think some might find that on the lean side, and it certainly depends on whether you're including transport to/from the trail in that.

    Pack: only issue is the Sierras. If you can fit a full-sized bear can in or on the pack along with your other stuff, you're probably fine.
    Your gear list is way, way too sparse to comment on. First aid kit? Toothbrush? etc etc with more etc's there ...

    Closest amtrak/bus --- looking that stuff up is what the internet is for ... search the pct-l archives for trail angels in that area, such as Frodo and Scout and think in those terms.

    No health insurance required, unless things have changed since 2008.
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO

  3. #3


    Thanks for your imput brian. I will prob. end up upgrading to the atmos 65 because there is no way I can squeeze a bear canister into my pack, which I did not take into consideration. DUH! >.< errr. as for my gear thats it bud lol, I have no need for a first aid kit but I will have backup sewing and patch kits and a small toiletry bag, tyvek ground cloth, my droid, my nikon coolpix, plenty of platypus water bags and aquamira hiker pro filters + my clothes which I have no need to get into, I work for an outfitter.

  4. #4


    I'd use the atmos 50 rather than something bigger -- why carry a pack that is larger than you need for 4-5 months, when the only time you'll need that extra space is the 2 weeks in the Sierra? Just take some extra line and tie some lighter stuff to the outside of the pack when you really need that extra bit of space. And when it comes time for the bear canister, pack like normal, and put the empty canister lashed to the top of your pack (or under the lid) and then move your food into it each night.

  5. #5
    Registered User brian039's Avatar
    Join Date
    Guntersville, Alabama


    I'm budgeting about $4,000 for my PCT thru, I'll have more but I don't want to spend more than that. I spent $4,500 on the AT but I really enjoyed my town stops and this is what I'm going to try to cut down on. I wanted to bring an inflatable pad, but after reading Yogi's guide, I've been scared out of bringing one and will probably go with a Z-rest so there is no chance of poking a hole in an inflatable. Other gear looks fine assuming you're just listing the main stuff. You may need an ice axe and microspikes for the Sierras depending on how the snow is when you get there. Maps at least for the Sierras and the mountain ranges in SoCal where the trail can get lost under snow.

    As for getting to the trail, you should go ahead and buy Yogi's guide. It spells it all out for you in the handbook how to get to the trail and has town info that isn't in the Data Book. There's a combination of trolleys and a bus to get you to Campo from San Diego and she has all the times, fares, and bus/trolley numbers listed.

    I haven't heard about needing health insurance for a permit.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sturgis, SD


    I saw no mention of insurance. Permits can be obtained from PCTA along with other info. If you hiked the AT the PCT isn't to hard to adapt to. Major differences: Long sections between water supplies in some sections, I would stongly suggest good map & compass skills especially in bad snow year & it is not marked as good as the AT if at all in some sections.. It was not uncomon for me to go up to 15miles without seeing the snow covered trail. Some supply drops are far off trail. You have a shorter window to hike. Start to soon & you will have a tuff time in the Sierra. Start to late or hike to slow snow will stop you in WA. Ice axe & microspikes recomended for sierras & knowlede of how to use them. Longer daily milage needed to finish but trail is graded for equestrians (15% max) so it is easier than AT. Rewards of high open spaces is abundant!!!! A "Resort" in OR & WA is not what us easterners envision. Check out Mags article on here along with along with other threads in PCT section. Good luck. It's an awsome hike.

  7. #7


    two bucks a mile on a budget should get you through -- about $4400 -- about $1K in reserve wouldn't hurt - you can do it a lot cheaper by staying out of towns, swimming a lot vs showers and doing a bit of yogi bearing, skipping out on any beer that isn't free - for an incredibly resourceful determined person of a particularly rare mindset it could be done in a most spartan (old fashioned oatmeal every day manner) for less than $1000

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