View Full Version : PCT Gear List

10-01-2003, 19:02
Yeah, the PCT is different from the AT. But, as people who are setting out on the AT next summer are probably accumulating gear, I thought I'd post a list of what I took on my PCT hike this summer. My gear was pretty constant. I used a bounce box for some consumables and to send a few pieces of gear forward. I was a bit cold at night in the Sierra and should have brought my 20 degree bag. Other than that, this is the gear that worked well for me in temps ranging from 15 (at night!) to 105+ degrees, in deserts, mountains, forests, etc. Note that the PCT is much, much drier than the AT. I had 5 minutes of rain in the Mojave, got 2.5" of snow in the Sierra, 2 hours of heavy rain one night in Oregon, a couple of short rains at night in Washinton, and two days of misty rain in Washington. This is more or less what I will bring with me on the AT or CDT next summer.

Gear - About 11-12 lbs without food or water
ULA Zenith Pack
3/4 Length Z-rest
silnylon pack cover
Western Mountaineering Highlite 40 degree bag
Sleeping bag stuff sack
Dancing Light Tacoma tarp
Dancing Light Sleep net (Sierras on)
Tyvek groundcloth
Fibraplex carbon fiber tarp pole
8 stakes
Alcohol stove
Pot stand
Evernew 1.4 L titanium pot
Lexan spoon
Windscreen (my MSR one)
2 Bic lighters
3 silnylon stuff sacks
MEC midweight thermal top
MEC midweight thermal tights
MEC Northern LIte II pullover
2 Wigwam Ultimax socks
Wigwam Hat
Fox River polypro gloves
MEC River Pants
MEC Prospector Shirt
Frogg Toggs anorak
2 Photon II microlights
Journal and pen
1 2.4 L Platypus waterbag
2 2.4 L Platypus waterbag (SoCal only)
Polar Pure
2 20 oz soda bottles (fuel and olive oil)
Toliet paper
Gelled alcohol
Med kit (including vitamins)
Camp XLA 210 Ice Axe (Sierras only)
Relevant guidebook and data book pages
Water cache info (SoCal only)
Olympus Stylus Epic Camera
Film (averaging 3, 36 exposure rolls)
DEET (Sierras on)
Sunblock (Mexico to Dunsmuir, rarely used)
Cash, two credit cards, ATM card, drivers license
Duct Tape (on axe and olive oil bottle)

Columbia shorts
Andiamo Skins (like underwear)
Wigwam Ultimax socks
Trail runners (see my reviews)
MEC Rapidi-T (t-shirt)
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat
K-Mart Watch

I wore the pants and long shirt from Mexico to South Lake Tahoe (mile 1100), and then switched to shorts and the t-shirt from then on.

10-02-2003, 19:47
I like this list.

Did I see a spoon?


10-03-2003, 10:41
Right beneath the pot. The Lexan spoon was 2 years old and broke in northern Oregon while stirring particularly jumbo sized pot of noodles. Replaced with a spoon that came with a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

10-03-2003, 12:45
Good gear list. How much did it cost you?

10-03-2003, 12:52
Hard to say, as a lot of it was bought and used over time. The only PCT specific things that I bought were: the pack ($125), the sleeping bag ($220), two of the water bags ($12), the sun hat ($35), and the titanium pot ($40).

10-14-2003, 21:19
For the CDT and for the northern and southern parts of the AT you'll want more than a 40 degree bag. The PCT is a "hot" trail". the CDT is a "cold" trail. The AT is both.

Some people do the CDT without a water filter - some of them get lucky. But most of them end up with Giardia, parasites and big medical bills afterwards. On the AT, there's a spring somewhere near the Smokies that makes a LOT of thruhikers sick every year. Don't know exactly which one - but I know it's there cause it's been happening every year for the last 12 years.

You'll also need a lot more maps on the CDT. But you won't need the ear plugs - you're a lot less likely to run into other hikers out there. We met 5 thruhikers and 3 section hikers in 6 months. 13 of us finished that year.

Won't need the ice axe on the AT unless you're doing a winter hike through the Whites. You might need it on the CDT in Montana if you're southbound or in Colorado if you're northbound.

Generally a good list - just have to adjust it for conditions on the trail you're hiking.

10-15-2003, 08:44
The Highlight was not warm enough for the PCT in many stretches. I froze hard several nights in Southern California and most nights in the Sierra. I hiked about 1600 miles on the PCT with a 2001 CDT thruhiker. She seemed to think the temps were about the same, although she did so a SOBO hike.

If I try the CDT next summer, I'm taking my ultralight to start, maybe switching to the Highlight when I get to Wyoming.

10-15-2003, 10:46
Yeah - I think 2001 was a "warm" year. Generally the CDT is a colder trail - at least in part because of altitude. The trail averages something like 11,000 ft in Colorado and the NM terminus is the low point at 4k+.

In '99, we had either 3 weeks or 3 days of summer - depending on who you listen to. All of it in Wyoming. Winter came back at the Colorado border. Last snow was July 4 - first snow was Sept 4.

But every year varies.

07-21-2004, 08:34
I'd also go with the warmer bag in the San Juan Mountains of Southern Colorado. From Cumbres Pass near New Mexico to lake City, along the CDT, the average altitude may be closer to 12,000 feet and the Weimenuche Wilderness portion even closer to 13,000 feet. It can snow at any month of the year here and usually does-even in August. But the views are simply to awesome to describe. You would have to see them for yourself. Its as though you are on top of the world :)

07-21-2004, 17:45
Some people do the CDT without a water filter - some of them get lucky. But most of them end up with GiardiaWow. Most of 'em? That's incredible.

Pencil Pusher
07-21-2004, 23:05
I wouldn't be surprised, I imagine the CDT would have more freestanding water supplies than the AT. Total guess, though I did see some of those water holes folks took pics of. Bring some rose colored glasses for that stuff. I can't even remember the trailjournal folk's names I was reading, but they basically said some of the water sources were pretty disgusting.

07-22-2004, 05:35
Bun Bun's post may have been worded incorrectly.

The trail is over 3000 miles long and covers all terrain from alpine tundra to desert. Higher elevations of the CDT yields streams and trickles perhaps even cleaner than those of the AT. The sources are just not as close together as they are on the AT so one occasionally carries more and certainly learns to read the topo maps and look for those contour folds and squiggly blue lines. :D

Anyway, standing water at lower elevations is a different matter, no matter where one is and some in desert regions of it may need those glasses-or just add the chemical and close your eyes.

07-22-2004, 09:09
Just as giardia is not so widespread on the AT, neither is it so on the CDT-just use common sense before you dip. And, all of those who dont filter, dont get giardia.

07-22-2004, 09:36
We did a section hike of the colorado trail over the 4th between leadville and buene vista. We had snow and freezing temperatures. Pretty normal weather out here in colorado even in the summer.

We had a 40 degree mitylite that we share with a homemade coupler to zip it to our pads. We also carry down jackets (The flight by WM) and needed them at night. It comfortably extended our sleeping bag down into the upper 20s. (We've used it at this temp a few times now)

Gravity Man