View Full Version : special gear

08-20-2007, 10:15
What other types of gear might I need for doing that PCT that you would not use on a regular hiking trip.

I've heard a lot of people mentioning that an ice axe might be very useful, but what about crampons? And what should I be looking for in these pieces of equipment (i.e. maker, weights, styles, lengths, etc...)

Are there any other specialty tools that might be needed?

08-20-2007, 10:30
I'm starting to develop that same list, since I am planning a 2009 PCT thru.

Was able to get my hands on a used set of crampons so I went for it. If I decide not to take them on the PCT I will be able to use them in Wyoming for sure.

I opted (at least for the time being) to not take/use an actual ice axe. I found something called the "Whippet" by Black Diamond.


It's not as solid as an ice axe but I have some experience with self-arrest and I think it will work for me. I already use trekking poles so the Whippet will just take the place of one of them in the Sierras. Main reason for going that route was that I see too many pics of hikers with ice axes proudly attached to their packs rather than in their hand if/when they needed them.

Next item is a bear cannister. Again, I was able to find one used (BearVault) so I bought it. You pretty much have to carry a cannister or the Ursack with the aluminum liner in the Sierras unless you plan on hiking to each of the campsites that have bear boxes.

Other than that I think the main thing is a wider variety of clothing. First part is all dessert so extremely light weight stuff is necessary. I had someone suggest I NOT take my inflatable thermarest at the beginning of the hike as it will most likely get punctured. I think what I might do is carry a Z-rest or Ridge Rest in the beginning and then switch to an inflatable pad at Kennedy Meadows.

One other thought is water containers. Still thinking over how I'll manage the water situation. I already own a lot of different size platypus containers so it pretty much comes down to which ones I'll actually carry.

Hope this thread generates some good replies ...


08-20-2007, 11:08
Slogger, do you know of any places that have reviewed the whippet. That looks like something I'd rather use than an ice axe, especially since it would allow me to keep using both poles (and it might help to persuade me to make that tarp that I've been thinking about). I'd also really like to know how much weight it will safely stop (I weigh about 180 w/o pack, and I'm actually gaining weight right now since I'm trying to train with a 50lbs pack).

I hear ya on the water in the south, its making me reconsider whether or not I should redo the suspension on my Peak 1 external to cut back on weight and help me stay cooler (especially since my start date will be in May), especially since my internal is a Gregory whitney (although the whitney would leave me with quite a bit of water carrying capacity :-?)

08-20-2007, 11:16
My personal opinions:

1) Crampons: Overkill for most years. Go up the passes to late morning/early afternoon and let Ma Nature soften the snow for you first

2) Water containers: I used a Nalgene cantene (~ 3 ltrs) and Gatorade Bottles as needed. For me, 1 ltr/5 miles with 1.5 lts if I knew I was dry camping, worked well

3) If you haven't already, consider looking at Yogi's PCT handbook: www.pcthandbook.com Lots of great info from various hikers.

08-22-2007, 23:10
If you think you may need crampons, you might consider the Charlet Moser instep crampons. They weigh 14.5 oz., are six point, adjustable, and have a good strap arrangement that will work with boots and trail runners.

RE: Bear canister: I bought a BearVault (BV400) a number of years ago for hiking in the "Bob." Subsequently, I tend to use it even when it isn't really necessary because it makes a great seat and eliminates bear bagging. I have 8 days breakfast / lunch / snacks and 7 dinners in it (2560 cal/day) for my trip in Kings Canyon NP next week. That equates to about 3850 cal/day for five days if I were more ambitious. (This is going to be a casual solo trip for me -- less than 10 mi/day.)