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clured
02-26-2008, 19:59
Ok, so it looks like the PCT is on for this summer. I'm not 100% sure, but its looking more than likely at this point. Got the shifts locked down at work the other day, and I think I have enough money. I've got a couple questions that I was wondering if you guys could help me out with:

1. What is the rain like? I feel like I've heard conflicting things; one person in another thread talked about "miserable" rain, but I've heard other people say that they have gone 100+ nights on the PCT with just cowboy camping, never pitching any kind of shelter. Which is it? Or, in other words, should I stick with a super-light, minimal tarp, or get something with more coverage like the Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape?

2. How much water volume? I carry 2x1-liter platys regularly, so how much more storage do I need for southern California? If I get the platypus "water bags," do I just let them hang on the outside of my pack, or pack them inside?

3. How much pack volume? I know there are some long roadless sections that need 5-6 days of food. I like the look of the Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet (2750 ci). Is that enough? My GoLite Jam (~3100) felt too big last summer. Keep in mind that the base weight is about 5 lbs, and everything packs down really small.

4. Long pants/shirt in the desert, right? What materials, or does it matter? Is there anything in particular I should look to buy? I'm thinking about just using my rainpants from last summer, and a lightweight synthetic shirt on top?

5. What about bears? Do I need one of those dorky canisters, or can I just hang my food and take my chances?

Thanks for any help,
-DM

taildragger
02-26-2008, 20:17
Ok, so it looks like the PCT is on for this summer. I'm not 100% sure, but its looking more than likely at this point. Got the shifts locked down at work the other day, and I think I have enough money. I've got a couple questions that I was wondering if you guys could help me out with:

1. What is the rain like? I feel like I've heard conflicting things; one person in another thread talked about "miserable" rain, but I've heard other people say that they have gone 100+ nights on the PCT with just cowboy camping, never pitching any kind of shelter. Which is it? Or, in other words, should I stick with a super-light, minimal tarp, or get something with more coverage like the Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape?

2. How much water volume? I carry 2x1-liter platys regularly, so how much more storage do I need for southern California? If I get the platypus "water bags," do I just let them hang on the outside of my pack, or pack them inside?

3. How much pack volume? I know there are some long roadless sections that need 5-6 days of food. I like the look of the Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet (2750 ci). Is that enough? My GoLite Jam (~3100) felt too big last summer. Keep in mind that the base weight is about 5 lbs, and everything packs down really small.

4. Long pants/shirt in the desert, right? What materials, or does it matter? Is there anything in particular I should look to buy? I'm thinking about just using my rainpants from last summer, and a lightweight synthetic shirt on top?

5. What about bears? Do I need one of those dorky canisters, or can I just hang my food and take my chances?

Thanks for any help,
-DM

1) Overall a dry trail, Washington and Oregon can be rainy depending on arrival time

2) For the desert I'm bringing a total of 8 litres for capacity, 1 bladder and 5 bottles (not sure how much water I'll need here, so I'm gonna start off on the safe side till I figure my body out)

3) Can't help ya there

4) Pants or shorts in the desert, I'd bring convertible pants in case you find that you don't like shorts. Long sleeve shirt would be a good idea.

5) Cans, weigh the risks. A bear could always chance upon you in the Sierra's, w/o you could get screwed, or cited, then again nothing might happen at all. I'm taking a can cause I'd rather lug the weight than deal with the possibility of losing dinner or citations.

Nean
02-26-2008, 20:25
Ok, so it looks like the PCT is on for this summer. I'm not 100% sure, but its looking more than likely at this point. Got the shifts locked down at work the other day, and I think I have enough money. I've got a couple questions that I was wondering if you guys could help me out with:

1. What is the rain like? I feel like I've heard conflicting things; one person in another thread talked about "miserable" rain, but I've heard other people say that they have gone 100+ nights on the PCT with just cowboy camping, never pitching any kind of shelter. Which is it? Or, in other words, should I stick with a super-light, minimal tarp, or get something with more coverage like the Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape?

2. How much water volume? I carry 2x1-liter platys regularly, so how much more storage do I need for southern California? If I get the platypus "water bags," do I just let them hang on the outside of my pack, or pack them inside?

3. How much pack volume? I know there are some long roadless sections that need 5-6 days of food. I like the look of the Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet (2750 ci). Is that enough? My GoLite Jam (~3100) felt too big last summer. Keep in mind that the base weight is about 5 lbs, and everything packs down really small.

4. Long pants/shirt in the desert, right? What materials, or does it matter? Is there anything in particular I should look to buy? I'm thinking about just using my rainpants from last summer, and a lightweight synthetic shirt on top?

5. What about bears? Do I need one of those dorky canisters, or can I just hang my food and take my chances?

Thanks for any help,
-DM

1. It never rains in california, but boy.... It rains up north in the fall...snow too! Some whine more than others. Never use one of those tents.:(

2.I like 2 liters and a pint. Know your limits.;)

3.Sounds like you should be able to figure that out.:o

4.I always wore shorts and a t shirt:eek:

5. I sleep with my food. Last I checked it was a violation to hang your food because so many hikers lost their food and so many bears had to be put down. Carry a canister if you're not comfortable in bear country.:)

TwoForty
02-26-2008, 23:23
I don't have any experience with rain, but I am planning on it being very very rare from Campo to Tuolumne.

What capacity is your call. I'll be carrying a 1 L bottle and 3 2.4 L platys. You can always add more water bottles as you go.

Your call again, but plan on hauling a lot of water until around Kennedy Meadows and then plan on hauling a lot of food through most of the JMT.

It seems everyone deals with the heat differently. Convertible pants, a light colored cotton long sleeved shirt, and a hat would be a good start.

Buy an ursack (yeah yeah, not approved) or rent a bear canister. Hanging is useless. You may be able to get by with sleeping with your food, but if enough people do that bears will start breaking into tents. You don't want that on your conscience ;)

These are mostly my opinions. I've only done the JMT so far but hoping to do the first 950 miles this summer.

Sly
02-26-2008, 23:33
Bear canisters are now mandatory in most of the High Sierras. You'll need to carry one from Kennedy Meadows (or later if you want to drop into Lone Pine) to Sonora Pass. If you happen upon a ranger, they will check and fine you and escort you out if you're not carrying..

A-Train
02-27-2008, 00:10
Ok, so it looks like the PCT is on for this summer. I'm not 100% sure, but its looking more than likely at this point. Got the shifts locked down at work the other day, and I think I have enough money. I've got a couple questions that I was wondering if you guys could help me out with:

1. What is the rain like? I feel like I've heard conflicting things; one person in another thread talked about "miserable" rain, but I've heard other people say that they have gone 100+ nights on the PCT with just cowboy camping, never pitching any kind of shelter. Which is it? Or, in other words, should I stick with a super-light, minimal tarp, or get something with more coverage like the Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape?

2. How much water volume? I carry 2x1-liter platys regularly, so how much more storage do I need for southern California? If I get the platypus "water bags," do I just let them hang on the outside of my pack, or pack them inside?

3. How much pack volume? I know there are some long roadless sections that need 5-6 days of food. I like the look of the Mountain Laurel Designs Prophet (2750 ci). Is that enough? My GoLite Jam (~3100) felt too big last summer. Keep in mind that the base weight is about 5 lbs, and everything packs down really small.

4. Long pants/shirt in the desert, right? What materials, or does it matter? Is there anything in particular I should look to buy? I'm thinking about just using my rainpants from last summer, and a lightweight synthetic shirt on top?

5. What about bears? Do I need one of those dorky canisters, or can I just hang my food and take my chances?

Thanks for any help,
-DM


1. Maybe I was the one who said "misreble rain" in another thread? I got rained on for like an hour in California in 100 days. BUT (a big BUT) it rained on me more frequently in OR/WA. When it rains for a couple days, gets cold, your at much higher altitude than the east coast and there are no shelters to duck into-things can get MISREBLE. And I was on the verge of being hypothermic the day I hit the Canadian Border. On September 20TH! Moral of the story, at least be well prepared for weather up north. Whether you roll the dice down south is up to you (still foolish IMO).

I had a capacity for 8 liters in case. 7 was my max coming out of Pines to Palms. The water thing gets a bit blown out of proportion. Last yr was one of the driest ever and I never really used caches. Basically just pay attention all the time to your levels and sources, and figure out how much you NEED to drink.

I'd go with a bigger pack than both of those, but I also hiked with 2 guys who had 4-5 oz packs that looked like daybags. I'd be concerned about getting food and gear for the Sierra (and a canister) in a small pack.

4. I used the Long Shirt and shorts combo. Fuond my legs don't really burn, just brown. Never really used sun screen at all, a waste of money and weight. Have a great big hat, sunglasses, a bandanna and a shirt (with collar) and you'll be good. I think my shirt was nylon (and of course beige). I couldn't help but think how silly people looked in tank tops slathered in sunscreen. Makes no sense.

5. Cannister-Def use one. They're kinda a pain, but you won't carry much water in the Sierra. Makes a good seat too. But 5+ days was the max I could fit. Good piece of mind when sleeping in the Sierra. There's a guy who has a loaner program where thrus can "rent" them for free. Good stuff.

Have fun, this trail is a dream.

rafe
02-27-2008, 00:37
Been wondering about the canister. So a bear finds your canister and knocks it around for a while and eventually gives up.... I think that's the idea, right? But how do you find it after that happens? It seems to me it might end up far from where it started... :-?

Jim Adams
02-27-2008, 01:22
I was in rain several times south of Kennedy Meadows and also in snow three times, but you seriously can cowboy camp most nights. You can get by with a tarp.

Had to carry 8 liters at times and it was a pain in the a$$.

Started with a 2800ci G pack and changed to my 3600ci Dana Bridger at the end of the first week...mostly for better suspension but did use the extra space efficiently.

I hiked in shorts and short sleeves most of the time once I got a little tan.

Cannisters are now manditory and one of the Ursacks has been re-approved in 2007.

This is just my experience which wasn't much...I only got from the border to Yosemite but I also only took a Marmot Wind Shirt and no rain jacket and regretted it...better off with a light rain jacket.

geek

Smudge
02-27-2008, 01:47
I have not yet done the PCT but have lived near the southern terminis for the last 3 years. I hunt and hike in the mountains and deserts throughout Southern California. Just know that there is a real and dangerous possibility of rain in the desert valleys if you are passing through late for some reason. If you're on the typical NOBO schedule you shouldn't have much to worry about until you get to OR and WA though.

Flash floods in the desert are an awe inspiring and frightening thing the first time you witness one. I've seen boulders the size of my truck frolicking along a wash that was bone dry five minutes before. Scariest part is that the nearest cloud seemed like it was out on the horizon.

taildragger
02-27-2008, 01:50
Been wondering about the canister. So a bear finds your canister and knocks it around for a while and eventually gives up.... I think that's the idea, right? But how do you find it after that happens? It seems to me it might end up far from where it started... :-?

Bright neon green reflective tape, and you get to play food soccer with the bears.

Sly
02-27-2008, 02:23
Been wondering about the canister. So a bear finds your canister and knocks it around for a while and eventually gives up.... I think that's the idea, right? But how do you find it after that happens? It seems to me it might end up far from where it started... :-?

The Sierra bears are incredibly smart. From what I understand they don't even bother knocking them around any more. Still, it's best not to leave it near the edge of a cliff. I left mine right near my tent, in a depression, between rocks etc..

TwoForty
02-27-2008, 02:53
I was in rain several times south of Kennedy Meadows and also in snow three times, but you seriously can cowboy camp most nights. You can get by with a tarp.

Had to carry 8 liters at times and it was a pain in the a$$.

Started with a 2800ci G pack and changed to my 3600ci Dana Bridger at the end of the first week...mostly for better suspension but did use the extra space efficiently.

I hiked in shorts and short sleeves most of the time once I got a little tan.

Cannisters are now manditory and one of the Ursacks has been re-approved in 2007.

This is just my experience which wasn't much...I only got from the border to Yosemite but I also only took a Marmot Wind Shirt and no rain jacket and regretted it...better off with a light rain jacket.

geek

Are you the same geek that hiked last year? I think you gave me some left over food at Crabtree Meadows before you went in search of the "big trees."

Jim Adams
02-27-2008, 02:55
Are you the same geek that hiked last year? I think you gave me some left over food at Crabtree Meadows before you went in search of the "big trees."

Yeah, that was me. How did the rest of your hike go?

geek

fiddlehead
02-27-2008, 03:53
1/ had 2 days of rain until OR (NOBO hike '96) sent the tent ahead and slept under the stars with the rainfly as a backup. ended up switching tents and carrying something lighter in OR/WA (something i had made myself years ago)
2/ most i ever carried was 3 litres (out of scissors x-ing) most carried more, i drank 2 gallons before i set out and had plenty. did the first 750 miles again 6 years later and was surprised to see HUGE water caches at many many road crossings. I personally don't think this is a good idea because hikers will perhaps learn to count on it and then it might not be there sometime.
3/ many hikers were using go-lite breeze packs in 2000 (i think they are around 3,000 cubes)
4/ I prefer long, thin, cotton pants in the desert with a longsleeve, thin, cotton shirt. Just look at how the Mexican's dress and that big straw hat they use is a major plus when there is no shade. change your gear (Clothing) completely at Kennedy meadows.
5/ I always have stayed far away from the recommended campsites and stealth camped up high, hopefully above treeline. then slept with my food and had a pile of rocks near me when sleeping, never saw a bear at night doing this. Don't know what i would do now that the rangers are giving citations. Probably carry a fake id?

This is a really high snow year so far. That means fords will be tougher than usual. Don't be afraid to spend lots of time looking for a better spot to cross or perhaps taking a different route. May have to start later than usual this year IMO. Had friends quit because of frostbite in '96. Take extra socks for sure, and gaitors may be useful.
Also routefinding will be tougher in the snow. I'd get the good 3 map set of the Sierras or JMT in addition to the guidebook in a year like this one's shaping up to be.
Unless we have a really hot spring, I would take a GPS to help with snow travel also. (again IMO but it's nice to know where you are when you look out and it's nothing but white covered terrain everywhere you look)

HIKER7s
02-27-2008, 07:57
Ok, so it looks like the PCT is on for this summer.


Hi,

A great resource on PCT in YOGI's guidebook.

http://www.pcthandbook.com/

clured
02-27-2008, 12:07
Guys,

Thanks so much for the advice, everything here is really helpful.

Fiddlehead: Is the frostbite from having to posthole in trailrunners? If the snow is really heavy, would it help to switch to waterproof hiking boots in the high parts? Also, what is "usual" as far as starting dates go for the PCT? I will have to go on May 16 no matter what, because I'm locked into a pretty tight window because of school.

What is an "ursack"? Are the canisters mandatory for the whole trail, or just parts of it?

One more - Assuming I need to be geared for really hot weather down south, how cool does it get after Kennedy Meadows? Assuming I'm moving all day, and have a 20deg bag for the nights, do I need anything more than like a thermal top/light gortex jacket?

Again, thanks..

taildragger
02-27-2008, 12:25
Look up the archives for the PCT-L (PCT listserve) most of your questions are answered there.

May 16th huh? Looks like I'm not the only late starter this year :banana

The Weasel
02-27-2008, 13:01
those with questions about the PCT should try to attend ADZPCTKO, which is the acronym for "Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off", which is on April 25-27 this year. It's sort of a "Trail Days" at the start (it's about a day up from Campo) but not as zany (still, fun!) and even a lot of people who are past it come back (as with TD) for fellowship and info. If you can't, go to their web page and at least contact the people on it, they are very helpful.

http://www.siechert.org/adz/

The Weasel

Mags
02-27-2008, 13:35
I'll be working the registration desk at ADZPCTKO this year.

Stop on in and say "HI". :)

The Weasel
02-27-2008, 13:58
I missed going last year, Mags, with a schedule conflict. Will be there this year almost for sure at least as a day trip.

Burn zone really is bad, isn't it? Jeez.

TW

The Weasel
02-27-2008, 13:59
Actually, that leads me to wonder: Is anyone considering using filter masks as they go past the fire zones? Smell is really thick in some places along the road out of Campo to SD.

TW

Smudge
02-27-2008, 14:09
Actually, that leads me to wonder: Is anyone considering using filter masks as they go past the fire zones? Smell is really thick in some places along the road out of Campo to SD.

TW

With all of the rain we've had in the lst few months, the dust and smoke debris aren't bad at all any more. Hiking through thoses areas the first few weeks after the fires was almost unbearable. Not so bad now...

The Weasel
02-27-2008, 14:12
Smudge -- Where are you? Rain in Laguna Beach/coast cities near us hasn't been that high. We drove back from Rosarito through Campo/Tecate just after the road was opened and it was pretty nasty.

TW

Mags
02-27-2008, 14:18
Coolio. I will be wearing my distinctive shirt. Looks like my avatar. :) Be pretty hard to miss.

Smudge
02-27-2008, 14:44
Smudge -- Where are you? Rain in Laguna Beach/coast cities near us hasn't been that high. We drove back from Rosarito through Campo/Tecate just after the road was opened and it was pretty nasty.

TW

I'm in Point Loma here in San Diego, but I hunt in the Imperial valley, the lower Lagunas, La Posta, Buckman Springs, on friend's land near Ramona, around Campo, Boulevard and well, just about every piece of BLM or National Forest land between here and Yuma!!Haha!! I have close to 60 or 70 days in the field since last September so I got to watch it go from good, to REALLY REALLY bad(they closed most of the BLM and Cleveland Nat Forest in the area for a while), to mediocre to where it is now which is fairly decent.

Jim Adams
02-27-2008, 15:09
try adventureonthepct, site almost identical to whiteblaze.

geek

The Weasel
02-27-2008, 15:12
I'm in Point Loma here in San Diego, but I hunt in the Imperial valley, the lower Lagunas, La Posta, Buckman Springs, on friend's land near Ramona, around Campo, Boulevard and well, just about every piece of BLM or National Forest land between here and Yuma!!Haha!! I have close to 60 or 70 days in the field since last September so I got to watch it go from good, to REALLY REALLY bad(they closed most of the BLM and Cleveland Nat Forest in the area for a while), to mediocre to where it is now which is fairly decent.

hope it doesn't get nasty/blowy/smelly when we get to the dry season.

TW

Sly
02-27-2008, 15:13
Actually, that leads me to wonder: Is anyone considering using filter masks as they go past the fire zones? Smell is really thick in some places along the road out of Campo to SD.


I was just in the area. It looks great, nice and green, no smell to speak of.

A-Train
02-27-2008, 17:27
Weasel and Mags: Be sure to say hi. I'll be at the KO for sure. We should all have a drink, maybe a Macallen (sp?) for our east-coast centric friends:-?

Geek: I think I mighta passed you near Crabtree Meadows in the evening? Someone said it was you after we maybe passed. Would you have been there june 15th? If so, who are you Two Forty??

Mags
02-27-2008, 17:51
Footslogger may be going too! :)

As I said, I'll be working the registration desk. I'll be wearing my MAGS T-shirt (made by my friends as a going away gift).

http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=36&g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=14929

I am now sans beard. :)

taildragger
02-27-2008, 17:55
Footslogger may going too! :)

As I said, I'll be working the registration desk. I'll be wearing my MAGS T-shirt (made by my friends as a going away gift).

http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=36&g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=14929

I am now sans beard. :)

Just sans beard, so you'll still have a bottle attached to your face :eek:

Unfortunately I'm gonna miss this, kinda wish that it was held later in the year, this whole danged finals being in May thing....:mad:

Sly
02-27-2008, 17:56
Weasy is going to the KO? :( Maybe I'll skip it. :o

Mags
02-27-2008, 17:59
Weasy is going to the KO? :( Maybe I'll skip it. :o

Now now. I find people in the "real world" are much more likely to get along better the on the Innertubes.

I look forward to a beer with A-Train, TW and others. :)

re: bottle
Hmm..maybe it is attached to me? ;)

http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=36&g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=13116
(Gotta have the vino...)

A-Train
02-27-2008, 18:12
K, I'll just look for the shmuck with the champagne bottle attached to his lips and the Snickers t-shirt:-?

Look for the guy with the old Mets baseball cap, and the coffee shop glasses.

I think class of 07' is preparing breakfast sunday(?) so we'll be slaving away early, or late, depending on how you view the night.

Hope to see Sly and Slogger too, if you guys come. We can have a mini-WB event.

Boudin
02-27-2008, 18:47
The Kick Off is no Trail Days. As soon as it gets dark people get pissed off if you make the least bit of noise. It is a good source for water info.

South of Kennedy Meadows I was rained on twice. Once for two hours and once for thirty minutes.

Depending on the water report, the most water that I carried at any particular time was 6 liters. I started in long pants and long sleeves but changed to shorts and tshirt. California is weird. The death rays of the sun are unbelievable, but step into the shade and in just a few minutes you will need your jacket. If you use trekking poles I recommend sun gloves. The tops of a lot of peoples hands looked fried. They may be OK after a few weeks, but think about skin cancer 20 years from now.

If I go back to Southern CA I would carry a free standing tent. It too hard to get stakes to stay in the sand and you can't always count on having a tree to tie your tarp to. You will find that you will cowboy camp most nights.

Yogi's book is a must.

The Mojave is not as bad as people talk about. The water sources are reliable.

Take plenty of money. Hotels are expensive. Many are $100 plus. Food is expensive. Burger, Fries, a beer and tip $20-$25. Tuna in a pouch $6, Mac & Cheese $2.50. I guess what I am saying is don't expect to do it on an AT budget.

I can only speak about southern CA because I was injured and had to go home, but I had a blast. I would do it again in a heart beat. Have a great hike! Don't let things that you read or people freak you out. It's just backpacking, and you already know how to backpack.

A-Train
02-27-2008, 19:03
The Kick Off is no Trail Days. As soon as it gets dark people get pissed off if you make the least bit of noise. It is a good source for water info.

South of Kennedy Meadows I was rained on twice. Once for two hours and once for thirty minutes.

Depending on the water report, the most water that I carried at any particular time was 6 liters. I started in long pants and long sleeves but changed to shorts and tshirt. California is weird. The death rays of the sun are unbelievable, but step into the shade and in just a few minutes you will need your jacket. If you use trekking poles I recommend sun gloves. The tops of a lot of peoples hands looked fried. They may be OK after a few weeks, but think about skin cancer 20 years from now.

If I go back to Southern CA I would carry a free standing tent. It too hard to get stakes to stay in the sand and you can't always count on having a tree to tie your tarp to. You will find that you will cowboy camp most nights.

Yogi's book is a must.

The Mojave is not as bad as people talk about. The water sources are reliable.

Take plenty of money. Hotels are expensive. Many are $100 plus. Food is expensive. Burger, Fries, a beer and tip $20-$25. Tuna in a pouch $6, Mac & Cheese $2.50. I guess what I am saying is don't expect to do it on an AT budget.

I can only speak about southern CA because I was injured and had to go home, but I had a blast. I would do it again in a heart beat. Have a great hike! Don't let things that you read or people freak you out. It's just backpacking, and you already know how to backpack.

Did I meet you and your wife at KM? You gave me a ride from the campground to general store? If so, thanks! and good luck getting back out there.

Smudge
02-27-2008, 19:17
California is weird. The death rays of the sun are unbelievable, but step into the shade and in just a few minutes you will need your jacket.


Haha!! How true. My brother (Snuffy Smith on WB and Cool Breeze on Trail Journals) just landed here in San Diego today. When I picked him up at the airport he was comenting on the fact that it was hot here! He flew from Jacksonville, FL this morning. We get to my house up on the Point and while standing in the shade of the big peppercorn tree in my front yard just as the sea breeze comes through and the first words out of his mouth were.. "Now I'm cold, what's with this place!!!"

Gotta love SoCal!!

We're meadering cross country over the next two weeks and then he starts his Thru-hike of the AT. I'm going to walk the first few days with him then I'm off to Hawaii for 3 years. Hopefully I can hike all of the major Islands in the 3 years I'm there. Depends on my ship's schedule.

After that it's back to San Diego and Mike and I are planning on the PCT in 2014 when I retire from the Navy!! Seems like a long ways off but I know the next 6 years will fly by like my first 14 has!!

Mags
02-27-2008, 19:21
K, I'll just look for the shmuck w





Have you been talking to my ex-girlfriends? :)

The Weasel
02-27-2008, 19:24
Footslogger may be going too! :)

As I said, I'll be working the registration desk. I'll be wearing my MAGS T-shirt (made by my friends as a going away gift).


If you're "dressing your name, does that mean I should wear a pin stripe suit, rep tie and carry a briefcase?:D Or can I come in disguise?:banana

TW

TwoForty
02-27-2008, 20:19
Weasel and Mags: Be sure to say hi. I'll be at the KO for sure. We should all have a drink, maybe a Macallen (sp?) for our east-coast centric friends:-?

Geek: I think I mighta passed you near Crabtree Meadows in the evening? Someone said it was you after we maybe passed. Would you have been there june 15th? If so, who are you Two Forty??
I was a HST/JMT northbound hiker. I arrived in Crabtree, slep until 4am, and then went up Whitney and into Lone Pine for a resupply before backtracking and heading north to Yosemite.

We probably crossed paths at some point.

Dranoel
02-27-2008, 23:13
<SNIP>

This is a really high snow year so far. That means fords will be tougher than usual. Don't be afraid to spend lots of time looking for a better spot to cross or perhaps taking a different route. May have to start later than usual this year IMO. Had friends quit because of frostbite in '96. Take extra socks for sure, and gaitors may be useful.
Also routefinding will be tougher in the snow. I'd get the good 3 map set of the Sierras or JMT in addition to the guidebook in a year like this one's shaping up to be.
Unless we have a really hot spring, I would take a GPS to help with snow travel also. (again IMO but it's nice to know where you are when you look out and it's nothing but white covered terrain everywhere you look)

The record snowfall levels in the NorthWest might make the PCT 2008 difficult.

I've been making my final preparations for an April departure from Campo. This will be my first time to do a long distance hike. It looks like water won't be an issue this year. :-?

Any advice from some hardcore PCT people? Ice pick & crampons needed? Snowshoes? Waterproof boots & gloves? Ring of Ice Walking?

Thanks in advance.

Sly
02-27-2008, 23:51
The record snowfall levels in the NorthWest might make the PCT 2008 difficult.

I've been making my final preparations for an April departure from Campo. This will be my first time to do a long distance hike. It looks like water won't be an issue this year. :-?

Any advice from some hardcore PCT people? Ice pick & crampons needed? Snowshoes? Waterproof boots & gloves? Ring of Ice Walking?

Thanks in advance.

Water in SoCA is always an issue. Yes, the seasonal springs may be flowing but they are far and in-between. Depending on your mileage and needs you'll have to carry between a gallon or two.

I had absolutely no experience on snow or ice when I hiked the PCT the 1st time. You'll adapt or I shudder to say... I carried an ice ax but never took it out. Instead I depended on my hiking poles to keep me upright. I also waited until the snow soften up and timed the high passes. Still, there's danger of hitting ice amd sliding off the side of the mountain. This year, it very well may be worth the weight to carry light weight crampons as the going could be slow and there's miles to make. What could be worse is the fords. They can get SERIOUS.

I wouldn't bother with waterproof boots, but gloves, balaclava/hat, warm clothes/sleeping bag are welcome the length of the trail.

Matteroo
02-28-2008, 04:41
snow in WA/OR will depend on spring/summer temps a lot. A few weeks ago at 7,000 on mt. hood here, there was a total of 324inches of snow recorded. its probably higher now. I don't know what the snow on ground is, but I am sure it is closely proportionate to total precip.

clured
02-28-2008, 16:46
Thanks for the info, guys. Sounds like it could be a challenge this year, but that makes it fun, too.

Can you put crampons on trail runners, or would you have to wear boots? I also feel like I hear different things about the ice axe from everyone..what's the word? It's mainly for self-arrest, right? Doesn't that mean that it's useless unless you have it in hand at all times?

taildragger
02-28-2008, 17:30
Thanks for the info, guys. Sounds like it could be a challenge this year, but that makes it fun, too.

Can you put crampons on trail runners, or would you have to wear boots? I also feel like I hear different things about the ice axe from everyone..what's the word? It's mainly for self-arrest, right? Doesn't that mean that it's useless unless you have it in hand at all times?

Self arrest or self-belay, or both.

I'm taking mine cause 2lbs (or whatever it weighs) is well worth my life. And given the off chance that I could use it to cut steps...learn to use it though. I don't have snow here where I live, and I doubt that I will get out to a snowy area to try self arresting (opted for the desert to do a shakedown in) so I'll be practicing it once I find a hill in OK that isn't too rocky...

As for crampons, I figure an axe is a better tool for this, and I don't feel like I'd really use the crampons. I might mail them to myself anyways in case its still icey, but thats doubtful.

For a thread on traction devices http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=33013&highlight=traction

Sly
02-28-2008, 17:39
When I recently hiked down the Grand Canyon I bought Yaktracs that worked fairly well on the Bright Angel Trail. About halfway down I was able to take them off but lost them off my pack. At Phantom Ranch I was able to buy these things called Ice Cleats for the way back up.

http://www.cmi-gear.com/catalog/essentials/icecleat.asp

They actually worked quite well and weigh next to nothing. I'll still bring an ice ax in case I have to chop steps, self belay etc but I tend to use my poles to keep me upright and balanced and try to time the passes when the snow softens up.

Also, although I'll be starting out with NB trail runners at the border I'll switch to a trail shoe with a stiffer sole in KM in order to kick steps if need be, then back to NB's once they're worn out.

clured
02-28-2008, 19:07
Sounds like the ice axe is necessary. All these little extras are starting to add up - axe, canister, extra clothes for the south. I'm starting to wonder if I should go with another sturdy GoLite back instead of a SUL pack...I keep having these visions of a pack strap ripping off something in the middle of nowhere and having to carry everything out by hand..

taildragger
02-28-2008, 19:55
Sounds like the ice axe is necessary. All these little extras are starting to add up - axe, canister, extra clothes for the south. I'm starting to wonder if I should go with another sturdy GoLite back instead of a SUL pack...I keep having these visions of a pack strap ripping off something in the middle of nowhere and having to carry everything out by hand..

You can still be light.

A 60cm ax is fairly light (raven ultra, maybe the ULA cathole digger), or you can use the whippets that BD makes

Bear can, well....yeah....they're heavy, no way around it.

Extra clothes for the south? What all are you taking? I've got a shirt, hat, sunglasses and shorts, and those are on me. Then an emergency poncho and a windshirt (maybe a balaclava). And 2-3 socks not being worn at that time.

Footslogger
02-28-2008, 19:58
[quote=taildragger;554395] or you can use the whippets that BD makes

=================================

I am planning on carrying the Whippet and another regular trekking pole. Were you suggesting using 2 Whippits ??

'Slogger

taildragger
02-28-2008, 20:04
[quote=taildragger;554395] or you can use the whippets that BD makes

=================================

I am planning on carrying the Whippet and another regular trekking pole. Were you suggesting using 2 Whippits ??

'Slogger

Hrmmm :-? a double poled self arrest would at least score a 9/10 if the self arrest judges are watching, possibly a ten if both arms are crossed and the poles don't stick ya.

If I were to carry them, I'd only carry one, I don't think that I have enough skill (and dexterity) to do two poles at the same time (maybe if I had $1million...)

I've deemed myself too fat for the poles (will be in the 230-240 range with pack and water) that, and I own an ice ax already.

Footslogger
02-28-2008, 20:47
[quote=taildragger;554426][quote=Footslogger;554407]

Hrmmm :-? a double poled self arrest would at least score a 9/10 if the self arrest judges are watching, possibly a ten if both arms are crossed and the poles don't stick ya.

If I were to carry them, I'd only carry one, I don't think that I have enough skill (and dexterity) to do two poles at the same time (maybe if I had $1million...)

================================

Thanks ...I was hoping that would be your answer. Not going for judges score - - just want to have the necessary tool, if necessary. I've already bought the Whippet and I can't imagine using 2 of them at the same time.

Funny, if I did have 2 Whippets and I lost my footing I would probably pitch one and use 2 hands on the other one anyway !!

'Slogger

fiddlehead
02-28-2008, 22:12
In a snow year like this one, self arrest would be a real plus to know before you get there.
But knowing how to fording safely (if that's possible at near-flood levels) would be more important.
(Too bad most don't attempt the tougher fords on the AT to learn and practice these techniques beforehand.)

good luck out there.

taildragger
02-28-2008, 22:18
In a snow year like this one, self arrest would be a real plus to know before you get there.
But knowing how to fording safely (if that's possible at near-flood levels) would be more important.
(Too bad most don't attempt the tougher fords on the AT to learn and practice these techniques beforehand.)

good luck out there.

Is there really a good way to prepare for package chilling high rushing water? I can't think of a creek in my neck of the woods to "practice" on, if it were to be waist deep and fast moving, I'd have to watch out for trees and other timber that the ice storm took out (and a Joel log jam sounds painful). And all the rivers round here are mud and sand bottom. Good grip unless you hit quick sand (or something of similar nature).

This is actually something that I've wondered about quite a bit, I'm just hoping that things have settled out by the time that I reach the Sierra's (late June, early July).

Dranoel
02-28-2008, 23:38
I'm reading the PCT: Southern California Book and found this passage:

Page 30 (Last Paragraph)
"If you plan to thru-hike and can choose the year to do it, then pick one in which the south half of the Sierra and all the lands south of it (Sections A-H) are having a relatively dry year."

Yeah- I guess for 2008 that means we are all going to have fun on the Trail. :)

I don't know if everyone has seen these two web sites concerning the precipitation this year:

California Snow Water Averages (above average):
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/products/PLOT_SWC.2008.pdf

PostHoler.com:
http://postholer.com/cgi-bin/postHoler?trail=PCT/

I was thinking about departing 1st week of April, but might delay until mid-April.

Heater
02-28-2008, 23:43
Is there really a good way to prepare for package chilling high rushing water? I can't think of a creek in my neck of the woods to "practice" on, if it were to be waist deep and fast moving, I'd have to watch out for trees and other timber that the ice storm took out (and a Joel log jam sounds painful). And all the rivers round here are mud and sand bottom. Good grip unless you hit quick sand (or something of similar nature).

This is actually something that I've wondered about quite a bit, I'm just hoping that things have settled out by the time that I reach the Sierra's (late June, early July).

I am thinking the late starters have the better plan this year. The late May starters will probaBly zero at the Sierras waiting for the Snow TO melt or Flip Flop and come back to the section. Late starters will catch up anyway and spend less.

They should move the AZDPCTMNOPXYZ :D to mid-May.

Footslogger
02-28-2008, 23:46
Is it too early to predict the type of year 2009 will be ?? Not sure the Farmers Almanac would be a good source :eek:

'Slogger

clured
02-28-2008, 23:53
Ok guys, forgive my ignorance here:

So, say I take an ice-axe. Since they are only effective for self-arrest if you are like, carrying it when the fall happens (I think..), does that mean that I just my poles like normal and switch to the ice axe while going over treacherous ice/snow?

Also, for other 2008ers, what pack volume are you taking? I keep on reading people talking about how stuffed out their packs were coming out of Kennedy Meadows. I don't want to get there and not be able to fit all my crap in.

Heater
02-28-2008, 23:56
I am thinking the late starters have the better plan this year. The late May starters will probaBly zero at the Sierras waiting for the Snow TO melt or Flip Flop and come back to the section. Late starters will catch up anyway and spend less.

They should move the AZDPCTMNOPXYZ :D to mid-May.

I meant to say the late April starters will probably zero at the Sierras or flip.

Oh well.

taildragger
02-29-2008, 00:02
Ok guys, forgive my ignorance here:

So, say I take an ice-axe. Since they are only effective for self-arrest if you are like, carrying it when the fall happens (I think..), does that mean that I just my poles like normal and switch to the ice axe while going over treacherous ice/snow?

Also, for other 2008ers, what pack volume are you taking? I keep on reading people talking about how stuffed out their packs were coming out of Kennedy Meadows. I don't want to get there and not be able to fit all my crap in.

I have a whitney, sans hood, roughly 5000CI, I figure everything can fit inside (including bear can) which will be nice to have the center of gravity be around my real center of gravity, although my pack is definitely huge by most standards and for my gear (I'd be in the light category if it weren't for that pack...)

I think something in the 4200 range would be perfect, especially if you're gonna bail to get food at Kearsage, which I won't, and I will be taking full advantage of my pack size during that trek.

As for the snow and ice, the way that I understand, and plan to hike is to use my polls, if its hard enough, I'll put up my polls and take out my ax and self belay the rest of the way. If you can sink your ax half shaft deep, you should be safe with self belaying, if you can't right yourself on a slip you'll have to switch from self belay to self arrest. I figure this is the safest, and damn it, if I'm carrying the ax I'm using it to do more than dig my cat holes

Dranoel
02-29-2008, 00:21
I have a whitney, sans hood, roughly 5000CI, I figure everything can fit inside (including bear can) which will be nice to have the center of gravity be around my real center of gravity, although my pack is definitely huge by most standards and for my gear (I'd be in the light category if it weren't for that pack...)

I think something in the 4200 range would be perfect, especially if you're gonna bail to get food at Kearsage, which I won't, and I will be taking full advantage of my pack size during that trek.

As for the snow and ice, the way that I understand, and plan to hike is to use my polls, if its hard enough, I'll put up my polls and take out my ax and self belay the rest of the way. If you can sink your ax half shaft deep, you should be safe with self belaying, if you can't right yourself on a slip you'll have to switch from self belay to self arrest. I figure this is the safest, and damn it, if I'm carrying the ax I'm using it to do more than dig my cat holes

I am using an Osprey Atmos 65 (4200ci).

Today I did my spreadsheet and my pack weight is 28 pounds.

When I factor in 5 L of water and 7 days of food (2 pounds per day) my total weight is 53 pounds.

This does not make me very happy, but I am carrying in all my gear- and intend on being more of a trail guy than a town guy. Also, with the heavy snow fall I don't plan to freeze on the trail.

I am a big guy, 6'3 at 205 pounds. I need to see what I can do to maybe shave some weight to keep it under 50 pounds.

//My tent (Kelty Teton 2), Sleeping Bag (North Face Fission 20 Degree), Therm-a-Rest 4 is arriving tomorrow. This makes me happy.

taildragger
02-29-2008, 00:29
I am using an Osprey Atmos 65 (4200ci).

Today I did my spreadsheet and my pack weight is 28 pounds.

When I factor in 5 L of water and 7 days of food (2 pounds per day) my total weight is 53 pounds.

This does not make me very happy, but I am carrying in all my gear- and intend on being more of a trail guy than a town guy. Also, with the heavy snow fall I don't plan to freeze on the trail.

I am a big guy, 6'3 at 205 pounds. I need to see what I can do to maybe shave some weight to keep it under 50 pounds.

//My tent (Kelty Teton 2), Sleeping Bag (North Face Fission 20 Degree), Therm-a-Rest 4 is arriving tomorrow. This makes me happy.

I think the easiest way to cut weight is
1) Wear all your clothes, maybe have a camp layer and maybe a silk layer to sleep in (LJ's in the Sierra's)
2) Use a poncho instead of rain gear
3) Use a tarp or a tarptent (1lbs is better than 3)
4) Make an alki stove (or use wood)
5) Down bag

I did that and it saved me a TON, however 50 lbs on a 200lbs guy is only 25% BW, so thats not bad at all.

fiddlehead
02-29-2008, 00:35
Ok guys, forgive my ignorance here:

So, say I take an ice-axe. Since they are only effective for self-arrest if you are like, carrying it when the fall happens (I think..), does that mean that I just my poles like normal and switch to the ice axe while going over treacherous ice/snow?


When you are traversing an incline in which a fall could mean a long and dangerous slide ending in rocks or a cliff below you, you should be ready and know the technique: Put the tether (loop) on your wrist in your uphill hand, sink the ice ax in DEEP with every thrust into the snow. (important) that way, many falls can be avoided just by holding onto the stationary ice ax at the beginning. (some ice axes have a wrist loop attachment that slides up or down the shaft, in this case, try to let it slide down as you fall (hope this makes sense to you)

If this doesn't work, and you find yourself sliding fast, you must flip over on your belly and put your free hand on top of the ice ax, pushing it into the snow/ice and lifting up with the bottom hand (on the shaft) sinking the point into the hard packed snow and pulling up on the handle is the brake.

Different snows make for different technique here and ice is the toughest. and on some snows, the ice ax will simply go through it like butter with no friction and no help (corn snow?) This is why it's a good idea to practice a lot when you first see the snow and learn which type you are on and have a good idea how you are going to stop once the fall has started.

I imagine you can find out more on google but the important thing is to practice. I probably practiced more than most but was glad for the bit of experience because I have had 2 falls which i saved myself with the ice ax. (neither one was actually on the PCT although one was bushwhacking up the backside of whitney when it was 80% snow covered) (the other was on the cdt)

Remember to sink it deep BEFORE the fall and you may not fall at all.

Sly
02-29-2008, 00:46
I am thinking the late starters have the better plan this year. The late April starters will probaBly zero at the Sierras waiting for the Snow TO melt or Flip Flop and come back to the section. Late starters will catch up anyway and spend less.

They should move the AZDPCTMNOPXYZ :D to mid-May.



Well, it all depends on how fast you get there. I took a week at Kennedy Meadows the 1st time around and probably will again. The northern part of the trail is also getting a lot of snow so flips this year will be difficult.

Although some start in May, southern California gets hot and springs dry up.

The KO isn't going to move, not this year anyway, they rent the campground at Lake Moreno 1 year in advance. The weekend they have it is the best for most years.

Dranoel
02-29-2008, 21:58
I just got from REI & found out my pack (Osprey Atmos 65) is not rated for 50+ pounds.

I need to do some research and select a new pack.

Sly
02-29-2008, 22:06
You shouldn't have to carry 50lbs. Your base weight shouldn't be much more than 15lbs. (less if possible) Add 10 for food during most resupplies and 12-16, at the most, for water only brings you up to 41lbs max.

Dranoel
02-29-2008, 22:29
You shouldn't have to carry 50lbs. Your base weight shouldn't be much more than 15lbs. (less if possible) Add 10 for food during most resupplies and 12-16, at the most, for water only brings you up to 41lbs max.

From my earlier post:
Today I did my spreadsheet and my pack weight is 28 pounds.

When I factor in 5 L of water and 7 days of food (2 pounds per day) my total weight is 53 pounds.

This does not make me very happy, but I am carrying in all my gear- and intend on being more of a trail guy than a town guy. Also, with the heavy snow fall I don't plan to freeze on the trail.

I am a big guy, 6'3 at 205 pounds. I need to see what I can do to maybe shave some weight to keep it under 50 pounds.

-------------------------------------------

Big "Three" (Tent, Backpack, & Sleeping bag/Mat) is usually around 10 pounds. Mine is 13.

The guy at REI stated PCT is not the AT. This pack would be fine for the AT with towns every 3 days. I agreed. The PCT I will be carrying 7 days worth of food (14 pounds) & 5 L water (11 pounds). I believe leaving KM I need 10 days of food- if I remember correctly.

My total pack weight (food & water) is 53 pounds.

Now, I need to get a heavier pack which is going to increase my weight by another 2 pounds or so.

This year the PCT is not going to be a typical year if the snow keeps falling. They are already way above average- which is going to make the trail a lot more difficult.

I am having to get extra items as such, which has increased my weight a little more than I like.

That being said- can anyone recommend a good pack? I was told to look at the Gregory Palisade 80. Any thoughts on this pack? It's a bit heavier than I want to go with.

A-Train
02-29-2008, 22:37
From my earlier post:
Today I did my spreadsheet and my pack weight is 28 pounds.

When I factor in 5 L of water and 7 days of food (2 pounds per day) my total weight is 53 pounds.

This does not make me very happy, but I am carrying in all my gear- and intend on being more of a trail guy than a town guy. Also, with the heavy snow fall I don't plan to freeze on the trail.

I am a big guy, 6'3 at 205 pounds. I need to see what I can do to maybe shave some weight to keep it under 50 pounds.

-------------------------------------------

Big "Three" (Tent, Backpack, & Sleeping bag/Mat) is usually around 10 pounds. Mine is 13.

The guy at REI stated PCT is not the AT. This pack would be fine for the AT with towns every 3 days. I agreed. The PCT I will be carrying 7 days worth of food (14 pounds) & 5 L water (11 pounds). I believe leaving KM I need 10 days of food- if I remember correctly.

My total pack weight (food & water) is 53 pounds.

Now, I need to get a heavier pack which is going to increase my weight by another 2 pounds or so.

This year the PCT is not going to be a typical year if the snow keeps falling. They are already way above average- which is going to make the trail a lot more difficult.

I am having to get extra items as such, which has increased my weight a little more than I like.

That being said- can anyone recommend a good pack? I was told to look at the Gregory Palisade 80. Any thoughts on this pack? It's a bit heavier than I want to go with.


Depends on your resupply strategy. If I were you i'd try to resupply often to keep the weight down. My max was 7 days(really 6+) twice (KM to Independence and Independence to Mammoth).

I'd say the average stetch is 4-5 days resupply.

Post your gearlist and let people pick it apart. 53 lbs is too much to be humping through the desert heat and will cut back on your enjoyment in the Sierra.

Sly's recommendation was good, try to stay around 15 lbs base weight.

The Palisades is a HEAVY pack. Try the Triconi by Gregory, or the ULA catalyst or maybe the Osprey Aether 70.

Sly
02-29-2008, 22:57
Big "Three" (Tent, Backpack, & Sleeping bag/Mat) is usually around 10 pounds. Mine is 13.

I know it's probably too late to change now but mine is just over 7lbs.

The guy at REI stated PCT is not the AT. This pack would be fine for the AT with towns every 3 days. I agreed. The PCT I will be carrying 7 days worth of food (14 pounds) & 5 L water (11 pounds). I believe leaving KM I need 10 days of food- if I remember correctly.

Yeah in there you need to carry a lot. I got lucky and was able to resupply at Horseshoe Meadows (Trail Pass Trail-3 days) Independence (Kearsarge Pass Trail, awesome-3 days) and VVR (6 days).

Two other places have 150 mile stretches but can be broken up to 50-100 and 75-75. IMO, it's worth the side trip.

My total pack weight (food & water) is 53 pounds.

Ouch! You may be one of the heaviest on the trail.

Now, I need to get a heavier pack which is going to increase my weight by another 2 pounds or so.

I guess. I have a Dana Design Terraplane I could sell you for $150. It's 7.5 pounds but will carry any load. What I carrying this year. ULA Catalyst, SMD Wild Oasis tarp south of KM, Lunar Solo - north of KM , Montbell Down bag, and Prolite pad weigh about the same)

This year the PCT is not going to be a typical year if the snow keeps falling. They are already way above average- which is going to make the trail a lot more difficult.

I am having to get extra items as such, which has increased my weight a little more than I like.

Yeah but it''s not like you need to carry much extra. Just an ice ax

That being said- can anyone recommend a good pack? I was told to look at the Gregory Palisade 80. Any thoughts on this pack? It's a bit heavier than I want to go with.

See above. Terraplane FS..



BTW, When I hiked the PCT the 1st time, I carried a Terraplane It wasn't all that bad. The pack I'd be selling isn't the one I used and has a lot less miles.

handlebar
02-29-2008, 23:12
From my earlier post:
Today I did my spreadsheet and my pack weight is 28 pounds.

When I factor in 5 L of water and 7 days of food (2 pounds per day) my total weight is 53 pounds.

T

Dranoel,

Hope to see you out there.

I'm carrying the Granite Gear Nimbus Meridian, same weight as the Osprey atmos 65, but I found it a lot more comfortable loaded down with 35 lbs at the outfitter's. It's a bomb pack and I've carried as much as 70 lbs during a session of trail crew this past summer. The pack carried fine, but I sure knew I had the weight on me as it was during a 2 mile, 1000 foot climb up to our base camp.

That said, I doubt you'll need to carry both 5 L of water and 7 days of food, but the point on lightening the load is a good one. Consider this: you can get a tarp at a pretty reasonable price. It and a tyvek ground cloth will be a lot lighter than your tent and probably more than adequate until WA state. Are you carrying an alcohol stove? etc., etc.

I worked up my spread sheet and was disappointed that I hadn't shaved as much weight as I thought I had. It was 24 lbs. Obviously, I'm not ultra-light, I like a few luxuries like a bull length thermarest, but I quickly found some options to save a bundle of weight---about 3-1/2 pounds and I'm not done yet. I decided I didn't need both my rain jacket and my dri-clime wind jacket. I decided I didn't need rain pants at all. I decided I didn't need either my shorts and their zip-off legs in addition to the kilt I'll be wearing. I decided I don't need the extra t-shirt. Most of these things have been in my clothes bag for winter backpacks in PA, but won't be needed in the California desert when I start out. You'll be surprised how quickly the ounces add up to pounds. Some of these things will go in my bounce bucket just in case, but I'll probably wind up sending them home.

Plus you could post your gear list here and get some help from experienced thru-hikers.

Sly
02-29-2008, 23:25
Also, for those that haven't hiked in the High Sierra, even though there's snow, much of the time you're hiking in a T-shirt, so it's not like you need warmer clothing.

Rain pants are recommended for WA in Sept..

Dranoel
02-29-2008, 23:59
Hiking the PCT Gear 2008

Big Three:

Kelty Teton 2 Tent 2007 ($99.97 68 oz)
Kelty Teton 2 Nylon Footprint ($24.97 8 oz)
Osprey 65 ($209.00 61 oz)
* CamelBak 3 Liter w/ Clips for Backpack (7.5 oz)
The North Face Fission +20 Sleeping Bag - Long ($179.96 41 oz)
Thermarest ProLite 4 Sleeping Pad - Large ($99.97 33 oz)
* Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 Regular Stuff Sack ($12.95 1 oz)
* Therm-a-Rest Repair Kit ($9.95 1 oz)

Sub-total: $ 636.77 (220.5 oz = 13.78125 lbs)

Clothing:

REI Smart Wool Hiking Socks (x2) Spare ($23.00 7.4 oz)
Marmot PreCip Jacket Dark Cedar ($99.00 14.5 oz)
Marmot PreCip Pant Dark Cedar ($90.00 13.5 oz)
Hiking Shirt (Spare) ($25.00 5 oz)
Dirty Stuff Sack ($10.00 2 oz)
Fleece Jacket ($50.00 16 oz)
Swimming shorts (6 oz)
Rescue 14 Hoddie (3 oz)
Scrubs (Pants for Sleeping) (9 oz)

Sub-total: $ 297.00 (76.4 oz = 4.775 lbs)

Wearing/Carrying:

Hiking Poles ($100.00)
OR Gore-Tex Hat ($48.00)
Polarized Sunglasses ($35.00)
Columbia Titanium Hiking Shirt ($25.00)
Long Sleeve & Longjohn Thermal ($56.00)
North Face Paramount Convertible Pants ($65.00)
Gaiters ($30.00)
Merrell Continuum Hiking Boots (Size 14) ($80.00)
REI Smart Wool Hiking Socks ($11.50)
Gerber Multi-Tool ($70.00)
Kodak Digital Camera
Watch (Temp/Barometer) ($80.00)

Sub-total: $ 600.50

Kitchen:

Windpro MSR w/ Windscreen ($80.00 7 oz)
Fuel (x2) ($9.00 5 oz)
Jetboil 1.5 Liter Pot ($54.00 7.5 oz)
Frying Pan (8 oz)
Drinking/Soup Cup (4 oz)
32 oz HDPE Loop-Top Bottle (x2) ($12.00 7.5 oz)
Fork/Spoon/Knife
P-38 Can Opener ($4.00 1 oz)
Waterproof Matches ($4.00 2 oz)

Sub-total: $ 163.00 (42 oz = 2.625 lbs)

Camp Gear:

Katadyn Vario Microfilter ($90.00 15 oz)
Camping Trowel ($2.00 2 oz)
NO-SEE-UM HEAD NET ($8.00 0.6 oz)
LED Head Lamp ($30.00 3 oz)
Compass ($10.00 5 oz)
Mirror ($2.00 0.6 0z)
Fire Starter Kit ($6.00 1.5 oz)
Ice Axe ($120.00 16 oz)
Duct Tape
Sewing Kit (2 oz)
Off! Deep Woods Repellent ($ 4.00 1.75 oz)
Roll of Toilet Paper (4 oz)
Bandanna(x2) ($ 8.00 2 oz)
Rope 50' ($1.50 2.5 oz)

Sub-total: $ 281.50 (55.95 oz = 3.496875 lbs)

Medical Kit: (16 oz)

Chapstick (UV Protection) ($2.25)
Benadryl
Ibuprofen (Vitamin I)
Imodium
Multi-Vitamins
Travel-size toothbrush
Tooth-paste
Sunscreen
Band-aids
Mole Skin
Penlight (2 oz)
Survival Blanket ($2.00 2 oz)

Sub-total: $4.25 (20 oz = 1.25 lbs)

Miscellaneous Items

NIV Trail Bible ($15.00 23.5 oz)
GPS (7.2 oz)
Notebook (Journal) (8 oz)

Sub-total: $15.00 (38.7 oz = 2.41875 lbs)

Grand Totals: $ 1,998.02 (453.55 oz = 28.346875 lbs)
Pack Weight 28.346875

# Liters 5
Water weight per liter 2.2 = 11 lbs

# Days of Food 7
Food weight per day (Average 2 pounds) 14 lbs

Total Pack Weight 53.35 lbs

-----------------------------------------------

That's my list. I decided not to do a tarp system because of the nastiness on the trail this year. I figure I might be holed up (snowed in) on the trail for several days and this would be better for me.

I am not looking for a lot of town days- I prefer to be on the trail. My intent is not to blaze the trail in 4 months. I want to enjoy it and take extra time in seeing its wonder. So I plan to hike it in about 6 months.

If anyone can give me some more recommendations I'd appreciate it. I am looking into the tents everyone has mentioned above. Thanks. :)



//I am a healthy 6'3 205 pound 40 year old male. I don't want to feel like a pack mule.

//Trust me. I am not trying to lug in over 50+ pounds of gear. I am now looking at ways to trim it back a little. I was a shocked as anyone when I did my spreadsheet yesterday!

Dranoel
03-01-2008, 00:04
I am looking into the backpacks everyone has mentioned above. Thanks. :)


//Can't edit my own post? That sucks. =)

fiddlehead
03-01-2008, 00:18
Things on your list (above) that i would not take: heavy tent, footprint, thermo-rest (heavy and the PCT camping is pretty gentle, often sandy), camelback (they leak when it get's below freezing), swimming shorts (your hiking shorts will do, and things dry very quickly out west), scrubs for sleeping, gerber multi-tool, frying pan, fork, trowel, mirror, waterproof matches, 2nd bandana, bible 23 oz.???, 11 lbs of water?

so, i think you could very easily drop a lot of weight. You won't need many of those things and often there are lighter alternatives for not much money. I'm sure you can find many ideas here on whiteblaze.

i never carried more than 3 litres of water and that was once. (learn to camel up) you won't have to carry much water at all in the Sierras when you are carrying your ice ax and possibly heavier clothes. I've never used a footprint in my life and question those that think you need one. Is your tent floor so cheap that it won't stand up to sand?, Thermorest might be nice in the snow but most of your camping will be on nice flat sandy soil. (unlike the AT) Anyway, that's my 2 cents on your packweight. Have fun!

karadactyl
03-01-2008, 00:38
1. It never rains in california, but boy.... It rains up north in the fall...snow too! Some whine more than others. Never use one of those tents.:(

2.I like 2 liters and a pint. Know your limits.;)

3.Sounds like you should be able to figure that out.:o

4.I always wore shorts and a t shirt:eek:

5. I sleep with my food. Last I checked it was a violation to hang your food because so many hikers lost their food and so many bears had to be put down. Carry a canister if you're not comfortable in bear country.:)

Nean, I love your smilies!!!!

Love, Bucket

Dranoel
03-01-2008, 01:42
Things on your list (above) that i would not take: heavy tent, footprint, thermo-rest (heavy and the PCT camping is pretty gentle, often sandy), camelback (they leak when it get's below freezing), swimming shorts (your hiking shorts will do, and things dry very quickly out west), scrubs for sleeping, gerber multi-tool, frying pan, fork, trowel, mirror, waterproof matches, 2nd bandana, bible 23 oz.???, 11 lbs of water?

so, i think you could very easily drop a lot of weight. You won't need many of those things and often there are lighter alternatives for not much money. I'm sure you can find many ideas here on whiteblaze.

i never carried more than 3 litres of water and that was once. (learn to camel up) you won't have to carry much water at all in the Sierras when you are carrying your ice ax and possibly heavier clothes. I've never used a footprint in my life and question those that think you need one. Is your tent floor so cheap that it won't stand up to sand?, Thermorest might be nice in the snow but most of your camping will be on nice flat sandy soil. (unlike the AT) Anyway, that's my 2 cents on your packweight. Have fun!

Thanks for the feedback.

The Footprint is for me to put underneath the Therm-a-Rest when I sleep under the stars. I want to protect it. I also hope to sleep as much as I can beneath the canopy of stars. Tent is for bad/sh!@ty/snow type weather.

The mirror is for my contacts. Learned that lesson the hard way. Hiking an 11 mile loop & a contact slipped. Couldn't correct it- until I made it back to my vehicle.

Valid point on the swimming shorts, frying pan (I was thinking about frying spam- but I'm not packing can foods. Good catch. :)), and I guess I don't need a 2nd bandanna.

I read several journals that stated they had 4 to 6 Liters. Sounds like they were needed. I figured 5 L would be safe. Once I reach the Sierra's (or plenty of water on the trail) I could not have them filled to capacity.


Thanks again. Any more positive ideas from the group? Did I forget something important to take?

Sly
03-01-2008, 02:31
Nean, I love your smilies!!!!

Love, Bucket

Nean is the smiley king! :banana

clured
03-03-2008, 08:55
So, assuming the snowcover is still substantial in the high sierra when I go through (starting May 15), what will that do to my mileage? Does it slow you down a whole lot, or is it just a pain? How hard would it be to keep on averaging 30's after Kennedy Meadows? If it does slow you down, how much of the trail is really affected? As in, could I really truck it through SoCal to build up some padding for slow days in the mountains?

I only have about 105 days maximum, and I want to make sure that finishing is doable.

rafe
03-03-2008, 09:10
So, assuming the snowcover is still substantial in the high sierra when I go through (starting May 15), what will that do to my mileage?

Can you not guess? :-? :confused: ;)

fiddlehead
03-03-2008, 09:15
Would be tough to maintain 30's through snow.
Problem's are route finding, fords will take longer looking for the best spot to cross and possibly waiting until morning when the runoff is lower, and then, after 3 pm, there's a good chance that you will be postholing. It's hard to make much of anything when the snow has turned to postholing. Better if you are already up near the tops of the passes at that time of day and then sliding down on your butt once the snow is too soft to walk in.
I have a video on youtube that shows some of this sliding down the mountain:
about 1/2 of the way thru the vid is the downhill technique we used a lot. Makes all that hard work of getting up there in the snow worthwhile. http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZEPxDtepd_8

The video is from the CDT. The Sierras has a lot of huge boulders to contend with at the bottom of those runouts so be careful and know how to self arrest.

clured
03-03-2008, 11:40
Terrapin: Obviously the snow will slow me down; that's a given. The question is to what degree. The White's are a huge hit to mileage on the AT, but they are sufficiently contained that it doesn't really massively affect your overall pace. What percentage of the trail will be slowed down by the snow? Like, if it's only about 500 miles, I feel like I could compensate for having to walk 20's with lots of 35's elsewhere. But if it's 1000 miles, it would get harder to finish in my time window, and finishing is important to me.

taildragger
03-03-2008, 11:46
That list seems heavy, I think my stuff last time I packed was a total of 16lbs base, and thats with a gregory whitney. Follow the suggestions.

On a side note, when anyone recommend a cover sheet for my tarptent in the desert? Not sure about the thorny's and would like to have the floor in good condition after the hike is over.

fiddlehead
03-03-2008, 14:53
Terrapin: Obviously the snow will slow me down; that's a given. The question is to what degree. The White's are a huge hit to mileage on the AT, but they are sufficiently contained that it doesn't really massively affect your overall pace. What percentage of the trail will be slowed down by the snow? Like, if it's only about 500 miles, I feel like I could compensate for having to walk 20's with lots of 35's elsewhere. But if it's 1000 miles, it would get harder to finish in my time window, and finishing is important to me.

I don't know that Terrapin has done a lot of hiking in the Sierras as he's started a thread asking questions about it himself.
Anyway, with the snow level so far, I think you are in for more than 500 miles of snow???
My brother lives in Tahoe and has been sending me pictures for the last 2 months of all the snow he has down at lake level. It is quite shocking.
I would think you would have snow until from just after KM until mid to late July.

With your May 1st start and doing 35's, you may be behind it but of course it depends on how fast it melts. I've hiked a lot in the snow, it slows you down perhaps where a 20 feels like a 30, depending on postholing and route finding problems.

I am thinking you may have mostly snow until Carson pass at least and then patches.

rafe
03-03-2008, 15:06
I don't know that Terrapin has done a lot of hiking in the Sierras as he's started a thread asking questions about it himself.

Terrapin knows squat about hiking the PCT, but he knows that hiking in deep snow is much more difficult than hiking on hard ground. :D Clured thinks he might do 20s in snow, as opposed to 30-35 elsewhere. I say more power to him!! :rolleyes:

yappy
03-03-2008, 15:11
It was very heavy in washington state this year too. record snows in the cascades for those folks doing a sobo.

Sly
03-03-2008, 15:37
Terrapin knows squat about hiking the PCT, but he knows that hiking in deep snow is much more difficult than hiking on hard ground. :D Clured thinks he might do 20s in snow, as opposed to 30-35 elsewhere. I say more power to him!! :rolleyes:

Hiking on old, consolidated snow is much different than hiking in fresh snow. Sometimes it won't slow you that much. However, as it gets softer during the day you'll end up postholing which can be exceedingly slow and exhaustive. In '99 which was near normal, leaving Kennedy Meadows June 15th, I was able to hike 17-22 mpd.

clured
03-04-2008, 22:43
Ok, preliminary gearlist. Any and all opinions welcome.

Pack - GoLite Jam2
Tarp - Oware Flat Tarp 6x8
Bag - Western Mountaineering Ultralight
Pad - Thermarest Short
Bivy - Oware
Groundcloth - Tyvek

Poles - Komperdell Featherlight

Shoes - Montrail Hardrocks
Socks - 3 x Patagonia Lightweight Endurance Quarter
Orthotics - Superfeet

Aquamira
TP
Databooks
ID
Toothbrush/paste
Hand Sanitizer
Sunscreen
Whistle
Compass
Small Blade

GoLite rain shell
Lightass poncho
Rain pants
Capilene top
Montbell Ultralight Down Jacket
Hat

Freedomforce Micro LED
Platys - 2x1L, 1x2L
Ice Axe - Camp Corsa

Bear Canister (ugh)


What am I missing?

Jerk
03-05-2008, 00:30
You might want gloves and/or mittens.

vaporjourney
03-05-2008, 00:42
Maybe swap out the rain jacket for a 3 oz wind shirt. Keep the 'lightass poncho' for rain protection, and you know there ain't much rain in Cali.

Otherwise, looks like a really good gear list.

clured
03-05-2008, 00:47
You might want gloves and/or mittens.

For cold, or to keep your hands from getting sunburned in the desert?

Thanks for the tip vaportrail. Anyone know how cold it gets up in the high Sierra? Is that Montbell down jacket necessary?

fiddlehead
03-05-2008, 00:52
Personally, i would save the thermorest for Kennedy Meadows and use half a pad. Southern CA is often sandy and easy to find a nice sleeping spot. Could save 1/2 lb i think. But you might be camping in snow in the Sierras so perhaps add the pad then. (KM)
I agree, gloves definitely for the Sierras and perhaps for the southern part too (i usually have liners but don't use poles so it's not like a wear them much) in snow, it's a different story and i've already had ccold hands when i forgot them. Of course your spare socks could do in a pinch. (which reminds me, i would have a pair of fleece socks for sleeping in the Sierras as your feet will most likely get wet everyday there)

Don't see a need for poncho, rain pants, rain shell and bivy for the south. Too much.

Don't forget some sunglasses for the Sierra snow also. Have fun!

Sly
03-05-2008, 00:54
For cold, or to keep your hands from getting sunburned in the desert?


If you're susceptible to sunburn both.

vaporjourney
03-05-2008, 01:02
Check out sun gloves by Coolibar. I've got a pair and they're perfect. May still need liner gloves to stay warm at camp, but the verdict is still out.

I say in socal, ditch all rain gear, get a wind shirt, and umbrella. Umbrella for much needed shade, and rain protection if it actually rains. Wind shirt for 3 oz of warmth and to cut the chill from persistent desert winds. I think the bivy is a good idea though to cut the wind when sleeping as well as add 5-10 deg of warmth, where nights are supposedly chillly. I'm a cold sleeper, and will definitely have my bivy along.

Anyone have experience with lots of zeros at Kennedy Meadows? I'm planning on starting April 24, and am well aware of the snow situation. I really don't want to start later though, be behind the herd, and experience even worse desert heat in May. I'm thinking if I don't decide to buy some crampons and go thru the Sierras, a few zeroes at KM and maybe either hitch or rent a car and spend a few days in Death Valley? Is KM a fun place to spend a few days? I know theres really nothing there...but is the view nice?

Sly
03-05-2008, 01:16
Anyone have experience with lots of zeros at Kennedy Meadows? I'm planning on starting April 24, and am well aware of the snow situation. I really don't want to start later though, be behind the herd, and experience even worse desert heat in May. I'm thinking if I don't decide to buy some crampons and go thru the Sierras, a few zeroes at KM and maybe either hitch or rent a car and spend a few days in Death Valley? Is KM a fun place to spend a few days? I know theres really nothing there...but is the view nice?

I spent a week. :D First you can stay for free on the river near where the trail crosses. For a few days, during the day, I spent most time at the store and hung out there, took care of my food, gear, drank beer, met hikers, ate etc Later Meadow Ed came up and got a few spots at the FS campground. More beer, hikers, food etc.

I'm not sure about renting cars but DV isn't all that far away and is pretty neat, but really spread out. With the cost of gar you're probably better off just hanging out and fattening up..

I'll most likely a few more days off than normal hiking to KM if there's still a lot of snow in the Sierra. Probably take 2 nights Big Bear, Wrightwood, the Saufley's, Joe and Terri's if they're hosting hikers this year, Tehachapi, and Lake Isabella (Onyx) before KM.

fiddlehead
03-05-2008, 01:17
Yeah, KM is nice. There used to be a great bar (Grumpy's???) about 2 miles away from the trail. Take a fishing rod too. I only stayed there a day or two but had a great time at the bar. (if you have to wait longer, Death Valley, Reno, Bishop, are all nearby (well Reno isn't that close but one road leads to it after you come down from the mtn.)

Some good AYCE's there. (Reno) I once hitched to Vegas from Bishop. VERY tough hitch across Death Valley! only foreigners picked me up. ( I think the Americans just assumed i was crazy for trying it. )

vaporjourney
03-05-2008, 01:18
Don't overlook that the southern peaks of CA are receiving even more relative snowfall than the rest of the state! Looks like climbing the Jacintos may be tricky. Man I don't wanna roadwalk...

Sly
03-05-2008, 01:32
Grumpy's is still there. They have a truck with a trailer for hikers that want to go eat.

Sly
03-05-2008, 01:35
Don't overlook that the southern peaks of CA are receiving even more relative snowfall than the rest of the state! Looks like climbing the Jacintos may be tricky. Man I don't wanna roadwalk...

Unless there are late storms it shouldn't be much of a problem, but yeah there will be some snow

The Weasel
03-05-2008, 11:37
I am using an Osprey Atmos 65 (4200ci).

Today I did my spreadsheet and my pack weight is 28 pounds.

When I factor in 5 L of water and 7 days of food (2 pounds per day) my total weight is 53 pounds.

This does not make me very happy, but I am carrying in all my gear- and intend on being more of a trail guy than a town guy. Also, with the heavy snow fall I don't plan to freeze on the trail.

I am a big guy, 6'3 at 205 pounds. I need to see what I can do to maybe shave some weight to keep it under 50 pounds.

//My tent (Kelty Teton 2), Sleeping Bag (North Face Fission 20 Degree), Therm-a-Rest 4 is arriving tomorrow. This makes me happy.

Dran---

If you'd like to post a gear list, perhaps I can make a few suggestions about how to save some weight. If you do, list everything.

The Weasel

clured
03-05-2008, 13:17
Guys,

Thanks so fookin much for all the advice; this is great stuff. I'm still not sure about the temperatures in the high sierra - how cold does it get up there? Since I'm carrying a 20deg down bag, do I need a jacket for warmth up there? As in, do I need to shell out $150, or can I get by with nylon t-shirt + capilene top + goretex shell?

PS, I know that a lot of this is in Yogi's book, but she's not selling it until March 11, and I need to get a move on if this is going to come together.

Thanks dudes.

Sly
03-05-2008, 13:22
Nights can get cold in the Sierras but a 20* bag is all you should need for the entire trail. The only gear switch I have is from a tarp to a tent and adding a bear canister and ice ax at KM. Otherwise, I'll carry a t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, fleece, rain jacket, balaclava, sun hat and convertible pants.

Mags
03-05-2008, 13:36
As in, do I need to shell out $150, or can I get by with nylon t-shirt + capilene top + goretex shell?




Shell out $15. Light, warm, cheap.

http://www.rddusa.com/U-S-G-I-M-65-Jacket-Liner-Military-Army-Liners-Army-Clothing-Military-Gear-Camouflage-Clothing-Military-Surplus-Army-Navy-Surplus-Vintage-Urban-Wear-Out-Wear-Us-Gi.html

taildragger
03-05-2008, 13:57
Guys,

Thanks so fookin much for all the advice; this is great stuff. I'm still not sure about the temperatures in the high sierra - how cold does it get up there? Since I'm carrying a 20deg down bag, do I need a jacket for warmth up there? As in, do I need to shell out $150, or can I get by with nylon t-shirt + capilene top + goretex shell?

PS, I know that a lot of this is in Yogi's book, but she's not selling it until March 11, and I need to get a move on if this is going to come together.

Thanks dudes.

Gear that I plan on adding in the Sierra's

100wt fleece jacket
maybe grab my capilenes (maybe just bring silk instead) to sleep in
Zip pants
Ice ax
Bear can

I might switch to a stiffer shoe or a lightweight boot, not sure yet, it will be depending on the snow level when I get there.

I've got crampons, but I can't see myself bringing them. They seem like something that will just be dead weight for my arrival date (Late June / early July)

Sly
03-05-2008, 14:04
:datz Right, forgot about an ice ax and bear canister! (added)

taildragger
03-05-2008, 14:08
Rain and the Sierra's

Will I be fine with my Driclime and an emergency poncho? I assume that they chance of showers is still relatively low (i.e. maybe a few of them that actually hit me), or should I look into upgrading to a little better poncho?

taildragger
03-05-2008, 14:12
Gear that I plan on adding in the Sierra's

100wt fleece jacket
maybe grab my capilenes (maybe just bring silk instead) to sleep in
Zip pants
Ice ax
Bear can

I might switch to a stiffer shoe or a lightweight boot, not sure yet, it will be depending on the snow level when I get there.

I've got crampons, but I can't see myself bringing them. They seem like something that will just be dead weight for my arrival date (Late June / early July)

Forgot to add that I might be picking up a lightweight rod and small box of lures. MMMM fresh trout...

Sly
03-05-2008, 14:12
Rain and the Sierra's

Will I be fine with my Driclime and an emergency poncho? I assume that they chance of showers is still relatively low (i.e. maybe a few of them that actually hit me), or should I look into upgrading to a little better poncho?

Hard to say. It can rain, and it can rain hard anywhere in CA but if you get rained on more than 5 times I'd be surprised. If you hike in WA during Sept that's another matter. Probably rained 3 of four weeks when I was there.

tlbj6142
03-05-2008, 14:29
Beside's Mag's website (http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php), I assume you have read Chris' site (http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/faculty/cwillett/pct/index.html) (whiteblaze member and frequent poster). His PCT journal is awesome.

Sly
03-05-2008, 14:33
Beside's Mag's website (http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php),

Someone needs to make Mag's PCT Handout post a sticky! Mowgli, Tha Wookie, Bueller?

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=29446

Skidsteer
03-05-2008, 15:04
Someone needs to make Mag's PCT Handout post a sticky! Mowgli, Tha Wookie, Bueller?

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=29446

Taken care of, Sly.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=34010

The replies went poof though. I tried copying the original thread to save them but I think I messed up by not renaming the thread. Oh well. Only 7 or 8 posts.:o

Sly
03-05-2008, 15:14
Taken care of, Sly.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=34010

The replies went poof though. I tried copying the original thread to save them but I think I messed up by not renaming the thread. Oh well. Only 7 or 8 posts.:o


No problem, Mag's doc was the important one.

A-Train
03-05-2008, 17:08
Guys,

Thanks so fookin much for all the advice; this is great stuff. I'm still not sure about the temperatures in the high sierra - how cold does it get up there? Since I'm carrying a 20deg down bag, do I need a jacket for warmth up there? As in, do I need to shell out $150, or can I get by with nylon t-shirt + capilene top + goretex shell?

PS, I know that a lot of this is in Yogi's book, but she's not selling it until March 11, and I need to get a move on if this is going to come together.

Thanks dudes.

I used a very battered 20 degree down bag, liner and WM Flight down jacket in June in the Sierra. Mighta been a little overkill, but there were some cold nights and mornings. Basically depends. Are you a cold sleeper? I'd say you can get by without it, but a jacket gives you flexibility. What if you wanna camp high at a fabulous location? What if you wanna hang out in the evening and watch a sunset, or get up early and watch the sunruse?

The Sierras are phenomenal, take your time and soak them in. The whole PCT is awesome, but I don't think I appreciated the Sierra's grandeur until after I was gone.

tlbj6142
03-05-2008, 18:03
FWIW, my brother (Father Ounce AT'04, not sure if he'll keep that trail name) will be on the PCT this year as well. I think he plans to start about a week before the kick-off as he has to leave for a week in early June for a wedding (not his).

neighbor dave
03-06-2008, 06:57
here's a link to a site with photos (current conditions)of the san gabriels if you're interested.
go to trip reports
http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.org/forum6.php

neighbor dave
03-06-2008, 07:24
current conditions in the sierras
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/45356/Main/45356/?PHPSESSID=8cf2fce0ff904918564f2949493c4741#Post45 356

neighbor dave
03-06-2008, 20:41
current photos of san jacinto
http://www.rickkent.net/ViewerPlus/viewer.aspx?FolderID=689&Page=13

clured
03-07-2008, 00:05
Looks gorgeous. What's a little snowpack, eh? Bring it, mountain.

GGS2
03-07-2008, 00:19
What's a little snowpack, eh? Bring it, mountain.

Ohhh, don't taunt the mountain! :eek: Very dangerous. Be afraid, etc. :p

clured
03-10-2008, 18:17
Yo dudes, what the deal with camping on snow? What changes? Does the snow melt from your body heat? I'm from Alabama originally so I know nothing about cold stuff...

vaporjourney
03-10-2008, 18:37
You should never have to camp on top of snow on the PCT. Either brush the snow away from your campsite, or just go further down the mountain to lower elevations where you can easily find dry pockets of ground.

fiddlehead
03-10-2008, 21:51
This year he might.
Although i rarely hike with a thermorest (only for winter camping) I would probably use one from Kennedy Meadows onward this year. The Thermorest will keep you better insulated than a pad for sure.
Once when we went winter camping, 3 of us had: my thin blue foam pad, my buddy had a Ridge Rest AND my brother had a thermorest. In the morning (after sleeping on snow) you could see the indentations in the snow from where we slept with mine being the deepest, then the ridegrest, and the Thermorest hardly melted the snow!

Proved a lot to me although i still don't use one much. too heavy for me. But you should make sure you have a good sleeping bag also. You will get used to it and maybe even prefer it if you are a warm sleeper and have picked the right gear. (no lumps, roots, rocks, in your bed and you certainly don't have to go far for water!)

clured
03-10-2008, 22:01
Yeah, I think I'll throw my thermarest halfie into the maildrop to Kennedy Meadows along with the axe/canister. What do you use normally, Fiddlehead? I think I may buy the $18 Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso for the south.

One more (hopefully the last; I'm probably going to send off my big gear order sometime in the next couple days:)). What the deal with bugs? Big problem, or manageable with normal stuff? I got eaten alive in Maine last summer, and I don't want to repeat that. As in, do I need to carry some kind of real bug protection, or can I get by with DEET/headnet at night? It boils down to: tarp + bivy, or some kind of bug proof shelter, like the SMD Wild Oasis?

You guys kick a$s,
-David

A-Train
03-11-2008, 02:24
Yeah, I think I'll throw my thermarest halfie into the maildrop to Kennedy Meadows along with the axe/canister. What do you use normally, Fiddlehead? I think I may buy the $18 Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso for the south.

One more (hopefully the last; I'm probably going to send off my big gear order sometime in the next couple days:)). What the deal with bugs? Big problem, or manageable with normal stuff? I got eaten alive in Maine last summer, and I don't want to repeat that. As in, do I need to carry some kind of real bug protection, or can I get by with DEET/headnet at night? It boils down to: tarp + bivy, or some kind of bug proof shelter, like the SMD Wild Oasis?

You guys kick a$s,
-David

I value my sanity, so I liked having a tarptent with netting. I also carried a headnet and Deet for when I stopped to cook or eat. Overall, the bugs weren't as bad as they were made out to be, but there were a couple places near Bear Creek that were pretty terrible. Also, most of Yosemite was really buggy and unpleasant (and hot, and filled with PUDS, but that's another story....lol).

In general I didn't find the bugs too bad on the PCT. Now that I think of it, Wallace Creek north of Crabtree Meadows was bad too.

fiddlehead
03-11-2008, 04:41
Clured:
I remember bugs (mosquitoes) being bad for about a week or two only.
It was in the Sierras north of Tuollume was the worst. I was ok with a bugnet.

If i was going out again, i think i would sew about 6" of bugnetting to the bottom perimeter of my sil-shelter and still take a headnet.
i personally don't like deet on me but i know it's the norm to use it.

I don't know how much weight you like to carry but you will surely carry more in the Sierras already. (I don't mind trading some comfort for less weight, and feel if you hike hard enough, you will get the good nights sleep anyway) (and i think i remember that you plan to hike pretty hard and fast, that's my style too)
I would probably (now that i'm 57) substitute a ridge rest and send my blue foam (i only use a half) ahead. I still wouldn't carry the thermorest unless it was springtime (before June) when it is colder. That's an extra lb isn't it?

clured
03-15-2008, 02:20
Hmm..my Yogi's book just came in (it's fab!). Is she really right about the no-trail runners in the south? I'm really, really reluctant to give up my Montrail Hardrocks (they fit my feet perfectly), but if it's really true that they would be too insulating, I guess I'll do so.. I mean, how much of a difference in ventilation could there be between Hardrocks and an Asics running shoe? Also, as a track/cc runner in high school, I know that running shoes are not designed for walking - it's a totally different motion. What gives?

Also, for about an hour tonight I was considering getting the GoLite Pinnacle instead of the Jam; it's about 4oz heavier, but you get like 1,200 extra cubes. I'm thinking about packing out of Kennedy Meadows..bear canister, lots of food, down jacket.

fiddlehead
03-15-2008, 04:46
Not sure why you wouldn't want trail runners in the south (desert)
I thought that's where Jardine FIRST started braggin them up?

i know i wouldn't trade mine (Montrail Vitesse's) for much of anything different in that situation. I haven't been on that trail since 2002 but the only thing i think is different is all the fires they have. Probably make for dirtier feet at least.

Marta
03-15-2008, 06:53
I think she's talking about trail runners that have some sort of vapor barrier in them. I got a pair like that a few years ago--very hot. The ones I normally use are very breathable and cool. It's hard to tell the difference by looking at them. Read the fine print in the description of your shoe.

vaporjourney
03-15-2008, 10:21
Yogi isn't trying to turn you back to boots, but she argues that you should wear 'normal' running shoes because they are lighter and more breathable than trail runners. So, 'normal' shoes have less support underneath, typically, but will allow your feet to breathe more.

My solution has been to switch from Hardrocks to Inov-8 Terroc 330's. I've noticed a pretty big difference in the amount of air flow that reach my feet. When I go running with my Inov-8's, my feet sweat a lot less, which is CRUCIAL in the desert. I also really appreciate a little extra wiggle room in the toebox, although it isn't necessary with my narrow feet.

If you hate wearing DEET as I do, consider finding some really breathable clothing for the High Sierra that you could also use in other parts of the trail. I'm going to have a long-sleeved RailRiders shirt with mesh in the sides, as well as RailRiders Eco-Mesh pants which have mesh that lines the sides of the pants. Spray the mesh with Permithin which lasts for weeks, and bugs will leave your arms and legs alone. In really buggy meadows, wear a BPL Headnet (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ultralight_headnet.html), which has pores small enough to block mosquitos, but not much else. Then again, Noseeums aren't as common on the PCT, and definitely no midges. The larger pore size allows you to actually hike in the headnet without overheating like noseeum netting causes, and it also gives you MUCH better visibility.

For bugproof shelter, I'm experimenting this year, and hope that it doesn't fail! I'll be using a bivy on the whole trip for an extra 10 degrees of warmth and to eliminate drafts in my quilt. I've had bug netting sewn around the head that zips shut when need be. I'm hoping to have my head totally enclosed by this netting that will zip shut at the chest, and this netting will be suspended from my face by pulling the netting upward with a string attached to my tarps ridgeline. So, the bivy will be extremely multi-purpose: 1) groundcloth, 2) additional warmth, 3) dew protection when cowboy camping, and 4) bug protection. All for 8 oz.

TwoForty
03-15-2008, 12:42
Hmm..my Yogi's book just came in (it's fab!). Is she really right about the no-trail runners in the south? I'm really, really reluctant to give up my Montrail Hardrocks (they fit my feet perfectly), but if it's really true that they would be too insulating, I guess I'll do so.. I mean, how much of a difference in ventilation could there be between Hardrocks and an Asics running shoe? Also, as a track/cc runner in high school, I know that running shoes are not designed for walking - it's a totally different motion. What gives?

Also, for about an hour tonight I was considering getting the GoLite Pinnacle instead of the Jam; it's about 4oz heavier, but you get like 1,200 extra cubes. I'm thinking about packing out of Kennedy Meadows..bear canister, lots of food, down jacket.

I'll probably try on some road running shoes, but I can't imagine anyhting having more ventilation that my Salomon XA Prd 3D trail runners.

A-Train
03-15-2008, 13:54
Hmm..my Yogi's book just came in (it's fab!). Is she really right about the no-trail runners in the south? I'm really, really reluctant to give up my Montrail Hardrocks (they fit my feet perfectly), but if it's really true that they would be too insulating, I guess I'll do so.. I mean, how much of a difference in ventilation could there be between Hardrocks and an Asics running shoe? Also, as a track/cc runner in high school, I know that running shoes are not designed for walking - it's a totally different motion. What gives?

Also, for about an hour tonight I was considering getting the GoLite Pinnacle instead of the Jam; it's about 4oz heavier, but you get like 1,200 extra cubes. I'm thinking about packing out of Kennedy Meadows..bear canister, lots of food, down jacket.

I'd tend to agree with Yogi, unfortunately. I had two pairs of what I thought were perfectly good trail runners (Hardrocks and Vasque Velocity) give my feet tremendous problems (blisters) at the start. As soon as I switched to a breathable light New Balance sneaker, no problems. Used Brooks sneakers the rest of the way with no blisters.

Some people wore trailrunners in the desert and made out OK, but I'd be skeptical (have another pair ready to be mailed) if they're not working out. Although I love shoes like the Hardrock and Continental Divide, unfortunately they don't offer as much breathability as a running shoe.

Sly
03-15-2008, 14:07
I'm confused> I've used NB 800 series and a pair ventilated Merrell's (Chameleon's?)in the desert and was fine. Those are trail runners.

clured
03-15-2008, 16:41
Well this sucks. This means that all the experimentation before/on the AT that led to the choice of Montrail is useless. Something tells me that the probability of finding the equivalently right running shoe on the first stab is pretty small. Anyone else know about that innov-8 brand? They look good, but I've never heard of it. Right now I'm leaning towards Asics + superfeet, because that is kind on me as a runner (although I'm still unconvinced that this has anything to do with how good they will be as walkers..)

Sly
03-15-2008, 17:27
You don't know how your feet are going to react. I didn't have any blisters on the PCT. Of course, if you're starting in May, it's going to be hotter. I wouldn't worry to much. I think there's an outfitter in Idyllwild

vaporjourney
03-15-2008, 17:36
I agree with Sly. I'd say try to find some shoes that fit you and seem to have lots of breathable mesh. The Inov-8s work for me, but you may find some other normal running shoes that are just as good. If you get some normal running shoes that lack the support of trail runners, just do as you suggested clured, and throw in a pair of superfeet.

yappy
03-15-2008, 17:39
I love my hard rocks. I didn't have blisters on the pct either. I was wearing adidas trail response at the time. they were awesome. Don't make them anymore though, at least i think. Wearing a liner alone will help keep your feet cool too.

vaporjourney
03-15-2008, 18:19
I have thought about switching to thinner socks, but hate the lack of durability. I've worn liner socks alone, and they didn't last any longer than a week. Maybe liner socks over liner socks?

yappy
03-15-2008, 18:40
really ?.. wow, my liners last a LONG time. I use smart wools most of the time. what kind do ya use ?

did i meet you in 05 ?..

neighbor dave
03-15-2008, 18:56
:-?fishnet stockings, come with holes and are very stylish;)

Dogwood
03-15-2008, 22:37
I used a very battered 20 degree down bag, liner and WM Flight down jacket in June in the Sierra. Mighta been a little overkill, but there were some cold nights and mornings. Basically depends. Are you a cold sleeper? I'd say you can get by without it, but a jacket gives you flexibility. What if you wanna camp high at a fabulous location? What if you wanna hang out in the evening and watch a sunset, or get up early and watch the sunruse?

The Sierras are phenomenal, take your time and soak them in. The whole PCT is awesome, but I don't think I appreciated the Sierra's grandeur until after I was gone.


Thank U A-Train for all your well earned and savvy trail advice!!!

clured
03-16-2008, 00:25
I've been looking around and I think I'm going to go try on some of those innov8 shoes and see how they fit. If I don't like them, I'll start with some hardrocks (on sale for $50 at altrec.com), and if I get shredded in the first couple days I'll buy something else at Idyllwild.

As for clothing, I think I'm going to just stack up a lot of layers in stead of buying a down jacket, which I can't really afford at this point. For the coldest of the cold, I'll have my nylon shirt, an old Capilene2 top, a new Capilene4 crew, a Mountain Hard Wear fleece, and a GoLite goretex shell.

Sly
03-16-2008, 00:30
I

The Sierras are phenomenal, take your time and soak them in. The whole PCT is awesome, but I don't think I appreciated the Sierra's grandeur until after I was gone.

I kind of felt that way about the desert too. :D

vaporjourney
03-16-2008, 00:33
Am I the only one looking forward to the desert portions of the trail as much as if not more than the High Sierra?

fiddlehead
03-16-2008, 02:58
I love desert hiking. I think a lot of people are worried about it because it is a bit of an unknown for them.
Once you get comfortable hiking in the desert, it can be a real treat. Learn to dry camp, camel up at water sources so you don't have to carry a whole lot. eat your meals at water sources, learn how to dress for no shade hiking, what cactus plants are friendly and which ones are not, etc.

I remember i dressed so much like a Mexican that the border patrol guys were slamming on their brakes and doing doughnuts to come and question my butt. Big straw hat, thin cotton long sleeve shirt, baggy lighweight pants. Hey those people know how to stay hydrated.

yappy
03-16-2008, 18:09
I like the desert too. Maybe it was growing up in the USVI but i like the heat..:)

Good Neighbor, ya gonna wear fish net ?? i may have to come to see that ..:) don't forget cdt 09 dillweed !

A-Train
03-16-2008, 19:24
As for socks....the thin nylon one's Yogi recommends seem to wear out real fast, as do just sock liners. The sand and grit will tear apart socks. I used an ankle high thin wool sock the whole way with no problems. Check out Smartwool running socks, the Smartwool Adrenalines (expensive) or the Thorlo Scramblers.

Never used the Inov-8 but I heard nothing but good things from people. Scott Williamson uses them now. 'Nough said.

Can't stress letting your feet air out enough. Everytime you sit down or have a snack, take your socks and shoes off and let the dogs breath. This will cut down on blisters.

IMO, the desert difficulty is over-blown. That being said there are some inhospitable sections I'd try to traverse at night, ala Mission Creek, The Aquaduct and Anza Borrego. Water shouldn't be an issue this year, and you can have a hell of a fun time in the first 700 if you keep an open mind and allow yourself to have fun and stay flexible.:)

Dogwood
03-16-2008, 21:27
I'm looking forward to the desert! I'm going super minimalist - not carrying any food, I'm going to survive off boiled lizards, scorpions(ala Les Stroud), peyote, and cactus pears - not necessarily in that order!

fiddlehead
03-16-2008, 22:19
Funny you should say that as there is a discussion going on right now in the Phuket, Thailand thread on another forum i belong to about eating lizards.
The Burmese workers who come here to do the crapwork labor always carry a slingshot in the pocket for birds and lizards and frogs. They live off the land here except for spices. Lots of edible plants here. Not so much in the desert. Not saying you should do that as the lizards a vital part of the desert.
I've seen a 5 or 6 acre construction site feed about 8 people!

yappy
03-17-2008, 11:06
I wore short gaiter over the liners and had no problems with them falling apart becuz of dirt grit etc. Now that i think about it i haven't worn true socks on a long hike in yrs.. except maybe in to town or in cold weather.

clured
04-07-2008, 19:11
Ok, getting everything put together here. I've got about 95% of my gear sitting on the floor next to my PC right now. 3 last things:

1. Inflatible pad vs. solid core? Yogi's book says that self-inflating pads will get holes, but what if I'm just careful about site selection/make sure there aren't any thorns under my campsite? Also, I'm not sure she's reconed with the BMW TorsoLight, the thing seems indestructible.

2. How cold do the nights get south of Kennedy Meadows? If I have my 20 degree bag and Capilene 4 thermals, do I need a fleece?

3. What's the deal with rain up north? Everyone says it can suck, but then the also say that it starts to get bad in September, by which time I'll be safe and snug back at school. If I pace to finish by the first week of August, do I have to worry about serious rain (ie, should I get a good shell)?

How many days to May 14??

taildragger
04-07-2008, 19:14
For weight reasons I'd go with a foam pad. For $5 and less weight, and no need to worry about it going flat, its hard to beat.

vaporjourney
04-07-2008, 19:27
well, you have to worry about closed cell foam pads going flat, but not due to deflating. Instead you'll probably be replacing them every few hundred miles if you like to stay comfortable. Having said that, I'm still taking a Gossamer Gear NightLight pad to save over half a lb, as well as not have to worry about a leaking pad out there.

I asked the same question about nighttime lows south of Kennedy Meadows on the PCT-L. Replies seemed to say that you can definitely see temps down to 25 deg, though rare. Typical lows are in the low to mid 40s, and several nights around 35 deg. Pretty cold, but nothing crazy like consistent 20 deg nights like on the AT. My plan is to carry my summer, 45* quilt, and supplement with Montbell jacket, thermal tops and bottoms and windshirt. Don't forget the warm hat/balaclava.

It's probably a good idea to have a good rain shell for WA, but like they say, August is supposedly BEAUTIFUL up there. Then again, you know that I'm going to be thru-hiking the same time as you, so someone else should be answering this instead of me wasting your time.

Fannypack
04-07-2008, 19:44
3. What's the deal with rain up north? Everyone says it can suck, but then the also say that it starts to get bad in September, by which time I'll be safe and snug back at school. If I pace to finish by the first week of August, do I have to worry about serious rain (ie, should I get a good shell)?

How many days to May 14??

I hope u are right about the rain...
Here is some info about WA in September:
2000: a couple friends had rain 20 out of 25 days of hiking
2001: I had only 1 day of rain out of 25 days hiking

Have a great hike...

A-Train
04-07-2008, 20:04
1. Foam pad, hands down. I watched those who couldn't part with their therma rests patch them up in trail towns. Seems like a no brainer to me. There are stickers everywhere in the desert.

2. You'll be fine with a 20 degree bag, especially if you start mid-May. I would have some type of top layer though, be it down or fleece. Remember there may be times it's almost necessary to hike at night and it can get damn chilly in the desert when the sun goes down. I only experienced below freezing one or two nights before KM, but was glad to have the warmth.

Typically (key word being typically:)) the weather is great in August in Wash. I had one phenomenol day after another until the last 3 days of the trip (when I got nailed with a snowstorm...in Sept.). I would carry some kind of shell, or poncho just in case. The Glacier Peak section is just down right remote and you'd be screwed if you get caught in bad weather in that section without some protection, no matter how fast you hike. You aren't near ANY towns at all.

Jim Adams
04-07-2008, 20:47
I'm looking forward to the desert! I'm going super minimalist - not carrying any food, I'm going to survive off boiled lizards, scorpions(ala Les Stroud), peyote, and cactus pears - not necessarily in that order!

Hope you find lots of peyote......you won't realize how hungry you are!:D

geek