View Full Version : Few Questions on PCT

02-09-2009, 09:00
I'm looking at doing a large section of the PCT in 2011. I know I want to skip the desert part of the hike, as I hate the heat of the desert. Say I wanted to jump ahead where would a good place to do so be?

500 solo Bear Canister? Is it the general consesus from the community that this is a good enough bear can? I'm not really looking to stop a speeding bullet.

Western Mountaineering Bags? I have a few but none of the sub 30 degree bags. Does anyone have a suggested Bag?

I'm currently a hanger, but realize going to the ground is going to be a must above treeline. So would a tarp/tarptent be sufficient for the hike? Or would something like the MSR Hubba HP or a HS Tarpent be more efficient? I have a WB Superfly that I could stake out with my Lekis.

Would a ULA Catalyst be large enough to accomodate a general load out for a PCT Thru?

Any tips or tricks?

Funds? What is a good average on amount it costs to do the hike before Travel? I hate staying at hotels anymore than absolutely neccessary and I don't drink.

Pacific Tortuga
02-09-2009, 09:23
I would pm Sly or Jester. They both were on the trail last year.

Pick up Yogi's PCT handbook too.

Catalyst is a excellent choice for your trek.

02-09-2009, 10:35
Cool thanks. I'm a ULA junky and don't think I could bring myself to use a pack from another company.

Jim Adams
02-09-2009, 10:39
Try the JMT. Absolutely incredible!


02-09-2009, 10:56
What time of year, from when to when?

The Catalyst will be fine, that's what I use.

Depending on the section of trail there may be no motels to stay in, so that solves that problem.

02-09-2009, 11:05
Don't skip the desert. It isn't what you think it is and was one of my favorite places. 100 degrees in SoCal isn't 100 degrees in VA. Besides, I found the heat a lot harder in NorCal, where it isn't "desert". Really, it is very, very good. If you do decide to skip, it isn't easy to get to Kennedy Meadows and the start of the Sierra. But, you can probably figure out a way. Otherwise I would just hike the JMT SOBO.

No bear can is big enough for the Sierra traverse, so don't worry about it. Buy whatever you can and know that it won't work. You're not buying it stop bears but to make a ranger happy if you happen to run in to one.

The WM Ultralight (20) is about as standard as it gets.

A tarp is fine. If you haven't put one up before, I'd suggest a tarp tent, like a Virga or Rainbow. I only set up my tarp maybe a dozen times on the PCT and spent most of the nights sleeping out.

A Catalyst is more than enough for your PCT section hike. It will give you some flexibility with resupply and water if you chose to hike the 600 some odd miles of SoCal.

Funds. Beer is cheap at the store, so not drinking doesn't drop the budget a whole lot. Motel rooms are frequently shared and can be very, very, very nice. For some reason they were much less appealing on the AT, though. The big expense for me on the PCT in town was food. Without travel or gear that survived the whole trip (pack, sleeping bag, tarp, etc) I spent about $2200 for my thru.

02-09-2009, 11:14
I have serious lung deformities and any real high heat tears me down. I hadn't even thought of just doing the JMT. Would be a good escape next summer from classes, and hit the main place I wanted to see.

Frick Frack
02-09-2009, 11:20
I have PCT-fever after hiking the AT and have found http://adventureonthepct.com/ to be a helpful site for answers to my questions. I'm planning to purchase http://www.pctatlas.com/letter5.htm also when an opportunity for the PCT nears.

02-09-2009, 11:23
I'm going to post on the JMT sub board that way I don't clog this one up. Thanks for the help and the redirect.

Spirit Walker
02-09-2009, 13:53
How long do you want to hike? If you have time, I'd do the JMT plus the Tahoe Yosemite Trail (about 500 miles), or even the sections from KM north to Ashland (about 1000 miles).

As Chris said, it can be very hot and dry anywhere on the PCT, but northern CA has lakes and rivers to cool off in and some trees for shade.

If heat is a big issue, you might consider just hiking Washington. That's about 500 miles. It is cooler and wetter than California.

02-09-2009, 19:58
I'm w/ chris. Don't automatically throw out the desert part of the PCT. It can be a beautiful place. It's not as hard as many make it out to be. It's certainly NOT DESERTED! Since U R an east coaster, U will find a whole new ecosystem of animals, insects, and flora exist there. The spring wildflower displays can be incredible. A big part of handling it is managing your water. And managing your water is largely about knowing where it is and how to get to it. IMO, nothing will more significantly help U reliably locate water on the PCT in SoCal than the latest water report put out by the PCT. Invaluable, IMO! Also, if U choose to hike in early spring not only will U experience a spring awakening unlike U experience on the east coast, but U will hike in cooler temps before the stonger heat of summer sets in and water will be more plentiful because it hasn't dried up as much yet!

If U still R persuaded that U don't want to hike the desert than U need to narrow down the time frame and miles that U R interested in. PCT is more than 2650 miles long. 1700 miles in Cali alone. Can U be more specific about what U want! U don't need a bear canister on the whole PCT. U may not need it if U plan on skipping over those sections that require one.

Low Impact
02-09-2009, 21:16
Man up and hike the whole trail