PCT 2018 Gear List

We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire… Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

Sir Winston Churchill, radio broadcast February 9, 1941
PCT 2018 gear, cat not included

Here is the gear for my 2018 PCT thru-hike. Extended comments about particular items are at the end. I found a great deal of variation on equipment choices among hikers. Many small gear vendors are in healthy competition, with frequent innovations and design updates.

Category

Item

Notes

Weight in grams

Weight in oz

worn/carried






camp shirt

Icebreaker Aero merino long sleeve crew

148

5.2


pants

RailRiders Eco-Mesh Pant

310

10.9


trailrunner shoes

Altra Lone Peak 3.5 (size 11.5)

610

21.5


hiking gaiters

Dirty Girl

34

1.2


hiking socks

Darn Tough CoolMax micro crew

60

2.1


bandana

cotton/poly bandana

30

1.1


trekking poles

Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-pole with carbide tips minus straps, 120cm

263

9.3


sun glasses

cheap generic, because often lost

20

0.7


hat

Sunday Afternoons Adventure flap hat

70

2.5






Total worn/carried



1545

54.5






~

~

~

~

3.4pounds











pack

pack

Zpacks Arc Haul backpack (nylon)

711

25.1


pack liner

trash compactor bag

60

2.1


cell phone holder

Zpacks shoulder pouch nylon

19

0.7


phone

Android phone: MotoX (camera, GPS, etc) with Otter case

178

6.3





0.0

Cook/water

water bottles

2 x 1.25 liter soda bottles

84

3.0


even more water

1 liter Platypus

30

1.1


cook stove

none (no-cook this trip)

0

0.0


butane lighter

Scripto Tiny Lite

12

0.4


cook pot

none (no-cook this trip)

0

0.0


pot cozy

homemade with Reflectix

25

0.9


spoon

lexan

9

0.3


water purifier

Sawyer Squeeze

81

2.9


water purification backup

10 MSR Aquatabs

1

0.0


food bag

ZPacks Roll Top Blast

40

1.4


rope

ZPacks 1.5 mm Z-Line Cord

21

0.7





0.0

Shelter

tarp/tent

ZPacks Hexamid solo tent w/screen

269

9.5


tent stakes

6 Tite Lite titanium stakes

37

1.3





0.0

Sleeping

sleeping bag

ZPacks 20F

650

22.9


sleeping pad

Gossamer Gear NightLight_Torso

101

3.6


ground cloth

Polycryo medium size

42

1.5





0.0

Clothes

camp shirt

Icebreaker merino short sleeve

139

4.9


camp shorts

GoLite men’s nylon shorts

132

4.7


warm top

Western Mountaineering down vest

125

4.4


warm hat

LLBean Trail Model fleece hat

36

1.3


neck gaiter

microfleece

46

1.6


rain jacket

Marmot Mica medium

210

7.4


wind shirt

Montbell Tachyon anorak

63

2.2


fleece gloves

35

1.2


rain mitts

ZPacks cuben fiber mitts

28

1.0


compression socks

Truform below knee stockings 20-30 mmHg

64

2.3


spare socks

SmartWool mid-calf merino

91

3.2





0.0

Misc

head net

"Sea to Summit" mosquito net, doubles as clothes bag

23

0.8


first aid kit

Band-aids, molefoam, aspirin, loperamide, sudafed, super glue, …

61

2.2


sewing kit

home assembled

20

0.7


tooth care

dehydrated dots of toothpaste, toothbrush with trimmed handle, gum brush, floss

17

0.6


soap

Dr Bonner liquid in 0.5oz dropper bottle

24

0.8


wipes

8 dried wipes in zip bag

24

0.8


toiletry bag

no-see-um mesh bag 5"x6"

4

0.1


magnifying glass

credit card size fresnel lens

2

0.1


wallet with id

all-Ett sport sailcloth wallet (5g) plus cards

36

1.3


repair kit

duct tape, foil tape, filter backwash adapter, spare trekking pole tip, etc

25

0.9


backup fire starter

Bic mini lighter

14

0.5


pen

ballpoint refill cartridge + spare

1

0.0


flashlight

Petzl e+Lite

27

1.0


backup compass

Suunto Clipper compass

4

0.1


maps

Halfmile maps, on double-sided 8.5×11 glossy laser paper, current trail section

55

1.9


solar panel

Lixada “10W “ usb output

72

2.5


usb charger

for phone and battery pack, MotoX dual-USB charger wall wart

123

4.3


usb cable

9inch microUSB cable

13

0.5


usb cable 2

36inch right-angle microUSB cable

23

0.8


recharger pack

Anker Astro E1 6700mAh

123

4.3


headphone

Apple Earpod

11

0.4


itinerary+guide

only carry pages needed for that week

10

0.4


insect repellent

100% DEET repackaged in 0.5oz dropper bottle

23

0.8


sun screen

liquid, repacked in 0.5oz dropper bottle

24

0.8


toilet paper

partial roll 2-ply, remove cardboard tube, in zip bag

20

0.7


knife

Victoronix Swiss Army Classic

20

0.7


accessory bag

no-see-um mesh bag 7"x9"

8

0.3






Total base weight



4146

146.2










9.1pounds






Sometimes carried:






bear canister BV500


1160

40.9


sleeping bag liner, Sea to Summit Thermolite


392

13.8


Yaktrax Walkers shoe traction

Not Recommended

112

4.0


Zpacks bathtub groundsheet


91

3.2

Comments:

  • ELECTRONS: My first solar panel (from Sunkingdom) seemed to stop working well (50% efficiency compared to new) so I replaced mid-way during the trip with a different panel from Lixada. I already had the replacement panel ready at home, because I have encountered solar panel failures on previous hikes. The panel connects via usb cable to a charger that rests in the outer pocket. Two side-buckle clips fasten the panel to the top of the pack, and allow for rapid removal. Panel and charger disappear into my pack during wet weather. A lighter-weight charger would be nice.
  • CLOTHES: My day clothing was long sleeve to protect against sun exposure, even in the hot southern section, unlike the vast majority of hikers. On my next hike perhaps shorts will be used more often. Merino shirts did not stand up to abrasion from the backpack, so I had to replace my long sleeve shirt in Oregon.
  • FEET: I only used two pair of shoes for the entire hike– the thru-hiker average is about 4 pair. Two pair were purchased before the hike, one red and one blue, and I mixed colors, with left shoe red and right shoe blue, just as a silly jest.
  • PACK: The Arc Haul backpack is like the ZPacks popular Arc Blast, except ripstop nylon instead of cuben fiber (Dyneema). I used the Arc Blast on previous trips, but the fabric tended to delaminate near the roll-top opening. The “flexed arc” feature tended to twist out of shape on this particular pack.
  • TRACTION: I used Yaktrax in the Sierras, and would not recommend these to anyone, as the rubber straps frequently broke. Get microspikes instead, though a bit heavier. I did not carry an ice axe, and did not encounter a situation where I really needed one, but I can now see that if weather conditions were different, and I was the first one to break a trail after fresh snow, then an ice axe would have become necessary.
PCT 2018 pack assembled

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at sagebrush.com, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.

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