I have done a number of thru-hikes including the PCT, CDT, AT, the Desert Trail and an Alaska Traverse. Here is what I would carry if I hiked the PCT again. What I actually carried from day to day varied, depending on how close I was to supply, where I was along the trail, and so on. When I was carrying one liter of water and three days worth of food (2 lbs a day for me) my pack weighed about 19 pounds, 12 ounces, “average.” On my heaviest carry between Kennedy Meadows and Vermillion Valley Resort, I started out with about 18 pounds of food and about three pounds of extra gear, like bear canister and an ice axe. That made my heaviest pack about 32 pounds.If you notice any errors, please let me know.
Item Brand Name Comment Oz.
The “Big Four”
Backpack ULA CDT The CDT is going to be too small for most people when they are using a bear canister. I’d put my canister horizontally on top. Osprey packs are very popular on the PCT. For men, check out the Atmos or the Exos 58. For women, check out the Ariel 55 or the Aura 50 Make sure your pack fits YOU and your load before heading afield. -
Shelter/Stakes Hexamid Solo then…
Lunar Solo
Includes 2 oz of stakes and guylines
Includes 2 oz of stakes and guylines
10.5
26
Note, I own and love these shelters. I’d use the Hexamid without groundsheet then switch to the Lunar Solo at Cascade Locks. If buying new for the PCT, I’d buy a Hexamid Solo (adding a groundsheet at Cascade Locks) if I had the money or the Lunar Solo to save some $.
Sleeping Bag Marmot Hydrogen I use with my warm down jacket when it’s really cold. Get cold easily? Consider a 20 degree down bag like the UltraLite if you can afford it or the Cosmic if you can’t. 25
Sleeping Pad Thermarest Prolite Plus
RidgeRest SOLite
Thermarest if using a groundsheet
Ridgerest if not using a groundsheet. Small size.
15.0
9
Clothing in Pack
Thermal Bottom Patagonia Midweight Capilene Part of my sleep system 7.0
Jacket Montbell Alpine Light Down Jacket Also part of my sleep system 12.0
Rain Shell Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket Replaces my loyal Red Ledge Jacket 7.7
Sleeping Socks Acorn Socks Light, warm, saved for sleeping only 2.0
Underwear Under Armour Boxerjock 6″ legs prevent chafing 4.8
Socks Darn Tough, 1/4 Sock, Mesh I’d switch to the 1/4 Cushion sock once I hit the Sierra. 1.4
Warm Hat Turtle Fur Micro Fur Balaclava 1.1
Gloves Possum Blend Gloves Light and warm but abrade easily 1.5
Cooking Items
Stove Jetboil Zip Alcohol stoves might be banned on certain stretches
Consider going stoveless, too!
12
Fuel Jetboil fuel Weight when full 7
Utensils Lexan Spoon Might carry a spare .2
Ignition Mini Bic Lighters(2) No “survival toys” needed. 1.0
Hydration
Water Carriers Platypus Two, 2.5 Liter 2.4
Water Bottle Generic Empty Liter Water Bottle 1.1
Water Treatment Aquamira Water Drops ‘A’ and ‘B’ bottles. Giardia is no myth. 3.0
“Essentials”
Maps Halfmile Maps, from Yogi Much easier than printing myself. I’d have Guthook’s App on my iPhone. 2.0
Compass A tiny compass Worn on watch band and/or hung from your pack. .1
Lights Photon II Micro-Light x 2 LED lights are awesome. I don’t carry a headlamp. .3
First Aid Sunscreen, lip balm with sunblock, ibuprofen, prescriptions, Leukotape P Tape for blisters, Benedryl, Imodium, Bodyglide to prevent blisters and chafing (small size).
Pocket Knife Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Has scissors, blade, toothpick, tweezers .7
Cordage Parachute Cord For bear bagging, etc. 1.0
Duct Tape 10 feet For blister prevention, gear repair, etc. 2.0
Sanitation and Hygiene
Toilet paper Standard Partial Roll 2.0
Floss Standard Small one .6
Toothbrush Generic/w cap Yes, I cut the handle in half .5
Toothpaste Generic Small tube .5
Hand Sanitizer Prefenz Weight estimated 2.5
Miscellaneous
Sleep Bag Sack Generic With Turkey Oven Bag liner for waterproofing 1.0
More 2 ballpoint pens, 2 safety pins, super glue, needle
Food Sack Generic Silnylon, with food. :) .8
Pack Liner Husky 18-Gallon Trash Compactor bag 2.2
Permits Government Issue Fire, Thru-Hike, Canada entry .5
Bandana ADZPCTKO Get it at Kick-Off, or any cotton bandana is fine 1.0
Data Yogi, etc Yogi’s Handbook section , etc. 3.0
Spare Glasses Or sunglasses With case and clip-ons 2.5
Tripod UltraPod iPhone or Camera Tripod 1.6
Phone iPhone With cords 5.1
Smartphone Tripod GorillaPod To put me in those panoramas 1.0
Trail Charger Solar or Battery I’d carry a Suntactics sCharger-5 until Cascade Locks, then switch to a PowerGen 12000mAh The latter will do about 5 iPhone charges. My sCharger has provided countless charges. If you want to chose just one, get the PowerGen. 8
Wallet Generic Credit Cards, Cash, Driver’s Lic. in ziploc 1.0
Worn or Carried Outside Pack
Underwear Under Armour Boxerjock 6″ legs 4.8
Shirt Long sleeve nylon ExOfficio Air Strip is awesome. 9.0
Pants/Shorts Mountain Hardwear Mesa Pants Convertible to shorts 13.0
Socks Darn Tough, 1/4 Sock, Mesh Mixed and matched w/ 1/4 cushion socks 1.4
Socks Darn Tough 1/4 Cushion Mixed and matched w/ 1/4 mesh socks 2.4
Shoes Asics Gel Kayano Highly subjective. Try on many models and brands ~20.0
Sunglasses Your choice Mandatory 1.0
Sun Hat Ball cap with bandana, Foreign Legion style I’d recommend a light, wide-brimmed hat with chin cord, like the Helios Sun Hat ?
Trekking Poles Yana Poles If you are hard on gear, get beefier poles. 6.8
Wristwatch I’m old school Can use a phone, etc instead if you prefer. 1.0
Carried in the Sierras, Washington or as needed
Rain Pants Red Ledge Men’s Thunderlight Pick up at Cascade Locks 8.9
Rain Mitts eMountain Laurel Designs eVENT Rain Mitts 1.2
Ice Axe CAMP USA Corsa Ice Axe For the Sierras 7.0
Bear canister Bear Vault BV500 Kennedy Meadows to Sonora Pass (see Yogi’s Guidebook) 41.0
Bug Repellant Repel 100 Picked up at Kennedy Meadows 1.0
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