Friday, May 31, 2013

Planning to live out of a backpack for 5 months...

My PCT thru hike gear

One of the most daunting tasks of planning to hike the full 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail is deciding what to take. There are certain 'must haves' in order to survive it and the rest is all going to be food. One has to consider the weight of carrying everything for miles upon miles and from all the research I've done I've come to the conclusion that going light is the best choice.
List of essentials:
1) Shelter
2) Backpack
3) Sleeping Bag
4) Sleeping pad
5)Sleeping clothes
6) Stove and cook pot
7) Water treatment
8) Water containers
9) Compass
10) Maps and data book
11) Pack cover
12)4 layers of clothing:
 a) Base: poly ether thermal underwear
 b) Summer: hiking shorts/polyester shirt
 c) Warmth: fleece pants/ down vest
 d) Wind and rain: rain jacket/ rain pants
13) FOOD!!! 3000ca/day mostly dehydrated food items and light weight

So far I have the following and not in any particular order as I'll add them as I get them:

1) TENT: (my shelter for 5 months of sleeping on a wilderness trail).
I have decided to go ultralight and invested in a one person 'Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1' with only weighs 1lb 4oz

Manufacturer description:
  • Single hub pole assembly and plastic pole clips ensure a hassle-free setup; fabric loops along the ridge pole decrease weight
  • Lightweight and strong DAC® pole system with press-fit connectors and lightweight hubs uses an anodization process without harsh acids
  • Rain fly and seamless floor are made of high-tenacity ripstop nylon and are both polyurethane- and silicone-coated for waterproof durability
  • Walls are constructed of woven nylon mesh, providing excellent ventilation and 360° views
  • All seams are taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape
  • Reflective guy out and reflective webbing on tent corners increase visibility at night

  • On warm cloudless nights the tent can be set up basically to view a trillion stars
    Perfect for one and a backpack
    Set up to withstand the elements

    2) BACKPACK:
    I decided on the ULA Catalyst, a tried and tested lightweight workhorse of a pack.
  • Main Body: 2,600
  • Front Mesh Pocket: 600
  • Side Mesh Pocket: 350 ea
  • Ext. Collar: 600
  • Hip belt Pockets: 100

    Total Volume: 4,600 cu in

  • Made in USA and assembled according to your specific requirements. I got the purple haze

    From various different sources I have decided that these are absolute necessities. Most of the trail sounds like it's easy to follow but there are some junctions that may cause confusion and other areas, especially in the high Sierras that may be snowed over. Due to their weight, you can only hike with one at a time and either have the others mailed to you to areas where you'll need them, or you can mail them in a bounce box that you mail to yourself along the way.
    The guidebooks I purchased have the descriptions and maps in them. The data book lists all the landmarks, water availability, mileage between landmarks, cumulative mileage and elevation.

    I bought this high tech, light weight combined stove and pot at the REI in San Francisco and haven't got the faintest idea how to use it yet....I'd better learn soon!

     I bought my sleeping bag along with my backpack from ULA. I needed something warm and the ultralight bag I had for the Kalahari adventure would have left me freezing in any snow or frost conditions. This did seem a little heavy, but I want to be warm when I'm sleeping. There are so many sleeping bag options out there it makes the mind boggle, so I went with this one and I'm sure it'll be worth the weight.
    Sharks Tail shaped foot box
    5 baffle foot box - 2 horizontal, 3 vertical
    Stretch baffles, below the shoulders
    3D Interlocking Draft Tubes
    ¾ length zip with guard
    Anatomical Hood
    Super Soft and lightweight liner.
    Lightweight breathable fabrics
    Neck collar to minimize heat loss
    Ships with large mesh storage sack


    20 Degree
    550 Down Sleeping Bag
    2.59 lbs
    84.5" x 31.5" x 21.
    This silk sleep sack makes your sleeping bag 10 degrees F warmer

    Extremely warm in this cocoon