So here we will talk about the gear Lora and I will use while we hike the Pacific Crest Trail. We touched base before that most gear is quite similar to an overnight hike. With a few exceptions of course, so let’s find out what we will need to hike over 4,000km!
You can also check out our entire gear list here:
Our sleep system comprises of 3 main pieces of gear. Our tent (Z-packs Duplex) our Quilts (Custom made by Dan Timmerman) and our sleeping pads (Lora’s Therm-a-rest neo air x-lite and Andrew’s X-therm). We also have two inflatable pillows from Mec. Since comfort cannot be sacrificed simply because we are hiking!
The total weight for these items is about 2kg for Andrew and 1.5kg for Lora. Not to bad!
Andrew will be using a ULA Circuit while Lora will take with her a Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60. Both these packs are designed to carry heavier loads comfortably while still being light and durable. Lora’s pack weighs less than a 1kg while Andrew’s was modified and tips the scale at a mere 1.1kg!
We will need to eat on trail, so we will take with us a Snowpeaks Giga stove and Vargo 1.5litre titanium cooking pot. We estimate using two 110g fuel canisters for every 7-10 days of hiking (averaging one hot meal and two hot beverages per day). In addition, Lora will have a collapsible bowl and we both carry plastic cups for drinking along with a set of titanium spoons for eating. For filtering water, we carry two Sawyer Squeeze filters that fit neatly on top of our water bottles and will filter all our water along the entire trail.
The rule of thumb for thru-hiking for clothing is that you should be able to wear everything in your pack and still be comfortable. With that in mind, our clothing list is fairly modest. We will both be taking one pair of convertible pants with one quick dry running shirt and one quick dry long sleeve button up shirt. We will also have in total, two pairs of merino wool underwear and two pairs of wool socks. For warmth, we’ll both have a lightweight down jacket and merino wool buff and for rain protection, a set of lightweight waterproof jacket and waterproof pants. Lora tends to be a bit colder when she hikes, so she is going to carry a set of merino wool base layers and a fleece jacket along with the above mentioned items.
This is where Lora and I differ greatly. Lora will carry her phone for photos and blogging and also be responsible for our In Reach GPS Satellite phone. Andrew will be taking his Sony Alpha a7 ii for all still photography along with his Go pro hero 5 for video while hiking. I will also be carrying a lightweight tripod for night photography and a gimbal stabilizer for smooth professional style video. Batteries will be plentiful to start, with six batteries for the Gopro (damn you short battery life!) and three for the Sony. We will have an additional battery bank (10,000 mAh) for any charging we may need to do while away from towns.
Lora and I have both tried several different types of shoes over the past year and a half, we’ve narrowed our brands and models down to Altra Lone peak 4.0 and Merral MQM flex trail running shoes. The Pacific Crest Trail is a commonly dry trail so lugging heavier boots will not only weigh us down further, but be more difficult to dry when and if they do get wet!
So these are the items that we will only use occasionally during our hike. First off for snow, we will carry with us Micro spikes and Ice axes. We have used both before several times and for certain parts of the trail, they will be needed. The micro spikes are a slip on traction device that will give us sturdy grip on snow and icy ground. The ice axes are for when we traverse steep sections of snow where the risk of falling is high. The axes when used properly, can be used to self arrest an individual if they start sliding down a steep snow covered hill.
Lastly, on certain parts of the trail (I’m looking at you Sierra Mountains!) we will need to carry a bear canister. A bear canister is a large container used to store food and other scented items that will keep it safe from a bear if they decide to get curious. These canisters are made of heavy plastic and have been tested with actual bears to make sure they cannot get in. Since the trail gains elevations above 10,000 feet multiple times, being able to hang your food is not always possible. Not to mention, bears have started to learn how to take down food that has been hung up in trees…clever bears!
Links to companies.
This isn’t a sponsored deal and the links we are providing are purely for your own interest. I want to include these companies as they are all independent businesses that provide exceptional customer service and high quality products.