PCT & CDT Gear List (2012)


Final Morning | Pacific Crest Trail | 2012

This is my first backpacking gear list spreadsheet. Were those trumpets I just heard in the background?

Indeed, despite having always had a reasonable idea of the combined weight of my gear, this is the first time I’ve ever actually listed every item with accompanying weights and come up with an exact total.

I drew the “anal retentive” line at individually measuring all the items in my first aid/hygiene kit……………..a semi-heartfelt apology to my “gram weenie” readers, who were on the edge of their seats wondering what the weight of my bog roll and dental floss came to. Ultralight backpacking is indeed a slippery slope.


PCT & CDT Gear List (2012) — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the list, I know gear can be a tiring topic, but it has its interesting too.

    I would like to hear more about how the poncho shelter system worked. I’ve pitched similar ponchos but never rode out any rain under one. I like the idea of it for less volume and simplicity than I do for weight savings as I already use a lightweight tarp and weight savings would marginal. I like to keep things light and compact. The less I have to sort thru my pack and put back into it in the morning the better. My house is a testament to my inability to properly manage more than a few belongings….long distance hiking gear follows suit.

    Also, being a non-stove guy, I’d like to know a bit more about what you ate as primary food–by my reading here it sounds like beans hydrated and eaten cold.

    Apart from gear and food, mental stamina and chance encounters with people’s kindness is what draws me, and I assume many others, to such trips as yours.

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the comment. I recently wrote a post about the ‘seven steps for setting up a poncho tarp in the rain’ which may be of interest. You hit the nail on the head in regards to why I use a poncho as my go-to three season shelter……………simplicity and space savings. In addition, contrary to what you may read on many backpacking forums, I find appropriately sized ponchos (my MLD is approx. 9×5) to be more than sufficient protection from the elements when pitched in the appropriate configuration for most three-season conditions.

      On the food front, I also try to keep things as simple as possible. I rehydrate my beans/lentils/pea soup in a gatorade powder container which has a wide mouth and a secure lid. If I’m on an extended journey where keeping weight on is a priority, I will add a pack or two of Ramen noodles (without the little preservative packet) to up my fat intake. Alternatively, I will crush up and mix in a handful of corn chips.

      Overall I try to eat as healthily as I possibly can whilst hiking. I tend to carry a little more food than most hikers. Usually around 2.5-3 lbs per day on longer trips. That being said, I never bonk and I generally finish my hikes at virtually the same weight at which I started. I eat a lot of nuts and dried fruit. Whenever I leave a resupply stop, I try to pack out some fruit, vegetables and boiled eggs to eat on the first day out of town.



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