Pacific Crest Trail Gear List (2012)

This is the gear list from my 2012 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. It represented the tenth hike of the 12 Long Walks series. I began at the Mexican border on May 6 and finished on July 29.

In regard to conditions, I encountered relatively little snow in the High Sierra, however from northern CA through to the Canadian border I hiked through approximately 750 miles (1207 km) of the stuff. Very slow going at times.

Final sunrise of the PCT.

If I were to hike the PCT again in 2016, what would I change?

There wouldn’t be too much. Tweaks, rather than big changes:

  • Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot – I’ve used this 3.2 oz headlamp since the Appalachian Trail in the fall/winter of 2012.

Given an average or above snow year in California’s High Sierra, I would also add Kahtoola microspikes and/or a CAMP Corsa ice axe for the section between Kennedy Meadows and Echo Lake.

6 Replies to “Pacific Crest Trail Gear List (2012)”

  1. You did not cook on this trip, correct? No cooking gear listed. No rain jacket or pants? or are the wind clothes waterproof? No bug dope? My Alaskan experiences are showing, I guess. Why bring a knife if you’re not cooking anything? Thanks for these lists! Very interesting.

    1. No I did not cook. The rain gear was a 9×5 Poncho Tarp. For bugs, I had my bivy and a headnet when necessary. The Swiss Army knife weighs just over an ounce; it also has scisscors and tweezers (both of which come in handy). Personally speaking, it was the ideal system for both the PCT and CDT during the time in which I was hiking.

  2. I’m planning on PCT SOBO. Love a poncho, but have limited experience with and am worried about navigating blowdowns and overgrown bushy trails in Washington.

    Do you have trouble with these 10,000 hands grabbing at you? or do you tie your poncho tight to you somehow?


    1. I use a bit of bungee cord with a cordlock as a belt. I found the poncho to be fine for the PCT, however, if you’re planning on giving one a try, I would take it on multiple test runs before your thru-hike, in order to see if it’s right for you (Note: Including in wet conditions).

      Best of luck.



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