It’s well known that most aspiring thru hikers spend hours, days and weeks obsessing with what gear to take to the PCT. After my fair share of research, reading blogs, watching videos and searching for gear reviews, this is what it has come down to:
Tent: Tarptent Notch 285$
Why: I wanted a light tent under 300$ . This tent is only 27oz / 770grams, has two big vestibules and is supported by trekking poles. Watch the set up video HERE.
It isn’t seam sealed, but Tarptent sales a seam-sealing kit for 8$ or they can seal it for you for 35$.
I also purchased four MSR Mini Groundhog Stakes, since the Easton ones included seem to be the only thing getting bad reviews about this tent.
The total for the shelter, stakes and seam sealing kit is 303$
Backpack: ULA Circuit 235$
Why: It was a tough call between the Osprey Aura AG and the ULA Circuit. I finally chose the Circuit because it is super light, great side pockets and huge belt pockets without all the bells and whistles of the Osprey. Fits a bear can, has an internal frame and a removable hydration sleeve.
Sleeping Bag: Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt 245$
Why: Very light and versatile. Not expensive. This price is for the 20º Fahrenheit / -6º Celsius, short, regular, 850 fill power. These guys have a lot of customization options.
Sleeping Pad: Massdrop Klymit Static V Ultralight Insulated 65$
Why: Inexpensive, light, comfortable and high R Value
Poles: Leki Corklite 140$ list price (Paid 55$)
Why: they’re not ultralight but I need a sturdier pair of poles because I’ll be using them to pitch my tent. I was between these or the Black Diamond but Red Beards video made my mind. This poles have a lifetime warranty!
Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket 40$
Why: light and simple. Avoid the mess of an alcohol stove
Pot: Toaks Titanium 700ml pot 40$ retail price
Spoon: Toaks Titanium Long Handle Spoon 12$ retail price
Water filtration system: Sawyer Squeeze 43$ retail price
Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot 40$ retail price
8L Dry Sack: Sea to Summit 20$ retail price
Why: to keep your sleeping bag dry, protected from the rain and stream crossings
8L Dry Sack: Sea to Summit 19$ retail price
Why: to keep my clothes organized and dry inside my pack
13L Dry Sack: Sea to Summit 22$ retail price
Why: Food storage
Mosquito Head Net: Sea to Summit 10$ retail price
Bear Canister: BearVault BV500
Why: it is required in The Sierra Nevada
Multi-tool: Swiss Army pocket knife 12$
Cat hole Trowel: Deuce of Spades 20$
Why: dig your own toilet in the wilderness.PACK OUT your toilet paper. Leave no trace!
Smartphone: my OLD Samsung Galaxy S4
Why: it still works perfectly
Camera: Sony RX100 Mark III ~ 700$. Bought it used for 490$
Why: I love taking pictures but didn’t want to carry my DSLR. I researched plenty of comact cameras but I always came to this conclusion because it has a fully tilting screen, a 1 inch sensor, a view finder and it’s very customizable. You could get better compact cameras but this was the best I could find within mi price range
Tripod: Pedco Ultrapod – 15$
Why: There sure are many options available but this is the one I liked the most. It has a ball head, it is very light and the veltro strap allows you to attach the tripod to your trekking pole or a branch somewhere. You can also take the Stick pic but it isn’t a tripod and doesn’t have a ball head
Power Bank: Amazon Basics 10.000 mah 24$
Why: For charging my camera and phone. You can charge two devices at the same time
Maps: Halfmile maps free – Guthook PCT Guide 30$ total
Both work with GPS, no cell service needed. They include a ton of infotmation!
You should check out this and this review by Mac, from Halfway Anywhere
Ice Axe: Petzl Glacier 99$
Why: watch this. I will decide wether I need an ice axe or not based on the conditions in the Sierra. An ice axe will be useless if you don’t know how to self arrest. If I need an ice axe… I’ll make sure to practice self arresting techniques before I head out to the most dangerous passes. Watch this other video if you want to know what self arrest is.