Roadrunner's PCT Guide 2017 (multiple sheets, click the tabs at the bottom)
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My 2016 gear list with weights:https://lighterpack.com/r/7l53zt
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Notes - Open side by side with the lighterpack list
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Big 3
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PackWith my final gear list (all the things in the Dropped category gone) the 65 liter Circuit was way too big. I wished I had a Mountain Laurel Designs Burn. If you manage not to add any weight to the base weight in my final lighterpack list, you may want a smaller pack. If you add some luxury items that I neglected or just don't want to worry about fitting the bear can in, the circuit is an excellent choice. But a smaller frameless pack could save you at least a pound.
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ShelterI used a free standing tent because it's what I'm used to and I could put it up in 5 minutes even when I was half asleep. You could save a lot of weight with a tarp or trekking pole supported shelter like a zPacks Hexamid if you're willing to deal with more setup time and limited campsite options.
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Sleep systemThe short NeoAir was very comfortable despite being only long enough to go to my knees. I'm a side sleeper so a lot of times my feet were curled up onto it. I used my pack with food and extra clothing stuffed in it as a pillow most of the time. I put the sit pad under my heels when I slept on my back. Also the quilt was never too cold, just learn how to use the straps properly and you'll be good to go.
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Clothing
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Insulating jacketWhat worked well for me was using down until Lake Tahoe then switching to synthetic. The desert and Sierra are the coldest/driest parts of the trail (yes, the desert gets very cold at night) so down was an excellent choice. Fleece/synthetic puffies work better north of there where it's either not cold (norcal/Oregon) or wet (Washington). DON'T GET A GHOST WHISPERER LIKE ME. Get a Montbell Ex Light Down Anorak. It's the same weight, warmer, and 60% the cost. No one knows about this brand and it's awesome. https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2301211
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Rain jacketDon't bother getting a heavy gore tex jacket. You probably won't use a rain jacket all that much. Best would be a cuben fiber poncho but that gets expensive. I liked my ultralight jacket - I did get damp after a whole day in the rain but it dried out fast and still kept me warm. This jacket strategy goes hand in hand with switching to synthetic insulation in WA. I would wear the fleece under the rain jacket and not worry about it getting wet. If you're using down, you won't be able to hike in it in the rain without worrying about it getting wet and becoming useless - even under the jacket. Again this is up to personal preference and how warm you are.
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Food
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Food bagThe zpacks bag lasted pretty much the entire time but I didn't ever hang my food. It would have been cheaper to buy 4-5 ziploc freezer bags instead.
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Stove (or lack thereof)See note on Resupply sheet about going stoveless.
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FoodTry to carry food at least 100 calories per oz (28g) so you get enough calories without too much weight. Ultralight applies to food and water, too. You'll get a better "feel" for this after resupplying a few times. See sheet "Food"
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Misc. gear
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Trekking polesIn my opinion, these are critical for taking pressure off of your poor, abused feet on long days. I highly recommend the "z-pole" style non-adjustable poles. They are about half the weight and do not have moving parts which can break. The light weight allows you to easily pack them away when you don't want to use them, which for me ended up being most of the time after the Sierra (very light backpack and relatively well-packed trail). They come in multiple sizes so don't worry about them being non-adjustable just find the size you need (I'm 5'10" and use 120cm poles). It's worth the weight savings.
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BatteryThis was the perfect size battery. I only used it up once so you could go with a smaller one but I used my phone for lots of things so I liked having it. I did not hear anything good about solar chargers.
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Dropped
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Foam padThis small foam pad was supposedly to keep the thermarest from slipping around on the floor of the tent. It didn't really work a lot of the time and the movement didn't bother me and it was a pain to pack it so I got rid of it.
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Pants, underwearI got very annoyed with my convertible long pants. They were baggy and heavy and the zippers didn't always work so I often sweated it out instead of converting them because of the hassle. I switched to running shorts and after the initial sunburn I never looked back. Picked up wind pants when I got running shorts and I loved them. I wore them for warmth on cold days and for bug protection. Underwear went home with the old pants because the shorts have a built in liner which effectively worked as my 2nd pair.
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Stove, mug, lighterI initially brought these so I could have a cooked meal every 4 or 5 days. I only used it twice and it was more of a hassle than a comfort to cook. See note on Resupply sheet about stoveless.
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GlovesSent these home in Norcal and just tucked my hands into my sleeves when they were cold. If you go through the Sierra in the snow (which you probably will) get some gloves anyway for holding the ice axe.
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TowelI cut it in half
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GaitersThey might be helpful in the desert because of all the little plant things and sandy bits but they just get annoying. One more thing to hassle with when you take off/put on your shoes.
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TrowelI forgot it on trail and never felt the need to replace it - a trekking pole worked OK. Make sure you're still digging 6 inches deep and if you find yourself cheating because you don't have a trowel then get one.
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GroundsheetI stopped cowboy camping after the desert due to mosquitos so I never used it from that point on. I don't really believe in the groundsheet under a tent with an actual floor - I've heard it can actually trap water that would otherwise drain. Of course if you have a no-floor or mesh-floor shelter like a hexamid, you need a groundsheet.
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Section Specific
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Desert water storageMy biggest carries were 6L on day one and 6L for the super long water carry to Walker Pass. Practice the art of "cameling" where you chug water at the water source to carry it in your body rather than on your back.
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Snow gearI went through the Sierra in early June 2016 so there were 5-8 miles of snow on each pass. Kahtoolas worked great. My axe was overkill - I used it because I already had it and it's comfortable. It's probably worth dealing with the uncomfortable handle of the Camp Corsa to save 7 oz of weight.
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Warm layersI sent the baselayer home in Norcal and kind of missed it in WA. Depends on your time of year and tolerance for cold. See notes about insulating jacket above.
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Washington water storageI only carried 1.5L water max in WA and was fine. Only moderately uncomfortable time was going into Stehekin because I thought there would be a faucet at high bridge ranger station - there isn't.
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