Obligatory Gear Post – Essentials

Here’s the part where I post an accounting of my gear for the PCT, mainly so that at the end I can look back on the foolish decisions I made and realize what I should have done differently, but for now I can take stock with some sense of confidence in what I’m bringing on the trail. We’ll start with the essentials.  

(Note: The cat food puzzle board is not coming along on the trip.)

This photo obviously doesn’t include food and water, which weigh a ton by themselves, so I tried to keep this light without completely adopting an ultra-lightweight approach, since this is my first time on a  thru-hike.  


  1.  Tent – Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 – Initially I bought an HV UL 1, which is supposedly a one person tent, but when I tried it out I could tell it was going to be claustrophobic, especially on any day where I might be caught in a downpour.  So I returned that and got the two person variety, which is almost an extra pound, but will be a lot more comfortable. 
  2. Sleeping Bag – Enlightened Equipment Revelation Camping Quilt.  So not technically a sleeping bag in that it doesn’t completely close, but I hate sleeping in mummy bags because my legs need to act out in the night.  The quilt should allow me to kick around as much as I want while still being warm, and its lighter than a sleeping bag, which is a bonus. 
  3. Sleeping Pad – Big Agnes Insulated AXL Air – Almost everyone seems to use a Therm-a-Rest of some sort, but I found this at REI and its just as lightweight, while being about $10 cheaper.  Plus it actually packs down a bit smaller, so we’ll see if my bargain shopping pays off. 
  4. Pack – Gregory Z65 – Ok, here’s where I expect to get some lectures from other hikers.  Not that this isn’t a great pack, but its about 10 years old, and a bit heavier than everyone recommends.  Gregory packs seem to have fallen out of favor with thru-hikers on the PCT, but since I already owned it, and there’s nothing wrong with it, I figured again I’d save $300 bucks and not buy another perfectly good new pack.  Again, I’ll see if I live to regret that decision.  But I was surprised that its almost too small to fit everything so I don’t know that I would have wanted to sacrifice any of the carrying capacity anyway. 

Everything fits, and I can still use the bottom straps for a bear can in the Sierra.  


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