So the most exciting thing about getting ready for our PCT trip has been gear. Lots of gear. Buying new, fun gear. Squishing things into stuff sacks, sporting lots of patagucci, climbing in and out of sleeping bags, testing out the new water filter, packing the packs, firing up the camp stove, marveling at lightweight rain gear, etc.
Some of our favorite gear that we have to tell you about:
Pack: ULA Circuit Pack
I bought this a few years ago while I was hiking the Long Trail in VT and it has served me well. At the time, another hiker told me this pack was all the rage on the PCT. Little did I know I would be taking it there myself. Super comfortable. Super lightweight. Specs: 39 oz, 68 L (4,200 cu in) capacity
Camp jacket: Feathered friends Daybreak
I’m excited for this camp jacket. It’s 900+ fill down, weighs next to nothing, also made in Seattle! is really really warm and looks pretty sweet. Specs: 8.5 oz
Sleeping bag: Feathered Friends Egret UL 20
This bag is amazing. And sexy. And one of the best sleeping bags out there (according to the sales guy at the store, but it’s a legit statement). Made in Seattle! So lightweight. Compresses down really tiny. Continuous baffles mean warmer is possible on those cool nights. 900+ fill down amazes me. Specs: (small bag for 5’3″ or shorter) 27 oz
My Elemental Horizons Aquilo. Never before have I been so psyched about a piece of gear…
Matthew at Elemental Horizons is awesome and built this bag to order for me after I ordered it about 5 weeks ago. Super thoughtful attention to detail, super light (2.1 pounds), and super comfortable. Carries a load like a champ too – the other day Jean and I were working out on the Howe St. stairs here in Seattle. She asked how much weight I was carrying and I guessed somewhere less than 10 – the real number was 25.
Sleeping bag: My Western Mountaineering Caribou MF. It’s been with me for… almost 9 years now, which is crazy to think about. It’s warm, compact, and very light – less than 2 lbs. It’s been on the Blue Ridge mountains, the White Mountains, the Cascades, the Diablo range, and a bunch of other random camp sites. Time to add the Sierras to the list…
Camp jacket: Feathered friends daybreak.
a 9 oz jacket that keeps me warm all the time. this winter when it was 25 degrees I would routinely wear this jacket over a t-shirt and I was plenty warm – too hot some times when I was walking. Pretty awesome.
Water filter: Platypus gravity works
Originally we were going to use Aquamira drops instead of getting a filter. Pro’s being: lightweight and inexpensive. But then we did the math. In order to treat or water for 3 months of use at 3L/day minimum, it was going to be over $200. And so an easy to use filter with solid capacity just made way more sense. Platypus is made in Seattle! And this is one of the best filters on the market right now. It’s amazingly easy to use. And pretty lightweight. Specs: 11 oz, 4 L
Sleeping pads: Gossamer Gear NightLight Torso pads
We’re both carrying two of these a piece. Reasonably priced and super super lightweight. We have the option of sending one home to shave some weight if needed too. Specs: 4.7 oz each, 19 x 29.75 in
Tent: Big Agnes
Umbrella: GoLite Chrome Dome
The chrome dome is ultra light and serves to keep rain and sun away. Key in the dessert and Sierras. Specs: 8 oz
Stove: Soto Microregulator OD-1R
Our original thought was to use a homemade tin can alcohol stove, but after learning about the alcohol stove bans in dry CA and some of the explosive possibilities of alcohol stoves, we opted for a canister stove. And it’s really great. We’re digging it. This one is really tiny! And has had some great reviews and backpacking awards. It is also reasonably priced at $60. Specs: 2.6 oz
Solar charger: Suntastics sCharger-5
Solar charger to charge anything by USB. It’s small (looks like a small book), folds up, charges quickly, and is lightweight. And is made in the US. We’re bringing a laptop (Jared is ‘working’ while hiking), we’ll be able to charge our phones (good for emergency contact and location), and headlamp for starters.
And a link to our complete gear spreadsheet might be HERE soon