My PCT Oregon/Washington Gear List

wet trail

Here is the list of gear I used between Crater Lake (PCT mile 1820) and the US-Canada border. I mailed a few things to myself at Stevens Pass, and I mailed a few things home from Cascade Locks and Stehekin, but this list shows what I had for the coldest and wettest portion of the trail.

Below the gear list, I explained some of the changes I made for this section, when compared with the southern California desertSierra, and northern California gear lists.

Big Four:

  • Yama Mountain Gear Cirriform shelter (+9 stakes and stake bag)
  • Zpacks ArcBlast backpack, with trash compactor bag as waterproof liner
  • Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 deg F quilt + Mountain Laurel Designs APEX balaclava, carried in a Hyperlite Mountain Gear XL roll-top stuff sack (along with the rest of the sleeping clothes)
  • Therm-a-rest Neoair XTherm sleeping pad

Clothing:

  • extra underwear (swim bottoms)
  • DeFeet wool socks
  • REI long-sleeve button-down shirt
  • Ibex Woolies 3 hoodie*
  • Patagonia down pullover*
  • Patagonia capilene thermal weight bottoms*
  • Montbell Thermawrap skirt
  • DeFeet wool gloves
  • Montane Prism lightweight mittens
  • fleece neck gaiter* (also used as eye shades)
  • headband
  • Sea to Summit head net
  • Darn Tough mountaineering socks*
  • Enlightened Equipment Sidekicks* (booties with synthetic insulation) and Feathered Friends bootie shells
  • Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket
  • Anti Gravity Gear rain pants

* = also part of my sleep system

Kitchen:

  • JetBoil SOL stove
  • insulated metal cup with handle
  • long-handled titanium spoon
  • camp towel
  • lighter
  • 13L food bag
  • Sawyer squeeze filter
  • 2L CNOC water bladder
  • Platypus half-liter bladder (for, errr, adult beverages)
  • 1L water bottle
  • half-liter wide-mouth Nalgene bottle

Hygiene:

  • Vargo titanium trowel
  • hand sanitizer
  • hand lotion
  • Aquaphor
  • sunscreen
  • toothpaste/toothbrush
  • kleenex
  • handkerchief
  • wet wipes
  • nail clippers

Navigation/Safety:

  • compass/whistle/thermometer combo
  • Black Diamond Spot headlamp
  • phone with Gaia app, Guthook app, and preloaded maps
  • National Geographic maps for Goat Rocks and North Cascades
  • Delorme (Garmin) InReach
  • Victorinox Classic Swiss Army knife
  • first aid kit – rubber gloves, ibuprofen, benadryl, antibiotic ointment, alcohol pad, band-aids, Leukotape
  • repair kit – duct tape, Tenacious tape, and a Therm-a-rest patch
  • large trash bag (backup rain gear, ground cover, stink containment system, etc)

Luxuries/Extras:

  • Hyperlite Mountain Gear stuff sack pillow
  • sit pad (cut from a larger foam sleeping pad)
  • Bedrock sandals (mailed home from Cascade Locks)
  • earbuds
  • earplugs
  • crossword puzzle and pencil
  • journal and pen
  • sharpie
  • Anker charger, lightning cable, and wall plug
  • Sony a6000 camera with Peak Designs mount

Consumables (not counted in base weight):

  • ~5kg of food at each resupply
  • typically 1L of water
  • 100g – 250g fuel canister

Worn/Carried (not counted in base weight):

  • Rab short sleeved t-shirt
  • Athleta leggings
  • Patagonia Barely Baggies shorts
  • bra/underwear
  • Darn Tough crew socks
  • Altra Lone Peak trail running shoes, with Dirty Girl gaiters (switched to Merrell Moab Ventilators in Snoqualmie Pass)
  • Montbell Wickron cap
  • Casio altimeter watch
  • Komperdell Powerlock poles

The base weight for this list is about 16 lbs.

Changes:

  • Rain Gear: I switched from wind gear to real rain gear for this section. It was important to have a good rain jacket, and even then it would wet out on the days of constant rain. The Patagonia Torrentshell isn’t the lightest, but I used all of its features: hand warmer pockets, pit zips, and adjustable hood.
  • Clothing: I wanted warmer clothes for camp and sleep in Washington State. I added my leggings and Montbell skirt back in, and I swapped my Patagonia capilene hoody for the Ibex Woolies 3 hoody. (Sadly, Ibex is currently out of business.)
  • Headlamps: My new Petzl e+Lite broke! The plastic dial broke off, so it was much more difficult to turn it on/off or change the setting. Thankfully, I was visiting with family when I noticed, and one of them loaned me a newer version of the Black Diamond Spot. (Thanks ShamWow!) Not only did I have a brighter headlamp again, but this newer version of the Spot didn’t turn itself on like my old one did. (Petzl eventually replaced the broken headlamp.)
  • Maps: I added National Geographic maps for the parts of Washington State that included fire detours: Goat Rocks and North Cascades. They were very useful, although the North Cascades map needs to be updated.
  • Shoes: In an attempt to ease my sore feet, I switched to a shoe with a more rigid sole, the Merrell Moab Ventilator. Because I wouldn’t have an opportunity to try anything on, I bought a used pair on eBay, so they were cheap enough that I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I couldn’t use them. (They fit fine, but I much prefer the Altra toe box shape.)
  • Extra ziplock bags: Although not itemized above, once the weather became colder and wetter, I made a point to have at least two extra gallon-sized ziplock bags with me for when I wanted to put on dry socks but my shoes were still wet. They worked well for getting through the coldest hours of the early morning.

FBBEF7BE-81C1-4A0F-BB36-FF3E3823E982

A note about costs: If you’re looking for good backpacking gear, you’ll surely notice that these items can be expensive. I took years to accumulate everything I needed for a quality, lightweight gear list. I also make extensive use of discount websites (like Campsaver, BackcountryGear, or REI Garage) to buy last year’s models or colors. Checking out others’ gear on the trail, and hearing them describe what they like about it, can be very useful for deciding whether something is worth the expense for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s