Bev's PCT Gear Intro

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Bev Britts continues her Pacific Crest Trail journal. 


We spent quite a bit of time weighing EVERYTHING, yes, EVERYTHING. Since our early days of carrying thirty to fifty-pound packs as a norm, the 'travel light' era has made all the difference for comfort and skillful movement. We bought a few items brand new, and also had to look at our current gear in a different way.

But all of that STUFF changed over the five months, depending on the immense variety of weather and terrain. What we started with worked for the desert area. Our resupply boxes along the way held what we needed for the High Sierra section and further north. In addition, Sharky brought along his mandolin, a source of daily entertainment and extra weight. At Sonora Pass it got left at home...with relief (the weight) but sadness.

"Only wishing to walk,
I walk with my full sack—
The evening moon."
(Santoka Teneda)


I started with my ten-year-old Gregory backpack, which I had used on many backpacking trips.My 1980 Kelty had become unwieldy and uncomfortable long ago. It still hangs in the back shed. Upon seeing my Gregory pack on the trail, one young woman said, "I love your pack. It's so old-fashioned." Well, yes, that Gregory had zillions of straps and zippers, unlike the new light versions, such as Sharky's ULA pack (the clincher was the marketing video of a topless woman with her back facing the camera, as she modeled how to measure one's self for the right size pack.) At the four-hundred mile mark, one zipper on my Gregory busted.

On our return to civilization for a week, from Boreas, a small outdoor gear company in San Francisco, I bought their Women's sixty-liter Lost Coast pack (pictured), which worked perfectly for the rest of my journey. I loved it! I put a lot of wear and tear on it. Towards the end of the hike I had to use safety pins to hold together the chest straps. I sent it in for repair, and Boreas sent me a brand new pack.


Coming up: The A-Z Gear List

photo above: Mokelume Wilderness sunset by Javi Velasquez

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