Bev's A-Z PCT Gear List

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Here is Bev’s A to Z gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail (to be followed by partner Sharky’s list)

Intro and index of stories  

In my pack:  by James Whistler

A. Two-person Feathered Friends two-pound down sleeping bag that we shared EVERY trail night for five months. (In the beginning I insisted we wear at least clean socks to bed, because our feet were filthy amidst the desert dust. Plus I had packed a sheet liner for us to use, to protect the sleeping bag. I let go of my need for cleanliness, and the sheet liner, after about a thousand miles. At the end of our hike, we mailed the bag back to the company for stitching repair, and they mailed us a brand new one. Once again, Wow !

B. II oz. Thermarest Neo-Air pad designed for women (Nickname Rice Krispies by hikers due to the crackling sound every time a person moved ) About one thousand miles into the hike, one night I secretly switched pads with Sharky so he could try mine. That was it. He ordered one and became the satisfied owner of camping comfort.

C. REI trekking poles.I went through three pairs.I wore the first pair all the way down to the plastic tips. With the second pair I broke one pole about six inches from the bottom when I slipped on a rock in a stream, and went down into the water. That pole saved me from injury. I continued to use it, anyway, for another five hundred miles, by lengthening one section. FYI, the inner metal of the pole was so strong that I continued to hike with it even though the bottom tip was now jagged. At the end of the hike I traded it at REI for a new pair, same kind.

D. Mammut headlamp (1 oz.) and extra AA battery

E. Small Swiss army knife

F. Titanium cup (1 .9 oz.), spork, plastic bowl(l .9 oz.)

G. Thermacoupler to hold two pads together (1.9 oz.) (Helpful when 'cowboy camping', e.g., sleeping without a tent.)

H. Two bandanas (one used as a pee rag and kept in a baggy)

I. Tiny REI towel

J. AT&T flip cell phone and charger (charger for phone and Kindle were the same)

K. Basic Kindle, 11 oz.

L. Toilet paper and spare plastic baggy to put used toilet paper in. Yes, I packed it out.

M. Small hand sanitizer

N. Sixty-ounce Platypus hydrator

O. Sunglasses

P. Clothing:
* Sunhat, wool beanie, lightweight gloves, one non-cotton T-shirt on me, and a second shirt 'just in case';
* In the beginning I wore NorthFace hiking pants, my favorite. They became problematic with the snap and tie when I was in a hurry to remove them. Next I used the kind of pants where one can zip off the leg parts and have shorts,
* two pairs of underwear (one was usually hanging to dry on the outside of my pack)*
* one Patagonia sports bra (usually on me until I broke those ribs)
* pair of Patagonia long underwear,
* Patagonia rain pants (6 oz.),
* Kuhl skort (5.1 oz.),
* UPF 50 long sleeve shirt,
* a Merino wool long sleeve shirt (6.7 oz.),
* Mountain Hardwear down puffy jacket (8 oz),
* Zermat rain/wind coat (12.8 oz.,I came back from Europe with this).I added a fleece later for Washington.
* Shoes: I went through five pairs of Salomon trail shoes. I wore Merrell minimus shoes (I2 oz.) for camp or fording streams.
* Socks: I had one pair I liked so much that I using duct tape to cover the many holes. I wore one pair of light Smartwool socks and had two other pairs in my pack, one thick and one thin.
* I also carried extra plastic bags for all kinds of possibilities.
*We messed around a lot with socks, duct tape, etc, trying to figure how the hell to ease various foot pains. I even saw a podiatrist in Southern California, who said, "get off the trail." Hah! I eventually purchased Super Feet inserts in Ashland.

Q.    Toiletries:

Short toothbrush, small tube Sensodyn toothpaste, no skin lotion, Arnica cream, floss, old plastic pill containers for my face cream and sunscreen (Zealios, my nephew Austin's product), small hairbrush and a few hair ties, ( I kept my hair in pigtails for much of the trail), vitamins B, calcium and iron, medical marijuana and letter from doctor, Percoset, aspirin, Benadryl for bee sting allergy, lip gloss, spare contacts (which I could wear for two weeks at a time) and rewetting solution, eye glasses, tiny mirror (plus antibiotics and Narco when I injured myself in Northern California, plus extra salt to rinse my stitched up lip, more on that later)

R.1.5 liter water bottle plus Nalgene water bottle (used as roller for PT.)

S. Lighter and matches

T. Debit card, license, cash

U. Passport, PCT permit, permit for Canadian border (where the PCT went, there was no official border crossing)

V. Maps ( I carried the used ones and the soon to-be-used ones. Each box also had maps of the next section. Sharky carried the ones for that particular day or two)

W. Writing paper, pen

X. Go-Lite umbrella (a necessity for sun and rain; we had them for Sonora Pass and north)

Y. Pack rain cover

Z. FOOD (plus all the garbage) - details coming…

*Actually the underwear amount was a big debate with friends because originally I wasn't going to take any. Here are the contents of an email from one friend in early April: “Wow, the trail is coming up fast for you. Don't forget at least one pair of underwear. You just don't want to make the mistake of not having any. It would be a long trail, JUST saying! Most importantly watch for low branches, big rocks, anything that bites and for goodness sakes DON’T climb up anything. Once again. -JUST saying!" I went from zero to two.

Sharky carried the Big Agnes tent, the Katadyn water purifier, Esbit stove and fuel, tarp, mandolin, bear canister and ice axe (for John Muir Trail stretch ), ropes, first aid kit, duct tape, cooking kit, and more than half the food and water weight, plus all his own personal gear.

Note: Our two-person Big Agnes Fly Creek tent had zipper problems. We were holding it together with safety pins. Unbeknownst to us, we could have sent it back under warranty and received a new one overnight. Those smart young people with their I-things were doing just that. Instead, our friends who met us in Sierra City brought us a new one that, of course, our T.C. [trip concierge, my daughter] had ordered, and they took the damaged one back with them. Recently we did send that one in and got a brand new tent in return, so now we have two.

Etching by James Whistler "Seymour"

by Author
BeverlyBritts BeverlyBritts's picture

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BeverlyBritts's picture
by Author BeverlyBritts


Christian M. Ka... (not verified)
Nice read! Reference section
Nice read! Reference section A, "At the end of our hike, we mailed the bag back to the company for stitching repair, and they mailed us a brand new one. Once again, Wow !" In 2007, I sent Feathered Friends my red Snow Goose bag for similar repairs and an overfill. I received a brand new, blue, overfilled Snow Goose. Append OMG to Wow and my head spun for hours! 13 years of casual usage later, it still looks brand new and is cozy enough to withstand Taos in the winter. Arguably the best of the best outdoor gear companies in business today, FF is first class, all the way! Peace! Chris K

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