Gear, gear, and more gear!
That is the question: What do you bring with you on a 2,650mile thru-hike like the PCT?
Since I announced I'd hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in March 2023, I've spent the majority of my free time researching and understanding what I want to carry with me for a 5-6 month backpacking trip. Below I'm going to share an overview of what's in my 60L pack for the PCT adventure starting March 31st 2023!
Now the trend these days is to go ultralight. This is useful because you carry less weight on your back. You'll be walking for about 8h/day. Carrying your food, water, and shelter on your back. Minimizing your weight will reduce the risk of injury and be overall more enjoyable with a lighter pack. Every ounce counts!
The Big 3: You'll want to start with your most important gear, which includes your tent, sleeping system, and backpack. As a new thru-hiker, I had absolutely no idea what would work best for me, given I have almost no experience sleeping outside in a tent, ha! I watched Youtube videos, read articles, spoke to fellow thru-hikers and then compulsively ordered online during black friday sales. I've tested out my new gear a few times now, and I'm very happy with my choices. Let's see how they hold up for 2,650miles! I'm going to share which tent, pack, and sleeping system I'm going to be using.
My tent: Ringing in at 17.07oz, I will be using The One tent by Gossamer Gear. This tent is ultralight, spacious, and very easy to set up. I say this with a big grain of salt, given that the first time I pitched the tent, I took over an hour to set it up. But keep in mind, I'm a TOTAL newb when it comings to camping! What's really interesting about this tent is that you set it up with your trekking poles!
My pack: I purchased the Vaporwave limited edition 60L Mariposa also from Gossamer Gear. I paid more expensive for the retro colors, but I couldn't resist! It packs 36L inside the pack body and the remaining 24L are spread across the luxurious 7 exterior pockets. It's super spacious and easy to use. I used this pack on my recent 3 week trip to Bali and absolutely loved it.
My sleeping system: This gear took me a little longer to choose. There's a lot of information out there and so much to choose from! I ended up going for a quilt, which has been highly recommended by the thru-hiking community. It can open as a blanket and also secure tightly for the colder nights. I got the 950 down, 20°F (-6°C) Revelation Sleeping Quilt from Enlightened Equipment. I wish I would have gotten a draft collar to keep my neck extra warm, but that's OK! For my mattress pad, I have a Thermarest Z Lite foam pad and Thermarest Neoair inflatable mattress. I'm going to sleep like a queen, let's hope!!
In addition to my big 3, I'll be carrying a variety of clothing, first aid, toiletries, cooking system, and different technology. Here's a quick summary of what I'll be wearing and carrying for the PCT!
Camp Shoes (Merrells)
Patagonia Micro Puffy
Thermal Shirt & Pants
Trail Runners (Saucony)
Darn Tough Hiking Socks
Frogg Toggs Rain Jacket & Pants
Outdoor Research Ballcap
Seal Skinz Waterproof Socks
Merino Underwear (two pairs)
Barely Worn Patagonia Sports Bra
Water Filter System
Cooking Pot & Gas
Crampons & Ice Axe (for snow!)
Garmin InReach Mini
Sony ZV I Camera
iPhone 7 Plus
I'm positive that I will change my gear throughout my thru-hike. I'll add to the list and also remove items that I no longer need. My objective is to stay lightweight but also ensure I'm comfortable and safe!
For those in the thru-hiking community, here's my Lighterpack Page!
I hope you enjoyed this quick post on gear. Happy Trails!!
Chloe Jane is a mindfulness coach, yoga teacher and sound healing practitioner. She believes in slowing things down and inviting deep rest into the fast-paced world.
Chloe will be embarking on a 2,650 mile thru-hike in March 2023 called the Pacific Crest Trail. She is South of France based and you can find her on instagram @chloejanejacobs.
Follow her sabbatical trek adventures and join her blog community!