Author Topic: The Pacific Crest Trail  (Read 11425 times)

Offline CombatPeds

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The Pacific Crest Trail
« on: June 11, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »
Hello!  I'm hitting the Pacific Crest trail for a week at the end of July and I am planning to start from scratch as far as gear goes.  It's pretty far to REI from where I live and my work schedule keeps me hopping.  I do, however, have Amazon Prime.  What is the best gear you guys have found on Amazon that would be beneficial for my trip on the trail in July?  What totally sucked?  I appreciate your input!  You guy rock!

Ben 

Offline Cedar

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 10:05:56 AM »
I would be more concerned if you are not in the Army, as I presume you had to do basic and such. But as a doctor, I presume you are not out running with a rucksack often.

What made me concerned was you have no gear which you have used and is an old friend. I am also hoping you are not going alone. So I am really hoping you are not a newbie heading out there. Depending on what section you are taking, the PCT can be pretty brutal. Depending on what section you are going, you may also have lack of water, especially with how dry it is. I am pretty sure we will be getting fire bans any second with how hot it has been with lack of humidity.

So now that my concerns are over-ish...

-----> Buy this http://www.amazon.com/Backpackers-Field-Manual-Revised-Updated/dp/1400053099/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415512907&sr=1-2&keywords=outdoor+leadership+by+john+graham

Start dehydrating your food
http://www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-food.html

  • A very good pack. At REI or any sports store, I will grab a pack, start tossing stuff into it to create weight and walk around the store with it. Some pull on your shoulders and neck and make you wish they had never invented this particular pack by the time you hit aisle 5. I like my backs to rest in my lower back and have the center of gravity low. I also like alot of pockets on mine. I like an internal frame, although for a week you might want an external type. So when you get your pack, immediately load at least 50 pounds in it and go on a hike for 4-5 hours. 
  • GPS, topo map, trail guide to your section of the PCT.
  • Good lightweight sleeping bag. Expect to pay over $100 unless it is on closeout. Yes it is hot out, but the mountains can be a 30-40 degree drop in temps or more from day to night. In high desert it was hear 100F and froze that night.
  • If you do not take a tent, take a GOOD quality tarp.
  • A way to make water drinkable
  • A good camp stove. If you are going to cold winter camp eventually, make sure it is a good one which can handle cold. Don't ask how I know this. 
  • Socks, socks, socks, socks, socks, socks, socks.
  • Next to the quality of your pack, make sure your boots are equal to the task. BREAK THEM IN!!!!! I also would recommend a pair of tennis shoes for around camp or if your boots have an issue. 
  • Hat.
  • Pretty much your 10 essentials for a daypack. 
  • Let someone know where you are going WITH maps and where you should approximately be each day.  Might be a good idea to check in at the ranger station as well. You might research the areas that are notorious that people go missing. 
  • Camera. Don't forget spare batteries, a way to charge etc
  • I would personally either leave my cell phone at home, or keep it turned off. But I would have some form of communications. 

Good luck, have fun and send photos when you are back.

Cedar
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nkawtg

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 10:20:43 AM »
Get the boots now and wear them every day to break them in.
Don't wait.
Your feet will thank you for it.

Offline CombatPeds

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 10:53:32 AM »
All valid concerns :-) I do have gear, but I am essentially using this an excuse opportunity to get new stuff.  I definitely don't want to use any of my issue  gear.  I'm going with my friend Sarah who also has her own gear but I am a big fan of redundancy to ward off badness. 

Offline r_w

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 08:40:00 PM »
Redundancy is good, until you have to carry it up a mountain on your back...choose carefully

As part of getting drinking water, you need a way to get water you can't reach.  A small bucket and rope, a long tube on your pump filter, etc

Many people drop so many pounds their clothes AND PACK don't fit.  Keep that in mind. 

Offline CombatPeds

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2015, 12:23:53 PM »
Any recs on a particular brand of socks and boots?

Offline Cedar

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2015, 12:41:21 PM »
Any recs on a particular brand of socks and boots?

Get a GOOD expensive pair of wool socks, I prefer Merino. Forget the cheapo wool socks. They are generally made from meat breeds, not wool breeds, are thicker diameter/shorter fiber, and more pokey ends which make people itch which is why they swear they are allergic to wool (which 99% of them are not).

I have had some good expensive boots over the years and I have had less expensive boots. I kill them all in 6-12 months time. Currently I am on North Face boots as my brother has a good connection to them. So far I have not done alot of hiking in them, but they are standing up to farm work and pretty much daily living since last October.

Cedar
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"A person who works with his hands is a laborer, A person who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman, A person who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist."

Offline em ty

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2015, 03:22:04 PM »
I have one of these and I love it.  It gets clogged fairly frequently, but I just backwash it and it's good to go. 

http://www.amazon.com/Platypus-GravityWorks-Complete-Water-Filter/dp/B004LAR1NY

Offline r_w

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2015, 07:04:04 PM »
Only "cheap" socks to buy are Costco wool hiking socks. Probably not available right now, they are seasonal. Any of the name brand merino wool will work, smartwool, Fox river, darn tough, anything rei sells. Buy the socks first and fit the boots with them. 

Every good brand of boot has bad models, too, so do your research.  Most important is the fit. 

Online FreeLancer

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2015, 07:08:40 PM »
Only "cheap" socks to buy are Costco wool hiking socks. Probably not available right now, they are seasonal. Any of the name brand merino wool will work, smartwool, Fox river, darn tough, anything rei sells. Buy the socks first and fit the boots with them. 

Every good brand of boot has bad models, too, so do your research.  Most important is the fit.

I wholeheartedly agree. 
23:57:30

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2015, 08:51:55 PM »
Just lurking a bit...

Offline Carl

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2015, 11:50:28 AM »
I wanted to try the Pacific Coast Popcorn...munch munch ...it's a lot like kettlecorn.... :popcorn:
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

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Offline Ken325

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2015, 04:16:14 PM »
This is a big question.  I would not want to do a big through hike without testing my gear.  I would at least do a few small overnight shake down trips prior to hitting the trail.  To me the big 4 essentials are boots, , backpack, sleeping bag, and tent.  The tent could actually be optional if you have a good tarp.  Spend a lot on these items as they are important.  I like Osprey and REI packs. Get the boots that fit your feet the best.  Find someone who knows how to size you for boots and a pack.  Watch you tube videos on this subject.  I would also recommend hiking poles and a good sleeping pad.  On everything else think about what you can do without.  Here is my basic backpacking list.  My pack weighs 20 pounds without food and water.  Think hard before adding anything to this list.  If it is not a safety thing you probably don't need it.

Personal items
lip balm
matches/ lighter
sunscreen
map
pocket knife or multitool
headlamp, flashlight
keychain flashlight
sunglasses
glasses case
50' cord or light rope
1 plastic garbage bag
1 large, empty freezer bag
Bug repellent with DEET
Emergency phone numbers
Camping soap
wet ones wipes (single packs)
First aid kit with personal meds
toilet paper
compass
banana
water treatment tablets
Camping equipment
water bottles (enough for 3 liters)
spoon, fork
sleeping pad
sleeping bag
light weight tent or tarp
Backpack
stuff sacks or freezer bags for gear
Clothing   (no cotton)
Waterproof jacket (big, for layering)
waterproof pants
Fleece jacket
Synthetic hiking pants
synthetic shorts
synthetic t shirt
2 pairs of wool blend hiking socks
2 pair of underwear
hat
 Good hiking boots (broken in)
Food     all stored in large freezer bags
instant coffee
freeze dried backpacking food
1 for each meal
salt, pepper, spices, condiments
powdered drinks
lots of snacks
Optional gear
Camera
trekking poles
water shoes for river crossing
Diamond rod
Athletic tape
emergency blanket
solar charger ,iphone
Optional for cold weather
long johns
gloves
long sleeve t shirt
mora bushcraft black knife
gloves
Camping gear that can be carried as a group
canister stove
fuel for stove
Water Filter
cook set
repair kit
first aid kit

Offline Ken325

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2015, 04:18:54 PM »
It was supposed to say bandanna not banana.  It is not easy importing a spreadsheet into this forum.  It messed up some of the columns.  Also on the tent, get one with a big fly cover.  This makes a big difference in a downpour.  Looking at my list I would leave the matches and bring a ferrocerium rod.  I like the hard nalgene bottles because they are easy to filter into.  I would have one bottle that is stainless steel in case you need to boil water. 
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 04:28:40 PM by Ken325 »

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2015, 04:28:16 PM »
Was supposed to say bandanna not banana.


 :o


endurance

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2015, 07:09:17 PM »
I have a friend who did it in 2013&2014. Light weight is the way to go. Eliminate everything you can from your pack with a goal weight of around 20-25 pounds with 3-5 days of food. Both him and I have moved entirely away from boots and use only trail running shoes. Unless your pack is over 30 pounds you don't need a full boot. Of course you could just watch Wild and understand the misery caused by excessive pack weight and traditional hiking boots.

Go to the White Blaze forum to get more specific advice in the PCT section of the forum.

To get weights down, be relentless in the pursuit of the lightest gear. My tent for my Colorado Trap hike was under 2 pounds and used my hiking poles for support. My sleeping bag was 15 ounces. My sleeping pad was under a pound. My rain gear was silnylon and about 4 oz. my stove was a Fancy Feast catfood can that I took a hole punch to and burned alcohol for fuel. Food was about two pounds a day. My filter was an inline affair on a camelbak. My pot was titanium, my spoon, plastic. No change of clothes, just three pair of wool running socks that I changed every 3-4 hours and washed every time I came to a stream (rinsed while soaking my feet and air dried on my pack). My warmth was a 7.8 ounce down sweater that never let me down.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2015, 07:19:39 PM »
Of course you could just watch Wild and understand the misery caused by excessive pack weight and traditional hiking boots.


Watching her fill that backpack was painful, and I say this as someone who knows almost nothing about anything longer than a day hike.


By the way, I'm reading the book right now, and it's very good.  Better than the movie, which I also liked.


Back to your regularly scheduled programming...


endurance

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2015, 07:43:26 PM »
...
By the way, I'm reading the book right now, and it's very good.  Better than the movie, which I also liked.
...
Agreed, they cut out too much of the backstory for the movie.  I understand why, but I just found her life was a lot more interesting than the movie.

And for what it's worth, my friend who did the PCT did the first 2000 miles in 2013 and the last 660 miles in 2014 due to an injury in 2013 that stopped him in Oregon.

I also did one cooked meal a day, dinner.  The best temperatures for hiking are in the morning.  I shot for 10 miles by 10am, 15 by noon, finish by 3-4pm if I could so I would avoid the afternoon thunderstorms.  Unfortunately, my goals of 19.5-26.5 miles a day meant 12 hour days or a little longer a couple times, but I had exceptionally good weather and was hiking on the solstice, so I had plenty of daylight.  Assume 2 miles per hour average including a 10-20 minute break for water collections and washing every 2.5-4 hours.  I ate while eating my breakfast and was constantly snacking on the trail.  My lunch would be MRE crackers with either cheese spread, PB or Jelly.  Otherwise, maintain constant forward progress. 

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2015, 08:02:00 PM »
Of course you could just watch Wild and understand the misery caused by excessive pack weight and traditional hiking boots.

I think about backpacking along the PCT 30 years ago and we all carried a ridiculous amount of weight and wore heavy boots, with the through hikers being some of the worst when it came to extreme loadouts.  The ultralight trend was just beginning at that stage and people still hiked in jeans and carried a spare, it was crazy.  I remember carrying a freakin' inflatable boat, pump, and wetsuit for a week.  Totally nuts!
23:57:30

Offline goofyshooter

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2015, 04:54:22 AM »
I would recommend not ordering your pack online until you have tested it out in the store. I would also suggest REI membership. I just got home last night from 5 days in the Smokies on the AT and will be going today back to REI to return the pack I just bought. Tried it in the store weighted down and it was good.... But after about an hour on the trail I hated it.

Offline kindersir

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2015, 08:25:14 AM »
This may seem obscure, but I have done a lot of backpacking. I would not take the first step without "Mole Skin" .  It is not made of mole skin.  It is found at the drug store and comes in a pack with 2 or 3 sheets about 3"x4". It works like a band aid but has no gauze on it.  Don't get the thick padded stuff, get the thin.  I Thing Dr Shoals makes it. More tacky than a band aid it shields your skin from a rubbing boot. It can save you from a new pair of boots that are not quite broken in.

You cut a peace and put it over any hot spots on your feet, Best to make sure the spot is dry, an alcohol wipe is good for that.  It can be put over a blister but it is best to catch the area when you feel a possible blister coming on. I keep in my BOB.

Offline CombatPeds

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2015, 01:56:37 PM »
You guys are awesome.  I'm getting a couple different packs and sets of boots and testing them out over the next month.  I've got a lot of packs of jerky and nuts that I've dehydrated and vacuum sealed, but I'm thinking about freeze dried meals for dinners.  I've got a solid first aid setup given that I tend to help take care of people wherever I go.  I am still trying to decide if I should bring freeze dried or dehydrated bananas :-)

Offline goofyshooter

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2015, 04:28:33 PM »
You can always dehydrate your own meals for dinner instead of buying the freeze dried stuff. Chili is my favorite but you can dehydrate almost anything

endurance

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2015, 08:02:19 PM »
I've come to love the Lipton and Rice-a-roni meals with added freeze-dried ground beef.  The angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese with about a quarter cup of rehydrated ground beef and an ounce of olive oil is a calorie dense and tasty meal that weighs next to nothing and cooks with nothing more than boiling water and 7-10 minutes of soaking.

They're a lot cheaper than the dehydrated meals and personally, I find them a lot more palatable.  I can get about 40-50 meals out of a single number 10 can of freeze dried ground beef. 

Remember, carbs are 4 calories per gram, proteins are 4 calories per gram, but fat is 9 calories per gram.  While carrying a small bottle of olive oil seems like it's heavy, it packs more calories than dehydrated food that weighs twice as much.  Even if you bring dehydrated foods, add some olive oil.  You won't regret the taste or the calories.

Offline Carl

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2015, 03:30:11 AM »
I've come to love the Lipton and Rice-a-roni meals with added freeze-dried ground beef.  The angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese with about a quarter cup of rehydrated ground beef and an ounce of olive oil is a calorie dense and tasty meal that weighs next to nothing and cooks with nothing more than boiling water and 7-10 minutes of soaking.

They're a lot cheaper than the dehydrated meals and personally, I find them a lot more palatable.  I can get about 40-50 meals out of a single number 10 can of freeze dried ground beef. 

Remember, carbs are 4 calories per gram, proteins are 4 calories per gram, but fat is 9 calories per gram.  While carrying a small bottle of olive oil seems like it's heavy, it packs more calories than dehydrated food that weighs twice as much.  Even if you bring dehydrated foods, add some olive oil.  You won't regret the taste or the calories.

I have often used coconut oil this way for it's calorie boost and health benefits.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline CombatPeds

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2015, 08:27:06 AM »
I am pretty paleo/primal. I <3 coconut oil.  I thought about making pemican too.

Offline Cedar

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2015, 10:02:32 AM »
Remember, carbs are 4 calories per gram, proteins are 4 calories per gram, but fat is 9 calories per gram.  While carrying a small bottle of olive oil seems like it's heavy, it packs more calories than dehydrated food that weighs twice as much. 

This is why we feed sled dogs alot of fat. Beaver fat if we can get it. The sled dogs burn about 14,000k/cal a day when working hard and we could not possibly feed them enough for their caloric needs if we did not feed them fat.

Cedar
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Offline Carl

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2015, 10:17:34 AM »
This is why we feed sled dogs alot of fat. Beaver fat if we can get it. The sled dogs burn about 14,000k/cal a day when working hard and we could not possibly feed them enough for their caloric needs if we did not feed them fat.

Cedar

A Happy Meal should be about right for each dog per day?
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline Cedar

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2015, 11:56:31 AM »
A Happy Meal should be about right for each dog per day?

Ew. Actually alot of mushers love getting "Beaver in a Bucket" to feed out. It is ultra high fat. There are alot of fur trappers up there still and they save the beaver meat for the sled dogs.  I only had cow fat for my team. But I did not work them hard every day either.

Cedar
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Offline CombatPeds

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Re: The Pacific Crest Trail
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2015, 08:24:54 PM »
I think I'm a long way from the sled dog team level just yet :-)