The Adventure Gene

Our PCT Two Person Gear List (3.5kg/7.6lb each) & Analysis

This is the gear that we took on the Pacific Crest Trail as a couple in 2022. At the end of the post, we discuss what did and didn’t work so well, and changes we would make in the future.

Total weight in list: 9442.5g/333.07oz
Worn weight: 2514g/88.68oz
Individual base weight: 3464g/7.64lb (+1134g/40oz for bear canister in the Sierras)

Sleeping

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Two Person TentZpacks Duplex0.75oz/yd2 for durability. Good size for us.600/21.16
Twin QuiltUndercling Mike -5°C (23F) Twin Quilt850/29.98
Sleeping mat2 x Nemo Switchback or Therm-a-Rest Z-lite6 panels each, replaced halfway through the hike.360/12.70
Tent stakes6 x DAC J Stake and 2 x Shepard’s hook Ti stakeJ Stakes for critical tie outs (10.5/0.37g each) and Shepard’s hooks for guy lines (5.5g/0.19oz each).74/2.61
Stake sackTarptent0.5/0.02
Total1884.5/66.47

Kitchen

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Water bottles6 x 1L Smart Bottle45g each. Carry 3 each in the desert, 2 each afterwards. Nice shape. Swapped out lids for push pull tops.270/9.52
Spoon2 x Sea to Summit plastic spoonsOne each.14/0.49
Scent proof food bag2 x Turkey BagOne each. More durable than OPSAC and easier to replace.60/2.12
Rehydration container2 x Talenti Ice Cream ContainerOne each. A good size and easy to replace in town (plus, you get to eat some good ice cream).100/3.53
Extra water storage2 x 1L Platypus SoftBottleCollapsible. Carried 1 each.50/1.76
Water filterPlatypus QuickdrawReplaced once, but should have replaced twice.63/2.22
Total557/19.65

Miscellaneous

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Hiking pack2 x Wilderness Threadworks Obi Ultra 40LUltra 200 fabric. Solid back pocket for durability. 497g/17.53oz each. Maddie swapped to a Nashville Cutaway mid way through the trek to try a vest style pack.994/35.06
Bear canister2 x BV500 (11.5L)One each for the Sierras. Rented from Triple Crown Outfitters.2268/80
Water bottle holder4 x Justin’sUL2 x 1L bottle holders for shoulder straps on each pack. Mesh not super durable but otherwise fantastic product.54/1.90
Bug net2 x S2S Nano Head Net11g/0.39oz each. Used daily in Oregon!22/0.78
BidetCuloCleanFor going to the bathroom. More hygienic and less wasteful compared to toilet paper. We liked it a lot.12/0.42
UmbrellaTimmermade BattleshieldA bit finicky to set up and only worth it if it is really hot. We used the selfie stick from our camera to turn it into an umbrella. Probably would take a normal umbrella for the desert next time and ditch it once we hit the Sierras.45/1.59
Cards12/0.42
Emergency cash6/0.21
Dry bagZpacks DCF Large Food Bag (14L), Zpacks 8L DCF bag14L for quilt and down jackets, 8L bag for day clothes.62/2.19
PassportsOne each.79/2.79
Total1286/45.36-3554/125.36

Clothes carried (Maddie)

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Wind jacketMontbell TachyonAdds heaps of versatility and warmth. One of my favourite items. For sleeping if everything else is soaked.41/1.45
Wind pantsMontbell UL Stretch Wind PantsAdds heaps of versatility and warmth. Sleep in every night.70/2.47
Rain jacketGore R7 ShakedryGreat jacket. Shakedry works really well and glad it has two zip pockets. Not super durable but held up well. It has one hole but from a barbed wire fence.121/4.27
Rain pantsZpacksFor warmth in wet weather. Not super durable.80/2.82
FleeceMacpac Nitro Polartec AlphaGreat active layer. 90g/m2 version but more like 60g/m2 towards the end!119/4.20
Down jacketTimmermade SUL 1.53.2oz fill with hood.197/6.95
BuffOutdoor Research UbertubeVery thin and breathable. Keep ears warm under hat walking and sleeping.20/0.71
Possum glovesNot conductive. Warm but not very durable.40/1.41
Wind glovesMontbell U.L. Shell Gloves12D. Touchscreen compatible.9/0.32
Plastic glovesPolyethylene Disposable GlovesWaterproof layer for hands to complement Montbell Shell Gloves. One spare set.2/0.07
Spare undiesExOfficio Bikini Briefs23/0.81
Spare socksInjinji Toe Sock Liners33/1.16
Total755/26.63

Clothes carried (Tom)

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Wind jacketMontbell TachyonAdds heaps of versatility and warmth. One of my favourite items. For sleeping if everything else is soaked.46/1.62
Wild pantsMontbell UL Stretch Wind PantsAdds heaps of versatility and warmth. Sleep in every night.70/2.47
Rain jacketKathmandu Zeolite ShakedryDurable shakedry jacket but the pocket is annoying (it is inside and inaccessible).190/6.70
Rain skirtZpacks Rain KiltWaterproof layer for legs but doesn’t add warmth. Would take rain pants next time.57/2.01
FleeceMacpac Nitro Polartec AlphaGreat active layer. 90g/m2 version but more like 60g/m2 towards the end!141/4.97
Down jacketTimmermade SUL 1.53.4oz fill with hood.200/7.05
TightsNike ProPrevents chaffing.75/2.65
BuffOutdoor Research UbertubeVery thin and breathable. Keep ears warm under hat walking and sleeping.20/0.71
Possum glovesZpacksConductive. Warm but not very durable.35/1.23
Wind glovesMontbell U.L. Shell Gloves12D. Touchscreen compatible.9/0.32
Plastic glovesPolyethylene Disposable GlovesWaterproof layer for hands to complement Montbell Shell Gloves. One spare set.2/0.07
Spare undiesExOfficio Briefs30/1.06
Spare socksInjinji Toe Sock Liners33/1.16
Total908/32.03

Electronics

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
PowerbankNITECORENB 10000King of the power banks currently. Two outputs is very useful.150/5.29
Plug2 x Anker Nano 20WUSB-C output. Carried two as only one port.60/2.12
iPhone cable2 x Generic5g each. Carried two for redundancy (USB A and USB C). Short 10cm length.10/0.35
Microusb cable2 x GenericCarried two.14/0.49
USB C cableGenericFor fast charging powerbank.10/0.35
Phone (Tom)iPhone 12 MiniWaterproof case. Good battery life, battery efficiency, screen size and camera.190/6.70
Phone (Maddie)iPhone 13 ProWaterproof case. Good battery life and efficiency, excellent camera with zoom and macro lens.279/9.84
HeadphonesAirpods ProWith case. For listening to music together.55/1.94
Satellite device/safety beaconGarmin inReach MiniFor safety, texting, weather forecast.100/3.53
Headtorch2 x Nitecore NU25 headlampOne each. 360 Lm max. Homemade cord headband.66/2.33
Total934/32.95

Camera

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
360 cameraInsta360 One X2150g camera with glass lens protector (63g) and case (15g). The X3 has since been released.228/8.04
Selfie StickTelsin 1.16mCarbon and collapsible.102/3.60
TripodPedco Ultrapod52/1.83
Strong zip lock bagGenericWaterproof for storage.10/0.35
Total392/13.83

First Aid

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Pocket knifeSwiss Army Knife Wegner/ClassicKnife, scissors, tweezers. Wegner has better scissors.21/0.74
Blister tapeFixomull4/0.14
Duct/electrical tapeFor repairs and blisters.6/0.21
Repair tapeDCF and tenacious.5/0.18
Antihistaminesx10 for mosquito bites etc.4/0.14
Ibuprofenx10 for pain relief and inflammation.4/0.14
Caffeine tabletNo-Dozx6.3/0.11
Hikers woolFor blisters.Not much
Safety pinFor blisters.2/0.07
Sewing needle and thread3 needles. For repairs and popping blisters.3/0.11
ToothbrushCut short. One each.4/0.14
SuperglueFor large cuts and repairs.4/0.14
Alcohol padx2 for cuts.1/0.04
CordZpacks1.3mm.3/0.11
MatchesRedheads (short)1 pack.10/0.35
Menstrual cup20/0.71
Ear plugsSleeping. Two spare sets.Not much
SleepmaskImproves sleep.6/0.21
Comb6/0.21
HairlackiesSpare for tying stuff.4/0.14
Total110/3.88

Consumables

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
SunscreenIn 30ml tub. Resupply in every town.47/1.66
Lip BalmCarmex Squeeze TubeSPF15 and stops lips/under nose cracking.14/0.49
Water purification tabletsAquatabs15 packs of 10 (5L tabs).22/0.78
Anti-chafeGurney GooIn 15g tube. Replaced with extra Carmex once we ran out.20/0.71
Hand sanitizerIn 30ml tub. Resupply in every town.29/1.02
ToothpasteIn travel tube. Resupply when needed. Would take toothpaste drops next time.10/0.35
Total102/3.60

Clothes worn (Maddie)

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Long sleeve shirtOutdoor Research EchoGood collar. Zip for ventilation. Super breathable. Thumb holes.104/3.67
Running shorts2XU 5 inch Men’s running shortsGood length for sun protection. I like the men’s shorts because they have a zip pocket.100/3.53
Sports braNike111/3.92
UnderwearExOfficio Bikini Briefs31/1.09
HatSunday Afternoon Adventure HatA bit blowy in the wind but provides good protection.73/2.58
Trekking polesHelinox FL120120cm. A bit too short for setting up the Duplex. Alloy so won’t snap but have bent one once.145/5.11
SunglassesJulbo Shield MCat 2-4 photochromic sunglasses. Love them.27/0.95
SocksInjinji Toe Sock Liners33/1.16
Running shoesNike Pegasus 38 and 39, Nike Pegasus Trail 4 and Hoka Speedgoat 5Velcro tab with super glue for gaitors. Replaced approx. every 500miles. My favourite were the Hoka Speedgoats.550/19.4
GaitersDirty Girl GaitersGreat for keeping dirt and stones out of your shoes. Increases lifetime of socks.40/1.41
Total1214/42.82

Clothes worn (Tom)

ItemProductNotesWeight (g/oz)
Long sleeve shirtOutdoor Research Echo Long SleeveGood collar. Zip for ventilation. Super breathable. Thumb holes.107/3.77
Running shortsNike Trail ShortsFavorite shorts. Three zipped pockets.127/4.48
UnderwearExOfficio Briefs31/1.09
HatSunday Afternoon Adventure Ultra Hat and La Sportiva Zenith Sun Hat.Sunday afternoon was a bit blowy in the wind but provided better protection than the La Sportiva legionnaires hat.73/2.58
Trekking polesNaturehike ST10 Ultralight Telescopic Poles Ali version of CP3. 125cm.307/10.83
SunglassesJulbo TrekCat 2-4 photochromic sunglasses. Nice but would be better if they went darker. Had to replace lens that fell out.32/1.13
SocksInjinji Toe Sock Liners33/1.16
Running shoesNike Vomero 15, Nike Pegasus 36 and 39, Hoka Speedgoat 5, Hoka Tecton X, Brooks CatamountVelcro tab with super glue for gaitors. Replaced approx. every 500miles.550/19.4
GaitersDirty Girl GaitersGreat for keeping dirt and stones out of your shoes. Increases lifetime of socks.40/1.41
Total1300/45.86

Gear analysis

Given the wide variety of conditions and temperatures that can be experienced on the PCT, we think we found a good balance between comfort and weight. As with any thru hike, there are aspects of our gear that weren’t as successful as we hoped, and we would change for next time.

What worked well

A clear win for this trip were our foam mats. After thousands of kilometres having on and off issues with inflatable mats, we finally decided to give foam mats a go. Despite our initial reservations regarding warmth and comfort, we ended up really liking them. Perhaps the best part about foams mats was the ability to use them during the day! For regular three season hiking, we can’t see ourselves going back to inflatable mats.

Additionally, much like on the Bibbulmun Track, we were huge fans of our wind jackets and wind pants. For a penalty of 120g/4.2oz, the wind gear acts as an excellent layer for adding ‘just that extra bit of warmth’ and we find the pants very comfortable to sleep in.

Another great success was transitioning from using toilet paper to a bidet. Whilst initially skeptical, after a few weeks of use we were sold. It was more hygienic and meant we didn’t have to carry out toilet paper!

What didn't work well

The main aspect of our gear that could have been improved was our rain gear. We used the PCT to test out some rain skirts and we didn’t like them very much in the conditions we were in. Whilst they were great for keeping our shorts dry, we found that we just weren’t warm enough in high altitude alpine regions when it rained. Maddie swapped to rain pants midway through the trip for this reason. Conversely, in hot and humid weather we think rain skirts would be a great option.

Timmermade Battleshield

On this trip we decided to test out the Timmermade Battle Shield. It is essentially a piece of reflective fabric that can be fashioned into an umbrella (of sorts) with your trekking poles. At 45g/1.59oz it is small and light, and is great for having the option to make some shade if you need it. We found this particularly useful for the desert, and walking through burn zones in northern California.

We found it worked best when you could attach a pole to hold it up (otherwise your arms fatigue quite quickly). We used the selfie stick for our 360 camera for this purpose, attaching it to the Battle Shield using our Pedco Ultrapod.

We think the Battle Shield is a great concept and we were glad we brought it with us for the trip. With some redesigning and improvements we think the trekking pole + reflective fabric combo could become a good alternative to sun umbrellas.

360 Camera

One of our biggest regrets we have from past hikes (namely, the Greater Patagonian Trail), is the lack of quality photos to remember our trip by. As such, we decided to have a bit of fun on the PCT and took a 360 camera with us. We hoped the 360 footage would better represent the incredible views that never look quite as good on the phone as they did in real life.

At just under 400g (~14oz), we carried the Insta360 One X2 (with lens protector and case), a selfie stick and a mini tripod. Not an essential piece of gear, but we had a lot of fun and have some truly fantastic footage to look back on.

Since finishing the trail, we have gone through our 360 footage and created an interactive virtual reality map of the PCT. In these photos and videos, you can scroll around the footage as if you were there yourself. It’s like Google Street View but for hiking!

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