My Gear List for the PCT

Long distance hikers love to talk about their gear. I am an exception to this rule because I actually hate talking about gear! It stresses me out, I don’t find it that interesting, and I hate how competitive the conversations become – I don’t really care which quilt is lighter or which tent is larger and I definitely don’t want to have an argument about stuff sacks vs. no stuff sacks or trail runners vs. hiking boots! Ugh, I’m stressed just thinking about it. All I want from my gear is for it to do its job, be somewhat lightweight, not cost a million dollars, and if it comes in pink? Well, that’s a bonus that I’ll gladly take, duh!

That said, almost everyone I’ve mentioned my hike to has been very interested in what gear I’m taking, so I have put together the stereotypical “PCT Gear Post” for y’all to peruse.


A few things to note before we dive in:

  • I aimed to go as lightweight as possible, but I did not obsess about being ultralight. I was going to include the weight of all my gear items in this post but honestly it proved to be too much of a pain in the ass. I know roughly what all my major gear pieces weigh, so if you have a question feel free to ask (or Google!), but I just couldn’t be bothered to weigh my chapstick, my trash compactor bag, my laminated photo of Alley, etc. Sorry not sorry!
  • That said, I was interested to know what my pack weighed when fully packed because hey, I’m carrying this thing on my back for the next five months! I’m curious! My base weight is currently 15.5 lbs. (For non-hikers, FYI: “base weight” refers to the weight of your pack before you add any consumables, so it’s basically all your gear minus food, water, fuel, and worn clothing.) Once I add all my consumables I imagine it will weigh anywhere from 30-35 lbs, depending on how much water I am carrying (water is heavy!). I may see if I can shave a pound or two off my base weight as I get more confident on the trail, but for now I’m very happy with my pack weight.
  • I would like to publicly say a HUGE thank you to the people who helped me put together this gear collection. Mom, Alley, Dad, Dan, Jill, Nicole, Courtney, Jackie — THANK YOU ALL for gifting me gear and gift certificates. I am very grateful and feel very lucky.

Without any further chit-chat, here’s my gear list for my 2017 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike!

Pack + Home + Bed


Kitchen + Food


Navigation + Safety




  • Med Kit (blister care kit, antibiotic cream, ibuprofen, allergy meds, wipes, etc.)
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, toothpaste, tooth brush, dental floss with sewing needle, mini Body Glide, hair ties)
  • Rite in the Rain notebook
  • Pen and Sharpie
  • ziplock bag with drivers license, debit card, some cash (will add passport when I get closer to Canada)
  • a laminated photo of my babely girlfriend Alley
  • a laminated manifestation list that Alex helped me create and then wrote out for me in pink sparkly pens

Everyone Told Me Not To Bring A Film Camera But I’m Bringing A Film Camera

Sierra Snow Gear
(conditions in the Sierra portion of the PCT require some specific gear that is not necessary to have for the rest of the trail)

Outfit Of The Day aka What I’m Wearing (+ Carrying)
(Read a more detailed post about my hiking outfit as a chubby curvy femme girl)

So that’s my gear list! One final note: I’ve never done a thru-hike before, so I wouldn’t call this list a recommendation for someone who is prepping for a future thru-hike. I will review this list at the end of my hike and make comments about what I thought of all my gear, and will then publish a list that could be reasonably called a recommendation.

For now this is just what I’m starting with, at the beginning, hoping for the best.

4 thoughts on “My Gear List for the PCT

  1. Tam says:

    Wow! You look set! Great list! Inspiring! Makes me wanna go shopping.
    Question. What’s with quilts? Is it the versatility? Are they lighter then bags? I think I wish I had a quilt on the LT last year cuz I was so hot and kept crawling in and out of my bag…

  2. Tam says:

    Also. I hear you on the gear talk…I honestly don’t even know what brand or what some of my stuff even is. I think I discovered backpacking just a hair before the ultralight revolution took hold and now I can get shy and embarrassed for carrying some of the things I carry. It’s both expensive and mentally challenging for me to try something radically different in the wilderness when I’ve just gotten use to my now-obsolete systems. But I have enjoyed lightening my load!

    While I know it doesn’t matter what gear we have, if the trail is a microcosm of our larger society then of course the trail will provide plenty of judgement, and all the isms and thus plenty of opportunity to just keep on growing spiritually and self reflecting. It makes sense that we can get obsessive, competitive, and insecure about gear when we’ve stripped life down to just a backpack…how wonderful that there is gear diversity as people reconnect with the outdoors creating a bigger market for outdoorsy manufacturers!

  3. Laurie Works says:

    I’ve been reading about the PCT ad nauseam because I want to do it in 2 years when I graduate with my Masters in Counseling and this is BY FAR THE MOST INSPIRING post I’ve read about it! I’ve been mainly following the reddit stuff and it’s so male oriented and I love reading from a femme about how you’re gonna hike. I can’t wait to read updates from you!!!!

  4. twelvedaysold says:

    Haha, “everyone told me not to bring a film camera but I’m bringing a film camera.” I wonder if you’ll feel the same way when you’re done? Definitely share your thoughts! Good luck!!

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