PCT first 650 gear shakedown

Discussion in 'Kit Lists' started by Creamy, May 25, 2016.

  1. Creamy

    Creamy Section Hiker

    The weather conditions were not as extreme either end of the thermometer as usual. April 7th Campo rather than being hot by now was 19c and light rain. A typical British spring or autumn day. max temp reached in this period was 34c with some nights a light frost with a bit of icing here or there so around 0. a few days of 40mph winds again not something those in Britain dont regularly face on tops. most days were mid to late 20s so night hiking wasnt really required.

    Planned kit to use that was offered to loan after lots of thought was declined based on not wanting to risk ruining or damaging someone elses kit. Besides no one is going to convince me the hyperlite windrider can last a big thru hike. hmmmm! Would stick with my GG nimbus trace except bumping into someone on here giving me stick for humping a 2kg sack around. I know i chickened out although for heavy loads its the bag for the job but im not really carrying heavy loads so i went with my Osprey variant 52. A great sack for winter climbing or scrambing but im not doing that. First big mistake. A week and a bit in and i bump into some section hikers using his and hers Osprey exos 58. Well i liked the 48 and nearly and should have DSC_0110.JPG bought one some time back so a good look and a day later back in comms and my cousin in San Diego is bringing one out to me 145 USD minus in my bank. Few issues such as the bad positioned hiking pole cinch on strap and the main cover is not removable like the floating lid but i am reticent to put a knife to it should in future i wish to go without the big lid with pockets. would i use this sack again 100% yes

    Tentage was a similar issue. Use borrowed Big Agnes spur 1 very nice free standing but a U.S. designed fair weather tent perhaps? A duplex tarp with groundsheet offers light weight but not stability so i went back to what i know and trust with my laser comp 1. Most know the issues with this and again the finicky pegging out issues sometimes came back to haunt but the couple of stormy nights the old dog stood firm. Most nights i would have preferred a free standing more spacious tent but??? would i use again. ideally not but until i am 100% confident in something else undecided.

    Sleeping was a trusted Cumulus 600 Panny. A StS thermolite inner to add warmth, comfort and protect down was used. The bag was ideal but i would not bother with the inner again and let the down bag get a really good pro clean on return and save 200g.

    Mat was a Thermarest ridgerest which i cut about a 1/4 length off to reduce weight which now comes in at 298g. On top off this i used to begin an alpkit numo. absolute disaster. starting getting puntures even on top which i cannot explain to this day. Switched to a Klymit Inertia x Wave with 10 days to go. Not sure about all this body mapping techno stuff. A hole is a hole and all this loft pocket jargon i am not convinced because when i removed the undermat laying down chilling early eve i got cold spots. With the ridgerest under this was very warm and after a bit of fine tuning the klymit very comfortable. My fitbit showed more restful sleep with this system. Without doubt at just over 600g i will take these again.

    pillow is a cheap inflatable that i wrap a shemagh around. I may consider a more costly replacement and could shave a few g,s but it does the job so would use again

    Originally intended to take a hiking brolly for sun not rain but with a forecast showing not high temps left behind which i am glad i did.

    Clothing to walk in is always a personal comfort thing. Whilst the "expert" outdoors persons suggest for example that cotton is not a good fabric, in summer when hot i love it. A free baggy cotton shirt has no rival and a billion indian or muslim pilgrims cant all be wrong. I switched to the Fizan 158 poles after using a robust leki heavy model for decades. Bearing in mind i carry them in a sack about half the time weight was an issue and glad to save. However how they perform going up steeper rocky ground or on river crossing remains to be seen but i am quietly confident. The Rab dryflo 80 is a lovely fabric that performs very well. Cut down desert issue combats are heavy to carry over 300g but were always on with the paracord belt usually commando style as well. They are tough and resilient but would not recommend using them outside desert or chaparral type terrain.

    a light straw hat with light sunwise glasses did the job with the shemagh or silk bandana for neck or head sweatbands. Shemaghs for me are a compulsory item as their flexibility in usage is well known from hat, scarf, headwrap, mask, blanket, towel, first aid compression or sling, water filter to name main uses.

    Footwear was the Merrill Ventilator Moab not goretex. Whats the point of lining? Always liked Merrills with the superfeet blue which seemed the most comfortable for me. 2 pairs of socks were used and the darn tuff definitely came out above the PHD smartwool which did not stay as soft after frequent washing so next section its 2 pairs of darn tuff for me.

    Trail sandals or flip flops are the brilliant amuri clouds. No sales pitch but if you dont know them look them up. Marathon sand type running shoes that weigh 130g each. Used all round camp and walked a few miles here and there in them without issue but i might consider a tiny pair of sports micro socks with a cut out for the toe if walking miles.

    Inov8 micro gaiters do the job and i expect in rougher terrain them to hold up.

    Spare or functional extra clothing was an old goretex jacket mesh cut out with pockets and other bits that just about did the job although after a few days started wetting out but worked well enough to allow me to continue to hike in rainy conditions while others sacked it to put up shelter. Fair weather trail hikers are not the same as year round hillwalkers clearly. A pair of tracky bottoms with lining removed that were rarely used were very comfortable but really most usage at camp cooking and relaxing. On reflection perhaps something different. Cycling calf leggings and a waterproof trouser maybe similar weight but offer better use.
    A spare t shirt for going into town with the premise of appearance. Stupid idea!! just ming!!!! save the weight.
    Spare socks but i wear one pair for approximately 4 hours then put fresh ones on assuming at some point a bit of water is available. Very rarely do i hike for 10 hours in the same socks.

    The inner sleeping bag liner was wrapped around my neck some evenings with it hanging or tied makeshift to cover my back as no extra warm layer besides waterproof and t shirt. This worked ok but on reflection maybe a lightweight 250g gilet would have been used.

    The kit list and photos are self explanatory. The cooking equipment was not carried for the first 150 plus miles which actually worked ok. Lack of coffee was the only time i broke into the first aid kit at the beginning for paracetamol due to headache. Footcare with powder, and general hygiene resulted in never even opening the blister kit although i believe in a easy slow start for a week.

    BRS stove performed well but i need to extend the control with something as it can get hot. The tiny green bag is pretty but not required as was the pot cosy hardly used. The windshield can be cut in length by a third as i hadnt really noticed this before.
    A smaller and lighter headtorch would have done what was required.
    Knifes are always an issue for me. There are plenty of 20g knifes on the market that would be better than a vikki nox i carried.
    The power monkey explorer kept my phone, i pod and fitbit charged up without issues.

    As did the Sawyers mini along with the odd tablet. I would never drink any water in this section without purifying it first. Far too much contaminated water some by humans with issues. A water source had a dead cow shot and killed so as to pollute water for what reason who knows.

    Interestingly the wash kit started out at 550g and weighing back home was only 231g. Much consumed.
    The treadlite washbag has issues. It needs a twin bro or sis and a few younger siblings along for company to keep more bits tidy!

    Much of this kit and clothing i will not be taking further as this was selected for the SoCal section.

    If any have ?,s or suggestions for my changes please fire away

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    el manana, fluffkitten, Davy and 5 others like this.
  2. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Thanks for the feedback creamy. Are you saying its too small or you prefer more / or smaller bags for better organisation?
  3. Creamy

    Creamy Section Hiker

    no. my bag needs a few to go with it. what u got? i need more. its brill. used it as a valuables bag in the top of sack in town. there is a little loop in the top pocket and tied that into the 2 black loops on your bag. im rubbish at explaining stuff electronically. well secure!!!!
  4. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Cool. I'm sure we can sort some more family members when the time comes

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