10 days to go.
My equipment for the gear has been more or less complete since several weeks. All that remains is some fine tuning… charging batteries etc… You can see my packing list here.
Gear on the Pacific Crest Trail is a sensitive topic you might say… In general, there is a huge amount of information for the trail in hundreds of blogs, several facebook groups etc. All this information indicates a trend to ultra light hiking. Backpacks get smaller and lighter (some without frame), same with tents. Less and less clothes are taken – some people actually cut there foam sleeping pad short to reduce weight and use the backpack as insulation for the legs while sleeping. Others cut the handle off their toothbrush to reduce a few grams – I am not joking.
Comparing to my past hikes on the John Muir Trail and on Kungsleden, I have further reduced my pack weight – but it does not qualify even close to being ultralight. I changed to smaller backpack (Osprey 58 with about 1,1kg in comparison to my previous Osprey Aether 70 with about 2,1kg), lighter down sleeping bag, lighter hiking boots for the desert section… but I also kept “luxuries” like my 2 person tent (MSR Hubba Hubba) that kept me dry also during rain storms on the exposed highlands in Northern Sweden.
After all, the PCT touches towns or every few days (maximum is about 7-9 days in the Sierra section). This will always give me the chance to change some equipment later.
Also my resupply planning is good enough to get started. Major difference to previous hikes like JMT or Kungsleden that were lesss than a month: I am not planning by day anymore but by resupply stop. For the 4 weeks John Muir Trail, I had daily mileages planned. That plan lasted about 2 days…. For my 5-6 months on the PCT, I am just planning where and roughly when to get food. While water is scarce in the very first section, in general you can find water sources and filter it. With food, a stop becomes necessary after maximum 7-9 days. Here is my resupply plan for the PCT. Besides the middle section (Sierra), I will be passing towns every 3-4 days, so I will not have to carry too much food. Out of the maybe 25 resupply stops during the next 5-6 months, most of them are towns with sufficient shops. I intend to send resupply packages to 5-6 remote locations where packages can be received and held but no shops are available.
PCT… just ten more days until I fly out. 🙂