When I did my preparation, I compared gear reviews from a bunch of blogs, journals and websites. It was my intention to forgo comfort for less weight. That sorta happened. They say you pack your fears and mine was cold. So I carried cold weather gear the whole trip weight be darned. So let’s get started.
Tent: Six moon – Scout
Upside: Light weight
Downside: Honestly I wasn’t too happy with this choice. Anybody around when I put it up knows of my displeasure. Using trekking poles as tent poles is great til you break your poles in the middle of the woods. Plus staking it down was kinda a pain, especially setting up in the rain or snow.
Sleeping bag: Big Agnes Mirror 20 degree
Upside: Simply put, warm. Even when I cowboy camped and it got all wet, I was warm inside. When it was warm I just threw it over me, still great.
Backpack: ULA Circuit
Upside: Light weight, the fit was great, held more than enough stuff and really sturdy.
Downside: Could use like two more pockets. Also wish there was a way to put away and get poles without having to take off my pack. Like if I could whip them on the pack all ninja style would be cool. But maybe that’s asking too much.
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Z/MSR. Talus Sure lock
Upside: The Black Diamond was great & light weight, til they broke. Not even sure how, it just snapped at the z part. First one then the other. But they lasted all but 2 weeks. The MSR were a tad bit heavier, but super sturdy.
Downside: I really only use the poles when I want to really move or crossing water. Most of the time they are strapped to my pack. However, they were necessary for my tent.
Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 9/New Balance
Ok, so here is the shoe situation. August 2014 I got my Brooks to tryout, loved them. So I trained in them and started the PCT in them. So great comfy, light weight and no blisters. I was happy as a chipmunk, however they had plenty of miles from the jump. So by the time I went to order more (around the Sierras), too late. I could only find Brooks 10 in my size (not my fav). My bad. So I picked up some New Balance and shipped my lovingly used Brooks to Ashland. The NB did not work for me, my feet are flat and weird, but they got me to Ashland where I slipped back into my old Brooks. Now yes I should have gotten new shoes, but I tend to make do and I wanted to ride it out. So I slipped in some inserts and made it to Canada. I don’t recommend this. Ok enough about shoes.
Rain gear: Or lack the of =poncho
I did not have adequate rain gear. There I said it. A rain poncho works well….until it doesn’t. Lesson learned, invest in rain jacket and pack cover. Even though nothing in my pack got wet, except for when I spilled water in there.
Energizer Headlamp: It was inexpensive and worked like it was, but it worked. Basically it just wasn’t very bright.
Cold Weather gear:
Laundry Puffy jacket-not the lightest, but inexpensive and warm Cool Max long sleeve top- loved it, kept me super warm!
Wool hat, fingerless gloves, leggings, cropped workout pants. Surprisingly this all kept me toasty enough.
Socks- I had a lot of socks, so weird, I lost some, bought some, was gifted some. I really liked the Thorlos and the Darn Tough the best though.
Well I think that is it. I really didn’t have that much stuff. Daily I wore my black skirt (found at a thrift store years ago and cycled in, that skirt could tell some stories). Topped it off with a Columbia short sleeved shirt (loved it even more when I found the hidden pocket), dirty girl gaiters (all the kids are wearing um) sports bra and my Pat hat!
So time start working on my new gear list…….I’m gonna need some things!!!