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Thread: On the PCT

  1. #21
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    congrats Chop on finishing the PCT..yes I am late in saying that

    I will read your journal after I finish jackandbarbs from last yr
    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone – that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
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    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

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    Thanks guys.

    Jim (PITA)...that is right about Lake Morena...I think I'd be tempted to try to setup just outside of the campground there...probably some trees just south of the campground, if I recall correctly.

    I assume this is Jim who runs the bear can loan program..thanks for your work with that. I am one of the folks that got a loaner canister (the small canister), and it worked great!

  3. #23
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    I just found this thread! Thanks for posting it, I need to catch up on your journal now.

    I've always wondered if it was possible to hammock the PCT, and if so, what gear was needed.

    Someday when I retire again, I plan to go out west and do the PCT. I just don't have enough experience out there to know what I don't know.
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  4. #24
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    SGT!

    I have gleaned much for your presence online over the years

    Go west young man - Retire now!

    but seriously, wait that was serious.....feel free to drop any questions my way if you got 'em.

  5. #25
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Chop,

    I've been reading your journal and love the pictures. Looks like as PCT hikes go you also were on the fast side of the bell curve finishing in about 135 days (counting zeros) if I figured it out correctly.

    In 2010 I saw Jexters "Wizards of the PCT" video and I got the PCT Bug. As an aside, if anyone gets a chance you should watch this video. I really mean it. I've always thought "someday I'll go hike the PCT" but never paid it much mind or really thought about what it would be like. I have seen other videos about the PCT and other trails, but no video ever really made me really excited about a trail - they were more like documentaries about the physical aspects of the trail(s). "Wizzards of the PCT" is probably the one video I've seen on any trail, that makes you feel like you are part of the social group. You really feel like you are hiking along with that group Jester was with - not in the sense you have to do every mile, but in the sense of the trail social mix.

    So anyway, since then I bought Yogi's Guide and have been studying websites on the PCT. I've read Roni's journal because he did the PCT with a hammock but there isn't much specifically talking about dealing with hammock issues. Also, an interesting note that doesn't come out in the video, I talked with Jester about using a hammock, and he told me one of the guys he hiked with (Huff n' Puff I think) carried a Hennessy and used it almost every night of the trail - in one scene you can see him in his hammock with his butt is on the ground, and Jester calls him "the worst hammocker in the world", and in another segment he talks about a Tyvek bottom for his hammock.

    Assumption: I've read that most every night on the PCT, you can generally count on cold weather. Buckwheat http://rickdelong.com/pct/weather.shtml did a pretty good job of capturing weather data on his hike and recording it. It looks like the average nighttime temp is going to be around 45.5F, and that only about 14 nights total will the temps get below 32F. There are places/times when you need to be prepared for lower temps, it looks like his lowest temp was 25F and that was in the desert. So assuming that, I think a prudent plan would be to regularly carry a bottom insulation system that is comfortable down to about 40. In the areas most likely to be cold you may want an extra layer, so bring whatever you choose to use for So Cal and the Sierras, then send it home to be bounced back to you up north. I assume that you would want it back somewhere around the end of August. What are your thoughts on that?

    Assumption: Mosquitoes can be intense on the PCT. But it sounds like the main problems with them are in the Sierras and again up in Oregon, but are gone again for the most part by Cascade Locks. That said, Yogi recommends always being prepared for the possibility of them. So it sounds like you could carry a small DEET container and a head net for the whole trail. And then have a detachable bug system that you get mailed to you at Kennedy Meadows for the Sierras, then bounced again up to Washington, and finally sent home at Cascade Locks. Thoughts?

    Assumption: It looks like every hiker that has used a hammock ends up on the ground at least one point on the PCT, many of them seem to say a handful of times. So whatever system you use, you want some sort of pad for going to ground which can also serve as part of your hammock insulation. I see you mention a 7 segment Z Rest with a 30F quilt. I've been using my pad for close to 2,000 miles of hiking and it only weighs about 10.5 ounces but is comfortable into the 40s and I've survived down into the 30s with it. My thought is to go to the other direction and use this pad for the whole trail and have a summer underquilt to add for the desert, Sierras, and then get back north again around the end of August. Thoughts?

    Assumption: looks like big trees are the norm out there. To expand on camping possibilities it looks like you would want at least 10' straps with some dynaglide or amsteel extenders for the possible really big trees and really long hangs. Thoughts?

    We all also use our clothing to augment our sleeping range. I've been reading and thinking on this and in Yogi's book Warner Springs Monty talks about his ultralight style on the PCT preferring Down jacket and pants on the PCT over fleece or long underwear. So I've been contemplating doing like he does and bringing a pair of WM down pants and jacket for camp wear, and having a Montbell 900 down jacket (5.4 ounces!) for my top to keep available at breaks and such. My only concern is wearing the down to bed and having it compress under my body so that I'm warm on top but cold on the bottom. I've also come to the conclusion (and I might be wrong) that in northern California it might be OK to send some clothing home and not get it back until late August. I noticed in your packing list you carried a lot of down in your kit. In hindsight, what would you change with regards to the clothing you carry on the PCT and how that integrates into your sleeping plan with the hammock?

    I've been thinking I would use a 20F bag, but with my down clothing I think it might be overkill. I see you used a 32F bag and you had down clothing too. In hindsight what do you think of your bag choice and what would you do differently?

    Thoughts: Huff n' Puff carried a tyvek groundsheet that could also double as a hammock cover. I made one, but really hate how it fits over a hammock. I think it would be better just to have a polycro sheet that only comes out if you actually have to go to ground. Did you ever or try some sort of hybrid ground cloth/cover?

    I probably have more questions but I cannot think of them now and I've given you a lot to answer already. I will say that though I am asking this now, I probably won't get to actually hike the PCT for a quite while unless I win the lottery. I have a mortgage and kids still in school (college is expensive!). But it gives me a frame of reference. I'm planning on hiking some in Washington next summer and would like to do the JMT sometime in the near future. But for more than just me, I think other hammockers contemplating the PCT or JMT could benefit from the answers you give provided we all understand that many things gear and comfort related are subjective.

    I want to keep my pack as small as possible and the weight down. I realize by setting my mind on a hammock I am taking about a 9 once weight penalty over what I could get away with for most of the trail if I went to ground instead, and for the colder sections and bug stuff I am adding up to another 14 ounces of weight. FWIW in my war gaming the PCT I've got this plan in my head:

    Shelter: CF Tarp, polycro ground sheet, 10 stakes, pole spreader mod. Should be about 12 ounces total for shelter. This would allow me to go to ground if needed.

    Hammock: DIY open top, 11' tree straps with UCR suspension and a couple of extenders. This will weigh about 9 ounces.

    Bug protection: a small bottle of DEET and head net for 100% of the trail and a bug sock system for the Sierras and Washington. Base would be about 1.75 oz and the add on bug protection would be 9 extra ounces (I want a big bug shelter!)

    Bottom insulation: DIY 2 layer evezote pad I've been hiking with since 2004 at 10.5 ounces and a modified 9.5 ounce Te-Wa summer quilt added on for the Desert, Sierras, Washington, and probably part of Oregon too.

    Top insulation: 20F quilt at 21 ounces, but thinking this might be able to go lower. I hate being cold at night though.

    Clothing: Sleeping socks, gloves, warm hat, wind shirt and pants, and light down top for the entire trail at 20 ounces. And for the desert, Sierras, Washington, and probably part of Oregon add on a WM top and bottom at 22 more ounces.
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  6. #26
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    Hi, I am going to complete the PCT in 3 sections - the first section in 2013 from Campo to Lone Pine - about 750 miles. Start date April 7, for about 45 days plus or minus. I am assuming no bug protection is needed for this section. My sleeping plan (just got everything organized / weighed today) is as follows:

    - 14.8oz Warbonnet Traveler Hammock / with stock strap suspension, dutch buckles, cuben fiber stuff sack, ridge line organizer

    - 7.7oz HammockGear Cuben fiber hex hammock tarp, 1.2 oz snakeskins from Mountain Goat

    - 10.9oz ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus Tarp, with cuben fiber ground sheet, stuff sack (for when I need to go to ground)

    - 3.2oz 6.5 inch ti J stakes (10) and cuben fiber stake sack

    - 15.1oz NeoAir Large (25X76) XLite sleeping pad w/ patch kit, stuff sack (will use for both hammock and ground)

    - 26.0oz ZPacks 20 Degree 900 Fill Down Sleeping Bag/quilt + 1 oz overfill (W, XL), down hood, cuben fiber dry bag. I used this bag on the JMT this year, and loved it!

    - 2.7oz Exped Air Pillow (luxury item)

    Total of 40.5 oz (2.5 lbs) - my base weight is looking like just under 15 lbs.

    Thoughts?

    -Mike

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Chop,

    I've been reading your journal and love the pictures. Looks like as PCT hikes go you also were on the fast side of the bell curve finishing in about 135 days (counting zeros) if I figured it out correctly.
    That sounds right as far as the numbers go. I did feel like my little group of four was a bit on the faster side. We started the day after the kick off, which is slightly behind most, but not by much. And passed through what seemed like most everyone. All four in my group had hiked another big trail before, and for the most part, we were fairly lightweight gear-wise. I hope to do the trail again, and probably will with my wife. Most likely I would plan it as a 5 month outing if it is done as a thru hike, with 20 zeroes, and 20 mile/day averages. I'd go a bit slower, is what I am saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    In 2010 I saw Jexters "Wizards of the PCT" video and I got the PCT Bug. As an aside, if anyone gets a chance you should watch this video. I really mean it. I've always thought "someday I'll go hike the PCT" but never paid it much mind or really thought about what it would be like. I have seen other videos about the PCT and other trails, but no video ever really made me really excited about a trail - they were more like documentaries about the physical aspects of the trail(s). "Wizzards of the PCT" is probably the one video I've seen on any trail, that makes you feel like you are part of the social group. You really feel like you are hiking along with that group Jester was with - not in the sense you have to do every mile, but in the sense of the trail social mix.
    A very kind member on this forum lent me that DVD.. Its a good one


    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Assumption: I've read that most every night on the PCT, you can generally count on cold weather. Buckwheat http://rickdelong.com/pct/weather.shtml did a pretty good job of capturing weather data on his hike and recording it. It looks like the average nighttime temp is going to be around 45.5F, and that only about 14 nights total will the temps get below 32F. There are places/times when you need to be prepared for lower temps, it looks like his lowest temp was 25F and that was in the desert. So assuming that, I think a prudent plan would be to regularly carry a bottom insulation system that is comfortable down to about 40. In the areas most likely to be cold you may want an extra layer, so bring whatever you choose to use for So Cal and the Sierras, then send it home to be bounced back to you up north. I assume that you would want it back somewhere around the end of August. What are your thoughts on that?
    Yeah, I think you are on the right track. I used a 3 season Yeti. It had another thru hike of use on it already (not sure if it had lost some of its fluff...probably some), and I would most likely use something similar in the future. I'd build my own with modifications for my height and just dial it in a bit differently. You could bring an extra pad to use in the desert and Sierras for warmth, and then do exactly like you said, and bounce it up in Washington. It was not cold for me up in Washington, at least not enough to change/add gear. But, it was dry, which makes a big difference.


    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Assumption: Mosquitoes can be intense on the PCT. But it sounds like the main problems with them are in the Sierras and again up in Oregon, but are gone again for the most part by Cascade Locks. That said, Yogi recommends always being prepared for the possibility of them. So it sounds like you could carry a small DEET container and a head net for the whole trail. And then have a detachable bug system that you get mailed to you at Kennedy Meadows for the Sierras, then bounced again up to Washington, and finally sent home at Cascade Locks. Thoughts?
    That was my experience. Sierras -> OR/Wash border they were aggressive.. Not every day, but that is the section where they were prominent. What you are thinking is right on. I had built my hammock with an attached bugnet with a zipper for entry. My next one will be a lighter material hammock with a bug sock to slip over. My wife had built one of those for herself for our AT thruhike last year. I think her hammock/suspension/bugnetting comes in at 9.5oz. I think I could have mine around 12oz.. That is what I will be building for future hikes. Deet and headnet from Kennedy Meadows north. I carried the smallest bottle of Ben's deet, and that was fine. Also, up until South Lake Tahoe, I wore long pants and a long sleeve short. After Lake Tahoe, I switched to shorts and a t shirt. In a future hike, I'd do short/t-shirt the whole way. At the Lake Tahoe stop, I got some permethrin and shot my long john pants and long john shirt...and when we'd roll into camp and the skeeters were aggressive, I'd just get the long johns on right away.




    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Assumption: It looks like every hiker that has used a hammock ends up on the ground at least one point on the PCT, many of them seem to say a handful of times. So whatever system you use, you want some sort of pad for going to ground which can also serve as part of your hammock insulation. I see you mention a 7 segment Z Rest with a 30F quilt. I've been using my pad for close to 2,000 miles of hiking and it only weighs about 10.5 ounces but is comfortable into the 40s and I've survived down into the 30s with it. My thought is to go to the other direction and use this pad for the whole trail and have a summer underquilt to add for the desert, Sierras, and then get back north again around the end of August. Thoughts?
    If you are comfotable on your pad in your hammock, I would encourage that plan. It is optimal. I have trouble getting comfy on the pad in the hammock and always feel clammy...I wish that were different for me!


    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Assumption: looks like big trees are the norm out there. To expand on camping possibilities it looks like you would want at least 10' straps with some dynaglide or amsteel extenders for the possible really big trees and really long hangs. Thoughts?
    I used 8' straps with 8' whoopie slings. It worked out, BUT, there were a couple times I was wishing I had 10' straps to hang in a different location around some big trees. Those situations didn't come up a lot. But I agree, since extenders are going to only add an ounce or so, its a good idea for the longer hangs.


    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    We all also use our clothing to augment our sleeping range. I've been reading and thinking on this and in Yogi's book Warner Springs Monty talks about his ultralight style on the PCT preferring Down jacket and pants on the PCT over fleece or long underwear. So I've been contemplating doing like he does and bringing a pair of WM down pants and jacket for camp wear, and having a Montbell 900 down jacket (5.4 ounces!) for my top to keep available at breaks and such. My only concern is wearing the down to bed and having it compress under my body so that I'm warm on top but cold on the bottom. I've also come to the conclusion (and I might be wrong) that in northern California it might be OK to send some clothing home and not get it back until late August. I noticed in your packing list you carried a lot of down in your kit. In hindsight, what would you change with regards to the clothing you carry on the PCT and how that integrates into your sleeping plan with the hammock?
    I've been thinking I would use a 20F bag, but with my down clothing I think it might be overkill. I see you used a 32F bag and you had down clothing too. In hindsight what do you think of your bag choice and what wolld you do differently?
    I am going to combine the above two questions as I think that they are inter-related, and dependent on one another. I am not a fan of fleece, and I wouldn’t use it for backpacking…it just doesn’t work well in the equation of weight/warmth. To a great degree, if it is chilly in the evening when you get to camp, you eat and hit the sack..everybody does…so sitting around in the down pants didn’t really happen. I used my 32 degree bag since I had it and didn’t want a fourth sleeping bag/quilt. I with I had just went ahead and made it though.

    For others who may read this, I used :
    Montbell 32 degree sleeping bag
    Goosefoot down pants
    Western Mountaineering down coat
    cheap long (bottom and top) underwear from campmor

    For weight, as well as comfort and flexibility, I’d change to the following:
    DIY 20 degree quilt (and skip the down pants) – 20oz
    Lighter weight Northface long john bottoms ( I used these on the AT, and they were good) – 3oz
    Montbell windshirt (no long john top) – 2.3oz
    WM down coat since I have it. (I see you are looking at the ex-light from Montbell..awesome. That IS what I’d combine with the windshirt if I needed more). Psyched that Montbell is putting this out. – 10.7oz for the WM, or shell out again and get the MB 900 (probably 6.5oz in my size)

    In that switch, I'd be more comfortable sleeping at night (and in general) and save 17 ounces.
    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    Thoughts: Huff n' Puff carried a tyvek groundsheet that could also double as a hammock cover. I made one, but really hate how it fits over a hammock. I think it would be better just to have a polycro sheet that only comes out if you actually have to go to ground. Did you ever or try some sort of hybrid ground cloth/cover?
    The only thing I had with was one of the gossamer gear polycro ground cloths. That is what I’d take again. I have never used a hammock cover.
    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    I probably have more questions but I cannot think of them now and I've given you a lot to answer already. I will say that though I am asking this now, I probably won't get to actually hike the PCT for a quite while unless I win the lottery. I have a mortgage and kids still in school (college is expensive!). But it gives me a frame of reference. I'm planning on hiking some in Washington next summer and would like to do the JMT sometime in the near future. But for more than just me, I think other hammockers contemplating the PCT or JMT could benefit from the answers you give provided we all understand that many things gear and comfort related are subjective.
    Get out as much as you can. This is pointed to everyone who wants to, but doesn’t (not aimed at Sgt Rock- The above thoughts just got me thinking) . Nearly everyone that I met out on the trail made a sacrifice to be there. Spending nearly 10 months over the last two summers out in the woods has changed and evolved my thinking about a lot of things, most notably, what I tie myself down to at the expense of adventure and life that I thrive in and love. A big hike isn’t for everyone, but if you think it is for you…put all your ducks in a row and shoot them down one by one till you are in the woods!
    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    I want to keep my pack as small as possible and the weight down. I realize by setting my mind on a hammock I am taking about a 9 once weight penalty over what I could get away with for most of the trail if I went to ground instead, and for the colder sections and bug stuff I am adding up to another 14 ounces of weight. FWIW in my war gaming the PCT I've got this plan in my head:
    IMO, there is a weight penalty for hammocking vs ground dwelling…but only if you go SUL on the ground dwelling, ie without a tent and using a very light pad…sleep good brother, it is worth it!
    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post

    Shelter: CF Tarp, polycro ground sheet, 10 stakes, pole spreader mod. Should be about 12 ounces total for shelter. This would allow me to go to ground if needed.

    Hammock: DIY open top, 11' tree straps with UCR suspension and a couple of extenders. This will weigh about 9 ounces.

    Bug protection: a small bottle of DEET and head net for 100% of the trail and a bug sock system for the Sierras and Washington. Base would be about 1.75 oz and the add on bug protection would be 9 extra ounces (I want a big bug shelter!)

    Bottom insulation: DIY 2 layer evezote pad I've been hiking with since 2004 at 10.5 ounces and a modified 9.5 ounce Te-Wa summer quilt added on for the Desert, Sierras, Washington, and probably part of Oregon too.

    Top insulation: 20F quilt at 21 ounces, but thinking this might be able to go lower. I hate being cold at night though.

    Clothing: Sleeping socks, gloves, warm hat, wind shirt and pants, and light down top for the entire trail at 20 ounces. And for the desert, Sierras, Washington, and probably part of Oregon add on a WM top and bottom at 22 more ounces.
    [/QUOTE]
    Shelter, hammock, bottom and top Insulation all great. I’d do windpants or long johns only for bottom for the whole way… I think that MB light down top with a windshirt is adequate for the whole trail. If it is cold cold you are walking or in your bag, simple as that. I am with you on not wanting to sleep cold, so I encourage the 20F quilt.

    Bug shelter at 9oz? How big is that sucker? My wifes is full coverage for a 5’5” person at 2.5oz…

    Your lightweight approach is really good. On the AT, my base weight was 9ish for most of the trail, on the PCT, it was 12ish for most of the trail. I have made it a goal to get down to 6 lbsnow, and I think it is very possible. It requires me to make my own gear with the features that I want at that weight, but that is OK. At this point, I know my own needs. I’d rather carry more food than gear. I enjoy hiking more with less weight, its safer, and its easier on the body ( especially the feet!) .

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lvnv1212 View Post
    Hi, I am going to complete the PCT in 3 sections - the first section in 2013 from Campo to Lone Pine - about 750 miles. Start date April 7, for about 45 days plus or minus. I am assuming no bug protection is needed for this section. My sleeping plan (just got everything organized / weighed today) is as follows:

    - 14.8oz Warbonnet Traveler Hammock / with stock strap suspension, dutch buckles, cuben fiber stuff sack, ridge line organizer

    - 7.7oz HammockGear Cuben fiber hex hammock tarp, 1.2 oz snakeskins from Mountain Goat

    - 10.9oz ZPacks Hexamid Solo Plus Tarp, with cuben fiber ground sheet, stuff sack (for when I need to go to ground)

    - 3.2oz 6.5 inch ti J stakes (10) and cuben fiber stake sack

    - 15.1oz NeoAir Large (25X76) XLite sleeping pad w/ patch kit, stuff sack (will use for both hammock and ground)

    - 26.0oz ZPacks 20 Degree 900 Fill Down Sleeping Bag/quilt + 1 oz overfill (W, XL), down hood, cuben fiber dry bag. I used this bag on the JMT this year, and loved it!

    - 2.7oz Exped Air Pillow (luxury item)

    Total of 40.5 oz (2.5 lbs) - my base weight is looking like just under 15 lbs.

    Thoughts?

    -Mike
    Mike, I like the idea of hiking the trail in 3 sections. I'd encourage you to leave it a little open ended with the schedule, so that you can really enjoy the benefits of a section hike (unrushed feeling). April 7th is a little on the early side of starts. You may want to just go to Kennedy Meadows if starting that early if it is a heavy snow year.

    I did not experience bugs by Lone Pine this year. If you did, it would be only be for a few days..maybe carry the headnet and deet beginning at Kennedy Meadows.

    I'd probably skip the Zpacks tent, if you are already carrying the hammock tarp. There are a number of ground dwellers who do the entire trail with just a tarp. I had a Zpacks tent for part of the trail before I had my hammock (beginning when I was on the ground) and liked having the bug net of the tent in the Sierras, but you shouldn't need both for the section you are planning for 2013.

    If the neoair pad is comfy for you in the hammock, then that is a pretty good way to combine under insulation for hammock and ground.

    Base weight at 15lbs -> I wrote a little bit about trying to go as light as possible in the response to Sgt Rock above, so you'll see some of my thoughts there. With the gear that you have listed above, I am really surprised that you'd be as high as 15lbs. If you want to share your complete gear list, I'd be happy to 'weigh' in on it.

    Already envious of your trip!

  9. #29
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    In the last couple of days I've been looking at going with a poncho instead of rain jacket. Everything I have read so far says Ponchos are the way to go for the few times you do need rain gear out there. Zpacks makes a Poncho that can also be a ground cloth - so I'm thinking something like that is a possible solution for me at 4.9 ounces.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chop View Post
    That sounds right as far as the numbers go. I did feel like my little group of four was a bit on the faster side. We started the day after the kick off, which is slightly behind most, but not by much. And passed through what seemed like most everyone. All four in my group had hiked another big trail before, and for the most part, we were fairly lightweight gear-wise. I hope to do the trail again, and probably will with my wife. Most likely I would plan it as a 5 month outing if it is done as a thru hike, with 20 zeroes, and 20 mile/day averages. I'd go a bit slower, is what I am saying.
    Sort of what I've experienced on hikes. If I push big days I end up taking off days, so it seems better just to average them. I've also decided when I do hike the PCT not to push doing the first day as a 20 like so many I have read do it (and regret it). Looks like there is a hammock possible site about 10 miles in using Google Earth.
    That was my experience. Sierras -> OR/Wash border they were aggressive.. Not every day, but that is the section where they were prominent. What you are thinking is right on. I had built my hammock with an attached bugnet with a zipper for entry. My next one will be a lighter material hammock with a bug sock to slip over. My wife had built one of those for herself for our AT thruhike last year. I think her hammock/suspension/bugnetting comes in at 9.5oz. I think I could have mine around 12oz.. That is what I will be building for future hikes. Deet and headnet from Kennedy Meadows north. I carried the smallest bottle of Ben's deet, and that was fine. Also, up until South Lake Tahoe, I wore long pants and a long sleeve short. After Lake Tahoe, I switched to shorts and a t shirt. In a future hike, I'd do short/t-shirt the whole way. At the Lake Tahoe stop, I got some permethrin and shot my long john pants and long john shirt...and when we'd roll into camp and the skeeters were aggressive, I'd just get the long johns on right away.
    Interesting. I've spent time in some deserts, including the Mojave and assumed long pants and shirt were the way to go. But I'm also contemplating an umbrella in the desert.

    Here is a video of what I made for myself after watching "Wizards of the PCT" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQmar...ure=plpp_video

    I am going to combine the above two questions as I think that they are inter-related, and dependent on one another. I am not a fan of fleece, and I wouldn’t use it for backpacking…it just doesn’t work well in the equation of weight/warmth. To a great degree, if it is chilly in the evening when you get to camp, you eat and hit the sack..everybody does…so sitting around in the down pants didn’t really happen. I used my 32 degree bag since I had it and didn’t want a fourth sleeping bag/quilt. I with I had just went ahead and made it though.

    For others who may read this, I used :
    Montbell 32 degree sleeping bag
    Goosefoot down pants
    Western Mountaineering down coat
    cheap long (bottom and top) underwear from campmor

    For weight, as well as comfort and flexibility, I’d change to the following:
    DIY 20 degree quilt (and skip the down pants) – 20oz
    Lighter weight Northface long john bottoms ( I used these on the AT, and they were good) – 3oz
    Montbell windshirt (no long john top) – 2.3oz
    WM down coat since I have it. (I see you are looking at the ex-light from Montbell..awesome. That IS what I’d combine with the windshirt if I needed more). Psyched that Montbell is putting this out. – 10.7oz for the WM, or shell out again and get the MB 900 (probably 6.5oz in my size)

    In that switch, I'd be more comfortable sleeping at night (and in general) and save 17 ounces.
    That is some food for thought. I already have the Montbell Jacket (always watching the local outfitter for deals), and would have thought you would want more clothing in the Sierras where I hear folks complain about being wet and cold all the time.
    Get out as much as you can.
    Every chance I get. Living outside the Smokies is a blessing.
    Shelter, hammock, bottom and top Insulation all great. I’d do windpants or long johns only for bottom for the whole way… I think that MB light down top with a windshirt is adequate for the whole trail. If it is cold cold you are walking or in your bag, simple as that. I am with you on not wanting to sleep cold, so I encourage the 20F quilt.

    Your lightweight approach is really good. On the AT, my base weight was 9ish for most of the trail, on the PCT, it was 12ish for most of the trail. I have made it a goal to get down to 6 lbsnow, and I think it is very possible. It requires me to make my own gear with the features that I want at that weight, but that is OK. At this point, I know my own needs. I’d rather carry more food than gear. I enjoy hiking more with less weight, its safer, and its easier on the body ( especially the feet!) .
    Agreed
    Last edited by SGT Rock; 10-21-2012 at 07:04.
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  10. #30
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    With the pants and long sleeves... I realized I was carrying sunscreen anyways....a collared shirt is nice. When I switched from pants/long sleeves to a T-Shirt and shorts, it was soo welcomed. I didn't feel nearly as dirty (my legs get dirtier with pants than without because of a sweat) and just loved the air flow. I think if I was standing around in the desert, that'd be different...but hiking, I will do shorts and short sleeves.

    Poncho vs Raincoat. Its probably even debateable if either are needed for a large portion of the PCT. I liked having the raincoat in the windy mornings a few times in the Sierras... I wore it for about 3 hours cumulative for mist the entire trip...but we had outstanding weather. If it is cold, its a nice extra layer.

    With the Sierra cold...it wasn't cold for me during the day. And in the evenings, I just hit the hay if it was cold...but that didn't even happen much.

    Depending on the timing of your start, you can slackpack the first 20 miles. That'll work if you go to kickoff. There are people who will take you to the border in the AM and you can just walk back with minimal gear.

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