Pacific Crest Trail Gear List: Tuolumne Meadows to Crater Lake

Section: Tuolumne Meadows to Crater Lake

Pack ULA Circuit 40
Pack Liner Trash Compactor Bag 2.18
Ground Cloth Gossamer Gear Polycryo 1.3
Insulation Top Enlightened Enigma 20 Quilt 22.85
Insulation Bottom Thermarest NeoAir Xlite (long) 15.92
Socks #2 Socks 1.5
Underwear Patagonia Underwear 4.7
Hiking Shorts NYU Shorts 11
Hiking Shirt Marmot LS Shirt 7
Insulation Top Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hoody 13.85
Wind Shell Bottom Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants 3.26
Wind Shell Top Montbell Tachyon Anorak 2.82
Rain Shell Top Marmot Super Mica Rain Jacket 9.95
Insulating Hat Outdoor Designs Hat 0.74
Bandana Bandana 1.29
Sun Hat NOLs Hat 2.82
Shoes New Balance Trail Runners 23.52
Socks #1 Socks 1.5
Gaiters Dirty Girl gaiters 1.74
Stove Snow Peak Giga Power Stove 1.98
Cook Pot GSI Outdoors Cook Pot 7.69
Utensil Long Spoon 0.51
Water Filter Sawyer Squeeze 3.42
Water Scoop DIY Scoop/Adapter 0.59
Water storage 2l Bladder 1.3
Water Bottle smart water bottle 1.29
Water Bottle smart water bottle 1.3
Light Petzl Tikka Head Lamp 3.19
Fire Starter Mini Bic Lighter 0.4
Toothbrush Portable Toothbrush w/ toothpaste 1.05
Cash/Credit Card cash/Credit/atm Card/ID 0.5
Phone/music Galaxy s4 6.27
Charger phone charger 1.5
Trek poles Black Diamond Trek Poles 20.22
Base Weight(oz) 145.36 73.79


Conditions Faced: 

I skipped the section Between Tuolumne and Sonora Pass to do some day hikes in Yosemite National Park and Big Sur. I also went to the Bay Area for some time off the trail. North of Sonora Pass was very hot. Temperatures were often in the 90s and rain was a complete non factor. Around Lake Tahoe, temperatures weren’t too bad, and you could still hike during midday. Around Sierra City, the heat became oppressive. From that point onward, days were dry, and brutally hot. Rain was non existent. Through Old Station, Burney, Shasta, Etna, and Seiad Valley, temperatures were between 85 to 100+ degrees. 

Fires were a big obstacle this year(2014). I managed to get passed most of the trail, reaching Seiad Valley before the trail closed behind me. I jumped from Seiad to Ashland because of fires, a 65 mile stretch.

The terrain was noticeably easier than the Sierra, which allowed for faster, bigger days. I did several 40+ mile days, and many 30+ mile days.

After Hike Notes:

Backpack System
  • With no bear can and no shelter, I had too much room in my pack.
  • The trash compactor bag made it the entire way, unscathed, and used daily to keep my gear dry. I still haven’t hiked in the rain.
Shelter System
  • After my girlfriend left with the tent, my tarp got lost in the mail, so I proceeded north with no shelter. I had nothing to protect me when wind or rain. Luckily, in the 800 miles, I was only rained on three times and in those times, only briefly. I would have gotten up and walked had the rain become unbearable. The biggest problem was balancing the heat and the mosquitos. Some nights it would be to hot for the quilt. Some nights it would be super buggy. Some nights it would be both.
  • If there was a time when you didn’t carry a shelter, northern California is the place. A cool day was in the high 80s and rain did not exist. I would have loved to have my bivy. LOVED.
Sleep System
  • Having a 20 degree quilt was overkill for about 99% of the trail north of Sonora Pass until Washington. I was too hot some nights, and with no shelter from the bugs, I couldn’t sleep outside of my quilt. No fun.
  • The Thermarest NeoAir Xlite is the best sleeping pad money can buy. Worth it. Always.
Clothing System
  • I carried two pairs of socks, but would carry three if I did it again. A pair of sleep socks would have been nice, with two other pairs rotating for hiking.
  • One pair of boxers was enough for me. The Patagonia Boxers were very comfortable and durable.
  • My NYU shorts had survived four years of college basketball so they did not have any problems. I could only hike in shorts in this section due to the heat. I wore the Montbell Dynamo pants often, usually when taking breaks.
  • The Marmot Shirt was a button down. Most hikers used button down, travel style shirts. I definitely needed the sun protection of a long sleeve shirt, but the versatility of a button down. I could roll the sleeves up and unbutton when it got too hot.
  • I think I wore my puffy jacket a few times for bug protection.
  • I wore the wind pants for bug protection. The wind jacket was virtually unused the entire time.
  • Having a rain jacket was fun to have for that one time in rained for twenty minutes. Other than that, useless.
  • Ditched the gloves. Still kept the hat. Useless.
  •  My baseball hat/bandana combo was a life saving necessity until Oregon. Places like the Hat Creek Rim would have been brutal without proper sun protection. There are lots of exposed sections in the intense northern California heat. Be prepared for heat. Just north of Ashland, the trail becomes more like a tunnel. Lots of trees equal plenty of shade. I wore just the bandana from then out.
  • After using the New Balance 610s for 650 miles, I didn’t want to make the same mistakes twice. Those shoes were destroyed after 650 miles. They’re great for about 450, but after that, you’re running on borrowed time. It’s not really a wear and tear thing, but rather a structural problem. The soft, foam sole crushes easily, and your gait will be drastically changed. Read, foot pain. I got a new pair at Tuolumne, and then another at Mt. Shasta. (Then I got lazy and wore the Mt. Shasta pair until Canada…but I’ll talk about that some other time.)
  • I started using gaiters in the Sierra. They helped with grit and debris getting into the top of my shoes but the 610s are porous so things will get in there anyway.
Cooking System
  • I took Legs’ stove and cook pot. The cook pot is from GSI and the stove is a Snow Peak. The pair work better together than my previous system, though they are heavier too.
  • The long spoon is King of Utensils.
Hydration System
  • I’m cruising with the Sawyer Squeeze Legs left me. Compared to the Sawyer Mini, this thing is like a faucet. I backwash it every now and then, and performance is consistently good. Less than five minutes a liter.
  • I’ll say it like this. There was plenty of water out there, but it was all bunched together. It wasn’t like the desert, but there were some notable dry stretches. By this point, you will know how much water you need. I found that four liters of capacity was enough. I almost NEVER dry camped.
  • Always remember, bladders break. By this point I might have gone through at least six bladders.
  • I found uses for my pocket knife daily.
  • A lighter should always be in your pack.
  • I carry advil. Maybe some bandaids?
  • Hygiene is what again?
  • I used the Halfmile App and PCTHYOH App on a daily basis on my phone.
  • Having a charger that can charge multiple items (ipod and phone) at once are great. Many hiker towns and hangouts have limited outlets and hikers are always looking to charge. One plug might be all that is available.
  • By this point, if I didn’t have my iPod, I would have quick. The NorCal blues are a tough thing to over come.

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