Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PCT Gear Weight

Today I drafted my first PCT gear list with gear weight included. I tried to include every little item I could think of, down to spare batteries for my flashlight. This exercise is very useful for making rational gear decisions - especially for first-timers. 

My base weight came to right about 10 lbs. This was a little disappointing, as I'd basically been aiming subconsciously for 7 to 8 lbs and had imagined I'd reached that level. However, a second look shows that over 1 pound of that is the hammock, bug net, and second sleeping pad, which I feel will more than make up for their weight in comfort, quality of sleep and rest, and time spent looking for a campsite. Another pound is my relatively heavy Canon G7 camera with a spare battery and wall charger. I don't think I'm ready to get rid of that, and the cost of cutting the weight of my camera setup in half would be over $100, not to mention the corresponding loss of picture quality. Almost another pound is my merino wool top and leggings, which might not be necessary for substantial sections of the trail. 

In short, I've reduced my baseweight to my comfortable limit. If I decide to discard the hammock along the way or get rid of extra merino wool, I can always send those ahead in a bounce box.  

What is mildly unsettling is that this weight doesn't include the extra gear that I expect to be carrying in the Sierra Nevada: bear canister (1.15 kg), ice axe (.27 kg), heftier pack that is more comfortable with weights over 25 lbs (add .5 kg), and -- most likely -- a warm jacket (.35 kg), traction device for the snow (.42 kg), and waterproof socks (.09 kg). That adds up to another 2.8 kg of baseweight, or over 6 more pounds. I just can't believe I'll have a baseweight of 16 lbs. I will be heading out of Kennedy Meadows carrying a 40 pound pack!  

1 comment:

  1. I hiked the A.T. with a fullsized pack & leather boots, 11,000 miles later i still carry a load (same pack & boots) Not only am i prepared for any emergency (as I have aided unfortunate hikers in the past) I find it helps me slow down so i do not miss anything...