Lighten Up

As many of you know, I’m planning to do a through-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail this year.

April 24 update: I’ve done a quick gear video.

Backpacking, unfortunately, feeds into my love of gear and obsessing about details. There have been many, many spreadsheets over the last few year as I’ve researched and thought about what I’ll need.  I’ve done one shake-out trip, and need to do at least one more before April, but here’s what I’m currently thinking (list below maintained on LighterPack).

Backpackers are highly constrained in what they can carry, both by size and weight.  The trend has been towards “ultralight” items, so item weights becomes a subject of fixation.  Gone are the days of heavy boots, camp axes, and steel mess kits.  You will notice in the gear list that items are grouped into several categories.  “Consumables” are items that you consume during a hike, like food, fuel, and water, so the weight changes over time.  “Worn” are the items on your body, such as clothing.  What’s left is known as the “base weight.”  My goal is to get the base weight under 15 lbs.  “Ultralight” is a base weight under 10 lbs.

So far, what I have is a little over 16 lbs, so the major challenge is to figure out what I can leave behind.  Suggestions?  Did I miss something?  Let me know in the comments…

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