2 years ago by: matt
In 2012 I came across a movie called "Into the wild" that has stuck with me ever since. It follow Christopher McCandless on a trip to get to the Alaskan wilderness. At the time I had just started my skydiving, B.A.S.E jumping training so I had to focus on that but the idea had been planted.
Last year I watched "wild" which was filmed along the Pacific Crest Trail and it was the missing piece I needed to get me to finally plan a Bear Grylls style adventure.
So... after around 450 skydives/B.A.S.E jumps I'm attempting to through hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year...
Funny thing is, anyone that knows me from B.A.S.E jumping knows how much I hate hiking... still not sure why I think 2600+ miles is going to be any different. A part of it is simply wanting to not have to answer a phone/email for 5 months.
So because I got my visa fairly late (mid December 2015) I had not really planned much up until then. Which also resulted in me getting my gear together very late. A definite trend for this project is "wing it". I realize I don't have a clue about hiking gear or hiking in general so the best plan I could come up with was join the Facebook PCT groups and look through previous through-hiker blogs to try and find a middle ground in terms of gear that was affordable and usable.
In the spirit of helping other hiking wannabes like myself in future I will update this post with detailed trip spending totals. Both for gear and cash used while over there. My gear is currently right around 1500 euro. I have managed to get flights to San Diego from Dublin for 700 euro. I'm planning on taking 4500 euro with me to fund the 5 months hiking. Again I will update all the totals once I'm back.
The Big 3
So the most important things first. I decided to go with an Osprey Atmos-AG 50. This was one of the purchases I made before doing a bit more research... At this point I would probably buy something lighter. This alone sits at 1.7kg with the top taken off which I will leave at home.
There was no way I could carry my old sleeping bag that I've had for years. It weighed in at 2.7kg and while it was nice and warm it was simply too heavy and too big to pack up properly. In the end I decided to go for a ZPacks 900 Down sleeping bag which now weighs in at just 550g and packs down to about 1/4 of my old sleeping bag.
For a tent I was first looking at the MSR Hubba NX but ended up going for the Skyscape Trekker from Six Moon Designs due to it being the lighter option at 709g. It also meant my trekking poles would be used for the tent too!
I will update my gear list fully over here. Im currently looking at a base weight of around 6.1kg.
In January this month I decided to take some of my new gear out for 30 mile overnight test run and this was the end result: