Backpacker Offers the Ultimate Packing List for the Pacific Crest Trail


Thinking about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail at some point? Before going, you’ll want to have a look at the latest article from Backpacker magazine. The story offers advice on all of the gear you’ll need to tackle this epic 2659-mile (4279-km) trek, which runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.

The article is called “The Ultimate PCT Packing List” and it is hard to argue with that moniker. It not only offers suggestions on the best gear to take with you, it does so from a lightweight perspective. If you’re going to be notching up more than 2000 miles of trail time, you don’t want to carry too much weight with you along the way. Not only will you move faster, you’ll avoid injuries and feel better in general. But be warned, you’ll have to be able to adapt to the lightweight approach, or you may find yourself uncomfortable or out of your element too.

Backpacker has recommendations for the best backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad of course. Those items are dubbed the “Big Four” since they play such a crucial role in staying comfortable on the trail. The recommendation is to keep all of these items under 2 pounds (.9 kg) in weight in order to keep your pack from getting too bulky.

Beyond that however, there are suggestions for the best puffy jacket, rain gear, gathers, hats, base layers, shoes, socks, and much, much more. The article offers options for first aid kids, water filters, bear cans (a necessity!),  and so on. There are even some items that you might not think to bring yourself, but are nice to get recommendations for nonetheless.

It is the time of year when many people start plotting a PCT thru-hike, and this is a good article to at least get you started thinking about the best gear to take with you. Personally, I’d argue that a little extra weight for some creature comforts isn’t always a bad thing, as it will help you to stay a bit more comfortable on the long hike. But, those who count every ounce will definitely find a lot to like here.

Check out the whole story here.

Kraig Becker