GAS and the PCT

“I knew that if you look after the ounces the pounds look after themselves”
Colin Fletcher, The Thousand Mile Summer


It is about time to talk GEAR and the Pacific Crest Trail. After all… I started this blog to ultimately post a trail journal during my PCT 600 mile, 5 week walk this summer and talk about gear.

I have concluded through my online research that when deciding what to pack for long distance hiking you need ask only 2 things, how much does the item weigh (always in ounces) and does it serve a multitude of functions? For example: my new trekking poles not only save my knees while descending steep sections of the trail, can act as an ice axe, is essential in getting me across nasty early spring stream crossings, and can now also transform my new tent into a freestanding palace! I would like to share a few new purchases  I am lovin’!

My Sweeeeeet New Hiking Toys
Rainbow II Tarptent

This free-standing palace is a mere 41 ounces with 2 doors and 2 vestibules and room enough to fit 2 tall adults and a small child (grand-daughter perhaps)

Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Sheet
Only 2 oz and touted as tough

Gossamer Trekking Poles
These 9 ounce babies are ultra-light and ultra-expensive (yes 9 ounces for both poles)

Icebreaker Merino Wool L/S Atlas Zip Top
Pretty darn stink proof, close fitting, very warm and breathable, I love the 1/4 zip (3 ounces)

Montbell UL Down Inner Jacket
A life saving 5 oz. inferno

Montbell UL Super Stretch Down Hugger #2 25 degree Sleeping Bag
Warm, super comfortable, light-weight, packs small, and expensive (30 ounces)

AquaMira Water Treatment Drops
These drops take the place of a traditional water filter, very lightweight, highly recommended by thru-hikers, but haven’t personally used them yet

Injinji Toe Socks
Strange merino wool socks with toes (yes kind of like elf socks),  boy are they comfy and are supposed to eliminate toe blisters when hiking long distances.

PCT Atlas Volume 2 (Central California) and Volume 3 (Northern California)
This 5 oz book has about all the info you need to navigate the PCT complete with maps, water, camping, and resupply information.The author, Eric the Black divided the PCT into 5, 5 ounce sections.

During the last few months in the evenings I can be found reading online PCT trail journals. PCT journals are informative, motivational, and interesting AND are often loaded with foreign words such as Nero, Vit. I, slack packing, GAS, and HYOH just to name a few. Wanting to understand PCT Lingo, I of course Googled!!! In my quest I discovered that I have GAS!

Gear Acquirement Syndrome (GAS): the need for new hiking toys


  1. Pingback: Happy 5th Birthday Lady on a Rock! | Lady on a Rock

  2. I had mad GAS, too. Although that doesn’t sound quite as cool as I would like it to.

    I’ve been thinking about getting the Tarptent Double Rainbow. I hope it works out well for you!

    • I also have the Tarptent Moment that I love and am taking on the first few days and the last couple of weeks on the trip. And no… Mad GAS doesn’t sound at all cool!

    • I also LOVE the Tarptent Moment (one person tent). I just finished using it for 2 weeks and will be using the Double Rainbow for the next week. I will keep you updated.

  3. I am just a sucker and enthusiast for new gear that is lighter and better, not an expert by no means. Comfort is always good too 🙂 Thanks for the confidence!

  4. Georgette Theotig

    Wow, I think REI should pay you to test their gear. Your descriptions sound very convincing – maybe I’ll try the merino wool socks. Having GAS is a good thing – now you can tell the rest of us what to buy!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *