Backpacking

Not Your Average Pacific Crest Trail Gear List

Okay, I lied. This is pretty much your typical PCT Gear list. But everyone loves a gear list, right?
The Big Three
Pack: G4-20 Ultralight 42 Backpack
Tent:  Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (Backpacking Tent)
At first I was planning on using the stakes included with the Lunar Solo, but after breaking two on a section hike of the Arizona Trail, I decided to swap them out for MSR Mini Groundhog Stakes (and will be carrying a few extra!)
The tent is a trekking pole tent, ...

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Flying with Backpacking Gear

Many thru-hikers fly to a local airport before they start out on the trail.  Some NOBOers on the PCT fly to San Diego.  Many AT thru-hikers fly to Atlanta.  Here are some tips for flying with backpacking equipment.
Save Bucks at Goodwill
Some backpacks will fit into the overhead luggage.  Some do not.  For example, the ZPacks Arc Blast fits unless you get the large torso size, I think.  Measure carefully before you fly.  You DO NOT want your pack thrown into cargo area.  ...

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Introduction to a CDT Thru-hike: Prep and Training

Disabled Veteran Hiking!
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi
My name is Billy Mitchell and I will be leaving my hometown of San Marcos, Texas to thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in the last week of March 2021.  On the trail I will be answering to the trail name:  Gecko.  I served in the United States Army from 1989 to 1992 as a Light Infantry Dragon-gunner in the 10th Mountain Division, ...

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WayZada is the Company Making 3D Prints of Your Thru-Hikes

The package was lighter than I thought it would be, the contents hidden under layers of bubble wrap. When I finally dug through the protective packaging, I had a 3D-printed replica of Jeff’s exact GPX track from his Colorado Trail record. It looked like an abstract sculpture, but each peak and valley represented his footsteps—the actual climbs and descents from the 486-mile trail. I’d also ordered a profile and baseplate, with his name, time, and the trail details etched into the profile. ...

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Bushwhacking Garnet Mountain and Lewis Hill

Garnet Mountain and Lewis Hill are two trailless mountains just outside the quaint town of Bethlehem, NH. Both are on the New Hampshire 500 Highest peak list that my friend Ken and I are working through. As he says, “There are 2000 mountains in New Hampshire. Why would you climb the same ones over and …

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My Ultimate Year of Backpacking – A Transcontinental Shift

Back when life was normal, before COVID was a reality, I entered the PCTA lottery hoping to snag a PCT thru-hiking permit.  My number was something miserably high.  A few hours after date assignments started, I watched the little green person make their way across the webpage,  and I got the long-awaited message, “You have less than one minute.”  Well, what I had was a choice of the last few dates that permits are issued which all placed me in the Mojave Desert when it would be full blast summer.  ...

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