Pacific Crest Trail Gear

Final PCT / Pacific Crest Trail gear list

PCT Gear List

Te Araroa Gear List

Te Araroa ultra-light gear list. Based on my thruhikes.

Te Araroa Gear

TMB Gear

A ultra light TMB / Tour de Mont Blanc Gear list

TMB Blanc Gear

Unusual hiking tips

The "other tips" people don't write about on thru-hikes.

11 unusual tips

PCT #137, 2650mi: The last steps of a 4.265km hike. Arriving in Caanaaadaaaa!!!!! ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

The last cold night for this season. Alarm went off at 5.15am again. Only half an inch of fresh snow during the night - not too bad.

After packing up, taping Kaylee's blistered feet and treating us with a hot mocha we started the last day on trail and our hike to the border...

11,4 miles to the border left.

Good bye campspot and back into the cold Cascades.

We were pumped up to get to the monument. The trail had mercy today and so the clouds were hanging low but precipitation was limited to a few icy snow flakes. Not too bad. That helps when hiking below freezing and turns up the moods of the tired hikers. Some of the last views of the Cascades before we dropped down in the valley.

The last cat prints on the trail. Fresh from this morning this hiker with four legs used the trail before us. They are out here! The one and only thing I did not get to see - a free roaming mountain lion. I guess that's a good reason to come back again, pitch a tent and look out for them.

And then the signs were getting clear. Almost done!

It just happened. The last few miles just cruising downhill in the forest. We hiked fast and silently for most of the time. Both lost in thoughts I guess. We were both ready to get there. And to be done. Not saying that I want to miss a single day of this journey. But the last six days being cold and wet all the time also made it easier to look forward to a shower and a bed now. For more than only one night always. Also our bodies are talking to us. Feet are swollen, ankles and joints just randomly hurt and pinch. Nothing serious. But just signs that they want a break. A d not only a nero or hero town day with less than 20 miles ๐Ÿ˜‚

Will I miss it? I'll probably be wishing myself back on a trail in a few weeks. I know. And that's good. After the trail is before the trail ๐Ÿ˜‰t now it's time to celebrate first!

The obligatory triple-pano of course:

The monument is in the glade of the US/CA border. Right next to an official milestone of the border. But that's it. No confetti or anything like this. Just a damp spot in the forest. We stayed for an hour, took photos and ate what we could still get down. Skittles, M&M's and gummy worms are definitely a no-go now and that's how I feel here and now.

Looking forward for what to come next, cold, exhausted, excited and happy to have made it.

After exactly 2,650 miles / 4.265km and 5 month on the Pacific Crest Trail we made it all the way from Mexico to Canada. Arrived at the Northern Terminus ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ
The trailย provided us with sun, heat, lack of water, snow, raging rivers, mosquitoes, wild fires, trail closures, the love-hate relationship to candy and Washington's last week of ice-cold rain & snow. Our bodies tell the story. Thank you PCT for sharing your beauty with us! Even though we are glad to be off you today we will miss you in only a few days when civilisation hits us. #dowhatmakegood

PCT #136, 2639mi: The last full day on the PCT. Last time pitching the tent. Last dinner on trail... 11,4 mi to Canada!

It was freezing again in the night. The ground is also so cold now that the cold radiats right through my sleeping pad. Not a restful night. When we finally managed to get up we saw this:

At least 1-2 inches of snow came down during the night. But at least it was not rain.

Most of the day though looked like this.

And we accordingly...

The good thing about the weather. My ultralight rain gloves came back in use today.

German Engineering.

We also got a few spectacular views in berween. But mostly it was escaping the weather by running. It snowed all day. Sometimes more, sometimes less.



One of the highlights today. We had very fresh bear tracks right on the trail. Probably not older than 30 minutes. Unfortunately we didn't see it.

The clouds were pretty spectacular. But most of thr time we also walked head down covered in three layers and were lost in thoughts. The last day. The feeling about being done is definitely connected to joy and happiness. Very different to the Te Araroa. But it is also a completely different journey.


More thoughts about that tomorrow. Right now I am freezing and I desperately want to crawl into my sleeping bag and zip it up fully. We did another 29 miles today and got to our campspot right at sunset.

11,4 miles to the border tomorrow. Alarm at 5.30am. Good night...

PCT #135, 2610mi: Winter-Wonderland... ๐Ÿ˜ 40 miles to go!

The night was cold. After a few drops right before I fell asleep I woke up in the middle of the night with absolute clear sky and bright stars above me. A good omen?

In the morning it was bitter cold. Somewhere around freezing again. So it took a while to get moving. But once we got out of the campsite we couldn't really believe it. Blue sky and even the sun was coming out. Beautiful weather despite the ugly forecast.

And what else? We had escaped most of the rain yesterday. But other parts apparently not. Welcome to Winter-Wonderland...๐Ÿ˜

Rainy Pass

Snow cover above 5,500ft. And clouds were forming in the late morning. Beautiful to watch...




All of the fear from the last days. Blown away. Instead of pain and rain we got to see this epic landscape with a bit of powder everywhere. We also had sunshine almost all day long. Clouds around us in the mountains but we were somehow always in one of the clear spots.



Our mood went up ten notches. Yesterday we still made plans on how to coop with wet food bags and so on and now it was almost time again to put on sunscreen. What a day!

We used our short lunch break to dry the tent and the sleeping bags from the condensation of last night. Another great thing. No matter how shitty the rest of the day would turn out we now had a completely dry tent and sleeping bags again. And so we cruised through the Wonderland for again 29 miles today.


Today we were both talking about our shopping trip in Vancouver and with which oufit we would try to re-integrage into society. I am really excited about getting some cool stuff to wear in a few days. We are both definitely looking forward to finishing now. Also the food topic is getting more and more difficult. Now not even M&M's go anymore ๐Ÿ˜ All thoughts around zuccini, pumpkin, tomatoes, goat cheese, salmon, smoothies...

But it's great that we get to finish with views like today and not with three days if straight rain & clouds. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

My fingers are already freezing inside of the tent. It will be cold tonight ๐Ÿ˜ณ

PCT #134, 2581mi: The race to Canada continues. 69 miles left ๐Ÿ˜ณ

The night was cold again and when we woke up the tent was soaked from condensation. Everything else as well. So we packed up and made our way down the last five miles to the Ranger Station and dirt road where the shuttle runs to Stehekin.

The ranger greated us warmly and also had the latest weather report on hand. 40-70% chance of rain for the next three days, 1 inch of snow above 5000ft per day and so on. ๐Ÿ˜ Just wet and mostly miserable for the next days.

So the temptation to stay in town and get dry, dry our stuff and relax before the last stretch was big. But luckily our fate was decided for us by a crashed reservation system. So the only the place to stay didn't know if they had rooms available until 5pm. So we decided to just get our food and right back on trail again.

We got lucky and had a few sunny moments between the clouds and rain and with that we managed to get everything dry.


The sleeping bags went into the dryer for 20 minutes and are almost like new now.

And then just a normal stay in town. Standing in line in the post office...

...and consuming calories.

That was all mine ๐Ÿ˜Š

After only four hours we were back on the shuttle to the trail. 11 more miles today for our camp spot. We got some great views of the salmon migration:


And that was the last resupply stop. The last town. The last beer on trail. The last... Jep, it's again this time. The last of everything now. The trail is coming to an end. Fast. Two and a half more days. What a journey. At this point of time I still kind of feel ready to get to Canada now. The weather forecast also doesn't help to slow down. Let's see how it feels like tomorrow. Or on the last day. But it feels like it will be different this time for me than after the Te Araroa in New Zealand. Not quite sure how, but different...

PCT #133, 2564mi: Attack of the mice, winter is coming and less than 100 miles left!

What a horrible night. Not only didn't it stop raining all night long. No. Also the mice were out. We had hung our food bags on the tent poles and closed the fly so they wouldn't get to wet. When I woke up during the night I saw a huge hole in one of the food bags.

A mouse had made it in. That sucked! So I moved my backpack away which I thought they had used as a ladder and moved the bags higher up. I tried to go back to sleep but I thought I still heard something. When I shined my head lamp on the bags a mouse was sitting right in the hole steeling peanuts. Bastard! I don't know how it got in there but this didn't seem to work. So finally I got up and out in the rain, put up a rope between two trees, hung up the food there and covered it up with the tyvek. 1.5h later I succeded over the mouse. Partly. Tomorrow without peanuts...

These mornings suck! Everything was wet or damp. Putting wet socks back on to go in almost frozen shoes is pretty much the worst in the morning. But also the sleeping bags had suffered a bit and the condensation water was dripping from the insight of the tent. All stuff that makes it very pleasurable to get up and moving. But - there is only one way to Canada. So finally we made it out and started walking. We started out in light rain and fought ourselves over 3,000ft back up. For what? To get more rain and eventually snowed on!


So the first half of the day the motto was head down and hike fast to not become a popsicle.

But luckily the weather had mercy with us. Around lunch and at the top of the climb the rain stopped. We were still in the clouds though butnitnwas already a lot better.



And then we hit it - the 100 mile marker to Canada! I still remember celebrating the first 100 miles. Now there are only 100 left. Jiehhaaaa! Ohhhh Canada. We are coming. I am ready to get there!

The clouds were still crazy. But they stayed calm for now. 4,500ft down to Stehekin. Our last town. Our last resupply.


More and more gear is falling apart. But now all that matters is three more days. So everything just has to hold up a bit more.

The attempt to get our gear dry at around 40F and no sun. Still everything was wet from yesterday.

5 more miles to town tomorrow morning.

PCT #132, 2533mi: Trying to run away from the rain - no chance...

Running away from the rain was quite a challenge today. The day started with a 2,700ft climb and a 3,000ft decent continued with a 3,000ft climb before we ended with a 3,700ft roll down. No flat part.

But all started nicer than expected. Dry and not to cold.

Beautiful streams and cascades.

But you could slowly sense the clouds pushing in. So only a tiny "2nd breakfast break" how we call our 1st break at around 10am after four hours of hiking. We sat down in the middle of a huckleberry field and started eating. Huckleberries as well. But mainly our food. For 20 minutes we ate and shuffled food into us without a break. If anyone - besides hikers - had seen us they probably would have thought we are insane. But it's mostly about energy now. A bit like our friends here - the fat marmots. Stuffed to the maximum now ๐Ÿ˜‚

The last views for a while I guess.


On the last climb the rain started. First slowly and then in a constant "flow". So the last three hours of the day meant head down and run. We were prepared and the rain gear was accessible. But it still sucks. On the uphill part you sweat like crazy and downhill you still get cold. Especially fingers and feet. Well, I guess that's my life now. Forecast for the next four days: NOSIG (no significant change) ๐Ÿ˜

PCT #129, 2462mi: Ja, Servus! What's happening here??? ๐Ÿ˜ณ

It was cold and windy last night. Another sign of the fading summer. A bit more than 26 miles left to Steven's Pass and our next resupply town Leavenworth.

But first of all a bit more hiking. Today was also a very special day on the trail. Almost exactly a year ago I was alreday here in the same valley hiking with Anna, Sam & Jeremy. The Tuck & Robin Lakes are just on the other side of the valley. From there we were able to see the PCT trail. During our night up at Robin Lake for one maybe the spark for the PCT journey now was ignited but also "Do What Make Good" was born... So I have been looking forward to this day the entire joirney to finally walk on the part of the trail I had seen a year ago already. Hello Tuck & Robin ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ

Again the pace felt slower than usual. I don't know why but maybe it's also the constant up and down. No flat parts at all in this stretch. But I am not complaining. The Alpine stretch is mine...



The stretch is called Alpine Lakes for a reason. One stunning one after the other. We were a bit to chilled to really junp in. But the colours and the clearness of the water ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜






At Steven's Pass the first car again stopped and Michael gave us a ride to the famous Leavenworth. Somebody had decided in the 70's or 80's to turn this city into a Bavarian village. Why? Because the logging industry once the main industry here broke down and something else was needed to stop the economical downwards spiral. Not a question that I had to check out how they did ๐Ÿ˜Š. And what can I say - it really feels like crusing through a little town in Bavaria. Names, architecture, paintings, everything like home ๐Ÿ˜‚





Even Starbucks is Bavarian here!

Wilkommen in Leavenworth ๐Ÿ˜Ž


Unnecessary to mention that there is also German cuisine involved. Beers, brats and Schunkelmusik (traditional songs where you link arms and sway... Even though I got funny looks from the ignotant crowd I couldn't resist ๐Ÿ˜Š) later it felt a bit like home.


Last big town on the way to Canada! Less than 190 miles ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Of course there are more bad news as well. More fires. One right at the border. The trail is still open but who knows how long for. So I guess we are well advised to get there asap...

PCT #128, 2435mi: Up and down and up and down and up and down...

I needed a bit more rest this morning with my cold so we only started at 7.15. But then it took us almost 45 minutes to get back on the trail from our campspot on the lake. A trail marked on the map turned out to be a lot of bushwacking...

The day begun with 2,000ft down before we had to go 2,500ft up again and the down and up again. The scenery though was great. The Alpine Lakes are beautiful. Alpine.



It was chilly today. Even though the sun was out it never became really warm. And both of us were exhausted. After 15 miles we both felt like usually after 25+. Either it's because I am not 100% fit or my body already went into after-trail-mode due to the three days in Seattle... ๐Ÿ˜‚ Not yet my friend!

Stunning clouds this afternoon!


And at the end we really had to hurry. Either 29 miles tomorrow to get to town or getting to a camp spot in the dark. We opted for last. But man, it immediately got freezing after sunset and we pitched the tent, cooked and ate in the dark. Fall is coming...


PCT #120, 2258mi: What a stunning day. Three volcanos and we right in the middle of them ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ

What a start of the day. The sun just began to rise behind Mount Adams when we got high enough to overlook the sourroundings. Haze and smoke in all the valleys, the sun couloring everything and the mountains sticking out (and the moment when you wish you had a proper camera ๐Ÿ˜”).


And then we came around a corner and had the first view of Mt. Rainier. What a stunning and beautiful mountain. Made us want to climb it even more.


The water again was georgous. Running down the volcanic slopes of Mt. Adams. One spring came just out of a pile of lava rocks.

The scenery was beautiful. Probably one of the single most spectacular days on the trail. We had them all in one spot: Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens & Mt. Rainier. All together makes a happy hiker ๐Ÿ˜Š

We hiked on and off with our old hiking buddy Martyn and his hiking partner Ellen. Great to have some familiar and nice company in this bubble.

I also found an old known one again in the mountains. I had seen some a few weeks ago in the outskirts of the High Sierra. A very familiar flower from the Alpes: Gentian (Enzian)!

1.5 more days to my new camera. I am excited. I am ok with what I was able to capture with my iPhone. I had to take it out of thr case every time for shots and then carefully put it back in without too much dirt. No zoom. No aperture. Some of these shots today could have been amazing ones - I know. But the outlook is great.

Kaylee and I also have a secret plan for the next days. Let's hope it works out! ๐Ÿคž

A last little climb to the campspot we had agreed to stop with Martyn and Ellen tonight. A hiker who heard about our plan to go to the spot apparently had the same plan. So she passed us and tried to get there before us to save a spot. What can I say. We made her sweat on the way up. She was drenched after we made her run infront of us for an hour. The right penalty ๐Ÿ™Š

Great views in the Goat Rock area and an early finish after an easy day today.