Tents, Sleeping Bags, and Packs, Oh My!

The “big three” in backpacking refers to your heaviest pieces of gear — tent, sleep system, and backpack. The best gear varies for each person’s needs because there are tradeoffs between weight, comfort, and price. Below we explain how we selected our big three items.


Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 (without rain fly)

We love our Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2. It suits our weight/comfort/price mix perfectly. After removing extra stuff sacks, and replacing the stakes with 6 Vargo Titanium Ultralight hooks, this 2-person tent weighs only 2.3 pounds! This is very light, and as you can imagine, when trekking such a long way we opt for less weight on our backs whenever possible. It’s cozier than most tents, but two sleeping pads fit perfectly next to one another inside and we’d rather have the lighter weight than extra space. This is a free standing tent, which is more convenient than a tent in which you must use your trekking poles as supports.


We used Craig’s PCT Planner and Yogi’s PCT Handbook to create an itinerary for our entire PCT hike. Craig’s web application is a great tool and makes the planning process a lot easier. Thanks Craig!

The plan includes all our resupply points and provides dates for our arrival and departure from each. Of course, our actual dates will deviate a bit from the plan, but in general we expect the plan will be on target. We hope to visit with folks who live near the trail, so let us know if you would like to meet us at any of the towns listed!

Here is the plan summary: