My PCT 2023 Thru-Hiking Gear List

My PCT 2023 Thru-Hiking Gear List


Thru-Hiking Gear List

Peenz PCT Thru-hiker Gear List

Thru-Hiking Gear List

Figuring out what to take on a 6-month backcountry vacation is hard. Here is what I am taking on my thru-hike and why.

Peenz PCT Gear List

What I look for in gear

Backpacking gear is deeply personal. There is no right or wrong. The only thing that matters is what works for you. Here are the main criteria I look for in gear:

1. Lightweight. I’m pretty old and don’t want to die when backpacking, so weight matters for me. I will spend more money to save some weight.

2. Comfort. I need to be comfortable or I am not having fun. If I’m not comfortable and having fun, why bother? That’s why you will see many luxury items for me. Where do I draw the line between saving pack weight and comfort? I have a pretty good understanding of what matters to me and decide based on my preferences.

Your preferences may be different and that’s cool.

1 Night backpacking trip superstition mountains m
Peenz PCT Gear Photo
Peenz Zpack Arc Haul Zip

The Big Items


I backpacked for years with an Osprey pack and loved it. Then decided to get smarter about how much I’m carrying. Your backpack is a spot you can save considerable weight. In 2016, I bought the Zpacks Arc Haul Zip and LOVE IT. It weighs 30 oz (1.9 lbs, 855g) and is super comfortable.

One thing that seriously annoys me about backpacking packs is how everything you need is deep in the bottom. Or how you have to remove everything to get stuff out. This pack has a zip to access things from the front. This pack is perfect for me!

Sleeping Bag

I’m a cold sleeper and I don’t have fun when I’m cold. I had a Big Agnes bag that I loved for it’s style (mummy for side sleepers). But I froze to death in it a lot. 

My significant other and I decided to get quilts that we could zip together to create a burrito or use independently. We opted for Feather Friends Flickers. They have a lot of customization options which was perfect because my significant is a giant and he could get a custom length. 

I cannot express how much I love this sleeping bag. It is like sleeping under really warm air. Several times I have said this is best purchase I’ve ever made. 

Staying warm at night also means having a good pad. I have the Therm-a-rest Neoair Xlite pad. I’m trying something new for this trip: using the Therm-a-rest Zlite Sol pad for extra insulation while sleeping and to use as a chair while lounging. 

Sleeping Pad(s)

Zpacks Freeduo


After years of camping on really hard surfaces, I’m team free-standing tent. I just don’t want to deal with trying to stake or use rocks to get my tent pitched. Laziness is also a major factor. One thing I dislike is setting up camp, so I will do anything to make this as easy as possible. 

For the PCT, I got the Zpacks Free Duo. I’ve taken her out on 2 shakedown hikes in the Superstitions, and I ADORE her. It is super easy to set up, light (for a free-standing tent), and kept me dry when it rained/snowed for 7 hours. 



Zpacks FreeDuo Tent


Peenz PCT Gear

What I’m Wearing

This part of my gear needed a serious update. My clothing goals for the PCT was complete coverage for sun protection and warmth because I hate being cold. I tend to overpack and wanted to avoid this on this trip.

On Trail

Warm Clothes

Rain Clothes


  • Merrell Moab Flight (The BEST shows for my feet. I can pull them out of the box, hike 10+ miles, and not get a blister.)
  • Swiftwicks Socks (These socks are so good. And dry so fast!)
  • Camp shoes (I really like taking off my hiking shoes and slipping on these suckers.)



Peenz PCT Gear What's Cooking

What's Cooking

PCT Trail Summary: Week 5 Mile 549.0 to 49ers Saloon

PCT Trail Summary: Week 5 Mile 549.0 to 49ers Saloon

PCT Trail Summary: Week 5 Mile 540.0 to 49ers Saloon Dates Hiked May 8 - May 14, 202396.012,460 feet up16,067 feet down38 Hours 21 Minutes💛Being warm again 💛Surviving the aqueduct and hiking it when it was cold(er) 💛Getting a trail family and them motivating me! 💛 So...

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About The Author


Hi there! I'm Peenz, lover of all things outdoors. Growing up in a remote part of Southeast Alaska definitely contributed to my enthusiasm for nature. Being outside, looking at mountains and plants just feels right. Like where I belong. I now live in Phoenix, AZ and LOVE it. So much nature, mountains, and sunshine. Expect a lot of posts about how amazing Arizona is :). The goal of this blog is to get you as excited about nature as I am. Hope it motivates you to get outside more. Enjoy!

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