Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike Gear List: 2600 Miles of Freedom

by Nomad | Last Updated:  July 1, 2020

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Well here you are, you have decided to start your preparations for your Pacific Crest Trail thru hike gear list by reading this post! This more than likely means you have a lot of gear to understand and organize, or maybe still looking to start your acquisition. This may feel incredibly daunting and crazy currently but you will find out later how exciting this time is in your life!

To help you make a proper decision I have built lists of good gear at the budget and higher expense but full ultralight gear. This should allow you to figure out your budget overall and make some systematic choices on what you should spend your money on for your hike.

Best Budget Gear List

For many having a spare $2000 or more to build out a set of good gear that can survive a thru-hike without having tremendous issues. While many will say that this isn’t likely and almost impossible, I have researched what people have completed a PCT thru-hike with and assembled it here to help.

Hopefully, this list will help you make some quality decisions and get you ready for the trek ahead with some solid gear.

Best Budget Backpack Header - Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike Gear List

Budget Backpack Option

Best Budget Shelter Header - Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike Gear List

Budget Shelter Option

Best Budget Sleep System Header - Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike Gear List

Budget Sleep System

Best Budget Cook System Header - Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike Gear List

Budget Cook System

Water Filtration


Budget Clothing – Special

Budget Clothing – Worn

Additional Gear

Personal Items

Best Ultralight Gear List

If you have the budget available this gear can help you by being ultralight but ultra-useful and long-lasting. These items are typically a significant upgrade from the budget options above but you are going to spend much higher amounts of money sometimes to only shave ounces.

Any of these would be a super solid upgrade and would be what I would aim to get moving forward after assembling your full budget gear, or if you have some wiggle room now grabbing a big three-item could help weight immediately.

Ultralight Backpack Option

Ultralight Shelter Option

Ultralight Sleep System

Ultralight Cook System

Water Filtration


Clothing – Special

Clothing – Worn

Additional Gear

Additional PCT Resources

PCT Resource Page – Our all-inclusive page which has everything we post about the Pacific Crest Trail available to make sure you have the most information possible.

What Is The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)? – Our short guide to help you understand the trail and make sure you aren’t missing something vital.

Final Thoughts on the Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike Gear List

Choosing to start your plan to hike the Pacific Crest Trail is awesome, it takes supreme courage and belief in ones-self. This belief is what will carry you through the tough days, the rainy days, the painful days, and much much more.

I would love to hear from you who have already started planning and assembling gear for those who have completed the hike. If starting what would you want to hear to help you to know the most upfront from someone who has completed the trail?

My own planning has begun for 2021 and I have begun to update and prepare my gear, my fallback should I not get a permit is to switch to the Appalachian Trail instead. I can’t wait to share this with everyone!

Nice to meet you, my trail name is Nomad the founder of Nomad Hiker and I love being outdoors and exploring nature! I now want to help spread that love through information back out to everyone to help them feel the same excitement with the world that I feel while in the back country. My current goals are to thru hike all the trails in the greater Texas region and to show everyone it is easily achievable at any age!