Planning a trip as big as a PCT thru-hike can be a daunting task. Below I have gathered some of the resources I used while planning mine, as well as all my resupply points along the trail.

  • Gear Some info on the gear I ended up using
  • Resupply All my resupply points and boxes along the trail
  • Resources Useful links to blogs, vlogs and apps I used while preparing and hiking
  • Trail Generic trail info

Gear

In my humble opinion, your gear is the most important part of your hike. Which makes sense given what you carry on your back is what you have to survive on. But you have to find what works for you and it's very possible you don't end with the same things you start out with. In the resource section at the bottom of this page you can find some guidance in putting together your ideal gear list.

If coming from Europa, you might want to order and pick up things when you get to the US. Long distance hiking and ultralight or lightweight hiking isn't very well known in Europe and getting proper gear that doesn't weigh a lot can be hard and or expensive.

As a general rule, don't take any doubles. It's very easy to take too much stuff with you. You really don't want that when going on a 2650 mile hike. This is the gear I ended up taking. I'd say I was pretty happy with most of it but will swap out some items for lighter versions going forward.

Find a good balance between how much weight you want to carry, how much luxury you want and how much money you are willing to spend. For example you can skip on all luxuries and not bring an inflatable pillow and only a halfsize thin sleeping pad. Yes you will carry less weight, but you likely will also be more tired as the quality of your sleep is less so was it worth to skimp on the weight?

The yearly Halfway Anywhere survey is a good starting point. Watching vlogs and gear reviews can be nice and gives you a good idea of what companies exist, but it only gives you a single opinion. Did it work for that person is no guarantee you'll be happy with it. The top gear choices in the survey worked for a whole lot of people, so more likely that it will work for you.

Resupply

Doing resupplies and planning them is a major part of your hike. You don't want to carry too much food and you don't want to run out. Getting it right is hard and you probably never fully master it. Below a breakdown of how I resupplied along the trail and which towns I visited.

South California has plenty of trail towns. Even the first couple days, you can get a decent resupply at Lake Morena and Mount Laguna but as I left Campo with about 5 days of food, I carried a pack too heavy up to Warner Springs.

  • Day 5: Julian · first trail town. Free ice-cream and some stores.
  • Day 7: Warner Springs · lunch at the golf resort and small resupply at the community center.
  • Day 11: Idyllwild · took my first zero here.
  • Day 17: Big Bear Lake · plenty of big stores and restaurants.
  • Day 21: Cajon Pass McDonalds · breakfast lunch dinner.
  • Day 22: Wrightwood · ride to Walmart at Rancho Cucamanga.
  • Day 27: Hiker Heaven · took an uber to nearby huge Walmart.
  • Day 28: Green Valley/Casa de Luna · Casa de Luna sadly closed down at the end of the 2019 season. You can get some resupplies at the gas station in town though.
  • Day 31: Hikertown · drove a van to nearby town for lunch and small resupply.
  • Day 34: Tehachapi · stayed at the Marriott.
  • Day 40: Kennedy Meadows · Bear Grumpy and the General Store. We camped behind the General Store and hung out on the porch mostly playing UNO.

Sierra Nevada. It's about 10-12 days of hiking to get through the mountains to Red's Meadow / Mammoth Lakes. Your main options to get out of the mountains for resupply are Lone Pine and Kearsarge pass to get to Bishop or Independence. And a sidetrip to VVR near the end.

  • Day 44: Lone Pine · I took about 9 days worth of food with me from Lone Pine to make it to Red's Meadow in one go. Fitting everything in your bear can is quite the challenge.
  • Day 54: VVR (Vermillion Valley Resort) · made a sidetrip here for breakfast, lunch and a two day resupply.
  • Day 56: Mammoth Lakes · made it to Red's Meadow in time for dinner the day before. Taking a restday in Mammoth Lakes.
  • Day 60: Tuolumne Meadows / Yosemite Valley · sidetrip to climb Halfdome and resupply while at it
  • Day 65: Sonora Pass · long hitch to Bridgeport to pick up a box. Did not like the town. Skip altogether or try Kennedy Meadows North.
  • Day 68: South Lake Tahoe / Stateline (Nevada) · stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The dinner buffet on the top floor of Harrah's is well worth it! Also a bit unreal to walk in these big casino's after being on trail for several months. Also sent a box with 6 days of food to both Caribou Crossroads and Castella as well as shipping my bear can to Ashland.

North California

  • Day 72: Truckee · meetup with past and present trail friends.
  • Day 74: Sierraville · sidetrip to the neighbouring Sierracity hot springs.
  • Day 78: Caribou Crossroads · short sidetrip from Belden to Caribou Crossroads trailer park to pick up my resupply box and get q great breakfast including blueberry milkshake.
  • Day 80: Drakesbad Guest Ranch · just dinner and ice cream.
  • Day 82: Burney Mountain Ranch · lovely oasis of peace with a swimming pool. They have their own very small shop but they have a pretty good idea of what hikers want. Great place to take a zero and recharge.
  • Day 86: Castella/Weed · my package was missing at the post office so the nice lady working there drove us to Grocery Outlet in Weed after closing. Next morning she found my missing package and forwarded it to Mazame Village (Crater Lake).
  • Day 90: Etna · stayed at the Hiker Hut.
  • Day 93: Seiad Valley · last stop in California. This is where you can fail miserably at the pancake challenge. I had regular breakfast of course with milkshake and small resupply.

Oregon

  • Day 96: Ashland · stayed here for almost 3 days. Took the bus to Medford to visit Walmart, Grocery Outlet and REI. Back with an Uber. We basically got food to last all the way to Canada here.
  • Day 99: Fish Lake Resort
  • Day 101: Crater Lake · pick up box at Mazame Village.
  • Day 104: Shelter Cove · lunch.
  • Day 107: Sisters · stayed at the parents of a hiker buddy for a couple days. Great bakery!
  • Day 112: Timberline Lodge · finished my 24h challenge here, hiking 65 miles (106 km) straight. Best breakfast buffet on trail!
  • Day 114: Cascade Locks · as we happened to arrive the day before trail days, we met plenty of old trail friends.

Washington

  • Day 118: Trout Lake · breakfast, park shower, laundry and back to the trail!
  • Day 120: Packwood/Mt. Raineer National Park · sidetrip to Mt. Raineer National Park to meet up with a friend of Roadrunner whom I'd been hiking with for quite a while. Normally you don't go through Packwood but there was a fire detour in the Goat Rocks wilderness.
  • Day 123: White Pass · pick up box.
  • Day 127: Snoqualmie Pass · plenty of restaurants and shops. The Washington Alpine club is great to stay at.
  • Day 130: Stevens Pass · I have a box at Skykomish but it's Sunday and next day is Labor Day. So alas, it won't be able to pick it up and after hitching there I get a very expensive and limited resupply at the gas station and burger place instead.
  • Day 134: Holden Village · on a fire detour but very nice place to get a meal with a small shop.
  • Day 135: Stehekin · last place before Canada. Pick up box and my bear can so I can carry it to Manning Park and take it home on the airplane. Make sure to check out the bakery. Multiple times!
  • Day 139: Manning Park · enjoy some food and a drink and find a ride to Vancouver.
Resources

I'll give an overview of the resources I used to both prepare my trip as well as what I used on trail to help me towards Canada. The hardest part by far is making the decision to go and do it. Then putting together your gear list. Everything else will sort itself out once you are out on the trail.

Lighterpack is a simple website that allows you to create a shareable gear list. You can create your ideal gear list, share your current gear with others to get input, ... For example below, you will find the gear I took with me on my PCT thru-hike.
lighterpack.com
my PCT 2018 gear list

Halfway anywhere is a hiking blog which holds a yearly survey among PCT hikers. The outcome of this survey is a great starting point for you gear list. Furthermore, you get a feel for popular trail towns and resupply spots. Next to the survey, you will find a ton of useful information about hiking the PCT.
Halfway Anywhere PCT survey 2017

Homemade Wanderlust Dixie 2017 PCT vlog. After I decided to hike the PCT, this vlog was my main source. I was following Dixie as she was on trail.
Homemade Wanderlust 2017 PCT thruhike vlog

Darwin on Trail vlog. Lots of gear reviews from an experienced hiker. Of course, you have to find what works for you but if you don't know much about proper hiking gear, vlogs like this are great to get familiar with what's out there.
Darwin on Trail

Guthook's PCT App. All you need for navigating on trail. It has detailed info on where (wild)camp spots are, town info, elevation profile and a lot more. If you have cell service, you can also leave comments for others. Especially useful to find out if a water source is still flowing.
Guthook's Pacific Crest Trail Guide

Pacific Crest Trail Association. Official PCT website. Great for info on permits.
https://www.pcta.org

CICERONE Pacific Crest Trail guidebook. Didn't use it all that much, but nice read on trainrides.
CICERONE The Pacific Crest Trail guidebook

PCT Water report. More realtime report on water sources. Great tool to get through the desert without carrying too much water all the time. Because nothing is worse than carrying water to a water source. Trail wisdom at its best. Once you reach Kennedy Meadows, you hardly need it anymore.
PCT Water report (Google Drive)

Trail info
Pacific Crest Trail
Countries
StartCampo (CA)
FinishManning Park (BC)
Length2650 mi / 4265 km
Elevation gain315.000 ft / 95.000 m
Best hiking seasonMarch - September
Official websitehttps://www.pcta.org