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[pct-l] Re: PCT vs AT

>Appreciate your advice about the PCT. There isn't nearly as much info
>about the PCT as there is on the AT and being from PA its hard to know
>what to expect. I started the AT on March 8 this year and carried a 0 F
>bag until mid-april (everyone else seemed to be using a 20 F bag). It
>never got below the mid-teens but there were plenty of nights I would
>have been cold in a 20 F bag. I'm not a warm sleeper! I like to have a
>sleeping bag with a rating of about 10 F below whatever the coldest
>possible temp is. What kind of low temps can I expect at the coldest
>I've read comparisons between the AT and PCT before but I'd like to hear
>another. Which did you like better? I guess it depends on your


Even in the early going I suspect it will get quite hot during the day. The
nights will be warm at first but the temperatures can plummet in the wee
hours due to low humidity and convection. Your choice if you think a warmer
bag is worth it for those few hours but you will probably be more
comfortable with a semi rectangular and some Capilene underware. Except for
the High Sierras and the North Cascades late in the season I think it is
reasonable to plan for nights of around 40F-50F. Nights will probably get
progressively  cooler after about the Oregon border in August. Keep a
winter mummy in the drift box for when you need it.

For almost the entire trail the minimum wardrobe is: A pair of shorts
w/liner, a Capilene T shirt and set of long johns, a fleece shirt,
lightweight wind/rain top and bottoms, socks, running shoes, and a wide
brimmed hat. In your drift box have at least a fleece jacket and gloves,
and perhaps a pack cover.

Another good thing to have in the drift box is a copy of a REI and Campmor
catalog. I can practically guarantee you or at least someone else will use
them to order something that you need and cannot get along the trail. While
you're at it put in about ten paperbacks as good books are hard to come by
out there. Natural history and outdoor adventure seem to be the best reads
for me at least. Try to make the material relevant to different areas. For
example, take a John Muir book along in the Sierras.

I liked the PCT as there is more variety and better views. The AT is more
lush but I still like the West. It "feels" different. You don't have the
shelters or as many places to resupply so you must have your trip more
carefully planned. If you want to get away from it all you will see far
fewer people on the PCT and that's a big plus in my book. There is a
certain satisfaction as I write this to be able to say I've hiked them both
and being able to compare the two. They are both great trails, each in it's
own way, and a with certain commonality between them.

Hope this helps. I'm going to post this and our other correspondence in
case anybody else can use the information, refute it, add to it, or
whatever. Feel free to ask me anything else during your preparations.


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