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[pct-l] PCT gear

     What clothing to bring is good question.  But before I address
that, let me comment on Post Offices.  In southern California,
every resupply point is at least a resort town.  They all have
real post offices.  By this I mean a building with a zip code.
Some places may have branch post offices, but you can always send
packages as well as receive them.
     In more rural areas, many resupply points are not post offices.
They are often resorts with a general store that will hold packages
for you.  This means sending packages from such a place is not
routine.  You can sometimes find someone willing to take your
package to the nearest post office, but you may not.  You could
also call UPS (assuming they're not on strike as they were for a
while this summer!) and have them come pick up your package.  But
my point is you should spend more time thinking about where you
plan to send packages.  You don't want to send your drift box
to a dead end.
     I'm not prepared to state exactly where you can and cannot
send packages.  I didn't try in most places.  However, I
can tell you where I did find "real" post offices.
Mt. Laguna, Warner Springs, Idyllwild, Big Bear City, Wrightwood,
Agua Dulce, Tehatchapi (or Mojave,) Lone Pine, Bishop, Tuolumne
Meadows, Echo Lake, Sierra City, Beldon, Castella, Seiad Valley,
Crater Lake, Cascade Locks, White Pass, Skykomish, and Stehekin.
Several of these are not right on the trail.
     Back to clothing for the rain.  No cotton, no down.  In spite
of the cost, Gor-Tex and the like are not perfect.  You will get
wet.  Truely water-proof fabrics don't breathe.  You will get wet.
The PCT goes through some temperate rain forest.  It's truely
spectacular, but humidity is 100% when the sun is not out.  Without
sunlight, you won't dry out.  The brush collects water which
falls on you as you walk.  You will get wet.
     Clothing that works well wet is what I brought:  poly tights,
"Gore-Tex" rain pants, long sleeve poly shirt, fleece jacket,
nylon wind shell, waterproof poncho, full-face balaclava hat,
wool glove liners.  The ski hat was wonderful.  You don't want to
shed layers in the rain.  Taking off the pack is no fun.  The hat
is quite warm and can be stuffed in a jacket pocket.  Gloves are
also nice.  Circulation to your hands in the cold is poor.
    Brian Robinson  PCT '97

------------   ORIGINAL ATTACHMENT   --------
SENT 11-20-97 FROM SMTPGATE (tamarag@tiac.net)

Brian --

I was interested by your recent post to the pct list.  I am planning to
thruhike in '98 and yes, I am sketched out by the prospects of days of rain
in WA and OR.  I used a down bag last year on my AT thruhike, with some
pretty prolonged periods of heavy rain (Hurricaines Bertha, Fran, etc).

So if I mail the down home from Hyatt Lake and do a synthetic, what
temperature rating do you suggest, assuming a normal thru-hiker set of
clothes?  I work nights and weekends at a backpacking/mountaineering shop,
so I would like to get any and all incidental gear before the hike, instead
of paying full retail out of the Campmor or REI catalog while on trail.

Your post was very helpful.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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