The Best Backpacking Tents for Adventure in 2019

When I was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year, the best backpacking tents was a hot topic. However, it was also clear that every thruhiker has a slightly different taste. Many outdoor suppliers have entered the fray in recent years which means there is even more variety but at the same time, variety can make things complicated, right? And this is precisely why I put together this list of the best backpacking tents for 2019. As you will see, many characteristics are taken into account such as the cost, weight, interior space, weather protection and durability.

Either way, I hope this post can help you decide among the top backpacking tents and choose whatever seems the most approapriate for you next adventure.


Quick Answer – No Time to Read On?

Best Backpacking Tent Overall – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2

Best One Person Backpacking Tent – Nemo Hornet 1P

Best Two Person Backpacking Tent – MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2

Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent – Zpacks Duplex 2 Person Tent

Best Budget Backpacking Tent – Big Agnes Flycreek UL2


Things to Consider When Choosing a Backpacking Tent

SIZE – Most tents exagerrate when it comes to sizing. In other words, if you see a “four person tent”, it will likely fit two or three people at most. There is no set scale in the industry so think of it this way; the capacity of a tent is often the number of sleeping bags you can fit side by side.

WEIGHT – Are you an ultralight backpacker? maybe a mountaineer? The weight of your pack matters and this obviously includes whatever tent you decide upon. However, ultralight comes at a premium in terms of price – so be warned.

DURABILITY – Unfortunately, choosing a lighweight tent is going to mean sacrificing the durability somwehat. For this reason, remember that backpacking tents are not designed for extreme environments.

WEATHER – Most backpacking tents are three season which should keep out the wind and rain. However, they are not suitable for heavy snow conditions or storm force winds high up in the Andes. In warm weather, you might want a tent with extra ventilation. However, if you need something to withstand the winter, you should be looking at a four season tent.

PRICE – The best backpacking tents are most often not the cheapest. However, if you plan to use this shelter more than once or on a long distance adventure, price should not dictate the quality of your new home.


Important Features of the Best Backpacking Tents

SETTING UP – Most backpacking tents are especially east to set up. At the same time, some brands use colour coding to make the set up process even more straight forward. Also, the larger the tent, the longer it usually takes to set up.

DOORS – Sharing a tent can be quite a challenge and this is certainly true if there is only one door. The best two person backpacking tents have at least two doors but this is also optional – so long as there is enough space inside.

VESTIBULES – As with the doors above, vestibules can play an important role for a backpacking tent. Afterall, this is your storage space and something to leave your backpack, shoes or maybe wet rain gear. Most tents will have a vestibule but choosing a backpacking tent without one is a risky decision.

DESIGN – Price is not always a good indicator as to the reliability of a tent but choosing the cheapest option available is likely to end badly. Afterall, if subjected to unexpected weather, price is a small sacrifice to pay for your safety.

SPACE – Interior space is hugely important on a long distance adventure. Of course, preference is different for every individual but as a rule, the more space in a tent, the more comfortable you are likely to feel.


THE BEST BACKPACKING TENTS FOR 2019

 

 

Big Agnes Tent in Ireland

Best Backpacking Tent Overall – Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

Trail Weight: 2lb 12oz

Dimensions (L x W x H): 88 x 52/42 x 40in

Size: 2 Person

Okay, this is my tent but please know that I was not paid for this review. I cannot tell you the number of times when other hikers have complimented my Copper Spur UL2. The shelter is extremely lightweight and spacious inside which are just two reasons why this is probably the best backpacking tent for 2019. Although the bright colors are not for everyone, they brighten up the mornings.

What I Really Like: Bright and cheerful colours. Spacious, light and packs down to a small size.

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Big Agnes Flycreek

Best Budget Backpacking Tent – Big Agnes Flycreek HV UL2

Trail Weight: 1lb 11oz

Dimensions (L x W x H): 86 x 38/28

Size: 1 Person

What I Really Like: The Flycreek is super cheap and packs down to such a small size.

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Nemo Hornet

Best One Person Backpacking Tent – Nemo Hornet 1P

Trail Weight: 1lb 11oz

Dimensions (L x W): 87 x 40/31

Size: 1 person

Large side door offers more vestibule space and easier access in and out of the tent

Extremely fast and easy setup, thanks to a single hubbed pole with ball-and-socket end tipsTriangulated guyouts increase interior spaceTrue tub floor construction reduces seam construction and seam tape, increasing the longevity of the tentState-of-the-art fabrics and premium hardware create an ultralight, yet highly livable backpacking tentDurable, advanced DAC Featherlite NFL aluminum poles weigh less than nearly any other poles on the market

What I Really Like: The Nemo Hornet 1P is slim and lightweight. However, the material is a slight upgrade from similar tents in the same category.

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MSR Hubba Tent

Best Two Person Backpacking Tent – MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

Trail Weight: 3lb 7oz

Dimensions: (Length x Width x Height): 84 x 50 x 39in

Size: 2 Person

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX has a slightly more durable physique next to many alternatives of the same weight. It also has two vestbules and two separate doors which make it an ideal tent for couples. When it comes to compact two person tents, there is often a shortage of room but the Hubba Hubba NX has a lot more height and room to manouver than most. Finally, this offering from MSR is also known to be watertight and reliable in heavy rain or wind.

What I Really Like: Lightweight tent with durable material. Compact and reliable in all sorts of weather.

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Backpacking tent for Microadventures

Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent – Z Packs Duplex 2 Person Tent

Trail Weight: 1lb 3oz

Dimensions: (Length x Width x Height): 100 x 45 x 48in

Size: 1 – 2 Person

Z-Packs was one of the most popular tents on the Pacific Crest Trail this year and with so little weight, it’s easy to understand why. However, this is not a freestanding tent which means you will need two trekking poles to set it up. I must also admit that this is quicker to pitch than my trusty Big Agnes and it features an extremely watertight design.

What I Really Like: Ultralight and extremely quick to set up.

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Have I missed anything? Do you know of any other top backpacking tents? Please let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Please note the trust my audience has for my advice is of utmost importance to me. Hence, I will only recommend equipment I love from brands that I trust. I was not paid to review these tents and I purchased my own tents. I am also without obligation to leave positive reviews for the product, I just know that these tents work really well for other outdoor adventurers and so they are likely to work for you too. This page contains affiliate links meaning I might receive a small amount from the supplier should you decide to purchase an item through one of my links. Thank you for supporting me.

The Ultimate Gear List for the Pacific Crest Trail

As you may know, I have just finished hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in America. It was a long and punishing trek with endless climbs but there were also endless lessons throughout. Although I had a reasonable idea in terms of the best gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail, there were many insights along the way which sometimes left me wanting alternative gear. In other words, I managed to choose some of the best equipment for my hike but there were also some regrets.

With this in mind, I wanted to give an outline of my gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail and some pointers for equipment that would have been a lot more beneficial during this long distance trek.

My Gear List for the Pacific Crest Trail

My Gear List for the Pacific Crest Trail

Instead of jumping right into the gear, I wanted to make a quick note about certain aspects which need to be considered when choosing the best gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail. If you have hiking experience, please feel free to skip down.

About the Layer System – The weather on the Pacific Crest Trail changes often. You need to be prepared for scorching heat and freezing temperatures too. While you might want to take a heavy waterproof jacket – the better option is to go light and layer up. In other words, take a lightweight waterproof jacket and layers for underneath which will allow you to regulate your temperature.

About Cotton – Avoid it like the plague. When the weather is hot, cotton is know to cause chaffing. Also, when the weather is wet, cotton is difficult to dry which can leave thruhikers at risk of hypothermia. Alternatively, pick a material that dries quick and keeps moisture from the skin such as merino wool, nylon or silk.

About Keeping Everything Dry – If you get into the tent at night with wet gear and rain is still coming down in the morning, resist the temptation to put on dry clothing. Make sure that either your backpack is waterproof or that you use a decent rain-cover and bin liners to keep everything dry inside your backpack.

Here is a quick look at my gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail:

My Big Five

Backpack | Osprey Exos 58
Tent | Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2
Sleeping Bag | North Face Blue Kazoo
Therma-Rest/Mattress | Z-Lite Sleeping Pad
Trekking Poles | Black Diamond Trekking Poles


My Clothing

Headwear | Columbia Baseball Cap and REI Sunhat
Sunglasses | Fake Ray Bans from Thailand
Jacket| Downjacket from Penney’s
Rain jacket | NorthFace Gortex Jacket
Shirt |Columbia Silver Ridge long sleeve shirt
Shorts | Vuori Trail Shorts
Thermal Leggings | Skins Leggings
Waterproof Trousers | Pac-in-a-sac
Gloves | Thinsulate Gloves
Shoes | Altra Lone Peak 4.0
Hiking Socks | Darn Tough Hiking Socks
Underwear | ExOfficio Boxer


My Smaller Stuff

Headlamp | Petzl Actik Core
Water Treatment | Sawyer Squeeze Mini
Water Bottle | Platypus & Smart water bottles
Camping Knife | Gerber Knife
Raincover | Osprey Pack Cover
Dry Bags | Sea to Summit (9L or 15L)


My Kitchen Gear

Utensil | Titanium Spork by Sea to Summit
Knife | Gerber knife
Food Bag | Sea to Summit waterproof bag
Storage | Ziploc Bags


Electronic Equipment

Phone | Samsung Galaxy Duo
Camera | Canon G7X
Media Storage | iPad Mini
Powerbank | Anker 20,000 AMP & Anker 10,000 AMP
Headphones | Generic headphones
Charger/converter/adapter | Generic Headphones
Cords | USB Phone Cable, iPad cable, camera charger


Miscellaneous

Passport
Travel Insurance
Emergency Foil Blanket
First Aid Kit
Credit/Debit Cards
Cash ($US)
Duct Tape
Toilet Paper
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Baby Wipes & Hand Sanitizer
Second Skin / Blister Cushions
Moleskin
Electrolyte Sachets
Titanium Spork by Sea to Summit
Ziploc Bags


More in-Depth View of my Gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail

The Backpack – Osprey Exos 58

Picture of an Osprey Exos 58

While I recommend that you jump over and pick one of these up, there are now many options for the best backpack for the Pacific Crest Trail. Make no mistake, putting the right backpack one your gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail is one of the most important gear decisions and the Osprey Exos 58 is a reliable choice.

Read my full Osprey Exos review here.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Osprey Exos 58


My Shelter – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2

Microadventure Tent

Needless to say, I came across so many tents on the trail. However, the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 never let me down and was far superior to most alternatives. I wrote a full review this week for the tent but in short, this is an incredible lightweight tent that should serve you well as part of your gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail.

Read my full Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 review

Microadventureworld Recommends – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2


Sleeping Bag – North Face Blue Kazoo

North Face Sleeping Bag

Initially, I wanted a Revelation Quilt as my sleeping bag for the Pacific Crest Trail but settled on the North Face Blue Kazoo. It is an excellent tent with a wonderful mummy hood that can wrap the entire way around your face. However, it was not ideal for freezing temperatures and I was required to wear every stitch of clothing on such nights. In hindsight, this was a great tent for winter camping but not for treks with significant elevation or freezing temps.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Revelation Quilt by Enlightened Equipment


Therma-rest Mattress – Z Iite Mattress

Ultralight Sleeping Mattress

Z-Lite is extremely lightweight and the way this mattress radiates heat back up toward the body is fantastic.  Also, I never understood why thruhikers put up with the frustrations that came with inflating/deflating their thermarests, I was just happy to have this simple piece of outdoor gear which performed equally as good.

Read my full review for the Z-Lite Themarest

Microadventureworld Recommends – Z-Lite Thermarest


Jacket – Downjacket from Penney’s

Derek Cullen

Okay, first off, I do not recommend this option on your gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail. However, I found it interesting that such a cheap jacket was able to provide so much warmth and reliability. That being said, I highly recommend that you consider one of the jackets below – each of which is a common downjacket for the PCT.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer


Raincoat – NorthFace Shell

Podcast on Soundcloud called Everything Micro

You obviously need a rain jacket on your gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail and this is certainly true for Washington at the very least. I used a NorthFace shell which worked pretty good but at the same time, your rain jacket stays in the backpack for the most part and this jacket is not the lightest.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Outdoor Research Helium II


Hiking Socks – Darn Tough Hiking Socks

At one time, I was using hiking socks of any kind. However, I went through so many useless pairs of socks on the trail and always came back to Darn Tough. They have an excellent exchange policy for PCT hikers too in which you take a photo of damaged socks and they send out a pair without any questions. Anyway, buy them and forget the alternatives.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Darn Tough Socks

 


Trail Hiking Shoes – Altra Lone Peak 4.0

I had a pair of Columbia Outdry prior to the Pacific Crest Trail and they served me well. However, thruhiking is another story and I found the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 to be an incredible companion on trail. Wide tops reduce the risk of blisters and they dry super quick. I will say that they tend to last 500 miles and no more but this still is pretty impressive.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Altra Lone Peak 4.0


Headlamp – Petzl Actik Core

Headlamp by PetzlWhen you finally purchase an excellent headlamp, you will know the difference they can make. Petzl Actik Core comes with a rechargeable battery which is priceless and an incredibly strong beam.

Read my full review of the Petzl Actik Core

Microadventureworld Recommends – Petzl Actik Core


Water Filtration – Sawyer Squeeze Mini

Small and easy to use, what is there not to like? I got giardia on the Pacific Crest Trail from not using a water filter and never had any issues when I used this filtration system. That being said, please do not buy the mini version – they take forever to filter.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Sawyer Squeeze (Regular Size)

 

 

Sea to Summit Spork

Incredibly useful and useful for every meal. It was also lightweight and was super easy to attach to my backpack. Thruhikers find this especially important as the long handle lets them dig deep into the bottom of their nutella and peanut butter.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Sea to Summit Spork


Anker Powerbank 20,000 AMPH

Tp Link PowerbankProbably the wisest decision of mine was to pick up a 20k powerbank which is enough to charge a smartphone up to five times. Naturally, this can also be used for any electronic equipment.

Microadventureworld Recommends – Anker Powerbank

 


Please know that this gear list for the Pacific Crest Trail is merely a guide and not gospel. You will find many products, brands, and outdoor gear which can serve the same purpose.

However, the outdoor gear above is equipment that I have come to appreciate the most and the next time I consider packing for a long distance trail, these items will most certainly be on there.

Is there any outdoor gear for the Pacific Crest Trail that you recommend? Anything missing from the list above? Please leave a comment below and let me know.


Disclosure: Please note the trust my audience has for my advice is of utmost importance to me. Hence, I will only recommend equipment I love from brands that I trust. I was not paid to review any of these products and I purchase this equipment myself. I am also without obligation to leave positive reviews for any product, I just know that this gear works for me and it is likely to work for you too. This page contains affiliate links meaning I might receive a small amount from the supplier should you decide to purchase an item through one of my links. Thank you for supporting me.

How to Deal with Wildfire on the Pacific Crest Trail

According to scientists, wildfires will be more common in the future. With this in mind, thruhikers should be educated on the basics of how to deal with wildfire on the Pacific Crest Trail.

When I was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year, we were extremely lucky with the absence and location of wildfires. Needless to say, these fires can result in fire closures and having to skip sections of trail. At the same time and most importantly, they are extremely dangerous and a real threat to the safety of thruhikers on the Pacific Crest Trail when they happen.

The Rise of Wildfires in the Pacific Crest Trail

PCT Fireman

As already mentioned, scientists are predicting that more than ten states will experience a 500 percent increase in wildlife. For the most part, this is due to environmental factors and wildfire is now set to become part of daily life in the western states.

Scott McClean has 18 years experience as a wildland firefighter and is now tasked with leading the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In recent comments, the Deputy Chief said that he was expecting more than 700 wildland fires in California next year and outlined the correct procedure for thruhikers who might be caught in a wildfire situation.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Before you hot the trail, you should be fully aware of the conditions that lie ahead. Scott McLean recommends that thruhikers check InciWeb which maps out wildfires across the United States. As you may know, the PCTA website is also a good source of information for fire closures on the Pacific Crest Trail.

At the same time, hikers should also have a reliable GPS system and maps to navigate alternate trails or even off-trail should the situation arise. Further, having a Garmin InReach or SPOT device is essential.

What to Do If You Encounter a Wildfire

Scott McLean advises that hikers should first establish the wind direction which should be visible based on the direction of the smoke:

Smoke Rising Upward – In an instance where smoke is rising straight up, this indicates that there is no wind which is a good sign as it reduces the ability of a wildfire to spread.

Smoke Scattered on the Horizon – If the smoke is moving in one direction on the horizon, this means that the fire will spread quickly. Also, this should tell you which direction the fire will move.

McClean also makes it clear that hikers should always move downhill. “Fires burn uphill. It’s preheating the vegetation in front of it, so your best bet is down low. Travel upwind and downhill on dirt roads or streambeds with little vegetation. Stay away from canyons and draws, which can work to amplify a fire. Keep your distance, and maneuver around the flames as fast as possible.”

If Caught in a Wildfire on the Pacific Crest Trail

Fire on the PCT

If you get caught in the midst of a wildfire on the Pacific Crest Trail, the safest place to be is within an area that has already burned. You can tell such areas as they are mostly black and although uncomfortably hot or dry, this is often the best place to wait until the fire has subsided or past.

You cannot outrun a fire and McLean advises that “waiting it out” is usually the best option. But what else should you do in a wildfire situation?

Lay down on your stomach with your feet pointed toward the fire. Dig a hole and stick your face in it to avoid breathing in smoke. If you have a handkerchief, put that over your face as well. Hunker down, and the fire might change directions. It also might burn around you. But stay there for a good amount of time so there is no chance of it coming back at you. If the fire passes around you, find a way out behind the path of the blaze, sticking to the black whenever possible. – Scott McLean

Hiking in Burn Areas and Charred Forests

Finally, you are likely to encounter burn areas on the Pacific Crest Trail. Watch out for fragile trees and certainly try not to camp beneath anything that looks unstable. If you can, try to exit these areas before camping and if raining, watch out for mudslides in the area.

As you can see, common sense is needed but thruhikers should also be familiar with the best course of action to take in a wildfire situation. Either way, you should always avoid taking risks and take responsibility for keeping up to date with the conditions ahead on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Hiking the PCT Campo to Lake Morena

Hiking the PCT Campo to Lake Morena is a challenging introduction to the trail. If this is your first time to take a thruhike, this is quite a sobering way to begin the trek. In other words, many hikers realize at this early stage that hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is a lot different to their initial expectations.

That being said, with the right attitude, this is a fantastic stretch. I really enjoyed this trek from Campo to Lake Morena on the PCT and look back on this day as one of my absolute favourites.

But what does this mean to you?

Well, it means that if you arrive to hike PCT Campo to Lake Morena with the right gear and attitude, you will do just fine.

In this post, I will relay some of my own experience as well as everything you need to know about hiking the PCT Campo to Lake Morena section:

Hiking the PCT Campo to Lake Morena

Campo to Lake Morena is precisely 18.6 miles. The Campo PCT trailhead is just one mile south of the town and the section ends at the Lake Morena Campground. Overall, the trail is considered moderately difficult but first timers, this can require a real effort to complete. Check out the post linked above for more information on Campo and the trailhead itself.

How Long Does it Take to Hike from Campo to Lake Morena?

Most hikers take one day to hike from Campo to Lake Morena. However, some hikers decide to split this day into two.

Where Can You Find Water Between Campo and Lake Morena?

Nowhere. In fact, too many hikers underestimate how much they will need and end up running out. Take everything you will need with you to the trailhead and carry as much as possible.

PCT Campo to Lake Morena

About Lake Morena Campground

Lake Morena Campground is well used to hikers and has enough space to cater for a very large crowd. Many hikers decide to skip over this campsite and continue further toward Mt Laguna but honestly, I recommend that you stay here overnight.

After all, just up the road you will find an excellent little cafe that serves really good fast food. There is also a small general store and the locals are super friendly around here.

As for the campsite itself, the showers and toilets are excellent while the grass is near perfect throughout.

Note: Lake Morena campground costs $5 per person.

Tip: Have some 25c coins for the shower and there is a small charging outlet on the hexagonal building next to the shower block.

My Own Experience Hiking the PCT Campo to Lake Morena

Although I had planned on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for almost two years, I had researched precisely zero in terms of logistics. That is to say, even when I set foot on the border of Mexico in California, I still had no idea where I would be sleeping that night. Why? I did not feel it necessary as long as I knew there was enough water in my backpack.

But I did not hike the PCT Campo to Lake Morena in just one day. Instead, I hiked just four miles on my first day and camped next to what looked like an abandoned railway. There was also a *shallow creek here so I refilled my seven litres of water and settled in for a quiet night. It was late in the afternoon so only one of two hikers passed at this time and none of them seemed interested in camping after just four miles!

Needless to say, that first day was extremely leisurely. However, there was a rather lengthy climb the next morning or at least that’s how it felt at the time.

*Do not rely on this creek.

Meeting Fellow Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail

PCT Hikers

My first encounter was with an elderly lady named Linda. She was travelling extremely slow and had little to say in our first meeting so I continued onward. I soon caught up with a Canadian, Lyle, who was sitting in the shade and when I stopped to enjoy a snack with him, Linda joined us for a chat. It was nice to meet fellow hikers on the PCT – I had concerns about there being too many people on the trail but ended up finding this a comfort rather than a hinderance of any kind.

Rattlesnakes on the PCT

I had also wondered if I would see any rattlesnakes on the PCT and in hindsight, this was quite a stupid question. After all, I saw four on only my second morning. Ironically, the first of these was immense and looked like an actual dinosaur as I approached. It was crossing the trail and as I moved closer to take a picture, the rattle sounded which was more than enough reason to stay back. Shortly after, I needed to jump over a rock next to a cliff side to avoid walking past quite an angry and smaller version but this was more than enough experience to know there are many rattlesnakes in the Mohave.

Water Between Campo and Lake Morena

Once again, I cannot highlight the importance of your water carry. I gave Lyle a little bit of my water on this day but overall, I was very shocked to find that so many hikers brought so little water. As a rule, I think hikers should carry at least 7 litres and drink as much as possible along the way. Further, you should expect a steep descent into Hauser Creek and a very long ascent back up the other side.

What would I advise? Don’t feel like you need to hike this in just one day. Many people laughed that I took two days to hike the PCT Campo to Lake Morena section. And most of these people ended up quitting their own hike for one reason or another.

You Can Watch a Video of my First Day Below:

My Big Three For Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018

As you may know, I will be using this Pacific Crest Trail Blog to document the upcoming trip and before it starts, I would like to let everyone know about the gear I will be using for this journey.

Believe it or not, while this trek will take more than four months to complete, the preparations can take a lot longer. In this sense, I have already spent many months researching the best ultralight outdoor gear for the trip. That being said, I have also spent just as much time researching the logistics of the hike which involves bear canisters, ice equipment, and the best electronic devices for outdoor adventures.

In terms of the cost, I figure the trip will cost approximately $12,000 after flights and insurance. However, one of the most notable costs for the Pacific Crest Trail packing list itself is what we know as “the Big Three”. In case you might be asking yourself, this refers to the tent, sleeping bag, and the backpack. Anyway, here are my big three for the PCT:

My Big Three for Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018

Backpack – Osprey Exos 58

Picture of an Osprey Exos 58My Osprey Exos 58 has featured on many Microadventures Ireland and I intend to take this on one last hike in Vietnam this week. Either way, this is an incredibly reliable and durable backpack which has endless features which make it suitable for multi-day hiking trips. Although I believe a new version is being released shortly, I am already satisfied with my choice of backpack for the PCT.

You can read my full Osprey Exos 58 Review Here

 



Tent – MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Tent for PCTAlthough I had initially planned on buying a Big Agnes Coppur Spur UL2, the Hubba Hubba NX has impressive reviews which suggest the material is more durable. I have not slept in one of these yet but either way, this is a huge upgrade from my Vango Banshee!

 

 

 


Sleeping Bag – North Face Blue Kazoo

North Face Sleeping Bag

I had wanted a Revelation Quilt for the PCT but decided on the North Face Blue Kazoo instead. I have used this in particular cold weather already and was incredibly surprised by how warm it was in this sleeping bag. On colder nights, I will wear thermal gear but overall, I think this will prove to be a wise investment for the PCT.

 


Have you any of the above outdoor gear? Please let me know in the comments!


Disclosure: Please note the trust my audience has for my advice is of utmost importance to me. Hence, I will only recommend equipment I love from brands that I trust. I was not paid to review the above items and I purchased my own equipment. I am also without obligation to leave positive reviews for these products, I just know that this equipment work really well for other outdoor adventurers and so they are likely to work for you too. This page contains affiliate links meaning I might receive a small amount from the supplier should you decide to purchase an item through one of my links. Thank you for supporting me.

What Was the Meaning of Frodo’s Trek in Lord of The Rings?

Did you know that Frodo hiked 2,172km on his journey to take the One Ring back to Mount Doom? That’s almost half the length of the Pacific Crest Trail in America and the equivalent of walking the entire length of Ireland three times over. 

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018

While there was no ring involved, hiking the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland is the longest distance (350km) I have attempted until now. At that time, the trek was intended as practice for hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but in truth, I also wanted to ascertain if thru-hiking (long distance hiking) was even something I found enjoyable.

And I knew this practice hike was necessary. You see, on my cycle across Africa, it took just a few hours to fully realize a distinction between drawing lines on a map and riding a loaded bicycle for twelve hours every day. In short, one of the above is either exciting or fun, while the other is often an encounter with pain, misery, and relentless questions.

Now, you might be asking yourself; with so much pain and misery involved, why even bother cycling this far? or why hike more than 4,000km on the Pacific Crest Trail?

Well, let me use Frodo to explain this one.

When Frodo Hiked 2,172km to Mount Doom

When Frodo and friends set out to take the One Ring back to Mount Doom, they embarked on an outdoor adventure of epic proportions. In fact, this long distance adventure involved camping and hiking through forests, mountains and beautiful landscapes with the occasional spot of bother in between.

As seen on this journey and other folklore or fairy tales, there are often theories regarding the greater purpose of these adventures. For example, when Dorothy left Kansas to seek out the Wizard of Oz, the ensuing story was an analogy of life and a representation of the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Cambell.

The Heros Journey and What it Means

In short, the Hero’s Journey is a famous claim that almost every myth or story is created in the same format. That is to say, each of these stories will begin in “the world of the mundane” and then finish with a triumphant return with many trials and tribulations in between.

Sounds simple, right? Kinda.

More specifically, the main characters in these stories are often bored or disillusioned with life even in spite of there being no pain or suffering. At this time, they receive a “call to adventure”, a moment in which someone or something introduces this character to a new world or a new way of life.

In the past, the character has often refused this calling for various reasons, mostly pertaining to various fearful questions.

How will I survive? What if it doesn’t work? What about the money?

However, sometimes or at some point, the character decides to cross this threshold and step into a world of uncertainty. From this moment onward, they undergo a series of trials and encounters with endless fears and temptations. At the same time, on this path, they will also find friends and possibly even a mentor who will help them on this journey.

In the end, the character has embarked on a fulfilling and meaningful adventure. Furthermore, they learn that the destination of their journey is actually the insightful knowledge that they gain from this new world and the understanding that they now have about their true potential.

And not just Dorthy but also Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Shrek, and Neo in the Matrix.

Anyway, the Hero’s Journey is also meant as an analogy in a sense that people can often feel bored with some aspect of their life. Maybe this relates to a particular career path or a college course, or possibly an unfulfilling relationship.

Either way, this theory illustrates how the meaning of these stories is often the same and relative to the world in which we live.

 

 Back to Frodo and the Meaning of his Adventure

If I take one more step, it will be the farthest away from home, that I will have ever been.” Sam, Lord of the Rings

With the above in mind, we can see the precise moment when Sam finally “departs” and crosses the threshold on his journey. We witness the realization of potential as the ring is cast, once and for all, into the fires of Mount Doom. And we see Frodo choosing how to spend the rest of his days when he sails across the high seas with Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins.

It would also seem that I am not the only one who often yearns for rhyme and reason on a journey. After all, Lord of the Rings fans and enthusiasts are always quick to obsess over the finer details of this cult movie. For example, one Reddit user calculated that Frodo traveled 2,172km for six months through the wilderness to reach Mount Doom.

Sure, that’s a lot of hiking and camping which was surely deserving of an epic finale. However, I think it wrong to suggest that every outdoor adventure requires a divine purpose. In fact, my own perspective of this movie is simply that the journey itself was beautiful and worthwhile – nothing more. Indeed, as pointed out by someone on Quora, while the ring is a corrupting object made by an evil immortal being, the metaphor is not really important in Lord of the Rings and the magic of this movie is the adventure itself.

At the end of the day – it was just another story, and you enjoyed it for what it was.

Isn’t that enough reason to embark on another?

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