My strumstick, with a homemade bag I made for it. I used a capo because this thing is really long and I can barely reach the upper notes. The instrument is basically a dulcimer. It has a diatonic fretboard, not chromatic like a guitar. That means Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do with none of the half tones in between. You tune it 1-5-1. It was my heaviest luxury item. Weighs about a pound. They make two versions that are much smaller. I wish I had the smallest one!
That's all my gear. Some of it is a little wierd but the PCT is more of a hiking experience than a camping experience. Some of my gear is not that light. I only care that my gear is light enough, not that it wins any ultralight contests.
I left Campo with 29lbs total, which included my food and 4 liters of water. That is the most weight I ever carried. I only used 2 liters of water to hike to Lake Morena, 19 miles away.
By keeping the weight reasonable, I could hike at a day hiking pace and I could hike many hours without tiring and go far. By going far each day, I didn't have to carry as much food or water. 20 miles or more between water sources was not a problem. It's just a day hike!
I hiked about 20 miles a day. I didn't keep accurate count, but I did hike about 200 miles in 10 and a half days. Some days were shorter than others. I generally hiked from 7AM to 5:30PM.
I usually carried 2 liters of water at a time. I would drink up at a water source and walk out with my meals soaking and enough water to get to the next source. I did not rely on water caches. The one day when a lady gave me water, I could have made it to the next source, but it was trail magic I didn't want to turn down. And it was cold!
It was a great trip. I was very relaxed, the weather was mostly very nice. I didn't care about miles even though I hiked quite far every day. I didn't need to keep great tabs on my location since I had already been here. I was not stressed about water. Gear failures didn't bother me too much. Everything was solvable. My morale was always high, except on my zero day in Julian. I kept out of towns as much as possible because you always feel stronger and happier out on the trail. I was alone more than I had expected or hoped but I did not feel lonely. I enjoyed the occasional text messaging session with the iphone and snapping a photo and emailing it instantly from the trail was pretty cool. Most of all I enjoyed the flowers and the peak physical experience, as you can see from the overall theme of these pictures.