[pct-l] Zpacks

CHUCK CHELIN steeleye at wildblue.net
Tue Nov 23 07:48:47 CST 2010

Good morning, Austin,

For a 50.5 mile-per-day, 9-day hiking event, with perhaps a sub-five pound
base weight, a Z-Pack may be excellent depending upon how it feels to the
individual hiker.  I have a spin-cloth Z-Pack but it’s not the lightest;
it’s off-the-scale heavy at 3.4 ounces.  I would not hesitate to use it on a
substantial section-hike.  If the speed attempt were serious, gear becomes
expendable:  Who cares if a 3-ounce pack is replaced at every resupply

What can be the problem:  After all, “everyone knows” Oregon is flat, right?
The same people who believe that also believe the “Columbia Gorge” is an
all-you-can-eat buffet in Cascade Locks.

The greatest problem will probably be conditioning:  Many thru-hikers book
some 40-mile days, and we occasionally hear of 50s, but that’s usually after
becoming trail-hardened for several months.  How does a walk-on section
hiker train?  The problem is the time-consuming nature of substantial
training prior to the attempt.  Some experienced hikers or ultra-marathoners
can gut-out a 50-mile day but to do nine in a row will be daunting.

Regardless, if the situation seems right – go for it.


Hiking the Pct since before it was the PCT – 1965



On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM, Austin Williams <
austinwilliams123 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Anyone have any experience with ZPacks?  I'm seriously considering buying
> one.  I currently use a Ray-Way (a DIY version of the GoLite Breeze).
> For my uses, the Ray-Way is tad-bit too heavy (at 9 oz) and has a little
> more capacity than I use (I think it has 3,700 cui).  I don't think I'll
> need more than about 2,600 cui.
> I'm eyeballing the ZPack "Zero" (Large cuben fiber version) with a center
> pocket (total weight  3.05 ounces).
> I'm a little worried about durability as I've never used cuben fiber
> before.  Any opinions?
> I'm (*very* *very* noncommittally) considering a speed record attempt on
> the
> Oregon section of the PCT next summer with a buddy of mine (please don't
> hold us to it, we're just considering it).  I'm looking at
> extremely-ultralight gear options to facilitate 18 hours of hiking per day
> for 9 days.  Obviously cuben fiber has come to mind.
> --
> Austin Williams
> www.PlanYourHike.com
> Info on PCT gear, resupply points, maps, movies, etc.
> "Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway."
> -John Wayne
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