I left out a few items from the Gear Review post that should be mentioned:
Raincoat: OR (Outdoor Research) Helium II
I didn’t have a particularly wet hike, partly because I didn’t make it to Washington, so I don’t have a lot of “hard rain all day” experience with this jacket, but it seems to work well enough. What I really like is how small it packs down (about the size of an orange) and how it weighs in at 6.4 ounces! Not much to carry, but does a really important job when you need it! This is a nice piece of gear that I’m still throwing in my bag, trail or town, if there is the slightest chance of rain or high wind. I mean, why not?
Knife: Leatherman Squirt Ps4
One-inch blade, scissors, screwdriver, mini/phillips screwdriver, cap lifter, file, tiny pliers, and 3 ounces. Very cool. I found a one-inch blade to be totally adequate for my trail needs, even cutting up my shoe. I mostly used the pliers to pull tent stakes out of the ground when my fingers were frozen. The scissors were nice for cutting bandages and moleskin and tape. This was the first piece of “PCT gear” I bought, so I’ve been carrying it for about 18 months and I love it. People before my hike asked me if I was going to carry a gun? Then they’d ask if I was going to carry a big knife? Which was my chance to pull out my little one-inch blade and show them. Honestly, that’s all you need. Leave the one-pound Bowie knife at home.
Groundsheet: That stuff they put on houses before they put the siding on
The stuff I used wasn’t Tyvek, but it was some kind of “house wrap”. Perfectly water-proof, extremely light weight, and easy to fold and manage. Love it! Never going back. I couldn’t seem to buy any around here, but I have a friend of a friend who works construction, and when he found out I only wanted a 6-foot by 8-foot piece, he just gave it to me. This is the way to go folks. And I’ll pass on the advice I got in Mt. Laguna: always put the same side down and always fold it up the same way. Apparently, over time the ground side can get abraded and start to pick up bits of grass and such.