Sep 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm #1263172
Will be doing a Solo trek on JMT…want to cut down weight, but also need to pack 2lb bear cannister. However, I realize from Muir Ranch to Whitney is ten days I need to pack food. My base is 13 lbs..can someone suggest some changes?
My list is as follows:
Western Moun UL bag 1 lb 10 oz
Neo Air 14 oz
Big Agnes UL 2lbs. 10 oz. plus ground cloth 12 oz = 3 lb 6 oz
Arc Teryx Altra 75 5 lb 1 oz
Bear Vault 2 lbs
TOTAL: 207 or approx. 13 lbsSep 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm #1644631
Are you planning on spending money to change this list?
How much? You can't get lighter without replacing these.
You could cut your pad weight in half by buying a short Ridgerest, even more with a GG NightLight torso length. That's relatively cheap weight savings.
Your pack is a beast. You can fit a bearvault in a Granite Gear Virga, Vapor trail, Golite Jam, etc. and save 3 or more pounds for ~$150.
Your tent could be replaced with a million options…
An MLD Duomid would save you 2lbs for ~$200 and still feel like a tent. Ditch the footprint and carry a plastic sheet for a few dollars and another 10oz. of savings.
A lighter bag will cost big bucks and only get you a ~6 ounces savings.
Seems to me you could cut your base by ~6 pounds for about $350.Sep 10, 2010 at 4:39 pm #1644635
1. Western Moun UL bag 1 lb 10 oz
2. Neo Air 14 oz
3. Big Agnes UL 2lbs. 10 oz. plus ground cloth 12 oz = 3 lb 6oz
4. Arc Teryx Altra 75 5 lb 1 oz
5. Bear Vault 2 lbs
TOTAL: 207 or approx. 13 lbs
1. Bag – OK.
2. Pad – OK
3. Shelter – kind of OK — but as above, ditch the footprint and replace with polycyro sheeting and save 9-10 oz.
4. Pack — why such heavy pack for relatively light load? I find Zpacks comfy for total weight in the low 20's. If you want more support, consider packs in the 2lbs. range to carry up to 25-30 lbs. Gossamer Gear, Six Moon Designs and ULA are well worth looking into. Savings – up to 3lbs.
5. Bear vault — double check on this one — if your route does not mandate specific models like bear vault or Garcia — consider the much lighter Ursack (w/o the aluminum liner) and save 1 lb.
Total potential savings – 4 – 5 lbs.Sep 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm #1644641
for my shorter excursions, and love it to death!! But, realize I need to get lighter…so, I posted what I have now.
Really appreciate the options provided…I'll look into everyone of them!!Sep 10, 2010 at 5:05 pm #1644642
ten days of food plus supplies? I was thinking I need at least 4500 ci of capacity..Sep 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm #1644644
" I was thinking I need at least 4500 ci of capacity.
Maybe, maybe not…
Much depends on what you've got and how you pack. For example, I always attach my tent to the outside of the pack — makes it a lot easier to access and pack — and also saves a ton of precious pack space.
I pack a week's worth of food and gear into my 2,800 c.i. pack w/o any problems — and I am pretty confident I can cram in another 3 days' worth. YMMV, of course.
I highly recommend that you sort out all your gear and food — then shop REI on a slow weekday — and do a costume rehearsal. Or maybe buy yourself a ULA Catalyst and try it out (they have good return policy as long as the pack remains in new condition).Sep 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm #1644649
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
You do need a bear canister for that last leg of the JMT. It's mandatory in the Whitney zone and down the back of the Rae Lakes loop, and you will meet a wilderness ranger several times along the way to make sure you have it – they are stationed at regular intervals at backcountry ranger stations and hike the trails checking things out. The Bearikade Weekender, which is lighter than the big BearVault, can be rented by mail and a skilled bear can packer with some repackaged meals can make 10 days fit in okay. I've gotten 5-6 days of food in a BearVault Solo.
I have a 40L pack that a Weekender fits in, along with my tarp, quilt, groundsheet, and the rest of my gear.
You don't say when you are going, but you will want to add a foam pad if you are going now. Regular low pressure troughs have been sending the night temps at elevation into the teens and the NeoAir isn't up to it all by itself. I've been comfy down into the 20s with mine, but it's just not made for low temps. The bag may or may not be adequate, depends on how many layers you have to supplement it.Sep 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm #1644658
the volume. I am thinking of going with a Ridgerest mat. Hopefully, that will work.
What pack do you have? I am really looking for suggestions on a pack that will be durable, light, and hold the capacity I need. I worry that with an UL pack, a heavier load (35-40 lbs) may not carry well, or at least I've read several complaints in that regard.Sep 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm #1644660
@sschloss1Locale: New England
Lori, I think you have your canisters mixed up. I don't think anyone could fit 10 days of food in a Bearikade Weekender. I could barely get 7 days of food in an Expedition (that's the larger model). Anyway, the weight savings for the Bearikade vs. the Bearvault is only a few ounces, but the price difference is a lot, so I'd suggest the OP just go with the BV and spend his money to save more weight on the other items suggested above.Sep 10, 2010 at 6:49 pm #1644667
it appears lighter and with more capacity than the BV500…700 vs 900 CI. Also, about 4 oz lighter..
Maybe I'm reading the specs wrong. Also, looks to be only 1.5 inchers shorter.
I guess the question is how well it rides in the pack..which gets me back to my first priority, that lightweight, comfortable pack with the capcity I need.Sep 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm #1644668
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
No, I chose the right one – but people all pack canisters differently. I packed 7 days in the Weekender with room for a bottle of wine (in a platy) and some fishing tackle. Not everyone packs like I do, tho. YMMV. Depends on the food you are willing to tolerate.
The Weekender should fit in a ULA Catalyst easily, even the Ohm. The Expedition will probably fit in them too.Sep 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm #1644673
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Bag is fine.
Neo Air is fine. You can save a few ounces, but will you be comfortable?
Tent is a little heavy, but to save a lot weight here, you will need to move to something that requires additional skills/experience (I am thinking tarp). A Contrail or Moment will probably weigh close to 2 lbs with stakes and dedicated tent poles.
Pack… I am going to disagree with everyone. William said he will be carrying 35-40 lbs. My experience with UL packs that "state" you can carry over 30lbs has not been good. With that much weight, I would want something truly comfortable carrying the weight. Perhaps if William could post his entire gear list, then we could be more helpful. But if his pack weight is going to be 35-40 lbs, he might as well stick with his Altra 75.Sep 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm #1644676
I agree — for 40 lbs loads, get a pack with commensurate frame and padding (there are good ones that weigh in the 3-pound range)..
But relating to the JMT specifically, OP stated a 13lbs base weight. How much consumables does he intend to carry?Sep 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm #1644677
lighten the load, but also realize the ten day span without resupply means at least 20 lbs of food. Base weight, plus food, my required bottle of spirits(won't compromise here), and voila….at least 35 lbs!!Sep 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm #1644694
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Sell the tent, get a tarp. (Sil, 8 by 10 or so.)
Sell the neoair, get a ridgerest.
Sell the Arcteryx, get a ULA or Osprey.
I bet you can come close to breaking even if your existing gear is in good shape.Sep 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm #1644697
At least 20lbs. of food for 10 days? That's on the high side — YMMV, of course, but well worth looking into IMO.
Bottle of spirits? Not literally a glass bottle, I hope. Use a bladder instead.Sep 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm #1644701
@amrowincLocale: Southern California
I have to agree that your food weight may be on the high side. With every long range hike I've done my food weight has decreased. I just did a JMT section hike from Red's to Le Conte canyon exiting over Bishop Pass and found I still carry too much snack food (nuts and candy bars). I now plan about 1.5lbs per day. This doesn't mean I consume less calories. I just pack food that is denser in calories. Also I pack so that the weight is in the food and not consumed with the packaging. If you've ever seen the hiker barrels at MTR and VVR you'll realize many people pack too much food as well as inappropriate food.
I would consider adding a resupply between MTR and Whitney. You can arrange for a resupply to be waiting in Onion Valley at the pack station or leave a resupply in the parking lot bear boxes there (just make sure you label your package with the date you'll pick it up). If you have lots of bucks you can arrange for resupply via a packer at the Charlotte Lake pack station.
That is one huge and weighty pack but if you're carrying that much weight you may need it. I used a Mariposa plus last year with a BV500. This year for the section I did I used a GoLite Jam2 with a BV450. I was carrying 6 days of food from MTR. I had to hang food (allowed down to Pinchot Pass) one night. Good luck.Sep 11, 2010 at 8:35 am #1644751
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
You should post an ENTIRE gear list, rather than just the big 4.
– Aren't there lighter bear canisters than 2 pounds?
– You should be able to have an ENTIRE pack weight BELOW 30 pounds on day-1 as you start your trip.
– Why a tent? Exchange that for a tarp (SIMPLE). THe Sierras have notoriously calm weather.
– 2 POUNDS OF FOOD per day is WAY too much. Really – Himalayan climbers in winter take that, and still end up with leftovers.
MATH FOR UNDER 30 POUNDS
10 pound BASE weight (without bear canister)
2 pound BEAR CANISTER
14 pounds FOOD = 1.4 pounds of food per day
1 pound FUEL
2 pounds full liter of water
29 pound PACK-WEIGHT
ALOS – – You didn't post any weights on your list, making it pretty hard to offer any insights.
I started a thread titled:
Suggested GEAR LIST ETIQUETTE
– LINK –
I started this thread because there are some key points that really help when you post a gear list.Sep 11, 2010 at 8:37 am #1644752
the way and that my consumable weight will be cut in half by 5 days in. I gave the 2lbs/day as worst case, and I do believe with more caloric dense foods this will be reduced.
I did 8 days out in July in the Sierras, and really struggled with the weight..yes, took too much food and the Big 4 above. So, I am determined to look at each item.
Again, I want to start with the pack, and one that can hold what I need and be comfortable.
So, any further comments you have will be well received.Sep 11, 2010 at 8:40 am #1644753
and hope for a "virtual shakedown"..
THANKSSep 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm #1644795
@jeff-kLocale: New York
When are you going to be on the JMT?
I did it this year starting on August 21.
I had a
Gossamer Gear Gorilla
Neoair Short + GG Nightlight Torso (sitpad, under feet, etc)
SMD Gatewood Cape for shelter and rain gear
Go Lite Ultra 20 or WM UltraLite 20 Degrees Bag
I was very happy with my gear. The Gorilla seemed massive. It easily held my quilt, down jacket, wool tights and hoody, wool gloves, wool buff in a pack liner at the bottom of my pack and then the bear can went on top. The poncho and stakes were in the outside pocket with my wind jacket. My wind pants and ditty bag went on the top of the bear can.
It got into the teens one night with just the GoLite Ultra quilt and I was cold. At a resupply when a friend met me, I swapped out for my WM UltraLite and slept better. The SMD Gatewood cape worked great and I used a MLD SuperLite bivy under it to block a little wind and dust. It wasn't necessary, but I liked it and it helped with mosquito a couple nights.
My base weight with my bear can was right at 12-13 pounds. I recommend the GG Gorilla as well as the SMD cape. They both seem perfect for the sierras.
Send me a PM if you have any questions about what else I brought.Sep 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm #1644806
"Again, I want to start with the pack, and one that can hold what I need and be comfortable."
It's exciting and maybe even sexy to shop for a new pack — but I highly, highly recommend that you wait on that.
Examine all your gear pieces first — finalize on your Big 4 or 5, clothing, and food type/quantity, etc. — then shop for a pack with the right fit and volume.
Shopping for the pack first, you will have to "make estimates" — like your food "worst case scenario" — and may well end up with a pack that's bigger, beefier and also way heavier than what you really need… kind of back to your 5 lbs. Arcteryx.
I mentioned "end with the pack" — actually, I think the order is: gear pieces, then pack, and finally shoes. Once you've gotten your total pack weight down, then maybe it's a good time to evaluate whether you can safely and comfortably switch to lighter weight boots or perhaps even trail runners. If so, then your feet will thank you.Sep 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm #1644809
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
William, I think you may want to reorganize your thinking a bit. For example, you stated that your five big items add up to 13 pounds. Others have already commented that it seems a bit high and they have made suggestions. As a general rule, UL backpackers have a handle on their total base weight. That would be the five biggies, plus cook gear, warm clothing, etc. I have a feeling that your total base weight is going to be more like 15-18 pounds unless you can shave down the five biggies (which, I have a feeling, you must do).
You stated that you need ten days to go from MTR to Whitney. OK. Actually, you need to go out to Whitney Portal, and that might be one day beyond the summit of Whitney. On the other hand, I suspect that you ought to be able to go a lot faster than ten days for that part. Maybe you don't want to, and I can understand that. However, by lightening up your total load significantly, you can cut that down to eight days without killing yourself. It's something to think about. Eight days at 1.5 pounds of food per day is only 12 pounds, and if you had that 12 on top of 18 pounds of base, then that is 30 pounds of total.
If I had 30 pounds of total, then I would use a pack no larger than 3000 cubic inches. Conceivably, that is a much smaller and lighter pack then your original plan. My own 3000 cubic inch pack weighs much less than a pound.
You see, if you start off with these big and heavy lumps, you end up with logistical problems toward the end. If you start off paring down each item, practice a bit, and then pare them down some more, then soon you arrive at a point where it fits and works, but you are not stretched excessively.
I met a guy on the Whitney summit one year, and he followed me down to Whitney Portal that day so that he could hitch a ride home with me. That was his tenth day out of Yosemite Valley, and when he was on the summit, he ate his very last Powerbar, which was the end of his food. He had started with a total load of 38 pounds, and he went straight through without resupply. Now, I am not saying that it is for everybody, and I'll bet this guy had practiced his technique a bit, and still he suspected that he had lost ten pounds of body weight. However, where there is a will, there is a way.
–B.G.–Sep 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm #1644812
@jeff-kLocale: New York
In addition to what the others have added, I agree you don't need ten days to get from MTR to Whitney. However, if you want to consider resupplying along the way. Lets assume 2 pounds per day of food and you are looking at 20 pounds of food for 10 days. If you resupply at a half way point you will be carrying 10 pounds less of food from MTR to the resupply point. That is a lot of weight and is often the cheapest way to shave some weight. Consider hiking over Kearsarge Pass. It is a really pretty pass and only 7.5 miles from the JMT to trail head. You can also have a packer or meet you for a resupply. I was lucky enough to have a friend bring me food there.Sep 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm #1644813
I agree w/ several who have said
sleeping bag OK
sleeping pad OK
tent OK- ditch ground cloth- save 12 oz
pack- change- a Osprey Exos 46 will readily handle 30-ish lbs (and the bearicade) and shave almost 2 lbs
clearly the weights on all could be lowered if needed, but I think save the ground cloth and pack- the current weights aren't too bad
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