List for Santa Cruz Mountain winter trip

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    Countryman _


    Here’s my initial gearlist for a trip in a few weeks. I’m preparing for some rain, possible warm hiking, and temps to the 20’s at night. Let me know what you think.

    *Edit: Dropped Bowl, Added Purell, TP, Repair Kit, Headnet


    Golite Dawn

    JackRBetter No-Sniveller

    Down Hood

    GG Nightlite Pad

    3 Mil Clear Tarp
    Support Line–35ft para cord

    Spectra 5 ft

    6 Coathanger U Stakes
    Groundcloth—3 Mil Plastic
    Rain Top

    Drop Stopper
    Rain Bottom—Drop Stopper
    Rain Pack

    Trash Bag Liner
    Warm Jacket—Probably a MEC Jacket
    Thermal Top—Fleece Jacket w/hood
    Thermal Btm—Fleece
    Extra Socks—I could use sock advice

    Liner Gloves

    Alcohol Can Stove
    Fuel Bottle—Plastic w/measurer

    1.5 aluminum Pot

    Aluminum Lid

    Foil/bubble Cozy
    Pot Handl

    Grabber Handle
    Wind Screen—Aluminum Flashing Screen

    Fast Food Spork

    Plastic w/cozy
    Hand Sanitizer-Purell
    Water Bottles-2 1-liter soda Bottles
    First Aid

    Small Kit
    Fire Starter–Sparklite, Matches

    Full-Size Cotton
    Map & Compass

    Water Purification–Polar Pure
    Emergency Tinder–Sparklite Tinder

    Tooth Kit

    Finger Brush and Powder
    Toilet paper—Small roll TP

    Small sew kit, duct tape

    Please post questions and advice.

    PS, Sorry I don’t have weights, I don’t have a scale atm.

    Eric Noble
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Include what you will be wearing so we can get the full skin-out view. What are your socks made of? What is the length of your trip? I am sure you know this but a scale will be very useful for you. What is your goal? Are you wanting the lightest possible gear? And is cost a factor? Are the Santa Cruz Mountains the ones in California, between San Fransisco and San Jose? Has the weather there been abnormally wet like in the North West? Sorry for all the questions and no advice. I am sure the advice will come :)

    Countryman _


    Yes, they are the mountains south of San Francisco by San Jose. It does rain quite a bit, not too windy though. Weekend length trip. I want a light pack, but I don’t have a ton of money to spend on gear. I will wear a tank top undershirt with a button-up polyester shirt over it, short sleeved. I will wear some sort of light shorts. I don’t have socks that I like yet, I will be wearing running shoes. I will also be wearing a wide brimmed hat for sun/rain. Thanks

    Eric Noble
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    I lived in Gilroy ( south of San Jose ) about 7 years ago when the effects of El Niño were particularly bad. Houses were sliding down the hills.

    I am personally very fond of wool, it is very adaptable and is quite odor resistant compared to other fabrics. I use the ultralight cycling socks from Smartwool. They weight 1.4 oz in size large. I take 2 pair. One to hike in, the other to sleep in. On longer trips I will alternate my socks every other night, washing the ones I hiked in. For sleeping in colder weather the Possum Down socks are sure tempting, though I haven’t used them. Smartwool also makes heavier socks that I wear in the winter here in Colorado. May I recomend a wool Zip-T instead of the tank top undershirt and polyester shirt? It might even save you from having to bring a Thermal top if your insulation is good enough. I am not familiar with the Mec jacket.

    It was many years ago but, I used a 3 mil clear plastic tarp on an 8 day trip in the Uintas in Utah. It worked, but condensation, noise, and privacy can be a problem.

    I noticed on your list a pot, cup and bowl. I use a 28 fluid oz titanium pot (3 oz) for all three if it is just me and I am cooking. If there are others I also bring an Orikaso bowl (1.1 oz) or just the Orikaso bowl if I am not cooking. The Orikaso bowl is amazing. Its a bowl, a cup, a plate, and you can lick it clean.

    Is your quilt the No Snivler? I just got 1 for Christmas and won one in a drawing (thanks Jack and Jack!) and can’t wait to try them. My No Snivler Long weights 22 oz. Let me know how yours works.

    It is not a must, but a bivy would be great under a tarp with a quilt. Some sort of soap or hand sanitizer is good, especially if you are cooking. I didn’t see toilette paper or wet wipes. I like to carry a backup Photon light.

    I have been lurking here for months. I hope you don’t mind my coming out, as it were, with your post.

    Scott Peterson


    Locale: Northern California

    The only thing I would add to the above, is using the smartwool mid-weight shirt and leggings instead of the fleece/other layers. These should offer much better thermalregulation to weight ratio and last for many years. The only hitch is that the pair could put you in the $150 range.

    Eric Noble
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    I just notice one more thing. I now use Aqua Mira for water treatment.

    Countryman _


    I really like all the merino going around, but it is still a little too expensive for me.

    Thanks a lot for the sock advice. Thin socks are better then thick ones I infer?

    Hand Sanitizer and Tp are a must.

    I do have the No-Sniveller, and I too recieved it for Christmas. I have used it in my backyard in the rain under a tarp. I was very comfortable in underwear on this 40 degree night. I also use it as a quilt on my bed; it’s great for that.

    Bivy sacks seem like a great option. I looked at the one from titanium goat. Any experiences with it, or comments on the double top version? With a bivy I could leave my groudsheet behind, and I would be a little warmer.

    What about those Thermolite bivys, or something similar?

    Ken Helwig
    BPL Member


    Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA

    Countryman where are you going hiking at? Big Basin, Castle Rock? Your gear looks good. Considering that weather is quite predictable in this mountain range (I’m a San Jose native) I don’t think weather will be a concern, just watch the weather report. I’d loose the bug net for the head, there are relatively no bugs during this time of the year. I would just carry one pair of socks to hike in, and one to sleep in. Other than that, looks good. Expect a trip report from this too!

    Ken Helwig
    BPL Member


    Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA

    oh and bivies, if you’re looking for a bivy without spending too much cash, either look at Equinox or Titanium Goat. Both are quite well built and in-expensive. Oh and Light!

    Countryman _


    I actually meant to remove the bug net on that last edit. I plan on going to big basin for a couple nights.

    Eric Noble
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    On the cost of wool. It does cost more up front. I have found that it lasts longer and is more functional than other choices which makes it worth it for me. I wear Smartwool socks and Ibex wool briefs every day, and have done so for more than a year now, and they are still going strong. Did I say I was fond of wool :)

    I like the thin socks because they are easier to clean and dry, and of course they weigh less. You have to balance that with keeping your feet warm. When I ski, I wear Smartwool ski socks that are a little thicker and go up to my knees. For three season use the wool cycling socks are best for me. Thin also works for me because I don’t need the padding that thicker socks provide. This may be a personal thing.

    My experience with bivys is limited. I have an Equinox bivy (6.5 oz) that I use in a tent or hammock mainly to keep my pad under me, and the drafts out. I have not used one with a tarp. When I mentioned it in my post above it was based on all I have read in these forums. Also based on reading and not experience, I will say that with the Thermolite, condensation might be a problem. Hopefully someone with more experience will post on this.

    Eric Noble
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Like Ken, I look forward to hearing how it goes.

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