May 25, 2010 at 11:44 pm #1259461
Eric SmithBPL Member
I've been kind've casually backpacking (1-2 nights mostly) for about 8 months now, and with the Sierras thawing out I'm getting set to go more serious. To kick it off, I'll be heading up Whitney in June. Just want to get some feedback and/or derision on my gear list. So here we go, vaguely classified by uses:
Osprey Exos 50 pack
Capilene 1 t-shirt
Basic hiking pants
Lowa Renegade boots
WM Apache 15 deg bag
Big Agnes Dual core (also NeoAir for warmer trips)
Nunatak down parka + pants (for sleeping + mornings)
Capilene III baselayer
MontBell UL pillow
First Aid kit
Personal Locator Beacon
Spare Lithium Batteries
Waterproof matches, lighter, tinder
Mini-maglite (backup light, doubles as hammer and a few other things)
Mammut Lucido headlamp
Plate + mirror compass
Ice Axe (as necessary)
Kahtoola Microspikes (as necessary)
2 spare pairs hiking socks
3 cotton bandanas
4 spare AA and AAA batteries
Various water bottles + 3L hydration bladder
(I carry only ready-to-eat food)
Thanks in advance!May 26, 2010 at 12:11 am #1613934
drowning in spamMember
I think you're going overboard on the clothing, although I can understand the down top and bottoms if you want to spend time hanging out in camp after the sun sets. Still though, dump the base layer. You shouldn't need it under the down clothing or while hiking.
Dump the maglight. The days are long, so even if you lose or break the headlamp, you aren't missing much.
How long is your trip that you need so many spare batteries?
Get rid of the headband and use a bandana as a headband, or just string it thru a loop in your shoulder strap as use it to wipe away sweat.
Unless you're already accustomed to using that pillow, you can get rid of it and use a stuff sack full of clothes as your pillow.
I think it'll be way too windy for a poncho.
What do you mean "ready-to-eat" food? There's usually so much water in the Sierras that hydrated food is just unnecessary weight on your back. Prepare (hydrate) your food near water and you never have to carry that bit of water. I only say this because I met a hiker this year that carried canned food because he thought he'd have to carry the water to hydrate his food anyway, so he figured he might as well carry food that was already hydrated and ready to eat.
Portable Aqua and a Steripen? I say suck it up and use the chemicals for your trip and leave the Steripen at home. I think you're carrying way more water capacity than you'll need too. You could probably get away with 2 liters if you hydrate heavily at water sources….this is from a person that drinks 5+ liters a day.
I would add an odor proof bag to your list. You have a bear canister, but why even give those park bears a reason to visit your area?May 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm #1614562
"WM Apache 15 deg bag & Nunatak down parka + pants (for sleeping + mornings"
That combo Seems really hot for sleeping. For camp, just the jacket will do. No need for the down pants.
Once you go into mid July through August, the down jacket won't be necessary either. I'd keep the baselayers if you are going out for longer then an overnighter as I have seen cold bad weather even in July on rare occasions in the Sierra. And in June, as I start hiking at dawn, it was nice to wear for the first hour when things are still cold. It's what I get for camping at 10k+ ft most nights.
As someone who only carries a 5oz sleeping pad, your pad choices seem like a lead weight to me. But its your body, carry what you know from experience that you need. A down jacket and some spare clothes in a stuff sack makes for a very soft pillow. You may not need the pillow when you are carrying the down jacket as you won't be sleeping with it on considering how warm your sleeping bag is.
PLB isn't really needed if you are hiking the popular trails as there will be plenty of other hikers. Space bag won't be needed with your 15Fdeg sleeping bag. 3 Bandanas seems like alot. 1 or 2 should be plenty and thats using one as a headband.
Dump the mag-lite. For a flashlight backup, consider some of those tiny 0.2oz Photon keychain lights. I used one around camp for a week on the JMT when I lost my primary light in a deep fast moving creek (forgot to zip my hipbelt pocket where I had it and bent over to fill my water bottle).
Microspikes aren't usually necessary in late spring in the Sierra. If you time your approach on the high passes so you aren't doing them early morning, the snow will be very soft.
Spare batteries are only necessary if you are going to be out for awhile. I prefer to buy things so they all use the same size battery so you don't need to carry as many spares.
You won't ever need more then 3L of water. 1L or 2L is often enough depending on where you are and the time of the year. I normally carry a 1.5 to 2L bladder with a 1L bottle, but I don't always fill it completely up.May 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm #1614569
Eric SmithBPL Member
I appreciate your comments. Regarding the clothing/sleeping bag, that loadout is kind of a worst-case scenario; for warmer trips I'll bring my Highlite (35 deg), which in combination with the Nunataks is probably good for 25. I really like the warmth of the Nunataks for getting up and breaking camp in the morning, though, so on most trips they'll stay. I'll probably chuck the baselayer when I have them, though. As for water capacity, you're probably right, depending on the trip I likely won't carry everything. The problem with the pad and pillow is that I'm a habitual side sleeper, which makes the inflatable pad and good pillow mandatory for decent sleep. And lastly I guess I will dump the maglite in favor of something lighter.
Thanks again for your thoughts!
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