Jun 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm #1259955
Here is my gear list for the JMT, which I'm hiking solo in the second half of July. I'm expecting my longest time without resupply to be about a week. Total pack weight (excluding food and water) is 10.6 lb based on this list. Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks!
DEET 2 oz
sunscreen 3 oz
camp suds 1 oz
toilet paper 9 oz
baking soda 0.16 oz
1/2-liter water bottles 1 oz
Gossamer Gear pack 16.5 oz
moleskin 1.8 oz
ursack 8 oz
ursack's aluminum liner 11 oz
15-deg. down bag 32 oz
oware tarp 14.4 oz
6 titanium stakes 2 oz
ground sheet 3.4 oz
GG nightlight sleeping pad 3.7 oz
GPS w/o batteries 3.6 oz
AA batteries 2 oz
compass 1.6 oz
altimeter 3.4 oz
fire jar 1.8 oz
maps 6 oz
Colibri lighter 3.1 oz
matches in waterproof jar 0.8 oz
wool sweater 13.3 oz
wind-shell 4 oz
socks not worn 4 oz
long underwear bottoms 5.6 oz
underwear not worn 1.8 oz
wool hat 3.3 oz
toothbrush 0.4 oz
Band-aids, q-tips 0.5 oz
Water-treatment tabs 1 oz
mosquito headnet 0.3 oz
dropper bottles 0.2 oz
pen 0.2 oz
flashlight (photon freedom) 0.2 oz
aspirin and ibuprofen 0.5 oz
chapstick 0.3 oz
disinfectant wipes 0.2 oz
set of plastic knife, fork, spoon 0.5 oz
swiss army knife 0.7 ozJun 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm #1618344
@chrisfolLocale: Denver, Coloado
-2oz of DEET, 3oz of sunscreen and 9oz of TP is nearly a pound of stuff.
-1oz of Campsuds? I don't see any cooking equipment listed.
-Do you need the Aluminium liner for the ursak?
-Just use a map and compass and nix the GPS+batteries.
– A 3.1oz ligher is heavier. How about a mini bic or two for 0.4oz each?
-How about WP matches and nix the jar?
-Why an altimeter? Seems overkill with map, compass and GPS.
-Heavy spare socks. Have you thought about ankle or dress socks?
-What is in the dropper bottles?
-Nix the scissor– you have a swiss army knife.
-How about just the plastic fork or spoon?
-I don't see any cooking gear (stove, pot etc).
-No water storage?Jun 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm #1618355
Thanks for the comments!
The campsuds are what I use for hand washing. Dropper bottles are for DEET and soap.
I don't find I really need gloves or rain gear in the Sierra in summer. I don't mind hiking through an afternoon drizzle, as long as I can sleep dry under the tarp.
Yeah, you're right, the TP is kind of crazy. Thing is, I go through a lot of the stuff because my nose runs a lot when I hike. Maybe I should just take a hanky and wash it in streams? I may not bring the sunscreen. I'm getting a pretty good arm tan by doing day hikes right now. Maybe I could bring a bandanna to cover my bald spot, plus one to use as a hanky.
Actually my main worry about the ursack is getting hassled by rangers for using it instead of a hard-sided canister :-) Yeah, I've thought about not using the liner, but then it seems like I have to choose between putting the ursack high in the pack (not optimum for center of gravity) or getting a lot of my food crushed.
Nope, no stove or camera.
Yeah, it's admittedly overkill in the navigation department, but I do like to have multiple tools. Is it possible to get significantly lighter with an altimeter? The thing I like about mine is that it's purely non-electronic; I don't like depending on too many battery-operated gadgets.
-BenJun 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm #1618364
"Yeah, you're right, the TP is kind of crazy. Thing is, I go through a lot of the stuff because my nose runs a lot when I hike"
You're out in the wild. Just give a one nostril boost. No TP needed.
Ursack: I would not use an Ursack without liner if that was my only bear canister. It will be hard enough to talk a Ranger into the Ursack WITH a liner. Probably, impossible without.
Altimiters, GPS, etc. for me are overkill. Your maps can tell you exactly what elevation you are at any time of the day. Nix those two for some good savings.
What kind of non-cook food are you taking.
Hey, 10.6 lbs. baseweight is just fine to start out on the JMT.Jun 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm #1618370
Scott wrote: "What kind of non-cook food are you taking."
I usually take crackers, cookies, pesto, olive oil, hard salami, hard cheese, a bunch of different kinds of nuts and dried fruit. This time I'm going to try bringing an Indian dessert called gol popdi, which is made from ghee, brown sugar, flour, and cardamom. For luxury eating, if I have space, I like to bring foil packets of seafood, sometimes a little can of liver paste or maybe some fresh fruit or bread. Lemonade packets, just for the flavor. If there's miner's lettuce, I love to eat that, either as trail nibbles or as a meal-time salad.
"Your maps can tell you exactly what elevation you are at any time of the day."
I like the altimeter as a way of verifying where I think I am on the map.Jun 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm #1618395
@rglessLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Take a sun hat and at least some sunscreen. The high altitude sun will fry you. A hanky you can wash out is a good idea.
Have a good trip!Jun 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm #1618399
"Take a sun hat and at least some sunscreen. The high altitude sun will fry you. A hanky you can wash out is a good idea.
Have a good trip!"
+1. Skin cancer is no bueno.Jun 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm #1618697
Loose the DEET. I've done a ton of trips in the Sierra and I never used it. I would have went insane without a headnet though. People think I'm crazy for not using DEET, but I always hear people complaining about bugs when they do use it. I never have problems with a headnet.
Not sure what the camp suds are needed for. Same with the baking soda.
I'd ditch the ursack for a bearcan, but maybe the regulations have changed?
A GPS isn't needed. The trail is super obvious and the Tom Harrison maps are fantastic. They altimeter will be invaluable for determining your position.
I'd consider a light bivy. Wind and mosquitos will be your enemy in the evening. You'll rarely need the tarp, but you are wise for bringing it.
That's a killer lighter. Get a mini bic or two.
I'd bring a light rain jacket, but that is just me.
I wore sun gloves, but I am pasty white and I hate sunscreen on my hands. If you are tan, you might be okay.
A sunhat (like in your avatar) will keep you cooler. Just a thought.
No stove is pretty bold, but I've thought about it. If you can get variety in no cook foods, go for it!
For the love of all that is holy, bring a camera, a large memory card, and an extra battery!Jun 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm #1618699
@tenderpawLocale: Lake Tahoe
So I have talked with rangers from Inyo and for about a hour or so she and her superiors tried to convince me to bring a bear can. Key word for me was recomended and not requierded. Are you planing on camping where you can find food lockers? Maybe stealth camp and hope? I'm planing on taking my Ursack with out the liner, and I'm also concerned about the "talk". If your not planing on camping where you can find a locker on some of the long streches, where will you rest your head?
I seem to waiver from day to day about bringing a can…. I can just put my food on the ground and forget about it.. no akward talk's with the man…. save the weight and hang my food like Ive done for years in the Sierra's….
back and forthJun 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm #1618728
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I own both an Ursack (TKO green) and a Bare Boxer. I will use the latter ONLY in places that require qualified bear canisters. All the other times where bears might be a factor, I will always use my Ursack — without the aluminum liner.Jun 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm #1618747
"So I have talked with rangers from Inyo and for about a hour or so she and her superiors tried to convince me to bring a bear can."
Inyo owns part of the trail. Now have that same talk with the National Park Service people at SEKI and YOS and see what happens.
–B.G.–Jun 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm #1618752
My experience picking up wilderness permits in Yosemite Valley is that they ask you whether you have a bear canister, but they don't demand to see what kind you're using. The JMT crosses a lot of different jurisdictions, and I doubt that an ursack is legal in all of them. My perception is that ethically the ursack is okay, both because I never see bears when I camp in less impacted areas and because I think the ursack is bearproof. However, I don't really want to have to hide from or lie to rangers, or get hassled by rangers who see my ursack. I think what I'm going to do is take my half-size bearvault from Yosemite to Muir Trail Ranch, and mail myself the ursack to pick up in addition at MTR. I think the half-size bearvault should be big enough to get me from YV to Reds Meadows, and Reds to MTR. The problem, for me, with a full-size Garcia is that it doesn't fit sideways into my Gossamer Gear pack.
Benjamin Tang, when you use the ursack without the liner, do you have problems with your food getting crushed? Do you put it on top or on the bottom? Are you using a frameless pack?
Joel wrote: "If your not planing on camping where you can find a locker on some of the long streches, where will you rest your head?"
I try to avoid heavily human-impacted areas, so I doubt I will be camping anywhere that there's a bear box. Are the concerns you express concerns about getting hassled by rangers, or about getting your food stolen by bears? If you believe the manufacturer, the food in an ursack will only get crushed if a bear messes with it, but the bear will not be able to make off with it.Jun 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm #1618754
@tenderpawLocale: Lake Tahoe
I have spoke with both. My hike will start at TM and I'll hike out of Yosemite the same day. The ranger that I spoke with gave me the o.k.. And in SEKI the only place that is of concern to me is the Ray Lakes area, at which point food lockers are available to thru hikers first. So as long as your not camped in a bear can required area of Inyo it should be fine.
Inyo website is not the easiest one to decifer, and after speaking with there ranger it sounded like its that way for a reason.. In the hope that you will just use a bear can.Jun 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm #1618769
There is a map here http://sierrawild.gov/bears/food-storage-map showing where bear canisters are required. I see what you mean, Joel. It looks like if I do my plan of using the half-size bearvault for the first half, and then bearvault+ursack for the second half, I'm legal, as long as I either use bear boxes in the Rae Lakes area or can fit all my food in the half-size bearvault by then (which is quite possible).Jun 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm #1618782
"My experience picking up wilderness permits in Yosemite Valley is that they ask you whether you have a bear canister, but they don't demand to see what kind you're using."
That may be. When I picked up a wilderness permit in Yosemite on the 27th, the ranger followed us out to the car trunk where the bear canisters were located.
It turns out that there have been some backpackers showing up with do-it-yourself containers (Rubbermaid and Tupperware). The rangers reject those instantly. That is why they have a laminated photo card showing the various legal bear canisters, and this is on display at the permit stations.
–B.G.–Jun 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm #1618793
@mrmuddyLocale: No Cal
I witnessed a Ranger ..march out a couple of hikers as they were 1/2 way up Pine Creek Trail in the Eastern Sierras …because they did not have B Cans ..Jun 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm #1618806
" I witnessed a Ranger ..march out a couple of hikers as they were 1/2 way up Pine Creek Trail in the Eastern Sierras …because they did not have B Cans .."
Yes, but most likely they did not have Ursacks either. If you do carry an Ursack at least that argument can be made. Problem is, it can depend upon the whims of each Ranger. As I said, if I were to rely solely on Ursack it would be with a liner on the JMT. Last year on my JMT hike I used a Bearicade Weekender and an Ursack for a bit of overflow for our last 8 days from Muir to Portal. It was nice to have the extra capacity. We shared 1 Ursack, without a liner, between 2. Thus, we always had a can to show and the Ursack was our little secret.Jun 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm #1618859
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Thus, we always had a can to show and the Ursack was our little secret.
It is not about what you can get away with, or how you can trick the rangers. It is about protecting the bears!
I know that you (and others) believe the Ursack will protect the bears. It would appear that others disagree in some areas. You know that a bear can will protect the bears, so just use one.
–MVJun 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm #1618866
@sschloss1Locale: New England
"It is not about what you can get away with, or how you can trick the rangers. It is about protecting the bears!
I know that you (and others) believe the Ursack will protect the bears. It would appear that others disagree in some areas. You know that a bear can will protect the bears.
I couldn't agree more. The Park Service isn't relocating problem bears any more–they just shoot them. So, if you don't store your food carefully, and you create a bear problem, you're giving that bear a death sentence.
The attitude of some hikers towards this issue is arrogant, selfish, and callous. Just carry the canister. The extra 2 pounds won't kill anyone, especially not a UL hiker who's carrying a light kit to start with.Jun 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm #1618889
Scott, very well stated!
Take the Rae Lakes are of Kings Canyon National Park as a typical example. There is a reason why they have a canister requirement. The bears have become conditioned to the backpackers, and the bears know that there aren't too many really good tree branches to hang food from. The bears know that, for some strange reason, humans show up there with lots of food, and the bears feel that it is their duty to take advantage of all of that plentiful food. That starts the bear into becoming a problem bear, and that gives it a death sentence.
Personally, I would not want that on my conscience. But that is just me.
–B.G.–Jun 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm #1618913
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
The extra 2 pounds won't kill anyone, especially not a UL hiker who's carrying a light kit to start with.
Scott, I absolutely and emphatically agree with this assertion, as well as Bob's analysis of the argument. Amen!
Cmon, people, in the Sierra you don't really need to carry much water, as there is a plentiful supply available. Thus for the weight saved by shedding a single liter from your pack (going from two to one, for instance), you can spend that "normal load" weight on one regular sized bear canister. Easy. No fuss. No worries. Bears alive!
The rules apply to everyone for a reason. As Bob stated, this has less to do with you and more to do with the safety and well-being of the bear population.
DirkJun 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm #1618918
@drongobirdLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
"I don't find I really need gloves or rain gear in the Sierra in summer. I don't mind hiking through an afternoon drizzle, as long as I can sleep dry under the tarp."
I see comments like this on many JMT gear lists, and they always make me nervous. I read an article years ago called "why people die on Mt Washington" and the crux of the analysis is that people prepare for what they have experienced in the past. Then something unexpected happens (usually weather) and they can't cope.
I have spent perhaps 200 days backpacking in the southern Sierra. 180 of those days had perfect sunny weather. 15 had short duration rain. But I've had five days of perfectly foul weather, including two 24+ hour severe storms. During one of those storms NPS performed 6 search and rescue operations. I know one person who waited out a storm in a tent in the upper Kern basin for 68 hours of continuous rain.
By all means go without rain gear if that suits you, but don't feel overly confident that the worst you will get is a 1-2 hour afternoon rain.
On the other hand, I'm completely with you on the decision to not cook. We've been going cook-free for ~10 years now and love it.
Good luck, and have a great trip!Jun 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm #1618922
A friend of mine went out on a solo 11-day backpack trip in the Southern Sierras. He took decent rain gear, but he was expecting only a 1-2 hour afternoon rain. Instead, he got dumped on every day for at least 3-4 hours, plus it rained all night long some nights. Finally, after 8 days, everything he had was soaked, and he was afraid that it might get worse, so he bailed out.
–B.G.–Jun 11, 2010 at 11:29 am #1619052
Well, what I did say, is we all had canisters. I would not go into any area that requires a canister without one. The Ursack was for a bit of extra precaution as we left Muir Trail Ranch for our last 8 days in case our food didn't fit. We were unable to rent the Bearicade Expedition which has more capacity.
Having an Ursack, which is a viable bear deterrent, and not having a canister at all are two different things. The Ursack, properly used, should not be compromised.Jun 11, 2010 at 11:58 am #1619071
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
@ Ben Crowell:
My food are: instant oatmeal packets for breakfast, various energy bars for lunch and snack, and Mountain House dinners. They are not much bothered by crushing.
Truth be told, I've yet to encounter bears at my campsites. I take precaution (e.g. using Ursack) and am always careful to knot the Ursack properly — to protect both myself and bears.
My understanding is that the only time(s) bears manage to get through an Ursack is due to improper knotting — no bears have actually defeated the Ursack material itself.
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