Aug 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm #1277744
My girlfriend and I are headed out to the JMT in a couple weeks, so I'm looking for some feedback on my gear list. It's also uploaded to my profile. All items marked with an "S" in the second column are shared items and I backed out half the weight of those items in the summary towards the bottom.
We have 17 days to do it, so an average of about 13 miles per day, plus any side trips. I tried to list everything I'm considering taking and am hoping to whittle it down a little bit based on your feedback. As it stands, my base weight is 13.1 lbs with bear can, 10.6 without.
My primary question is related to clothing. I'm considering swapping the S/S merino shirt for L/S Cap1 or Cap2 while hiking. I want to avoid needing too much sunscreen, but prefer hiking in short sleeves. I could also put on the wind shirt over the S/S merino shirt for sun protection, just not sure if I'd be too hot with that setup. I'm also considering swapping the Cap3 for Cap1 or Cap2 while in camp or sleeping. Do you think either of these would be sufficient given my insulating layer is and Ex Light and my sleeping bag is the 30 degree Megalite. I realize this varies from person to person, but would still be interested in your opinions. (Note: this paragraph has been updated, so some of the replies below may no longer make sense).
I'm torn on whether or not to bring the Essence rain pants, Montane Featherlite wind pants or neither.
How long do a fresh set of batteries for the steripen and e+ lite usually last? I will likely nix the spares, especially considering I have aqua mira tablets as backup for the steripen.
I listed the full weight of the map pack, but will only start off with the first few pages to get me to Reds, where I'll pick up a few more pages to get me to MTR, where I'll pick up the rest. I don't think I'll throw any away, so I kept the full weight listed since that's what I'll have for the final stretch.Aug 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm #1766971
I won't claim to be any expert on gear, except just for myself. I was out on the JMT just a couple of days ago, and I chatted with lots of northbound hikers, so I learned lots of their problems.
One pair was northbound around Sapphire Lake in Evolution. They had run nearly out of food, and they could not make it to Reds Meadow ( ! ), so they wanted to zig out over Piute Pass to North Lake, resupply, and then return. Hmmm. They were looking to cross the Glacier Divide as a shortcut. Hmmm. I told them to go out over Lamarck Col if they didn't mind a little snow at 13,000 feet.
One pair was northbound at Colby Meadow. The guy looked like he had been out on the trail far too long, and his ladyfriend bore a striking resemblance to Danny DeVito as the Penquin. But, I digress. They were low on food and low on fuel, so they were eating very little. The bugs were thick, and their bug juice was out.
One backpacker was northbound and his stove fuel had all leaked, so he could not cook at all. Think about how to avoid that. There are many places where wood fires are not allowed, and there typically isn't any wood there anyway. Esbit makes a good backup.
Normally during a day, I wear a synthetic short-sleeve t-shirt with a very thin long-sleeve shirt over it for sun. Then in camp, I put on a heavy fleece shirt. At night, in the sleeping bag, if it gets cold, then I spread out my down inner jacket over my hips. Then, in the morning, I wear the (already warm) down inner jacket while I eat breakfast. By then, the down inner comes off, and the fleece comes off once I've been hiking for 15 minutes. The rain jacket is the last resort layer.
I have some 2.5-oz wind pants, and those are my extra layer over the regular trousers for weather or cold protection.
The MSR Pocket Rocket is an OK stove. I know, I have two. However, there are much lighter stoves out there. My Gnat weighs 1.65 oz, and it works fine. Your single fuel canister is going to last how long?
What are you going to do if the single 100-oz platypus gets a leak?
I use one 64-oz platypus for raw water, then a second one for filtered water (after a gravity filter). On my last trip, somehow one platypus got lost, but I still had the other for a secondary container. The primary is a 1-quart Gatorade bottle.
Do you really need a frying pan? If not, consider something as just a lid, like aluminum foil, reflectix, or thin titanium foil.
What happens if your lighter gets lost? A book of paper matches weighs about 0.2 oz.
You probably won't need to carry a phone along since there is hardly any cell phone service anyway. Nobody wants to hear from you anyway except for maybe your stock broker.
–B.G.–Aug 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm #1766986
Thanks Bob. Addressing some of the questions and points you mentioned….
– Esbit makes a good backup.
Agreed, I will add some.
– Your single fuel canister is going to last how long?
We plan to resupply fuel, so the longest stretch will be 8 days and we will each have one canister. We will need to boil about 2 liters per day between the 2 of us. We will also likely have the partially full canister we used prior to resupply.
– What are you going to do if the single 100-oz platypus gets a leak?
I suppose we can each bring a smaller one. Otherwise, I plan to or hide in the bushes and jump a fellow hiker as they pass by and take theirs. Although setting a trap might be more effective, but more time consuming.
– Do you really need a frying pan?
Not at all, which is why I'm looking to replace it. It just happens to be the lid that came with the pot. I've used aluminum foil before, but not sure how it would hold up over 17 days. I might try making a lid from a pie pan.
– What happens if your lighter gets lost?
I do have extra matches. Since they fit nicely in my "repair kit" they are included in that weight. I suppose that would be worth noting on my list. My girlfriend will also have her own lighter, so that's additional insurance.
– You probably won't need to carry a phone along since there is hardly any cell phone service anyway.
I'm considering not taking it. Is there service in Lone Pine? The main reason we were going to bring it was to call our ride home once we get there.Aug 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm #1767020
"I might try making a lid from a pie pan."
Look around in a grocery store, and there are food containers made out of cylinder of cardboard with a metal bottom. The bottom is generally aluminum, and it might be the right size for your cook pot. I found one that is right for mine, and it already has a rolled edge so that it doesn't bend easily. A pie tin is OK, but the edge will be sharp.
Cell phone: "I'm considering not taking it. Is there service in Lone Pine? The main reason we were going to bring it was to call our ride home once we get there."
Let me put it this way. Tuesday on the summit of Mount Whitney, there were just a few hikers who got cell service. They had to stand just in the right spot, and the signal was hit or miss. The cell tower had to be near US395 someplace. Now, whose cell tower it is, I can't tell you. There is always such a thing as a wire line phone. I know it is hard to believe, but they have them out there.
I used to be a Luddite.
–B.G.–Aug 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm #1767075
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Way too much clothing as listed. I would wear the merino S/S and bring the Cap3 for extra warmth and sleeping. Then I would nix the wind shirt, rain pants, Capilene 1 L/S, and the sleeping socks. Wind and rain pants are totally unnecessary especially since you have long pants already. Wash one pair of socks each night and wear the dry ones – alternate socks each day. Cap1+Cap3 is not as versatile and most of the time I either wear short sleeves or roll my sleeves up in the summer. The merino will be nicer to wear on Day 17 too. You won't need the wind shirt with the merino S/S and Capilene 3 and you can wear the Cap3 to bed. Cap3 + Ex Light + Megalite should keep you nice and warm. This saves you almost 20oz with plenty of layers and warmth.
No need for the polycro – just spent 30 seconds clearing the ground before you pitch your tent.
I would find the 100oz water reservoir annoying – I would take two 1L bottles and be done with it. You won't need more than 2L at a time anyway and that way you don't have to pour water into your 1L bottle for drinking.
You could easily nix the steripen and just use Aqua Mira.
Do you really need to bring your phone and a guidebook?
Overall your list looks great – you could trim a little fat and end up with a 12 lb base weight with bear canister.
AndrewAug 8, 2011 at 9:23 am #1767150
I went ahead and made the pie pan lid for a savings of 2oz. I see what you mean about the sharp edges though, so I'll also look at those cylinder containers the next time I'm at the grocery store.
Phone is nixed.
Yep, some of the clothing will be nixed (edited my post above to clarify) and I like what you have proposed. My concern is that I'd be too hot in cap3 during the day, but would be too exposed to the sun with just S/S for 17 days and would prefer not to use that much sun screen. Sleeping socks are nixed, but keeping the rest on there for now to see what others suggest.
Will probably nix the polycro, but leaving it on for now to see what others suggest.
The 100oz is lighter than if we each had an additional 1 liter. I'll look more carefully at our options though. My 1L platy is 1.3oz, but I think there's a lighter version at 0.9oz??
I find I carry less water when I can tank up right at the source, so I view the steripen as a slight hit to base weight, but a reduction to pack weight. I know others disagree on this.
The phone was really just going to be used to call our ride home when we got to lone pine, but as Bob reminded me there is such a thing as a land line. Phone is nixed.
I'll upload a revised list shortly.Aug 8, 2011 at 9:36 am #1767158
"Will probably nix the polycro, but leaving it on for now to see what others suggest."
I've used a softer plastic sheet for a ground cover, but I find that it tears when my boot heel digs into it. I've also used spinnaker fabric, and it does not tear.
"I find I carry less water when I can tank up right at the source, so I view the steripen as a slight hit to base weight, but a reduction to pack weight. I know others disagree on this."
You know, early in the season there is a lot of snow melting off, so the degree of water treatment needed is minimal or zero. Later in the season, the snow is almost gone, so the water quality goes down a bit. To me, water is such a critical item that I make sure I don't get into a crunch.
"The phone was really just going to be used to call our ride home when we got to lone pine, but as Bob reminded me there is such a thing as a land line. Phone is nixed."
Phone credit cards work on a pay phone. Finding the pay phone is the trick. In Lone Pine, internet access is just a little bit thin.
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