Aug 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm #1277796
2 weeks ago I was to put in at Happy Isles for a thru hike of the JMT. Unfortunately the night before we were to leave, my girlfriend was struck by a hit and run driver while riding her bike to work. She is recovering very well, but it looks like we will not be able to get the person who hit her… at least she's OK!
Anyhow, the list I offer here is not mutable for this trip, but will be refined in the future based on input from you and my experiences over the next 2 weeks. Along with my good pal Rich (who just turned 70!),I will put in at Vermilion to meet my friend Chuck this Thursday and complete the trek with them.
Things I know will change already – water treatment (maybe drops?), soft shell pants (lighter or simply use a WPB layer in their place?), maybe dump water shoes next time, but am worried about crossings this year and get a lighter daypack.
I thought I was doing pretty well, but when all is said and done I came in two and a half pounds over my target weight of 17. With the above mentioned changes, I should be able to hit my goal, but I wonder what else might be done – so I turn to you!
Have a look at the list here and let me know any thoughts you might want to share:
ChristopherAug 9, 2011 at 8:37 am #1767461
Greg FBPL Member
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I think you can cut down on clothing
For tops you have
My thought is that if you have a wind shell you don't need a long sleave shirt
Your pants as well seems excessive.
Mid Weight bottoms
I would drop the softshell pants for sure and maybe the midweight bottms as well unless you hike in them. Since you are already wearing a kilt why not use a rain skirt instead of the softshell pants.
I would get rid of the daypack entirely and just you your normal backpack. The beuty of lightweight packs is that they aren't that annoying for dayhikes. You already mentioned getting rid of the water shoes. I would say if you have a SPOT you don't need a phone (although I am anti-electronics in the back country) You already mentioned above getting rid of the water filter but that saves almost a pound.
I also don't understand bringing the space blanket on backpack trips unless you will wear it on your person or will be taking it with you on dayhikes. If it just will sit in your backpack beside your sleepling bag it doesn't make sense to take.
The only thing I don't see on the list is a camera but that really is a personal choice item.Aug 9, 2011 at 11:18 am #1767497
I just completed my thruhike last friday so here we go:
I can definitely recommend waterdrops – the lightest solution ever.
Watershoes… that's your decision. I had Flip-Flops and was completely fine with them. The waterlevels aren't that high anymore. The highest crossings were South Fork Kings River (kneedeep with strong current) and Bear Creek (almost waistdeep but gentle current), both done before noon. As snow keeps melting, the situation just keeps improving.
SabineAug 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm #1767514
Indeed the clothing is a bit of a haul right now – this will be my first 'long' trip with a kilt, so I think I am providing options to myself should the boys not like it after a week. The softshell pants are treated with permethrin too, so that is also driving my decision to take them along. In the future I may simply treat my long undies towards this end. The l/s shirt is also treated – I do not do well hiking in long sleeves most of the time, so this will be another experiment.
As for the space blanket – you hit it with your assumption I would be taking it on side trips when most of my gear stays behind at camp. As a multi-pitch climber, it's reflex for me to put this in my kit. Though I have never needed it, many of my clibing partners have on their trips.
Nixing the phone and getting drops today so I can ditch the filter. The SPOT stays – more of an Anti-Worry device for those at home than for me.
But the camera! Yes – I will be bringing one, need to add that as soon as I get home!Aug 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm #1767515
Thanks for the update! It's good to hear about the crossings being not too bad now. I hope you had a great trip!
CMHAug 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm #1767520
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
When I looked at my first stream crossing on August 3, I thought I saw a sandy bottom and the water was about knee-deep. As a result, I pulled off my shoes and socks and waded in. Big Mistake. The bottom rocks were jagged, the water was crotch-deep, and it was cold and fast. I was struggling and splashing around, and my camera case momentarily dipped into the water.
Real quickly I figured out that the technique was to wear the trail runner shoes and socks right through the water. They dry out pretty soon on the trail. The first time I tried that, the water still seemed cold. After six or eight of those on a hot afternoon, my feet kind of liked the cold water treatment. In camp, I would wring out the socks and drain the shoes, and they would be sort of dry by morning.
–B.G.–Aug 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm #1767629
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Sorry to hear about your GF, I hope she recovers quickly. That just shows us that there are more important things in life than backpacking. That being said here are my two cents on your list:
Shelter – My only comment is that 12 stakes is quite a few – to you really need that many for “The One”? Also, though groundhogs work well, they are very heavy. I am not saying they aren’t worth it, just giving you something to think about.
Packing – Your pack is pretty heavy. I would shoot for something in the two pound range. With a inflatable pad and a bear canister I would think I lightweight framed pack would work best. Think Gossamer Gear Gorilla or Mariposia Plus, ULA Ohm or Circuit, SMD Swift, Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider or others.
I would also add a trash compactor bag liner for waterproofing. (~2.3oz) I know you have the Packa for rain, but what if you slip on a stream crossing?
Hygiene/First Aid “Blue Bag” – What is in the 3oz first aid kit? It seems like you have a lot of meds listed already. I would think about repackaging the Body Glide, Naproxen, and Sunscreen to a week’s portion. I would eliminate the E-stove and space blanket.
Essential Gear – I would drop the phone or the spot. I doubt the cell reception is that good on the JMT so the phone would probably go. Actually with a group, I would probably drop both, especially if someone else has one. (Or you could carry them and let someone else leave them – no need for two) I would drop the Ti Trowel and use a tent stake, etc.
Hydration/Cooking – I think the jetboil is heavy for solo use, but the Ti version is better than older versions. There are lighter stoves out there both canister and alcohol. It is light, but I see a lot of broken LMF sporks, but YMMV. I would drop the filter and use repackaged Aqua Mira.
Packed Clothing – I would drop the LS Shirt (Actually I would wear it instead of the SS shirt for sun protection). I would drop the UA sleeping underwear and just sleep in your long underwear. I would drop the softshell pants. I might hike in pants, but not carry an extra set of “hiking” pants. If you want to stay with the kilt and it turn off cold you can always wear your long underwear underneath for extra warmth. I don’t think you will need the Down Pants. Replace the daypack with a regular stuffsack for stuffsack/pillow. This should run you under an ounce. Save yourself a pound and leave the water shoes at home.
Oh, and by all means, this is a trip of lifetime, take a camera.
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