Jan 10, 2012 at 9:40 am #1283945
I’ve started putting together my gear list for the JMT this summer (Mid August) and I could use a hand dialing in my clothing system.
MH Phantom 32 bag
ul softshell gloves
cap 3 pants
Arcteryx Alpha SL shell
Golite Shangri-la 3.
I’ve got a few different layers to choose from or would be open to something completely different if people think it would be a good idea (kinda sensitive to Merino so trying to stay away from that). Here’s what I am working with. Any combinations jumping out?
ss Patagonia Cap 1
ls MH wicked shirt
ls Patagonia Cap 2 shirt
Patagonia Lightweight Sun Hoody
MH Canyon shirt
Patagonia Micro D Hoody
Patagonia R1 zip
Thoughts?Jan 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm #1822779
What worked out well for me was a SS shirt during the day and would add a windshirt when I wanted long sleeves….which was most of the time. For the legs I had one pair of convertible pants. Most of the time I had them in full pants mode, but the shorts mode was nice once in a while. For socks, I had 2 pairs of darn tough socks that I would rotate. In the morning I'd rinse one pair out in a ziploc and let it dry on top of my pack during the day and I'd wear the other pair. Also, a hat with good sun protection is recommended. I opted for the OR Helios.
When sleeping I wore MH Micro Dome Beanie, Cap 3 tops and bottoms and darn tough socks (a third pair that I only used for sleeping) in a WM Megalite (30*) on a prolite sleeping pad. I don't remember ever being uncomfortably cold, but I also sleep warm. I intended to also use the Cap 3 top as an additional layer when hiking on colder mornings, but only needed to use it for that purpose on the final day when heading up to Mt Whitney.
In camp I also added a light puffy and MH Powerstretch Gloves. I also had a rain jacket that was only used once in a light drizzle.Jan 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm #1822785
Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
This is what I see from your list:
(A) For hiking:
L/S MH Wicked t-shirt (long-sleeves for sun protection)
Patagonia R1 Zip (for cold mornings & over passes, keep fairly accessible inside pack)
GoLite Wisp (this should easily accessible in an outside pack pocket with the fleece hat + gloves if it starts to get cold or windy)
Add a sun hat.
(B) For heavy or sustained rain (anything the Wisp can't handle):
Switch out the Alpha shell for a lighter DriDucks shell.
(C) For camp:
Nanopuff Pullover, Fleece hat and/or add a 1-ounce balaclava to match with the R1.
Finally, I think a lot of people here wouldn't, but I would consider keeping the S/S Cap 1 t-shirt too. It might be nice if you stay at VVR, while washing other shirts, with unexpected hot weather or at the end of the hike.Jan 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm #1822789
@rp3957Locale: The Sierras
J, Your list looks pretty good. I was similar to Chris in I had one SS shirt for the day, a LS Cap 3 for around camp and sleeping. I used a WM Summerlight and didn't get chilled except one night camping a little higher up. I also use the MH Micro hat and it is lightweight and seems to do the trick for warmth. The Nano Puff works great as well for around camp. I didn't really use it for sleeping except one night, and it makes a great pillow stuffer if you aren't wearing it to sleep. Good luck on your hike! When are you looking at going?Jan 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm #1822999
Great info! It’s good to hear that I’m in the right ball park here.
So I think the keepers are:
Cap 1 Longsleeve (I think I’ll buy a long sleeve as the weight difference will be negligible up from a SS, but it would give me some sun protection if I wanted it on trail)
MH Wicked Lite LS
Windshirt (Are people spending a lot of time wearing their windshirts on the trail? If so, I think an upgrade might be in order)
Cap 3 bottoms
Steven- Is the R1 top much better than the Micro D? The R1 is 2.5 ounces heavier and doesn’t have a hood.Jan 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm #1823000
Robert- Thanks for the well wishes. We are looking at the 2nd week of August, but aren't certain. We need to be done by the end of August so will probably aim for later than earlier. Any insights?Jan 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm #1823431
Konrad .BPL Member
You definitely have a good selection to choose from…hopefully I can give you some additional insight. I did the JMT this past Sept 2011. We got about a weeks worth of rain, light dusting of snow, and 8-10mm hail, and had highs up to 90* and lows around 28-32* in the morning, so pretty extreme for the sierras. Because you are going earlier in the summer, I expect temperatures to be even milder. I carried fairly little clothing…maybe this can serve as a guide.
I wore/brought the following on my trip, which I felt covered the entire temp range of our trip.
From Head to Toe:
*Generic Polartec Fleece Beanie (army surplus)
*A wide brimmed sun hat (REI brand)
* a lightweight wool short sleeve T (Backcountry.com brand)
* a long sleeve silk weight Capilene 1 Jacket (Patagonia)
* a synthetic hooded pullover for insulation (BPL cocoon brand)
* UL rain jacket (marmot essence)
* Lightweight liner gloves (OR PL gloves)
* running shorts (2 pairs of very light shorts, 1 nike, 1 patagonia)
* 200weight Wool Tights (icebreaker)
* wind breaker style pants (Montbell dynamo pants)
* 2 pairs of socks (1 wool darn tough socks, 1 synthetic injinji)
* trail runners (Montrail Mountain Masochist)
After the trip, I determined that I definitely could have changed some things. I could have used a windshirt. The additional 2-3oz would have been worth it to me. The passes were extremely winding (and cold!) as were some of the long stretches of open back country. The rain jacket served as my windshirt, but I wasn't able to wear it as long as I wanted, because I would overheat after a couple hrs. I think the slight weight penalty would have been worth the extra comfort. The wool short sleeve shirt never got used (other than to serve as a pillowcase for my inflatable pillow) simply because I preferred the arm coverage afforded by the long sleeves of my capilene. I carried less sunscreen as a result. I guess the only other time I wore my wool SS shirt was when I did laundry at Reds and VVR. But of course, I could have just worn my rainjacket for modesty if I didn't have the wool SS. Not bringing any underwear was awesome. The liner in my running shorts worked very very well, and bringing 2 running shorts meant I could rotate and wash accordingly. When it was raining or windy/cold, layering a combination of my wool tights, windpants, and running shorts took care of everything. I enjoyed having a mix of injinji and normal socks. The injinjis definitely help prevent blisters, but they aren't very durable. My gf wore a huge heel in her pair after only 2 weeks. The normal wool darn tough sock was much more durable. Also, I vowed to go home and buy a pair of dirty girl gaiters right away after my trip. The extra couple of ounces would have saved me tons of time…I wasted a lot of it, taking off shoes to empty out sand/pebbles etc.
So after reviewing your options, I think you should definitely switch out the softshell gloves for a lightweight pair of liners. Softshell will probably be too warm for time which you are going. Also, light liners provide sufficient warmth, while still allowing use in warmer temps (meaning you can prevent sunburns on your hands) I wore my gloves a lot on this trip. The synthetic nanopuff pullover is a good choice…very similar to my own insulation on the trip. Your cap 3 tights are pretty much the same warmth as my 200wt wool tights, so I think that will be solid.
Definitely leave home the R1, but bring the windshirt. I have a R1, and it only gets brought out for really cold winter trips. A combination of your capilene, nanopuff, windshirt, and/or rainjacket will tackle all conditions. Also, definitely drop the Alpha SL at home….to much jacket for a tame trail/conditions. The dri ducks will be fine.
Do you have a hat to keep the sun off you? I see no mention of your pants. I enjoyed my running shorts/windbreaker pants so much that I will never bring normal "hiking pants" on any of my trips. I'll admit…the temp range was limited though, as I would overheat in my running shorts windpant combo around 85* Which meant that I would have to use my running shorts with a good amount of sunscreen. Not that I'm allergic to sunscreen, or that sunscreen is bad for you…but the good stuff tends to be pretty thick/greasy, and is just plain disgusting to wear to bed without washing off. Imagine dealing with that for many days at a time. Nevertheless, something to consider since you are going during the summer.
Also, no need for a balaclava…it doesn't get that cold. And if you really really wanted to bring something to cover your neck/mouth, bring along a buff because it's more versatile. We had frost condensation that would rain down from my tent on many nights…it was a bit annoying, and a buff would have made things more comfortable (the frost falling on my face would wake me up sometimes), but I did fine without it.
Hope that helps!Jan 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm #1823517
Dang Konrad, I can't help thinking dirty when I visited that dirty girl (gaiter) site…Jan 13, 2012 at 7:55 am #1824210
Thanks, Konrad. This is really great info and is giving me lots of new things to think about and test on some training hikes (even more fun!).
I haven’t tried out the injinjis or darn tough socks so those are both on my list to check out as my SM PhDs aren’t holding up as well as I’d like. As far as gloves go, I have a pair of powerstretch lightweight gloves, but I don’t really love that they don’t provide any grip. The gloves I was thinking about are Pearl Izumi softshell lite gloves. The tops of the fingers are knuckles as ss, while the rest is a breathable weave. The xls weigh in a 1.75oz for the pair so they are quite lite. I haven’t tested them out in warm conditions yet, but will post when I do. I also dislike sunscreen so it would be nice to be able to use gloves in all conditions. Have you or anyone else had luck adding grip to fleece gloves (seam seal maybe?)
I’ve made a few adjustments and included my full clothing/sleep system. More weights to come soon. Feedback appreciated
Golite Shangri-la 3
Golite Shangri-la 3 nest (for 1st part of trip with girlfriend, 2nd will be tyvek and a mosquito net, cheap recommendations welcome)
MH Phantom 32 Bag
Lightweight pillow (recommendations/designs needed)
Brooks Cascadia Trail Runners
3 socks (Darn Tough / injinji / combo)
Dirty Girl gaiters
Cap 3 long underwear
REI Sahara Zip Off Pants
2 Techwick boxer briefs
Dri Ducks pants/rain skirt
Cap 1 long sleeve (Konrad, I figure if it’s a LS I might use it to hike in as well)
MH Wicked lite long sleeve
Nano Puff Pullover
Dri Ducks jacket
Liners/Lightweight gloves 1.75
OR Sombriolet Sun Hat
And I think that covers me for clothing and sleep…Jan 13, 2012 at 8:53 am #1824232
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
1 If you are hiking in August, no need for the mosquito "Nest" for your Shangri-la. Mosquitos are gone.
2 Consider a RailRiders Eco-Mesh shirt. Long sleeve sun protection. Fits loosely and ventilated. Wear all day and is a nice warming layer over a t-shirt in camp. Sweat dries very fast along with any wet gear at altitude, including wet laundry, socks, etc.
3 Consider instead of converta pants, a light rain pant (eg. Dri Ducks)to use as long pants which will offer warmth if you get a late shower. (In two weeks, it hailed one for maybe an hour, and rained one night that's it! Never one late afternoon thunderstorm) Nice to wear around camp in evening, too.
4 Consider a Dr. Shade! This fits around any baseball-type hat to protect the back of your neck from sunburn and some face shade as well. In the evening you can just take it off and stuff in your pocket.
5 Your Golite Wisp. Do not leave home without it. It is a terrific warming layer any time you need it any time of year whether at home or on the trail. I never consider the Wisp as rain gear, however.
6 If you leave from Happy Valley hike up the Mist Trail until it joins the JMT above the falls. You will miss a section of the JMT that is a dusty horse trail of little interest. Instead you will hike a memorable section of trail passing spectacular falls. To compromise you can also stay on the JMT and take a cut-off to the mist trail above and beyond the first falls.
Do you know where you are starting your hike? Permits are not always available out of Happy Valley, but be sure to ask when you arrive at the Park if you would like other alternatives than your present permit.
7 Dirty Girl Gaiters are excellent. They really do stay on and the velcro strip still works after a couple of years on the back of my footwear. The trail is very dusty in sections and the gaiters help. I usually do not wear gaiters.
If you pass a lake during the day, take a quick swim or dunk. The water is not as cold as you might expect and you will dry quickly. Beware of evening swims, however. It might take too long to warm up afterwards.
8 I have never had much luck keeping a beany type hat on my head all night. It works its way off as I sleep. I am not sure the weight of your hoody, but consider wearing it to sleep.
9 I would highly recommend camping alongside Guitar Lake on your night before Whitney. An early start from there will get you on top of Whitney in good time. This also makes it feasible to hike all the way out or at least beyond Whitney Trail Camp which can be an overcrowded mess even in late August.Jan 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm #1824394
"mosquito net, cheap recommendations welcome"
I used this. Didn't really need it much, but when I did it seemed to do the trick. No complaints.
"Lightweight pillow (recommendations/designs needed)"
I just bought this (medium is 42% off). I've only used it one night so far, but I found it much more comfortable than other pillows I've tried.Jan 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm #1824420
Konrad .BPL Member
"1 If you are hiking in August, no need for the mosquito "Nest" for your Shangri-la. Mosquitos are gone."
Hi Frank, while generally true, it really depends on the snow pack for that year. 2011 was a heavy snow year, so things didn't start melting til late into the summer, so the whole mosquito breeding season was pushed back as a result. The mosquitos were horrid this past summer. Many PCT hikers can attest to that. They were pretty bad even when we went in Sept.
So far, the lower 48 is not seeing much snow at all this year, so who knows?
Also, I think you mean Happy Isles, not Happy Valley ;)
Permits…I think the lottery/reservation date is right around the corner…double check. I always end up doing the first come first serve thing anyways though.
Pillows…we own both the montbell pillow and the exped pillow. The exped is softer on the skin, and better for side sleepers. The montbell is lighter, and cradles the head better for backsleepers.Jan 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm #1824552
Good stuff everyone.
Chris- I’ve got one of those already (was looking for a hanging net). The pillow is exactly what I was looking for though. Thanks!
1. I’m with Konrad on this one. I live in Oregon and the mosquitos were almost a month behind last year. We got eaten alive on a few late season hikes. I’m guessing that if we continue to have a low snow winter that we probably won’t need it though.
2. I’ve heard good things about these. Are you suggesting I replace the cap or the mh? I’d probably stick with the adventure shirt though as it seems similar, but maybe a little less conspicuous for town wear.
3. I’m already planning on bringing the DDs.
4. Very cool. I totally forgot about these. I would make it possible to wear a baseball hat with my hood up. I’ll do some testing.
On a side note, I made a cool homemade one of these. I took an old techwick shirt and cut out a square section from the front. The hem on the shirt was already sewed so all I had to do was snake a piece of shock cord through it and adjust it to my headsize.
5. I’m replacing the wisp with a Houdini. The wisp is fine for short term use (I keep it in my camelback for biking), but it’s not something I think is comfortable enough or fits me well enough to live in for a few weeks.
6. Sweet. I think that sounds like a great substitute for a less than exciting part of the trail. We don’t have our permit yet, but we are planning on Happy Isles
7. Sweet. We are stoked to try them.
8. I was planning to leave the hoody at home. It sounds like I’ll be warm enough without it (already the thing is so freakin comfortable)
Thanks for the input all.Jan 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm #1824564
@rp3957Locale: The Sierras
J, As far as using the mosquito netting in August goes…I went in August last year as well with all of the snow and water, and after the sun goes down, even the worst locations, the mozzies are gone at night. We 'cowboy' camped most of the trip with no problems with mosquitos at night. If you get to camp early and want refuge from them before the sun goes down, bring a light head net and loose long sleeve shirt like Frank mentioned. If our pattern of no to low snow continues, I agree with Frank, ditch the mosquito netting. I have done the JMT in dry years in August and mozzies are not a big deal once the sun goes down.
As Frank mentioned, skip the JMT 'horse trail' out of Happy Ilses. I also go by Devils Postpile near Reds instead of what the maps show as the 'official' JMT. The JMT follows a dusty trail along the river and is pretty uninspiring in that section, IMO.
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