Oct 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm #1309264
Edited this original post, this is where I'm at right now. Close to 2 months away. Just looking for any additional advice. Still need to pick up a head net. Also, shorts in the desert? I really don't like hiking in pants, but not sure if it's really worth the extra sun protection. Picking up a bear canister at Kennedy Meadows, and will add rain bottoms and mittens in Oregon/Washington. Also, still debating taking my short XLite. I just hate blowing that thing up and like the simplicity of the Ridgerest, but it sure is bulky and not as comfortable. Thanks!
Category; Item; Weight in oz.
Backpack; Zpacks Arc Blast 52 Liters; 17.00
Shoulder Pouches; Zpacks Cuben Fiber Shoulder Pouches (pair); 1.00
Sleep / Shelter:
Sleeping Bag; Mountain Laurel Designs Spirit Quilt 28; 22.70
Sleeping Pad; Therm-a-rest RidgeRest size Small; 8.70
Pillow; Exped Air Pillow UL size Medium; 1.50
Shelter; ZPacks Hexamid Duplex Tarp in Cuben Stuff Sack; 9.90
Bivy; Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Bivy; 6.30
Stakes; 8 Titanium Shepherd Hook Stakes in Zpacks Cuben Stake Sack; 1.69
Food Items / Cooking:
Bear Bag Kit; Mountain Laurel Designs Pro Bear Bag System (includes XL cuben roll top food bag); 2.50
Cook Kit; LiteTrail Titanium Cook System with Zelph Starlyte Stove; 3.00
Fuel Bottle; Alcohol Fuel Bottle; 0.90
Firestarter; Mini Bic Lighter; 0.40
Utensil; Lite My Fire Titanium Spork; 0.60
Ditty Bag; Mountain Laurel Designs Cuben Dry Bag size S; 0.30
Head Lamp; Zebralight H51; 2.60
Knife; Trail Designs Ultralight Knife; 0.11
First Aid Kit; Moleskin, Bandages, Medicine, Alcohol Pads, Tweezers, Aquamira Tabs, Button Compass; 2.10
Repair Tape; ZPacks Cuben Repair Tape; 0.30
Toothbrush/paste; Zpacks Ultralight Toothbrush; 0.20
Bug Spray; Deet; 0.80
I.D./Money; I.D., Credit Card, Cash; 0.40
Phone/Camera; iPhone 5 in LifeProof Case; 5.00
Phone Charger; iPhone Charger; 1.40
Water Treatment / Storage:
Water Treatment; Sawyer Mini with Back Flush Syringe; 2.40
Water Bottles; Plastic Bottles (2) (carried on shoulders); 2.60
Water Carrier; Evernew Water Bladder 2.0 L (2); 3.00
Stow Sack; Hyperlite Mountain Gear CF8 Size L; 0.50
Base Layer (bottoms); Patagonia Capilene 4 Bottoms; 5.10
Base Layer (top); Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody; 9.50
Socks (packed); Thorlo Experia CoolMax Micro Mini-Crew Socks; 1.50
Head Insulation; Zpacks Micro-Fleece Beanie; 0.95
Gloves; Rab Powerstretch Gloves; 2.00
Insulated Jacket; Arc'teryx Nuclei Hoody; 11.10
Rain Jacket; Zpacks WPB Cuben Rain Jacket with Pit Zips; 5.40
Windshirt; Montbell Tachyon Anorak; 2.50
Head Net; to be decided/purchased
Worn / Carried:
Trekking Poles; Komperdell Carbon Vario 4 Trekking Poles; 12.60
Watch; Suunto Core Alu Deep Black; 2.90
Shirt; Railriders Adventure Top; 8.50
Underwear; ExOfficio Boxer Brief; 2.80
Pants; Brooks Sherpa III Shorts; 3.80
Socks; Thorlo Experia CoolMax Micro Mini-Crew Socks; 1.50
Gaiters; Dirty Girl Gaiters; 1.00
Shoes; Altra Lone Peaks 1.5; 23.60
Hat; Tilly LTM6 Airflo; 4.00
Sunglasses; "Ray Ban' Knock-offs; 0.70
Bandana; Generic Bandana; 0.90
Consumables / Not yet weighed:
Toilet Paper in Zip Loc Bag (emergencies/general use)
Wet Wipes for SoCal
HalfMile Maps (currently being printed and shipped)Oct 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm #2039306
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I suspect you'll be colder than you'll like starting out, and perhaps at the end as well. With a 28F rated quilt and a tarp, you'll definitely want to be wearing your tights and insulated jacket inside at night at least some of the time. The "desert" can get cold at night in the spring, and you might or might not end up sleeping every night below snowline in the Sierras (I did, but some do not).
I suggest that you sleep out somewhere in your gear this winter when it gets down to the lower 20's and see how you feel in the wee hours of the morning.
I do suggest that you add a pair of decently thick wool socks to sleep in. I also suggest something for hand warmth. You don't necessarily need something beefy and heavy, but something.
What's your plan for buggy periods — headnet only or bivy or both? What if it's too warm to be under the quilt and/or in the bivy and the bugs are swarming?
Depending on your age, you might find a size small ridgerest to be too minimal.
Your first aid kit is more minimal than I'd care to have, but we all make this difficult trade-off differently. A 1.5 oz first aid kit says to me, however, "I'm relying on other people to save me from any significant injury", and/or "I'm tough enough to endure until I get to town to treat first aid issues". I'd add at least an analgesic (perhaps that's in "medicine" ?), probably vitamin I, and some duct tape, sewing needle, imodium or pepto-bismol tablets.
Do you use toilet paper or twigs, smooth rocks, pine cones, snow etc? No trowel?
Sunglasses? That sort of thing suggests to me that this isn't a truly complete list yet (?).
You'll want more water carrying capacity for the first 700 or so miles.
I don't mean to suggest that this isn't a good list; it seems like a really solid set of gear overall, given the experience to make it work.Oct 29, 2013 at 11:31 pm #2039311
Hey Brian, thanks for the response.
I do plan on getting out in the following months and testing my sleep system, if only in the backyard. I've taken the quilt down to about 32 degrees without a bivy, but haven't had the chance to take it below that. I figure with the bivy, and possibly tights and jacket if needed, I should be comfortable. But a bit of testing should prove whether or not that's so. It still isn't that cold at night here in Oklahoma, I'll give it another month or two.
And I do have a pair of lightweight gloves, I meant to add that in. I'll edit that.
I will also probably pick up a head net. I'll most likely stay in the bivy unless it's just too warm. I guess that's when the Duomid might be nice as well, since it's fully enclosed and can be pitched to the ground.
I don't mind the Ridgerest, I've been using torso length pads for a while now. If I find it to be too uncomfortable, I can swap it out for my TAR XLite. But, I've used it a few times now, and I'm confident that it'll be enough for me.
I'll take note on the FAK. There were a few things that I've meant to add but haven't yet.
I won't be using toilet paper, I need to add in my dropper bottle of Dr. Bronner's. As far as a trowel, I've never used one. I usually use a tent stake, or my trekking pole, or sticks, etc. I mention sunglasses at the top, haven't purchased yet. They'll probably just be some cheap no name sunglasses though.
I didn't mention this either, I just plan on adding 1 liter plastic water bottles (Smart Water, Gatorade, etc) for the first 700 miles. Since they're cheap and easily recycled when I no longer need them.
Hope that clears things up a bit. And thanks for pointing out a few things that keep sleeping my mind ( head net, gloves, adding to FAK, etc.)Oct 30, 2013 at 8:40 am #2039393
Looks good. You might consider a backup fire source because it's light and can be critical if needed.
I like to keep a compass very accessible for quick reality checks.
I prefer picaridin over DEET.Oct 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm #2039540
Christopher *BPL Member
@cfrey-0Locale: US East Coast
Your list looks much better than mine did 6 months before start.
Brian makes a good point on the cold. It snowed at the border my first day in 2012. The desert can get nippy, the Sierra can get chilly and the Cascades can be downright cold in September. I shivered my way into Manning park. Additionally, by the time you reach the Cascades your body composition may very well have changed and you may find yourself sleeping a lot colder than at the start.
I took an overstuffed 40degree quilt and it wasn't enough. I would more often than not have to go to sleep wearing just about everything I owned … including my sil-nylon rain jacket as a VBL. (You can also wrap yourself in your polycro groundcloth in a pinch.) If you are going to get your gear close to its limit, have a sound layering strategy as back-up.
My opinion on the FAK (and it is just one opinion) is you need to take your working knowledge of first aid into context … in other words I think there is to some degree a skill vs. equipment balance to be reached. However there will also be a finite limit to what injuries you can treat and how much aid you can render upon yourself in the wilderness in either case. Where I did go a bit heavier was a "Foot-aid kit" for the first 700 miles; hydropel, tincture of benzoin, leukotape, a tennis ball for rolling stretches and the like …. the PCT is a very gritty trail and it chews up even well worn and hardened feet.
I see you have listed the F-type keg and cone, but no indication of a fuel bottle. Be careful not to count on being able to use fire as the restrictions are getting much more severe … plus fire really is a PITA when you are hiking day after day. If you are using alcohol you might want to think about going with a Starlyte stove. The spill-proof feature takes one worry off your mind, it can preserve fuel with a lid and it is pretty darn efficient … it is one of my favorite pieces of kit, but that is just an opinion.
If you are going with Mike Clelland style "sticks and stones" toilet habits, you might want to add not just Dr. Bronner's but also an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Sickness was rampant my year. Doing big days while dribbling a trail of bloody stool is not a fun experience. (Plus you can use it to clean and dry out blisters … the sanitizer that is, not the stool.)
Lastly, and this is totally a personal choice, but you might want to try night hiking a few times with the Ruta Locura Head Lamp. I started with a micro light and then upgraded to a Zebralight. I am glad I did because getting to the top of Whitney in the dark to see the sun rise was a highlight of the trip, plus I was pushing into the night later when the seasons started to change.
Good Luck.Feb 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm #2074421
My start date is approaching fast, just looking for any extra advice. Thanks!Feb 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm #2074472
Lance MBPL Member
A few things (they add up!)
Dry bag or pack liner for your sleeping bag.
"I really don't like hiking in pants, but not sure if it's really worth the extra sun protection."
Long pants are for more than sun protection. I suggest carrying your wind or rain pants from day one for rain, snow, wind, cold, brush, mosquitoes and poison oak. Chances are that you will experience all of these. I wore my base layers at night and was glad to have kept them dry.
Mosquito head net- For sanity and to lessen the need for DEET.
Bandana or tiny pack towel- Lots of uses including hygiene.
Dedicated sleep socks- Your feet will thank you.
Dental floss- Your teeth will thank you.
Tp/wet wipes- For more than just post poo clean-up. General hygiene, chafe prevention, etc.
Hand sanitizer/soap- General hygiene. Your fellow hikers will thank you.
Sun block- Just a bit for sensitive/exposed areas. (ears, nose etc). Particularly in the snow.
Maps/water report/ pen or pencil.
Just my 2 cents, LanceFeb 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm #2074564
Jeff JeffBPL Member
I wouldn't take an inflatable pad, but that is just me. Plenty of people had theirs fail but many people were fine. Personally, I liked taking out my foam pad to lay on during mid-day breaks. I used a 3/4 foam pad, but I had a sleeping bag. Definitely make sure you are okay with nothing under yout lower legs at night!
I rarely setup my tarp, but when I did it was nice to have a smaller one. It increased my options for campsite selections. You'll use that bivy a lot for sure though.
The cap 4 will be way too warm for hiking. I would go for Cap 3 at the most.
My sun strategy involved a sun hat, sun gloves, and long sleeves all around. I never used sun block. I wouldn't go into the desert without convertible pants, but that is just me. I used convertibles which were nice to vent, but I never unzipped to shorts.Feb 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #2074574
Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Okay, I don't get why you need a full coverage shelter, a synthetic bag and a bivy?
If you have a synthetic bag, why also a bivy? I could see it with a down quilt but no need with synthetic.
Completely agree with the 28* quilt being just a little on the cold side. After 100 days on the trail the overall loft of your quilt will not be anywhere near what you started with.
If I had your list and didn't want to change much stuff out, I would ditch the bivy and wind jacket and get a light windblocker fleece.
Just so it compensates for the quilt warmth.
If you just want a bivy for the sake of covering you bag, I would sew up a sub 3.5 ounce 1/2 zip one made out of something like Argon or Nobul1.
I would also take an 1/8" closed cell pad so you don't get a puncture on the bottom of your inflatable.
I've punctured 4 of 6 of my pads being very gingerly with them.
Oh, a 4 ounce Tilly hat seems a bit much (weight) but I dig it.
How can you say anything bad about your list overall? That is one fine list.Feb 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm #2074577
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I'd carry at least a small about of T.P. You may need want to use an outhouse in semi civilized areas like trailheads etc. Often they aren't stocked with T.P. I think Balls made it to mid CA before digging his first cat-hole, he just used the outhouses they passed.
Also on a hike that long chances are you'll have an "emergency" at some point. Once at 3AM the altitude, food or something hit me real fast. I barely made it away from the tent before I was exploding out both ends. That was no time to be looking for nice leaves (it was snowing too so not fun).Feb 18, 2014 at 9:43 am #2074699
Thanks for the input guys, you mentioned a few things I forgot to add, edited original post and added "consumables / not yet weighed" section. I'll address a few suggestions.
Lance, a large cuben roll top food bag is included in the MLD Pro Bear Bag Kit, that's my bad for not mentioning it, it's now edited. I will also most likely add a pack liner bag just for the quilt.
Jeff, thanks for the insight. I'm pretty sure that I won't be taking the inflatable. But will definitely have it ready to be shipped if I change my mind. But I'm pretty confident in the Ridgerest. I've also been using a torso length for years, which I prefer. I've also considered picking up a pair of sun gloves for SoCal, currently looking at a few options now. I'll keep pondering the long pants though for now.
Aaron, thanks! I like the bivy because it boosts my bag temp a little and acts as extra wind protection under my tarp, but from what I've read by most thru-hikers, I'll hardly use the tarp anyway, at least in the grand scheme of things. I expect a few cold nights. I'll probably just toss my bivy and quilt out most nights, unless it's just too warm to sleep in it. I prefer cowboy camping anyway. I also sleep warm and hear people successfully hike with 30 degree bags. I'll be sleeping outside a lot here in Boulder before I leave to get a better idea if it'll be sufficient. But I've taken it down to freezing several times and felt plenty comfortable, without the bivy and extra clothes.
Oh, and I understand the tarp is kind of big. I guess I just like the extra room. I have a cuben Duomid as well, and ultimately it was the weight that convinced me to take the Duplex, that and I didn't really want to purchase another shelter. Hoping I won't have to use it all that much anyway. But if I do, I do really enjoy it.
Thanks again everyone, keep the suggestions coming.
Also, with water conditions on the west coast right now, I'll be picking up a canister stove just in case. It'll be ready to be shipped out if needed. Hoping that won't be necessary though.
Did I mention that I'm really excited?? So much planning, and now it's so close. Really starting to feel like a reality. Ah!Feb 18, 2014 at 11:16 am #2074743
Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
I have an MLD cuben DuoMid and see you have both the DuoMid and the Zpacks Duplex tarp. I would be interested in your thoughts as to how they compare. How does the interior space compare? The size of the total foot print? Do you feel the Duplex will be as storm worthy as the DuoMid? A bit of a thread drift, but the DuoMid vs. Duplex is an interesting choice aside from the weight difference.
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