Shakedown Sierra Nevada in September?
Aug 3, 2021 at 4:10 pm #3723813
This is my gear list for a mid-September hike in the Sierra Nevada (North Lake/South Lake Loop trail; 6 days) Any suggestions would be helpful. My main concern is warmth. I am a hot sleeper, generally, but I don’t want to grossly underestimate the cold. I was previously going to bring a 30 degree back, but BPL members suggested the 22.Aug 3, 2021 at 5:11 pm #3723817
Yeah, in Sept. at those elevations you want the 22 degree bag.
when you check the weather beforehand, just make sure that you check incoming over those days from both west AND east. They will likely be different forecasts. Unless there’s no real weather, in that case you’re golden! And there may well not be!Aug 3, 2021 at 5:34 pm #3723818matthew kModerator
12 baby wipes = .3 ounces and toilet paper = 5 ounces? This seems off and if it’s correct maybe you should just take a couple dozen baby wipes.Aug 4, 2021 at 7:26 am #3723845Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
Yep. Mid-September can get quite cold, including snow (we can only hope in this drought year!). I would be worried about warmth with this list.Aug 4, 2021 at 11:27 am #3723870Erik GBPL Member
@fox212Locale: Central Coast
I’d opt for the 22 for the additional safety margin and given your jacket choice. I think you’ll be plenty warm. List looks solid otherwise.
That is a beautiful area and a great time to visit it. I’m more than a little jealous! Have fun!!Aug 4, 2021 at 1:27 pm #3723880Axel JBPL Member
Mosquitos will not be and issue in September so leave the head netting at the trailhead. Maybe even sub out most of the rain gear for a puffy jacket, its always cold at night and the nights are getting longer by then.Aug 4, 2021 at 5:02 pm #3723897Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
I too would choose the KG Flex 22. Also, I’d want a warmer sleeping pad that late in the season. The S2S Ether Light XT only has a 1.2 R-value.
Otherwise, looks good.Aug 4, 2021 at 11:25 pm #3723913
<p style=”text-align: left;”>@alex @Paul Sleeping pad is an etherlight xt insulated. Think that will be warm enough?</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”>@axel do you think I would be better off with a MH Ghost Whisperer Hoody than the Atom LT Hoody? Or both? Or a sleeping bag liner instead.</p>
@matthew wipes are .3 oz each.Aug 5, 2021 at 11:39 am #3723936Erik GBPL Member
@fox212Locale: Central Coast
I think the Ghost Whisperer would be a better option as it’ll give you similar/slightly more warmth for less weight. Neither would be very comfortable to hike in (which you won’t need to do anyway), and neither would be warm enough standalone at camp at 30F (for me anyway). But that’s where the added utility of your quilt comes in!
Looks like OP’s pad is the Ether Light XT *Insulated* – 22 oz for a large. 3.2 R value. Should be fine, IMO, but a supplemental 1/8″ ccf pad wouldn’t hurt.Aug 5, 2021 at 12:10 pm #3723939Alex WallaceBPL Member
@feetfirstLocale: Sierra Nevada North
Insulated – got it. That’ll work fine.Aug 5, 2021 at 10:43 pm #3724017Adrian GriffinBPL Member
Get a CuloClean. It works great. No TP or wipes to pack out or bury. Use it with one of the real flimsy squeezable water bottles from Walmart or CostCo. Smart Water bottles are too stiff to squeeze well.Aug 5, 2021 at 11:19 pm #3724018
Looks like a good list to me.
Regarding insulated jacket: I think it depends how cold it turns out being and how much time you plan on standing around camp. If for example you are solo then if it gets cold you can always cook in your vestibule or near your tent, and not spend much time out of your bag. If you’re standing around talking to your hiking partner for a hour or so each night that is different. I’m not a fan of MH Ghost Whispers myself, as never found mine all that warm. A good midlayer late season makes for comfortable walking when it’s cold.
Same goes for where you plan on camping: if you camp high up in Humphrey’s basin or in Darwin Canyon (depending on your route) or near Muir Pass then you’ll likely need that 22F sleeping bag and layers in Sept. Lower down likely not so much.
My 2 cents.Aug 6, 2021 at 8:22 am #3724027DWR DBPL Member
Nighttime temps high vs. low….
Er… actually, it can be significantly colder down low than up high… cold air is heavier and moves down, while warm air is lighter and move up…
just sayin’ …..Aug 6, 2021 at 8:47 am #3724031
As a rule (generalizing) in the Sierra up high, above the treeline, you have a lack of trees (more wind, less thermal energy to camp in) and lapse rate affects temps (approx 3F+ per 1000 ft), so temps tend to be lower. The N Lake to S Lake loop has more than 2000 ft of elevation variation from below treeline to above.
Obviously, when looking for a campsite, don’t camp in a local depression (where the cold air will settle).Aug 6, 2021 at 9:27 am #3724080
It would be hard–impossible?–not to camp at elevation for at least some nights on this route.Aug 6, 2021 at 10:06 am #3724083DWR DBPL Member
Well, I can tell you from 30 years of experience living in the Sierra, that under some conditions, it is warmer up high…. best to take warm enough cloths for cold whether you are camping high or low…Aug 6, 2021 at 4:55 pm #3724140
DWR D – agree. I’m a Sierra old timer as well. I’ve been in “Winter” snow storms in June.
Jscott – yes, hard not to… You can camp along the route just before and after the passes and stay just below treeline. Piute Canyon, SJ river, Evolution Valley or lake (barely above), Le Conte Canyon and Dusy (at).
It’s a beautiful loop in a fine part of the Sierra.Aug 6, 2021 at 5:36 pm #3724141
it is a beautiful loop–and most of the finest campsites, for views anyway, are at the higher elevations, IMO.
As yet one more Sierra old timer, I also agree that it can be colder at lower elevations at night. And of course, canyon bottoms with streams are more liable to tent condensation as well.Aug 7, 2021 at 9:24 am #3724178
Any recommendations on a jacket to swap out? Light but warmer?Aug 7, 2021 at 4:41 pm #3724198Brad PBPL Member
Any recommendations on a jacket to swap out? Light but warmer?
Montbell Plasma 1000, Montbell EX Light Down Anorak or Feathered Friends EOS. All should be available before September.Aug 7, 2021 at 5:30 pm #3724200
When it comes to down…a few ounces makes a big difference. I don’t know that it’s worth skimping on three ounces and being cold. down is the lightest AND most efficient insulator. I’d rather leave half a protein bar at home and bring a beefier jacket. Or eat the bar at the trailhead and call it good.
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