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Sierra High Route Mid September Gear


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  • #3687759
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    I’m not ready for a full shakedown, but these are some of my initial plans for a 7 day trip to the Sierras in mid September 2021. Unless noted, these are items I own or have on order. Just trying to see where my kit is for this trip.

    Shelter – new version of the silpoly Yama 1P Cirriform tarp with a polycryo ground sheet. I assume that bugs will be gone and rain will be sparse.

    Pack – LiteAF 46L Curve.

    Sleep – Nunatak Arc UL Three Season 20 degree 1 ounce overfill. S2S Ether Light XT Insulated Large. I haven’t used it yet, but I’ve struggled to sleep on other pads. Narrow pads do not work (6’2, 205 pounds). Hoping it’s better than my Neoair Xlite. I’m a somewhat cold sleeper.

    Bear Canister – Don’t own yet. Would a Bearikade Weekender work for 7 days? Is it worth buying and then reselling over renting if I don’t think I need it again soon? Or just get a BV500 or 450 and pay the weight penalty over the $$$ penalty?

    Puffy – Montbell Ex Light Anorak.

    #3687788
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    You can definitely get a week of food in a Weekender.

    #3690233
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    You are correct in that the bugs should be long gone and typically you should have good weather.   I have gotten snow later in September so it is possible.

    What are you wearing on your head with your quilt?   I’ve done two mid September Sierra trips and temps have gotten down to the mid/low 20’s both times.

    I have a Weekender and can fit 6-7 days of food in it.  If you aren’t used to packing a bear canister it does take some tetris like skills and picking the right food.  I remember getting ready for my first trip using a bear can in 2011 and packing up the day before my flight it became evident that my normal trail foods weren’t going to work so I had to make a trip to the store.  When in doubt Peanut M&M’s pack well and have high caloric content.

    As for the canister itself, I have a love-hate relationship with the design of the Bearikades (I have a Weekender and a Expedition -used for up to 14 days).  They are light and well built, but have one fatal flaw – the edges are quite sharp and can damage packs – so just be aware.  I try and pack something soft around the top edge now where it touches my pack, but it’s a pain.  The locking mechanism is well done, and personally I find it easier to open then my BearValut Solo with cold hands, but it does require a tool (the back edge of my closed SpyderCo Ladybug works perfect -my spoon works OK too).

     

    #3690247
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    I have both a fleece hat and a 20 degree Goosefeet balaclava. I’ll probably sleep in the balaclava based on the potential temps.

    Bear canisters are new to me. I’m still torn between the BV500 or the Bearikade which I would likely later sell. I don’t think I’d get enough use out of it to justify keeping it.

    Good info on the sharp edges. Would some tape be a good idea?

    #3690261
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    The worst offender of the sharp edges is the top and the lid goes all the way to the edge so tape wouldn’t allow you to remove the lid.  Perhaps I’m the only one who has had an issue with it since I don’t see other complaints about it, but I have multiple packs with scars left from the bear can.

    I actually bought my first Bearikade (the Weekender) in 2012 for a trip where I intended to sell it afterwards.  They do hold their value well, and I concluded that I could re-sell and come out about the same as a rental, but buying one would allow me to use it on some “test” hikes first and make sure it was comfortable the way I wanted to pack it (my first trip with it was with a frameless pack).  I’ve used it about once a year since so I’ve never sold it but despite the age it’s probably only had 8 weeks of use and looks nearly new.

    Nothing wrong with a Bear Vault either if you decide to go that route.  The Bearikade and Bear Vault both have advantages -and both blow other canisters like the Garcia out of the water.

    #3690264
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    For 2 ounces and $24 more than the Weekender, maybe the Blazer would be a good idea. More wiggle room.

    #3690268
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    More room in a canister is never a bad thing.  It always seems like mine is packed to the gills once I get all my non-food smellables in it like hand sanitizer, toothbrush, aquamira, etc, however I’ll give one word of warning since your pack is only 46L is that bear cans take up a lot of pack space and are just bulky and awkward to pack around.   If you get a chance, pack everything up and test it prior to your trip.

    #3690283
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    The top edge is definitely sharp. I pack carefully around it.

    #3690298
    Brad P
    BPL Member

    @brawndo

    Yeah, I know the canister will take up a lot of space. I usually like to strap my shelter to the outside. I just don’t like putting a wet shelter into my pack. The 1P Cirriform with no inner needed is pretty small, plus some polycryo.

    I’ve also seen people put their food into a bag inside the pack and use the Y strap to attach the bear canister externally. So that’s something I’ll test out. Maybe keeping it external will also reduce the risk of damage from sharp edges.

    #3690313
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    If you are going that route then I’d vote for a generously sized can so your aren’t getting involved in extended bearcan Tetris sessions your first few nights out. I feel like that is an activity best done at home before departure.

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