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Backpacking in yosemite
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michelle Annett
(andrewz) - F
Backpacking in yosemite on 11/05/2007 21:59:49 MST Print View

I am going up backpacking in Yosemite national park November 23rd so the conditions are going to be a little bit cold but overall i think it will be ok. Our trip is short and is only 2 days 3 nights. We are hiking about 15 miles a day so we can reach our destination. elevation will only be a max of 8000ft. Just out of curiosity what would you guys bring with you on this small trip? no real reason for the post but for the mere interest in what you would bring :-)

*sorry for the double post. posted in gear talk, shortly after i realized that was probably the wrong place to post.*

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Backpacking in yosemite on 11/06/2007 06:45:00 MST Print View

Hey Andrew,
Not sure if someone is going to post a full gear list or not, but on the right side of the forum page there is a link "community gear list". If you go to it, many members have there gear lists posted and then a brief description of where and when they did/would/are going to use it. I took a quick look and didn't see yosemite, but maybe there is another place that will have similar temps/conditions and see what they would bring.
Just a thought.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Backpacking in yosemite on 11/06/2007 10:44:22 MST Print View

Hi Andrew,

Going in when you are, at the end of the "shoulder" season, you'll be hugely dependent on what the weather brings. I've camped on bare ground over Thanksgiving in the Sierra high country, but most years there's plenty of snow by then. Tioga Pass Road generally closes after the first large November storm (should that be where you're entering).

Temps will likely be down into the teens or even lower at night, so plan accordingly. If sunny, daytime temps could be quite pleasant, presuming no strong winds. As you know, the days will be short as well.

If we continue to "enjoy" our drought, you could be lucky and have clear trails to walk on, or it could be a snowshoe trip. My only caution is against going out in advance of a storm, unless you're quite experienced and well equipped.

I find the NWS forecast maps very helpful in trip planning.

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/...

I'd probably take my GoLite Hex, FF Swift bag, full-length pad, Xtreme stove, PT Eos or Tikka XP headlamp, and add a down jacket and mittens to my typical three-season clothing kit. Perhaps a balaclava as well.

Water treatment would depend on what my source(s) are.

Edited by sharalds on 11/06/2007 11:35:06 MST.

michelle Annett
(andrewz) - F
bringing on 11/06/2007 22:50:40 MST Print View

We are actually doing a very common trail. we are starting at happy isles and making the grueling walk up to Nevada falls, and to Merced lake. It will be about 14 miles both days. We only have Friday morning to Sunday night sadly. What i am bringing are :


msr - pocket rocket

golite phantasm goretex

mummy sleeping bag rated to -10 ( not by a famous brand so not the best but will do )

hitech altidude II insulated winter boots rates to -25 degrees (hope this is sufficient and wont get to wet)

Therma rest sleeping pad - full length

One man bivy

rain/wind pants - have not decided what i will go with yet.


the rest will just be warm clothing of course fleece, wool socks,maps, compass, ETC ETC.


( my gear is still building up with better things i have only been upgrading for the last half year to a year so i dont have all the "hi tech" stuff at this moment :(

*also my best buddy will accompanying me so i wont be alone if anything were to go wrong*

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: bringing on 11/06/2007 23:44:52 MST Print View

It sounds like you'll be pushing the range of the pocket rocket. Be prepared to warm the canister before usage and use a platform of some sort if you'll be using it on snow. If the temp gets too low, the canister will lose pressure.

Mid- late November is about the time that I usually switch to a Coleman Xtreme (or a white gas would also work). You may want to consider a different stove, and a larger pot (I use a MSR Titan 2L) for melting snow.

I'd imagine those boots will be serious overkill. Check out Will Reitveld's article on ultralight winter footwear on this site for some tips and suggesstions.

Have a great trip!

michelle Annett
(andrewz) - F
msr on 11/07/2007 08:26:40 MST Print View

Yeah i probably will be pushing this little stove but i dont have the money to be able to buy another stove is the problem. I am just going to bring 2 12oz canisters so if it is less efficient hopefully that will suffice. i will check out those shoes you will told me when i get back from work :). Doug about the MSR even if i warm it up with my body and use some king of wood platform (if i can find) to have it as its base do you think that would help it alot?

We will not need to melt snow because where we are there is a stream and a lake. Unless it happens to be frozen over than we might need to.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Pocket Rocket vs. Coleman Xtreme on 11/07/2007 17:15:27 MST Print View

Hi Andrew,

I think you'll be okay. Once I carried a canister stove for a snow caving trip and the temps got extremely low. The problem is not inefeciency- it's low heat output. But you should be okay if you keep the canisters in a jacket or sleeping bag with you- and if the output drops too low, you can put your hands aroud the canister and you'l see the output increase.

And if you aren't melting snow, you don't need massive output anyway. I'd leave the extra canister at home.

The science of it, by the way, is that when the gas (that is in gas form) in the canister cools, it his the boiling point. This stage releases a lot of energy, cooling the canister even more and the gas quickly moves into a liquid state. In a liquid form, your Pocket Rocket cannot function.

Now, a Coleman Xtreme is a different kind of gas stove in that it has a vaporization tube for convertin the liquid Butane/propane to gas form for effective output even in sub-freezing temps. Great review by Roger here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/coleman_xtreme_stove_review.html

The Xtreme is my favorite winter stove EVER. It's a great performer and worth a look when you decide to buy a winter stove.

Have a great trip!

Edited by djohnson on 11/07/2007 17:15:56 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
I stand corrected on 11/08/2007 07:56:30 MST Print View

Apparently, I had this wrong a bit- thanks for the clarification Vic!

Hi Doug,

I think that you have your thermodynamics a bit backwards. If you release energy, the system will heat up not cool down. When the liquid in the canister vaporizes, changing from a liquid to a gas to run the stove, it requires energy from the environment. It is the "latent heat of vaporization" process that cools the canister. The system can not get enough energy in a cold environment to keep up with the gas demands of the stove. This is the reason for the performance reduction and canister icing.

Best regards,



Vic

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: I stand corrected on 11/08/2007 08:01:55 MST Print View

Hey Doug,
have you considered the MSR Windpro? Any take on Windpro vs. Coleman Xtreme?
Thanks,
Sven

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: I stand corrected on 11/08/2007 10:17:33 MST Print View

Hi Sven,

Roger Caffin has had good results from the WindPro with inverted canister. The advantages are lighter weight and easier-to-find fuel. The extra effort comes from having to cobble together some sort of canister inverter (to obtain liquid feed). Performance from either should be fine for winter conditions.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/selecting_stoves_for_cold_weather_part_2.html

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Re: I stand corrected on 11/08/2007 10:30:25 MST Print View

Thanks Rick - I did read that great article. Just not sure why people would prefer the heavier Coleman to the Windpro with inverted canister - the only thing I could think of is that the Coleman would perform better in extreme conditions due to the use of white gas (?)
Sven

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Re: Re: I stand corrected on 11/08/2007 10:43:34 MST Print View

I have used the inverted WindPro down into the single digits with no problem. I'm not sure it is necessary but, when it's very cold, I hold the lighter under the vaporizor tube for a few seconds before I open up the gas valve.

It had better work! I'm not hitting the trail until I've had my morning coffee!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: I stand corrected on 11/08/2007 11:01:25 MST Print View

Hi Sven,

Speaking strictly for myself, I'd choose the Xtreme because I own one and I don't own a WindPro :-) IIRC the Max cartridges have a greater percentage of propane than common Lindal canister fuel, whoich would make it the prefered fuel for winter cooking (but I could be mistaken about that point).

I have a Fyrestorm as well, which I'd press into service if I couldn't get Max cartridges. It, however, is vastly more expensive than either of the others.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Pocket Rocket on 11/08/2007 11:47:04 MST Print View

Hi Andrew,
This post's intention is not to "recommend" using the pocket rocket for those conditons, but more to let you know that I have used my pocket rocket down to about -12C. It didn't work well, but it did work enough to boil some water and melt a bit of snow. When you splash warm water on the canister or heat it up some way (also not recommending this), you see an immediate increase in flame output. I actually bought the MSR Windpro after last winter because the stove was such a pain to use, but you could get by if it's just 2 days.
If the lakes are frozen over, break the ice with a rock or fist(not recommended). Melting snow with the PR is a pain.
HTH

Edited by Steve_Evans on 11/08/2007 11:48:09 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Winter Footwer in Yosemite on 11/11/2007 18:55:35 MST Print View

Andrew,
I recieved your PM, but for some reason it won't let me respond to you.
As for your boot question, you should probably post it here an get some advice from people who are experienced with Yosemte (I've never been, and live far away from there). I don't know much about the weather there, and reading the above posts about storms and whatnot, it is probably better answered by someone with more experience then I.
I wear midheight day hikers in the winter, and that gets me by here regardless of weather - I change my sock combination for the weather. Lots of people here wear trail runers all winter, but I'm not sure if they would in Yosemite at that time...your gonna have to ask them :)
Sorry to leave you hanging like that.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Pocket Rocket on 11/11/2007 22:57:40 MST Print View

> This post's intention is not to "recommend" using the pocket rocket for those conditons, but more to let you know that I have used my pocket rocket down to about -12C. It didn't work well, but it did work enough to boil some water and melt a bit of snow. When you splash warm water on the canister or heat it up some way (also not recommending this), you see an immediate increase in flame output.

There is a secret to using an upright canister stove in the snow if you HAVE to. But you need some water to do this.
Background: You have to keep the butane in the canister above freezing so it will vaporise. Liquid water is above freezing.

So put 1/2" (cold) water in a bowl and sit the canister in that. This will supply heat energy to the butane in the canister for a while, and the stove will work. As soon as you can, add a LITTLE warm water to what is already in the bowl, to add a little warmth. Do !!NOT!! use hot water in the bowl - anywhere from 1 C to 10 C is OK. The water should be cool to cold to the touch.

If using an inverted canister, you can pour a little COLD water into the concave base to help things along a bit if it is really cold. By really cold I mean around -20 C or lower.

My problems with the WindPro were that the needle valve kept gungeing up - I don't know why. You may or may not have this problem - I don't know.

I dislike the Pocket Rocket as the pot supports bend and collapse under load. Very poor design there.

Cheers