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JMT gear list feedback please
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Michael Smith
JMT Gear List Report on 01/14/2010 12:05:34 MST Print View

Brian and Jonathan,

I am planning a JMT trip August 8-27, 2010 with a couple of other men. I am thinking of using a Gatewood Cape for shelter and a Caldera Cone with Esbit for cooking. Based on your experiences, what would you change on your lists, if anything? How much insulation are we likely to need in jackets and sleeping bags? Any other suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Gatewood Cape/Caldera on 01/18/2010 13:32:49 MST Print View

I will chime in, if you don't mind.

I used the Gatewood Cape last year on my JMT thruhike. We had 2 nights of rain. I also used a bivy. The truth is, I only set the Gatewood up 4 out of the 13 nights we spent on the trail. When there was no chance of rain I did not set it up and just slept under the stars. Once, we had rain all night long (a rarity in August). Since we had to set up near dark we picked a spot that was not ideal as it was on a bit of a slant. I stayed completely dry except for water seepage underneath; the bivy did help. The next day was wet so my son wore the Cape as a rain cover. I was wearing my dri-ducks. It works well as rain gear too! If you are comfortable in this shelter you should be fine in any condition you will find in August.

I did not use a Caldera, My son and I shared a canister and stove. That was a good set up but we ended up carrying an 4 oz. canister to the end and never used it. I now have a Caldera GVP. I like it because you can use exactly the amount of fuel you need. It is light also. I would figure 1 tablet a day using Esibt. That would be enough to boil water for dinner. I did not boil water any other time.

I think my profile has a JMT list still. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. The hike is awesome and doing it lightly makes it much more enjoyable.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Gatewood Cape/Caldera on 01/18/2010 13:49:10 MST Print View

I see we are revising an old 2008 JMT gear list thread. Very well, I'll add my two cents.

I too did the JMT August 1-20 of last summer, using a Gatewood Cape, Serenity Net Tent, and Caldera Cone (esbit). Like the previous poster, I set my cape up about three times, the net tent solo once. Bugs were rare in August so the net tent was hardly used and could have been left behind. I found the Picardin-based insect repellent wipes kept even the skeeters at bay nicely. I'll leave my net tent behind this summer on the Colorado Trail and save 7 ounces. I will still take my headnet.

My Gatewood Cape never saw rain on the trip, but it did weather two straight days of very high winds. I estimate the gusts reached 50 to 60 mph at Onion Valley campground.

Contrary to my 2008 post, Esbit tablets are now available at the Mt Whitney Hostel in Lone Pine, at the Whitney Portal store, and at Muir Trail Ranch.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: JMT Gear List Report on 01/18/2010 21:01:52 MST Print View

I think you will do just fine with a Gatewood and esbit/cone.
If I did it again I would bring more gear and take more time but you have to work with the time you have. I did wish I had brought my bivy ( a SMD Meteor ) because as others have said it would be great to just throw a bivy on the ground and sleep under the stars protected from any bugs and wind. Mosquitoes weren't a problem outside specific areas but I always hear it strongly depends on the year and time of the year so its prudent to have some form of bug protection. A serenity bug net would be just fine. I found the ants to be a bigger problem then the mosquitoes but again it was limited to specific areas.
I would ship your ESBIT in your resupply and/or ship some to Yosemite's/Lonepine post office to start if you don't want to risk them not having any. No one sold it any where when I did it but it sounds like that may of changed.
For insulation I would be prepared for 20 degree nights- that way you will be covered. remember that it will be a lot colder the higher up you are. I had a lot of cold nights at or below freezing ( frost on my bag and ice in my water bottle) but I tended to camp around 9-10 thousand feet at least because I liked going over the passes in the morning/afternoon.
Last thing I would do differently is use a frame pack. My MLD frameless worked fine but a frameless is not the best tool for the job of carrying a full bear canister.
Don't forget the lip balm. Have a great trip.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Re: JMT Gear List Report on 01/18/2010 21:18:32 MST Print View

In Aug 2009. esbit tablets were available at the Mt Whitney Hostel in Lone Pine, at the Whitney Portal store, and at Muir Trail Ranch.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: JMT Gear List Report on 01/19/2010 05:42:14 MST Print View

Ditto to what Brian said.

-Bring a sleep setup good down to 20 deg
-I used alcohol in my caldera and wished for the simplicity of esbit
-Allow yourself extra time if you are not used to the altitude
-If you are using a tarp def bring a bivy
-I used a ULA Circuit with a 5 day load in a Bear Vault 500 and was completely comfortable.
-Wear a sunhat. I used a baseball hat and burned my ears pretty good.

Lastly if I had to do it all over again, I would skip Yosemite and start from Tuolomne. I was not a big fan of the crowds.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Re: Re: JMT Gear List Report on 01/19/2010 05:48:05 MST Print View

I am planning on doing the JMT later this year as well.

I also plan to use a Caldera with esbit. I don't have the Caldera cone yet. Is it worth it to get the Ti-Tri for the added flexibility of being able to burn wood?

Is a tarp and bivy an ideal shelter? How about a DuoMid with innernet or bivy?

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Re: Re: JMT Gear List Report on 01/19/2010 05:57:01 MST Print View

If you have not bought the Cone yet I would highly suggest going for the tri ti for the very reason you stated. My wife and I came to the same conclusion before we left. While we did not need to use wood for fuel at any point, it was nice having a backup plan.

As for the shelter option, we were actually wishing we had brought our tarptent along instead of our tarp/bivy combo. May seem silly to others but we camped in several areas where we were far from alone and alittle privacy for a late day nap would have been welcome.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: JMT Gear List Report on 01/19/2010 06:31:27 MST Print View

Thanks for the feedback.

I have not bought my cone yet and I think I have decided to get the Ti-Tri. Now I just need to determine which pot size to get it for.

I hike solo most of the time, and when I am not solo, I am usually not as light. The comment about the privacy of a tarp-tent is a great point. I have a DuoMid and a RayWay tarp that can be enclosed quite well. However, I might trade the RayWay to help pay for a SpinnTwinn, SpinnShelter, or maybe something lighter where I don't need the full protection offered by the DuoMid.

As I live in New York city I am relatively used to sleeping with people making lots of noise. However, crickets chirping can keep me up at night. I am looking forward to it!

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
JMT add-ons on 01/19/2010 09:19:14 MST Print View

I recommend Universal Shade from Dr. Shade. Can be worn with any baseball style hat and removed when you do not need it.( I have it on in the Avatar)

Dirty Girl Gaiters: I wear low cut footwear and these gaiters are the only ones I have ever tried that do not ride up, and they stay on. There is no cord under the foot. A small piece of velcro on the heel of your shoe holds them on. The velcro comes with the gaiter ($15, free shipping!) The same strip of velcro lasted the entire hike.

I wore the same Eco Mesh long-sleeved shirt from RailRiders everyday. Never overheated, provided UPF 30+ sun protection, dries fast and I wore it as an extra layer when it was chilly in the evenings.

There is good reason you need Ti-Calderone cones for wood fires. Fire will melt the other kind!

The best stakes were the skewer variety in those areas where the ground was hard pack. 9" Carbon Fiber stakes from Titanium Goat broke.

I was amazed at how long gas from canisters lasted. I used the ti-snowpeak stove and alternated between a large and small canister. For four days I cooked for two, for two days I boiled drinking water. Both canisters had fuel in them at the end of my hike (14 days)

The only water treatment option at the Reds Meadows store was iodine tablets. They did not have flat batteries or batteries for Steri-Pens. I did find AA batteries in the hiker box at MTR. They sell the batteries there, but the nice lady behind the counter told me to look in the Hiker Box first!

After Reds Meadows there was zero Verizon Cell Phone reception until Whitney Portal.

Mid-August. No mosquitos.

I used a 20 degree bag, SMD Wild Oasis Shelter and homemade bivy. I was glad to have each. The bivy acted as a ground cover as well as added warmth.

Somewhere along the trail, I realized since water was so plentiful, I did not have to carry any. I just treated a liter with the steri-pen and drank it on the spot before moving on. Since I have had kidney stones, I am sensitive about dehydration which causes them. I stayed hydrated. To save time in the evenings I treated three liters with chemicals and left it over night, so i would have water ready for morning.

An easy route home from Lone Pine: CREST bus to Lancaster and Amtrak. Amtrak to LA Station, express bus from LA train depot to LAX. (CREST bus does not run everyday) You can also link with Amtrak points north, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Francisco. Or, CREST north up 395 to Reno.

Edited by rambler on 01/20/2010 09:07:07 MST.