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JMT for Two 2009
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Matthew Parker
(mparker20) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT for Two 2009 on 03/12/2009 13:00:21 MDT Print View

I'd like some feedback on this gear list.
This List is for a JMT trip from July 27 to Aug 16 that my wife and I will be doing together. Therefore I have included both of our gear lists. Check my profile for the list.
Specifically I am curious what you think of the clothing selections. Some of these are still in flux so your input will help.

I should note that I still need to break out the 10 essentials.


Edited by mparker20 on 03/12/2009 13:03:11 MDT.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: JMT for Two 2009 on 03/12/2009 13:38:13 MDT Print View

Everything looks solid except,
your sleeping bags dont seem warm enough to me. Its a personal thing for sure but I would recommend being on the safe side and bringing something closer to a 20 bag. Look at something like the Golite Ultra 20.
It gets pretty chilly especially up high in elevation, unless your going to always sleep low in the valleys.
I used a 30* quilt and some nights I slept with all my clothes including a Montbell alpine light jacket. So Im thinking you would have a better time going with slightly warmer bags. But then again I went late August early Sept so it might be a little warmer at the time your going.

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: JMT for Two 2009 on 03/12/2009 14:04:05 MDT Print View

Nice list. You might have simply overlooked putting this on your list but I would take at least one extra pair of socks each. I used Salomon XAs and Smartwool Adrenalines last year on the JMT. The Salomons let in a lot of dust. I rinsed and air dried my socks nightly but they still developed holes after about six days. Was happy to have a clean pair for camp and eventually hiked in them when my first pair deteriorated beyond use.

What's the status on the Ursack? I thought that was still in limbo.

Enjoy your hike.

Matthew Parker
(mparker20) - F

Locale: SoCal
Ursack on 03/12/2009 14:44:36 MDT Print View

I will have the Wild Ideas Weekender for primary storage and the Ursack for secondary.
I know it is currently not approved but I have used it previously when it was approved and Mine even survived a bear attack without any bear penetration. I have confidence in the ursack and hope that at some point in time SIBBG sees the light and approves it for use again.

Thanks for the comments on the sleeping bags.

I have always used a synthetic 20 degree bag and this year the bag is being replaced. I want to go light but not too cold.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
JMT for Two 2009 on 03/12/2009 15:11:12 MDT Print View

If you get cold, you can always zip your sleeping bags together. Shared bodily warmth can be a good thing. And I'll leave it at that.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Ursack on 03/12/2009 15:57:12 MDT Print View

Watch out for rangers.
I've literally been stopped twice, each time they asked to physically see my bear canister, making me unload my pack.

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
can confirm that on 03/12/2009 16:12:57 MDT Print View

don't mess with non-approved canisters up there.

First hike up last summer, a warmup hike WAY off the busy JMT, up Taboose Pass, I met the first ranger who wanted to see the canister, since we were headed into Kings Canyon NP.

Again when you pick up your Wilderness permit in Yosemite - looksee to make sure we really had the canisters.

Ursack may still get approved - although I have a hunch it won't happen early enough for me to rely on those this summer

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
JMT clothing on 03/12/2009 16:22:46 MDT Print View

Clothes + Sleeping: I would think sleeping in the long sleeve merino + montbell ought to push the sleeping bags enough.

Upper body: Nice combo, presuming you like hiking in long sleeves. I might substitute a short sleeve Merino short for the long sleeve model.

Hiking pants: I'd rather wear shorts and deal with sunscreen & bugs than wear long pants. Your rain pants will do in the evenings.

Socks: Dittos on the extra socks. Next time I'll send a new pair to MTR with my resupply as well.

Gaiters: Dirty Girl gaiters weigh almost nothing and keep the sand out.

For the high Sierra in summer I always suggest a sleeping system that will be comfortable at freezing. It could get down to 15 but it isn't likely. Comfortable to freezing will still let you sleep 10 degrees colder and survive much colder than that.

Edited by jimqpublic on 03/12/2009 16:28:49 MDT.

Matthew Parker
(mparker20) - F

Locale: SoCal
Ursack on 03/12/2009 16:54:04 MDT Print View

I want to stress that the Ursack is NOT our primary bear canister as I will have a Wild Ideas Weekender along as well.

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
primary or not on 03/13/2009 12:37:00 MDT Print View

what are you putting into the Ursack? Even toothpaste and DEET must be stored in approved containers in areas where required.

If you can squeeze everything into the approved container, then fine, but wy even bring the Ursack then?

I would love to use the Ursack instead of my canister, since I've hiked the JMT many times with just nylon bags long before canisters became mandatory. I never lost any food to bears or marmots. However, many nights were pretty "interesting" to say the least, and I don't think I would want to go back out there without at least an Ursack to let me sleep in peace when there's no tree to hang things on.

Alice Klassen
(aliceklassen) - F

Locale: Central California
gear list on 03/31/2009 21:03:47 MDT Print View

Matthew, I am curious why people said your list of clothing was OK -Thermawrap insulation layer for your wife....but when I asked if Thermawrap would be enough for the High Sierra loop two guys said I wouldn't be warm enough. You can check my 3/23 thread and see their comments. Both suggested I go with the down inner jacket from Mont Bell. Just for your information and you can email them personally if you want to talk more. If you would fill out your personal contact info they could reply directly to you....guess I'm worried your wife might freeze. Maybe your hike is warmer. I don't really know. Have fun.

Matthew Parker
(mparker20) - F

Locale: SoCal
Thermawrap on 06/14/2009 11:41:20 MDT Print View

FYI we went with the Down inner jacket instead, i need to update the list

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline) - F

Locale: Southern California
Ursack on 06/14/2009 13:36:34 MDT Print View

Just an FYI, if any of the NPS rangers or Inyo Forest rangers see that you are using an Ursack to store food or other items, you will probably be cited and told to leave the trail. The Ursack is currently not approved in any of the parks or forests where bear canisters are required along the JMT and it doesn't look good for Ursack getting approval any time soon since Ursack's lawsuit is not even scheduled for arguments to be heard in court until July 31 with no time requirement for a ruling thereafter. Yes, Ursack is suing the federal government, and the NPS and USFS feel strongly enough about the Ursack not being adequate for meeting the food storage requirements that they are fighting it. The outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen, but if you don't think they will give you a citation and make you leave the trail, you're sadly mistaken and it sure would be an unpleasant interruption to a wonderful trip. Many rangers feel very strongly about this subject. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know what the consequences are if you're caught using the Ursack.

Edited by mjkline on 06/14/2009 13:43:19 MDT.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
JMT for Two 2009 on 06/14/2009 14:16:55 MDT Print View

Unless you plan to resupply by going out over Kersarge Pass for a pickup in Independence, or unless you will be really moving along, you will need the canister capacity to protect seven to ten days of food per person on the stretch between Muir Trail Ranch and Whitney Portal. This is roughly half of the trail and also the hardest part of the trail. A weekender and an Ursack just won't do it for two unless you are both on a serious weight-loss regimen.

My recommendation? Play the game according to the current rules and carry two, full-size bear canisters. Even then, you will be challenged to get the food in them. Each canister weighs a bit over two pounds; if this is make or break for you, perhaps you should consider another trail. People who spend a lot of time in the Sierra take the rules seriously. You should too.

Trying to sidestep the rules is irresponsible, at best, and IMO foolish as well. The rules are there primarily to protect the bears, not to protect your food for you. If, through your failure to protect your food, you loose it and create a problem bear you are causing problems not only for yourself but for people who will follow you on the trail. Plus, if you get caught without approved food storage, you will get a hefty fine, probably ejected from the trail and, you will have to clean up and carry out any mess a bear might have made with your food.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: JMT for Two 2009 on 06/15/2009 09:57:23 MDT Print View

I own a Ursack and love it. BUT I do not use it where it is not approved. Like the other posts on this subject, you will be asked to produce your cannisters and if not, YOU will be cited and escorted back to civilization. No joke there! I too have been asked to produce a cannister. Mosquito Flats trailhead on the East Side of The Sierra's. Not complying to the rules results in a dead bear.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: JMT for Two 2009 on 06/15/2009 10:34:14 MDT Print View

I guess this is one of the advantages of the Gossamer Gear external cannister attachment system (I see you you have a Mariposa Plus). The rangers haven't bothered me because they can see I have a cannister strapped to the outside of my pack.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Ursack on 06/15/2009 11:30:41 MDT Print View


Out of curiosity, did your Ursack have the metal liner in it when it survived the bear incident? Also, was your food in an "ordor proof" liner?

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: JMT for Two 2009 on 06/15/2009 19:14:15 MDT Print View

"I guess this is one of the advantages of the Gossamer Gear external cannister attachment system (I see you you have a Mariposa Plus)."

FWIW, when I went through the Sierras (JMT/PCT) last year using the same pack, I started with it carried externally but switched after a few days as the d$%^# thing kept wanting to shift --- plastic bear cans are very slippery beasts. When I resupplied via Kearsarge Pass I mailed a variety of "didn't need this, even in early June" stuff home and carried the can inside the pack from then on. Fortunately the Mariposa Plus has a fair capacity to store stuff in mesh pockets outside the pack, so this worked out.

Also, someone earlier in the thread mentioned a Montbell thermawrap being perhaps insufficient. I carried this jacket plus a size-larger vest of the same stuff and found it entirely sufficient for going through the Sierras in June (virtually never used the vest). Didn't have any particularly bad weather during my passage (just one somewhat threatening and wet lightening storm), but there's still a fair amount of snow in there in June. Another case of YMMV I guess.

Edited by brianle on 06/15/2009 19:15:26 MDT.

Matthew Parker
(mparker20) - F

Locale: SoCal
Ursack and other canisters on 06/21/2009 13:24:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments on the ursack, I had hoped that it would be re-approved by this summer but that seems not to be the case.
Second I have a dear friend who is hiking in to meet me for a food drop near kersarge so I will not have to carry more than 6 days of food at any time.
Does anyone have any recommendations for Mariposa plus compatible bear canisters?

When my Ursack was hit it did have the metal liner but I do not recall if it had an oder proof liner or not. The bear worked on it for quite a while but was unable to get anything out.