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Rene de bos
(piemel) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Greetings on 05/13/2009 14:43:32 MDT Print View

Just wanted to introduce myself. I will be 40 years old in September and have become interested in backpacking. I live in the SF Bay Area on the footsteps of Mt Tam and my goal is to drive to Yosemite a few times this year to do some weekenders to get the hang of it all. Ultimate goal being to do parts of the JMT and maybe even all of it.

I really enjoy the focus of this website and I have been learning a lot. I am an aboslute beginner when it comes to backpacking and my first focus is to get my gear together with a focus of being comforatable yet light if possible and overtime (with experience) lighten up to as far as I feel I can personally take it.

First question I have is regarding reading metaerials. Can anyone recommend a good book for backpacking the JMT?


ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Greetings on 05/14/2009 08:36:04 MDT Print View

can't help with the book question, but welcome!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Greetings on 05/14/2009 09:06:01 MDT Print View

Rene or René ?


For books, go up to menu above Shop/Publication and take a look at 'Falcon Press Lighten Up' and 'Beartooth Mountain Press Lightweight Backpacking'

Neither are perfect, but they will get you thinking.

Search the Forums here for 'JMT' and look for suggestions already made.

Then build a gear list and post it here for a (gentle) critique.

You'll be fast and light in no time.

Rene de bos
(piemel) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Greetings on 05/14/2009 14:23:39 MDT Print View

It's René :)

Some of the stuff I am getting together or already have is considered lightweight but I stil have a long way to go to get a complete kit together.

Not asking for comments yet but so far the main items I have are :

Exos 58 backpack
REI flash 18 daypack
TNF Cat's Meow Bag Long
GG Thinlight pad 1/8
GG Sit pad
Patagonia Houdini
Patagonia R1 Hoody
REI Ultra Light pants
REI Sahara convertible pants
REI long underwear (lw, mw)
Patagonia Cap4 pants
REI Polartec Teton pants
Vasque Catalyst 3 season boots
Salomon Deemax Dry winter boots
Katadyn Hiker filter
Vargo Jet-Ti stove
Snowpeak pots (alu. gasp! )
and a billion little gadgets/stuff

Biggest purchases coming up :

Tarptent Double Rainbow
NeoAir Regular size
Water system (platypus probably with maybe Sawyer filter)

I am tall and hence think the double rainbow would be a great choice for me to get into light weight stuff for a tall person. I can bring my girlfriend if she wants and if not I have ample space at not too much of a weight penalty. I am not mentally ready to go with a bivy and/or tarp setup.

Anyways... just introducing myself and if I have any specific questions I will start a new thread.

Some time soon I will make a full gear list and ask for advise.

Its refreshing to see so much good information is on these forums without having to wade trough too much nonsense


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Greetings on 05/14/2009 14:43:42 MDT Print View

I forgot to mention one of the best resources on this forum - the Gear Lists that are often found on an individuals' profile page.

Click on the Name at the left of someone posting and you will go to their profile page (but not me, I haven't put up a Gear List yet). There you may see a link to their Gear List and see how they handle things. After looking a a half a dozen or so you will start to see trends. Gear Lists will force you to be brutally honest about what you select and why.

Check out Johnathan Ryan and Roleigh Martin (use the Advanced Search box), both with lots of JMT experience. Also go to to see gear lists for specific trips and environments.

Have fun.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Greetings on 05/14/2009 15:02:06 MDT Print View

I hope you found this site before you started buying all your gear. I didn't, and ended up replacing a lot of the stuff that was marketed by REI and the like as UL, but in reality is barely worthy of the name lightweight.

This isn't a book on the JMT, but I went snowcamping with this guy last winter, and he's doing his 9th JMT hike this summer. Here's a youtube on his hike last year if you want to see some highlights.

Yosemite is great, but if you find you can't get permits for your desired dates, know that there are a lot of great locations that require permits but have no quota's, so you can go last minute. Powell Lake and Y Lake in Emigrant Wilderness are a fairly easy 2.5 and 5 mile hike from the trailhead, respectively, and make great starter trips. My girlfriend doesn't backpack, but if I could convince her to try it for one night, I'd take her to Powell Lake. Also Granite Lake in Mokelumne Wilderness is only about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. Neither place is much farther from SF than Yosemite.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Greetings on 05/14/2009 17:54:38 MDT Print View

You can also go to the coast ranges. Big Sur is really nice.