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Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re:TRT in July on 06/01/2009 23:15:41 MDT Print View

Hey Nick,
I enjoyed your read and trip report on the Skyline Trail – PCT – Jo Pond Loop:)How did the Murmur feel with 17+ lbs inside? I really love the pack!I can say it's definitely made with excellent craftsmanship, but i don't consider it much of a water hauler. Im thinking i will start the hike with the Murmur and have the Conduit in Tahoe City with my re-supply JIC i want to make the swap:) With your experience in the desert of So Cal carrying 8.5 lbs of water to start your day=you got me thinking i can make mine work for me as well! How did you get your Murmur soo Light? Do have the pads in the shoulder straps? I've heard that packaging bubbles are the way to go.

Thanks Nick

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re:TRT in July on 06/02/2009 01:15:23 MDT Print View

Aaron,

I had put bubble wrap in the shoulder straps, but the night before, took them out and put a sock in each one. Fold each sock and fill the top half of each strap. The socks do catch on the velcro, so there is a little fiddle factor. Normally, I put some cash, debit card and driver license in the bottom of one strap (zPacks sells a tiny cuben sack that is the perfect size for these). In the bottom of the other strap I usually keep my car key and a spare Photon II light. To be honest, I often wear the same pair of socks for two or three days, so digging socks out of the straps is not a big deal. On the Skyline Loop, I wore the same pair of socks for the whole trip. I just have fewer foot problems than most people.

I put a 1L Platy in each side pocket. I put a 2L Platy in the main compartment, laid on its side. Keep it low. If you keep it high, you have to fold the cap, because it is a little long. When I drank all of the water in the 1L Platys, I would then transfer the water from the 2L into the 1L liters, for easy access. In warm weather you are not digging into your pack for stuff during the day. My poncho, food and the 2L platy go in the bottom it that order. Quilt on top of that, the quilt will insulate the water and food and does help keep it cool. I had some M&Ms in my trail mix, which I did not notice. They did not melt, but the M&Ms in the daily food snack zip lock did melt. I will pay more attention next time. :) Wind jacket in the rear pocket for easy access. If it is hot, your back is going to get soaked with the Murmur, so a wind jacket is a big deal on stops if there is a breeze. Poncho in rear pocket if rain is possible.

We now we get to my pet peeve with the Conduit. A 1L Platy will not stay in the Conduit side pockets, they fall out! And you risk them hitting an object and springing a leak... big problem in waterless country. The Conduit is desgined for a Sports bottle, which weighs more (but is easier to drink from). I guess Brian was not really aware of the problem, until I sent him some pictures. The ULA Ohm handles water much better, but weighs 21oz. The theory of the Conduit's angled side pocket is easy access to water while walking. I think this "Industrial Engineering" efficiency factor is over rated; i.e. drinking water without stopping. I drink water about once an hour, unless the temperature is over 100F. I stop, and take a couple minute break. With a BW around 5lbs or less, you could just slip one arm out of the pack and grab a bottle, if one is a "5S" kind of person. I like to stop. The side pockets on the Murmur has made it my go-to pack, which the Conduit used to be.

Here are some pictures of the Conduit issue.

651

652

649

650

653


The Murmur is PERFECT for 1L Platys.

0012

At first I was hesitant about the perceived fragile-ness of the Murmur pack material. I am now past that, and even did some awful bushwacking in it, resulting in a tear in one of the side pockets. I will try a piece of duct tape to repair it, or for under $100 a replacement is not a big deal.

I also was concerned about over-tightening the itty-bitty waist belt at the end of the day, when I got tired, to help transfer the load to my hips after a water fill-up. But the pack has performed flawlessly.

After seeing the Mariposa Video, I am thinking about getting this pack, and then maybe replacing the Ohm with it. I like the Y-strap for carrying a bear cannister, when it is required. Otherwise, I generally use a Ursak, since I am too tired at the end of the day to fool around with throwing a cord over tree limbs. But if I were doing your hike, I would opt for the PCT hanging method, using cuben sacks. I love cuben sacks. I have probably bought about a dozen of them in different sizes from Joe at ZPacks.

I really like the ULA products, but GG seems to have dialed in the little functionality things that make a difference during each day. I really like the hip pockets on the ULA packs, but when I need to go as light as possible, I take the pockets off the pack. The hip pockets are nice for a camera, but I have found the little pocket on the Rail Riders Adventure shirt is perfect for a camera, and it has a Velcro closure.

I hope all of this rambling is helpful.

Edited by ngatel on 06/02/2009 01:30:48 MDT.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re:TRT Hike on 06/02/2009 10:29:56 MDT Print View

Hey Nick,

I tried the unused socks in the shoulder straps as well. Although they were comfortable enough for shoulder padding, they shifted and bunched up. They were semi fussy like you said to get the socks past the velcro at the opening. Not a big deal though. The padding provided by Gossamer Gear are just a little blocky feeling. I figure this will change with more use:)The bubble wrap seems like a UL, comfy option. I'll probably try them all with the pack loaded and choose what works the best. I also will be hiking in Merino Wool liner socks. These are much thinner and will stay drier throughout the day:)I could probably get away with one pair of socks on this 5 day hike as well. My feet are pretty tough and with a couple icey water foot baths+ advil= happy feet:)I plan on putting my DL,CC,and $20-40 bucks in a aloksak with my clothes inside my pack. Good ideas though!
I also carry heavier items like water and food at the bottom of my pack as well. I never thought about how having my quilt above those items would act as insulator. Protecting items like chocolate and other items that are less heat tolerant. Sweet! Having access to items like a windshirt, and trail snacks is great with the big net pocket on the Murmur.
I thought i was all alone in disliking the bottle pockets on the Conduit. This is not the best design and in order to hold the bottles safely, you have to crank them down soo tight making the bottles hard to remove. I became extremely frustrated when traveling off trail on one hike losing both bottles into the creek as i scambled above in the scree.:( The Murmur has addressed this by creating great, tall, easily accessible pockets. Love them!
That sucks to here about the tear you recieved in your pack. I know the pack won't last forever and I look forward to using it for all my SUL trips in the future. Like you mentioned the price makes them a little less depleating on the bank account. I've heard that spinnaker actually gets stronger and quieter with use. The noise never bothered my fiance and I because we were overwelmed by the feeling of floating down the trail because of our how light our loads were:)In my experience with the Murmur the waist and sternum staps were not neccessary, but they did add to the comfort some what. The next pack im looking at is the Miniposa for longer hikes with more gear. As for bear bagging, i do plan on using one of my empty Cuben Fiber SS from Z Packs.
In the end both are great packs! I never got the hipbelt pockets with my Conduit. Maybe i should give Brian a call. It's been a huge help talking with someone who has both packs. Thanks for sharing your experiences here on BPL Nick! All of this is helping me dial out my system for this hike. I look forward to chatting in the future:)

Later,

Aaron

Edited by gliden2 on 06/02/2009 14:15:45 MDT.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
TRT Gear List 09 on 06/03/2009 01:24:50 MDT Print View

Re: Roger Caffin’s statement that he never steps into the wilderness without a compass, neither do I since I have one of those small, spherical compasses on the lanyard I wear around my neck. It’s also true that I have never needed a compass or map to know where I was on the TRT since the hiker is constantly catching glimpses of one of the largest landmarks on the planet. Still, it is theoretically possible that a fog bank could shut off all visibility of all landmarks.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: TRT Gear List 09 on 06/03/2009 01:42:50 MDT Print View

Re: Roger Caffin’s statement that he never steps into the wilderness without a compass, neither do I since I have one of those small, spherical compasses on the lanyard I wear around my neck. It’s also true that I have never needed a compass or map to know where I was on the TRT since the hiker is constantly catching glimpses of one of the largest landmarks on the planet. Still, it is theoretically possible that a fog bank could shut off all visibility of all landmarks.

---------------------------------------------------------

I have carried the same orienting compass with me for over twenty years, and almost never use it. I do carry maps. Usually topo maps and sometimes more simple maps.

I do on ocassion not bring the compass, but do bring a topo map. Usually on well marked trails or areas I am familiar with. Not a best practice, nor something I would recommend. If I expect snow, I ALWAYS bring a compass. I carry a compass close to 99% of the time. If I was hiking the TRT, which I have not done, I would bring a compass. If I was extremely familiar with the route, I might consider not taking it. But a simple compass like Robert uses is so light, there really is no reason not to carry something like it.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
RE:TRT 09 on 06/03/2009 08:56:59 MDT Print View

Robert- Yeah your right i should pick up one of those. I always travel with compass and map but the TRT is pretty straight forward, well marked, and i have a great map:)Who makes the spherical compass you are using? What the weight? The lake does make things pretty simple when it comes to navigation. Along with the Take IT Outdoors Map, i should always now what lies ahead and where I am:)
Nick- I agree with both you guys about the compass. No need to leave it behind we it's so minimal, yet so vital in back country travel. I have hiked parts of the trail in the past, but it's been a while.
I also haven't settled on a shelter yet. I have been considering the poncho/tarp idea. weather is generally warm with lows in the 40's and very little precip. Good Idea?

Thanks Aaron

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
trt gear list. on 06/03/2009 10:02:18 MDT Print View

Aaron,

I don't want to turn this thread into the usual (circular) thread of late around here, but you REALLY won't ever need the compass. There's no way you can lose the trail, and if you do, just look for the giant blue lake. Or ask one of the 20-200 people you'll see every day on the trail which way is north. Or look at the sun beaming in the sky, rising over there and setting over there. Or look for Polaris at night while you sip a little scotch. Really. I know it's a "you can NEVER hike without a compass" deal, but really you won't need it on the TRT. The argument of "it's so light, why not carry it?" would apply to TONS of other gear you/I/others don't carry (antibiotics, backup lighter, extra map in case one blows away in a windstorm, etc.). But carry one if you want to! :)

For shelter, I carried an MLD SilProPoncho on my hike, even though I knew it was going to be deadweight given the stable weather that is typical of mid-September in the Sierra. I still never want to be out for multiple days with zero shelter/raingear (of course, I could have ditched to town, road, etc. pretty quickly). It's light and small and multi-purpose, so I definitely recommend it. I just slept out on the ground on a Polycryo groundsheet, with a Prolite short pad and Caribou MF bag. No worries.

Other gear questions I put at the end of my last post, but you might not have seen them:

Down jacket + hoody + rain jacket? All necessary?
Balaclava needed with hoody?
No camera? There are endless photo ops!
No ipod? Always comes along on long MPD trips.
No watch? (one of my most important navigation tools)
Sunglasses?
Ibuprofen instead of aspirin? (anti-inflammatory, i'd take some in morning and some in camp at night.)
Benadryl (I always carry a couple, for allergic reactions and sleep aid)
Toilet kit - paper, lighter, alcohol gel in ziplock?
Toothbrush (with or w/o paste or powder)?

Edited by DaveT on 06/03/2009 10:08:56 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: trt gear list. on 06/03/2009 10:46:55 MDT Print View

Aaron,

I agree with Dave on the shelter. MLD Sil Poncho is also my rain gear and shelter. If there is a good change of heavy perciptation, bring a breathable bivy. Even if little or no chance of rain, I bring the poncho. In an emergency in full sun, you will need shade.

If the weather will not dip below 40:

Just bring a light down jacket for insurance. A Montbell Extremely Light Down Jacket only weighs 6.1 oz in large. Skip the Hoody and rain jacket, unless you are hiking in a hoody as your baselayer and hiking shirt.

Camera, on my last unique trip I had to leave the camera behind because the battery was dead. I am very unhappy about that. Take a camera.

Ipod, personal decision. I try to leave technology at home. I can easily keep my mind occupied and like to hear all the sounds. If you want one, the Nanos are almost weightless.

Watch... on long days of hiking, I think it is required.

Sunglasses... required. I wear glasses because of old age. I can never find any glasses that are comfortable. I now have a pair of Maui Jim's, with a reader (1.5 magnification) bifocal. I can wear these glasses all day and forget they are on my ears. Less than an ounce. Only took me 40 years to find sunglasses I can wear all day.

Toiletries -- personal option. To be honest, your teeth will not fall out if you do not brush them for 5 days. Just no one will be will to kiss you. Strangers may stay away from you due to bad breath, I would consider that a plus :)

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
no compass on TRT on 06/03/2009 17:16:19 MDT Print View

I agree with Dave's post about no compass. I just hiked today from the Mt Rose trailhead to my house (about halfway between TC and Brockway Summit) and got seriously confused for a few hours around the Relay Peak area--still way too much snow. However, as I knew where the sun was and/or where the lake was, I was fine with just a good map. I've always thought it would be virtually impossible to get really lost in Tahoe--just head down towards the lake and you'll eventually hit civilization.

This thread is what made me do today's hike--I just can't wait any longer to do some serious TRT miles.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
RE:TRT Gear List on 06/03/2009 20:02:06 MDT Print View

Thanks again for all the input:)

Dave-I found a MLD Sil Poncho Pro in the gear swap. I couldn't be more excited! Now i can add a wind jacket and drop the Mica. I'll also add a polycryo ground cloth as well. Nice:)
The compass is nice to have but will most likely not be needed on this hike. There are many scenerios that could happen like fog,snow, etc. But in July? Still thinking about.
Like i said above i will be trading out the Mica for a wind jacket since i have the poncho now.
Im bringing the MOntbell UL Down Inner to boost my quilt. Im not sure the rating on the BPL UL 60 Quilt but it's no Nunatak. I would like to eventually get a insulated vest or a lighter jacket for summer time but can't afford it right now.
Your right on the duplicate balaclava. The hoody is kind of heavy for summer use anyways, so im thinking about swapping it out for a Patagonia Capiline long sleeve.
I will be bringing a Nikon Coolpix S210 (4.3 oz) for the photo ops. I plan on doing a trip?gear report after im finished with the hike.
No ipod. That stuff stays at home.
I need a watch for sure. I'd like to get something that has an A

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
TRT Gear List 09 on 06/03/2009 21:56:43 MDT Print View

Re: Tahoe rain: this morning, I took a walk along the Nevada side of Tahoe, the trail running several hundred feet inland of the lake. As it has for the last several days, clouds began building up in the morning, and by noon I had to break out my Driducks rain jacket. On the drive home, the rain under a couple of the thunderheads was so intense it rivaled hurricane-strength rain, but only for a limited time. All this was predicted, so anyone hiking in the Tahoe area should get the weather forecast before making a final decision on rain gear. (PS you can safely drop the compass.)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: RE:TRT Gear List on 06/04/2009 01:47:02 MDT Print View

Aaron,

For me the lower limit of the BPL UL60 is 50F with a down jacket.

I have a Nunatek Arc Specialist for anything colder to about freezing.

Below that to 20F, I have WM ultralight.

Below 20F, I stay home or go somewhere else :)

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
RE:TRT Gear List 09 on 06/08/2009 21:03:43 MDT Print View

I will be adding a JRB NO Sniveller to my TRT Gear List. I agree with Nick and don't feel the BPL UL 60 Quilt+Montbell Ul Down Inner Jacket will be enogh boost for the temps that i will most likely face. For a couple oz's the JRB will be a much warmer, versitile option=) It will definitely be rocking this bad boy in poncho mode. I'll have the allstar poncho setup, the MLD and the JRB on the TRT! This system will keep me dry and cozy and is easily adaptable to many conditions. Less than a month...im gettin super excited and have enjoyed the feedback this thread has created.

-Aaron