North Cascades - Summer
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Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
North Cascades - Summer on 06/11/2009 10:57:22 MDT Print View

Hi!

Could you please look over my gear list and critique it?

The list can be found in my profile as a PDF file.

Blue weights - means estimated weights. I haven't measured personally.

If it's in blue, and has question marks, it means I haven't purchased yet and am asking for your suggestions.

This is for an early August trip to Glacier Peak wilderness.

Thank you!

Raphi Schuster
(RSchuster) - F

Locale: Washington
Re: North Cascades - Summer on 06/12/2009 00:00:20 MDT Print View

You could drop some weight by replacing your old school therm-a-rest, unless the luxory is worth the extra weight for you. For underwear for him,
I've found that running shorts with a netting inside work very well. They can be their own shorts if its very hot, are lightweight, can easily go under rain pants or something else, reduce smell, and don't ride up as you hike.
Seeing as you are wearing a sun hat, I'm assuming you want a thermal hat packed. REI sells a very nice wind-proof hat here: http://www.rei.com/product/703274.
For a whistle, you can buy a sternum-strap clip with builtin whistle online.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: North Cascades - Summer on 06/12/2009 19:55:37 MDT Print View

Overall looks like a nice list.

Styrofoam cup --- I have no experience, but wonder how well that will hold up. I like a plastic gatorade bottle as a sort of backup water bottle and for flavored drinks.

You might consider in any event some sort of plastic soda bottle or the like to help fill your platypus containers; need for this depends on the geometry of the particular water source.

Bear hanging: a few ounces heavier and $65 but I really like using an Ursack. It's just sometimes such a PITA to find the right tree and make a sufficiently accurate throw at the end of the day.

If you anticipate rain, consider a pair of Rocky brand Goretex socks (size 'em up ...), assuming you're going with non-goretex shoes (which I recommend, at any rate).

Extra cord? Purell? Do you folks make do without toilet paper? Some sort of trowel? In the north cascades I recommend a spare black plastic yard waste type of bag --- just a good thing to have.
Liner gloves only --- augment with spare wool gloves, or ... ?

Best wishes for some great hiking!

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: North Cascades - Summer on 06/12/2009 22:09:15 MDT Print View

Elena, here are my suggestions- (watch the weather before you go- you could get highs of 85* sunny days or highs of 55* cloudy wet days)

Trash compactor bags- yes, they work great

Rain pant (his)- don't need any (unless heavy rains are forecasted the whole time you are out) you’ll dry quick without anything

Hat- Tilley AirFlo (REI) 3 oz but a great hat and will keep sun off head ears and neck

Underwear (his)- just use running shorts with a liner

Shorts- running shorts with liner

Long Johns- I would get a pair of merino UL as a base layer to work with the running short on colder days.

Double Rainbow- great

Pillow- if BPL get the 2 chamber one

Styrofoam cup- NO WAY- It won't last (I've tried it before), if you need a cup use a plastic McDonald’s soda up (too bug for me)or some other UL flexible plastic cup. You can cut the bigger one down and use sand paper to smooth the edge and it will weigh about .5 oz, not much different then the foam better they don't crush!

Platypus 1 lt (2 ea)- just carry one Platy 2 lt each (lighter than two 1 lt)

Compass- Suunto M-3D (REI carries it)

Whistle- Boaters World in Bellevue has the same whistle as BPL and you don’t have to pay for shipping

Deet- REI Jungle Juice repackaged

Lipbalm- personal choice

Shoes- Inov8 roclite 315- my choice

Cap- see hat above- but I would have a UL fleece (1 oz) cap

Hiking poles- lightest you can afford

Gloves- a UL mitten shell is a good idea if bugs or colder weather/rain comes in (helps the liners keep you warmer)

I Hope this helps- have a fun trip

Edited by bestbuilder on 06/12/2009 22:13:57 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: North Cascades - Summer on 06/13/2009 18:52:38 MDT Print View

"Could you please look over my gear list and critique it?"

Hi Elena,

If you are going in early August, the bugs will probably be pretty ferocious, so I'd count on wearing long pants much of the time. There are many to choose from. Perhaps a convertible so as to have both a short and long option? Patagonia Classic Boxer Briefs work great as an underpant, loose, light, airy and quick drying. The other posters have pretty much covered everything else, IMO. Have fun. It's a beautiful area. One of my favorites in the Cascades.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
comments on 06/15/2009 11:40:48 MDT Print View

Thank you, everyone.
Yes, i need to think about sturdier cups, the foam ones have crushed on me before.
Tad, i was wondering about your experience with the Roclites. i was considering purchasing a pair of Inovs for myself. I'm looking for soft shoes on top. I actually did lots of hiking in sandals in the past mainly due to regular hiking shoes rubbing in my heels, toes and making horrible blisters. i also hike in very lightweight athletic shoes for the same reason, but i feel they are not providing adequate sole support. Do Inovs feel soft and comfortable?
Also, do you guys have any ideas about long pants? Lightweight, but somewhat water repellent?

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
lightweight pants on 06/15/2009 19:07:41 MDT Print View

"Also, do you guys have any ideas about long pants? Lightweight, but somewhat water repellent?"

My personal preference is not water repellent, but rather quick-drying. So long as they're reasonably tough, some sort of synthetic and quick-drying, I'm content, though I usually end up with official "hiking pants" from REI or the like.

In terms of bugs in August, it depends on the year but in my experience it's July when they're usually the worst.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Summer in the cascades on 06/15/2009 20:05:35 MDT Print View

Nice list. Some personal insights below...


Trash compactor bags weigh 2.1 oz

The BPL FlexAir pillow weighs 1.1 oz.

A 6 ounce titanium POT? Is it huge?

A simple compass should weigh less than 2 oz

2 knives? Totaling 2.1 ounces? That's kinda too much. Nix the heavier one and share. The little key chain Victorinox is 0.7 oz.

You made sure to NIX toilet paper just for me, right?

Taylor Ginther
(Tippet) - F

Locale: San Diego
Re: North Cascades - Summer on 06/16/2009 02:22:42 MDT Print View

Elena my friend, I don't see fuel on your list.

Maybe a different lighter, not the mini-bic. Something that holds enough gas for the whole trip.

I group my "worn" clothes in with everything else. On the trail, my weight is my body weight plus 24lbs of gear and up to 10lbs of food and up to 10lbs of water, depending on length of trip. Far from ultralight I know. But that's everything, including boots, fishing gear, camera, etc.

You have lightweight bags and packs, this is very good. It's what's enabling you to get below 10lbs.

Well done list, hope you enjoy the trip.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: lightweight pants on 06/16/2009 18:09:13 MDT Print View

"In terms of bugs in August, it depends on the year but in my experience it's July when they're usually the worst."

We could quibble about when the bugs are the worst, Brian, but the OP said she was going in early August. Close enough to July, I'd say. And there are usually enough bugs in early August to make your life miserable, without being the hypothetical worst if you don't come prepared. That will very likely be the case in the Glacier Peak Wilderness this year, given the above average snowfall on the west side of the Cascades. Possibly less so if she goes in on the east side, but why take a chance when long sleeves and pant weigh so little extra? My 2 cents. :)

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: lightweight pants on 06/17/2009 06:38:00 MDT Print View

Hi Tom. Hard to argue with your logic! Of course it can vary a lot; last year the snow melted out pretty late in the NW, which shifted the heaviest bug times. I walked through Oregon in early August last year and it was much buggier than it usually is at that time.

And as a person who pretty much always wears long pants and long sleeves anywhere and anytime, I can't disagree on that point either. Clothing coverage plus a willingness and ability to just keep moving is a great strategy for minimizing use of DEET.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: comments on 06/17/2009 12:30:31 MDT Print View

Yes Elena, the 315's are light and comfortable. Here is the Inov-8 site: Inov-8
They have a number of shoes and each one has different cushioning.
I have never really had a problem with blisters, I only wear one pair of socks (Darn tough merino full cushion- or just some regular REI merino). But I make sure my shoes fit well before and after purchasing. I do a mile or two ever morning with a 25 lb pack as my exercise program and this is where I break in my new shoes- If they don’t make it there, I take them back to get a better fitting shoe- Maybe I’m just lucky.
I did take a chance on the Inov8’s- I bought them directly from the importer but I got a great price so if they didn’t work out I could pass them on to someone else- they turned out to be a good shoe.

Edited by bestbuilder on 06/17/2009 12:33:38 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: lightweight pants on 06/17/2009 20:17:51 MDT Print View

" Clothing coverage plus a willingness and ability to just keep moving is a great strategy for minimizing use of DEET"

Hi Brian,

Spot on, IMO. That's pretty much the way I go at it, too. Stand in one spot too long and the little ba%$@#ds will find an undefended piece of flesh. I've taken to using permethrin on my hat, shirt, and the front surface of my pants the last couple of years. It seems to work pretty well. Good thing, because as I get older there are times when I just don't want to keep moving.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
bugs on 06/18/2009 18:03:50 MDT Print View

so now i'm preparing myself to be bug's food :)
just lost an icebreaker shirt to an army of moth last weekend, by foolishly leaving it outside to "dry". Those bugs seem to be more destructive than bears.

Mike, yes, i didn't put the toilet paper since i knew you would probably not like it. i can personally deal without it, but not sure if husband will. working on it : )

the pot is a 1.3 liter for two. i don't think they make them lighter in that size? and i'll switch the a smaller knife.

had anyone had success with any natural alternatives to 100% deet?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: bugs on 06/18/2009 20:24:25 MDT Print View

"had anyone had success with any natural alternatives to 100% deet?"

All reviews I have read indicate they are not as effective, but have some efficacy. Pretty much squares with what a couple of people I know have said. As a result, I've been afraid to rely on them so far.

Another approach is to apply permethrin to your clothing, use a head net, and apply minimal DEET to your hands if things get bad enough. They can still be a problem, though, when it comes time to relieve yourself. Careful campsite selection can also reduce bug problems, away from water and/or on a ridge if the weather is stable.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
North Cascades - Summer on 06/22/2009 20:08:42 MDT Print View

You wrote:
"the pot is a 1.3 liter for two."

This is for two? You should'a said that. 1.3 is fine. It's overkill for solo hiking.

I've had good success with alternative eco-groovy mosquito repelants. Also, early august should be fine. Don't camp in the swamps and you'll do great.

Edited by mikeclelland on 06/22/2009 20:11:17 MDT.