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Help with clothes list for JMT
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Brian Vogt
(slickhorn) - F
Help with clothes list for JMT on 12/24/2009 11:42:48 MST Print View

This for a 3 week JMT hike mid august - early september.

Daily hiking wear:
REI MTS boxers
REI Sahara convertible pants
poly pro sock liners + lite merino socks
montbell light scree gaiters
columbia 50spf sun shirt
OR sun runner hat

in the pack to supplement while hiking, keep warm off trail, and sleep:
merino longjohns
merino tshirt
merino longsleeve shirt
montbell down sweater
extra pair merino socks
merino hat
dryducks raingear
mts boxers

sure seems like a lot, but I'm not seeing what I could cut unlessI sacrifice clean base layers for sleeping. Any tips?

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
Help with clothes list for JMT on 12/24/2009 12:13:45 MST Print View

Your list is very close to what I used for my hike this year at the end of august.

You could leave the ss tshirt and extra boxers behind but that is a personal call. I didn't take any rain pants either.

I used a Capilene 4 layer as my sleep shirt. Weighs about the same as a light merino shirt. I was glad I had the extra warmth for summit day on Whitney. It was about 28 degrees and windy that morning and nice not to have to hike in my down jacket. Didn't see a pair of gloves on your list.


Brian Vogt
(slickhorn) - F
thanks! on 12/24/2009 12:28:01 MST Print View

that's good to hear.

gloves have been tough, and I haven't settled on a good solution. What I'd like is a thin windproof glove. Any recommendations on that?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: thanks! on 12/24/2009 12:41:39 MST Print View

I don't have any experience on the John Muir Trail except the one in TN/KY but I will throw my opinion in. I don't think you would want a pair of windproof gloves as they dry so slowly. You probably want to take a liner glove (I like the Mountain Hardwear Power stretch glove (1.4oz) or the Land's End Thermacheck 100 Glove (1.0oz)) and a windproof shell (like the 0.5oz Camp Windmitten) or waterproof shell (like the 1.1oz MLD eVent Rain Mitts)instead.

For the rest of your list I would replace your "sleeping clothes" with the lightest thing possible which unless you are using the BPL Merino stuff, isn't wool. I might also replace the wool hat with a lighter fleece beanie (I like the Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome (0.95oz) or the Lands End Thermacheck 100 Beanie (0.85oz). Wool is great, but it is heavy so anything that stays in my pack for the day is usually synthetic.

Edited by Mocs123 on 12/24/2009 12:42:27 MST.

Kevin Yang
(kjyang) - F
re: on 01/19/2010 23:09:32 MST Print View

Your list looks good except for the the short sleeve shirt in your pack. Having a set of clean (relatively) clothes for the night is definitely nice.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Avoid redundancy on 01/19/2010 23:25:07 MST Print View

If you're going for the lightest weight possible, ditch the redundant clothes. If you're already taking the down sweater, I'd skip the two extra shirts; and drop the dry ducks bottoms, at least. Skip the merino hat and go for something thicker, or at least make sure you have a hood to put over it.

Gaiters? On trail, I'm not sure how much hassle they really save.

With a liner glove, I don't think you'll need a shell.

That being said, a three week trip means you'll have a lot of camp time, so some extra layers will make it more fun---although I wouldn't relegate anything to "sleeping clothes" status. Synthetics are a bit lighter for anything you'll be mostly carrying.

Ian White
(DeuceRegular) - F

Locale: Southern Jefferson
gaiters and more on 01/19/2010 23:27:00 MST Print View

I would consider the gaiters optional. When I did the hike I didn't have any and never thought that it would be nice to have them. Also, the extra pair of boxers and extra shirt ended up just sitting at the bottom of my pack. Now, I hike in the same shirt that I sleep in, and would do that for the JMT if I was to do it again.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Clothes Help on 01/19/2010 23:36:52 MST Print View

+1 on the Mountain Hardware Power Stretch Gloves. On REIs website they seem to get mixed reviews but I love mine. Very comfortable, warm, and no awkward seam placement. I wouldnt say they are winter stand-alone gloves but for JMT temps they are perfect. I didnt take gloves on the JMT and was fine with using the handwarmer pockets on the down jacket, though I wasnt using trekking poles either.

I did the JMT with a generic beanie and loved it as well. I liked pulling it down over my eyes to shield morning light and for extra warmth. It seemed like it got bright at 5AM for some reason. Helped with getting an early start though.

A friend I walked the trail with LOVED her OR Sun Runner hat. I am planning on doing the JMT again this summer and I am definitely taking a hat with similar sun protection. When I got back, not only did I smell like a bum, I was also tanned like one, even after much 30 SPF sun screen application.

You should be fine with one pair of chonies.

I didnt take a separate shirt to sleep in as a personal preference. I was dirty and I stank, no two way about it. I was fine with washing my bag after the trip- something you should consider either way. Depending on your bag the montbell down jacket should be enough if you get cold at night.
The longjohns are a must however. You dont want to wear rough convertible pants to bed, its just not comfy. Still, I slept with the shorts section of my convertible pants in the foot of my sleeping bag becasuse they would be ice cold in the morning and I just didnt like that.

Sorry if this was wordy, hope some of that helps. Cheers!

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Help with clothes list for JMT on 01/19/2010 23:51:59 MST Print View

Dirty Girl Gaiters work great to keep sand out of my shoes, weigh very little, and only cost $15 in any color you want except black.

Merino T-shirt is probably not needed if you use another shirt for hiking.

I did the trail late August and only had a Merino polo shirt for hiking, a 100 wt fleece for warmth/sleeping, and a Marmot Precip for wind/rain. I was fine, but weather was very nice. You have an extra full merino layer plus a much warmer insulation layer.

Even the most stormy trips I've had in the Sierra only had a few hours rain most days. Though it can rain all day and night, that is very rare. Thunderstorms with hail can happen but I always take a break under some shelter. Unless you're bent on keeping a specific pace no matter what, you can generally sit out any severe weather.

Do you hike with the long pants? If not consider shorts plus the rain pants.

Regarding keeping the sleeping bag clean I try to bathe and rinse my hiking clothes out every day in the early afternoon. It all dries quickly as I hike. Then when I reach camp I use some water and a small cloth to clean my dusty legs and feet. I also sleep wearing a thin balaclava. These all work together to keep my bag pretty clean- especially the balaclava.

Edited to fill in more info.

Edited by jimqpublic on 01/20/2010 10:05:08 MST.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Help with clothes list for JMT on 01/20/2010 00:02:47 MST Print View

I had night time temps in the mid 20s in early september on the the JMT. A puffy jacket was nice so I could sit up at night and marvel at the stars before turning in.

+1 on the dirty girl gaiters. I thought they were silly too, until I tried some halfway through a PCT thru-hike this summer. It was amazing how much better my feet felt when my shoes were no longer filled with pebbles and dirt.

+1 power stretch gloves

You can drop the merino t-shirt. The long sleeve will be needed if it gets could. If not the columbia will be fine. You can probably also drop the rain pants. I find walking in the rain with shorts, or shorts + long johns keeps me warm if its above the mid-30s.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
good list on 01/20/2010 10:26:58 MST Print View

Hey, your list is fine. I, too, like putting on a dry t-shirt and dry undies in the evening.
I like Dri Move (Golite) becasue it does not smell.
I never wore gaiters until someone at this site convinced me that Dirty Girl's really do stay on on over low cuts. There is a lot of dust on the trail, my feet never over-heated and stayed a tab cleaner because of the gaiters.
Hike in shorts and instead of converta bottoms, use you rain pants as long pants around camp.
I was glad to have rain pants when it hailed. Also, water-proof shell over liner gloves are important in cold rain. My fingers get numb easily making small motor tasks very difficult. MLD sells such shells. Doubt they weigh an ounce. (1.1 oz. see Brian Roger's comment above)
I carry three pairs of socks. Two are low cut. Wash a pair wear a pair. Dry them by hanging the wet pair off the back of the pack with safety pins. The third pair is a calf length pair I wear only around camp.
I like having a wind shirt, too. Light, comfortable, versitle, fits easily in a pocket.

Helpful JMT site with links and maps...general info:

Here's what I wore every day along the JMT (Seldon Pass)clothes worn each day

Edited by rambler on 01/20/2010 11:02:35 MST.

Wayne Sikorsky
(wts) - F
Re: Help with clothes list for JMT on 01/25/2010 15:09:06 MST Print View

Hey Brian,

I brought a t-shirt,long sun shirt,ul wind shirt,down jacket and shell.Could have left the t and ul wind shirt at home (about 8oz). For the bottom I had light shorts and light long pants. That covered me for swimming and xtra warmth.Next time light long zip offs and ul wind pants. I only needed light wt fleece gloves a few times.

Wayne Sikorsky
(wts) - F
Re: Help with clothes list for JMT on 01/25/2010 16:10:36 MST Print View

Hi Brian,

As for gaiters I made a pair from and old tee shirt and bra hooks. It was just to easy. I didnt really need them at all,but I could have used a face mask for ALL OF THE DUST.Not kidding. The locals call it the John Manure Trail as the rock, soil, and manure (lots of pack animals) just get pulverized to a fine dust. My wife and I had to hike about 50ft apart to aviod the plume.

Wayne Sikorsky
(wts) - F
Re: Help with clothes list for JMT on 01/25/2010 16:25:15 MST Print View

Thats what I mean.....Pack Animals

Edited by wts on 01/25/2010 16:27:44 MST.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
not that bad on 01/26/2010 10:03:15 MST Print View

Come on, Wayne, it's not that bad, but I was amazed at some of the places I saw horse prints and a thrown horse shoe on Goddard Pass. You would not find me on a horse riding over those passes on narrow swithcbacks with nothing but rock to fall on.

BTW The Bear Creek Trail out of VVR is a horse free trail and probably the trails upto Whitney?

Warm Light hat: is a more up-to-date hat page:

I think Wayne could have used the OR Arridas on it, then read the description!

Edited by rambler on 01/26/2010 10:33:35 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Goddard Pass on 01/26/2010 10:19:47 MST Print View

Frank, where is Goddard Pass?

I know Mount Goddard. I assume it is around there.


Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
error on 01/26/2010 10:29:20 MST Print View

I meant Goodale Pass an alternative route to VVR off the JMT rather than Silver Pass. Harrison JMT Mapset, page 8

Mt. Goddard is southwest of Muir Pass. Apparently most of the summits of the Sierra can be seen from its summit. Sierra High Route , Roper, p.128
Goodale Pass
Goodale PassGoodale Pass

Edited by rambler on 01/27/2010 18:52:41 MST.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Dust and Mules on 01/26/2010 10:55:00 MST Print View

My understanding is that the JMT was designed so that pack mules could cover every part of the trail. It is amazing sometimes to see those animals coming up over a pass, like Glen Pass. Then again, it's amazing to see people coming up and over too!

As far as dust, that is why you pray for some sort of showers while you are on the trail. Makes the dust much more manageable.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
the JMT on 01/26/2010 11:18:33 MST Print View

Scott, the JMT may have been designed that way for pack animals, but there are some really rough spots, and I would sure hate to see animals trying to negotiate those spots. There are some tight and rocky places along the top 2 miles near the Whitney summit.

When I first started hiking Whitney from Whitney Portal, there was a pack station, so the trail looked pretty bad. Real quickly, the pack station was eliminated and the quality of the trail for hikers increased a lot.

Brian Vogt
(slickhorn) - F
sorting through on 04/20/2010 15:41:27 MDT Print View

all the great feedback in this I've made some adjustments:

On Trail:
sahara pants
sun shirt
sunrunner hat

in pack:
capilene pants
long sleeve capilene shirt
down sweater
extra socks/boxers (1ea)
pileaus rain hat (I wear glasses so need a good brim)
powerstretch gloves

I've cut a few things out and lightened some others in that list. The big change is in rain gear: I'm adding the ULA rain wrap since I don't want to commit to full rain pants.

I'm considering nixing the merino beanie and my rain shell in favor of a Mtn Hardware Transitions jacket. I like it because it is a better layer for hiking in, and the hood for sleeping in makes the beanie irrelevant.

2 big downsides are that it isn't really a shell and I won't be able to wear it over my down sweater if I needed insulation and rain protection. But I figure in that case, I'm either camped or hiking, so I've either got shelter or I'm not wearing the down.

Thoughts? My other option is to take a goLite phantasm, but I feel like the transition jacket is way more flexible, save the downsides above.

This all gets my packed clothes in the 3 lb range, and I seem to be having trouble getting any lower than that.

Thanks again for all the great advice folks!