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High Sierra Trail loop gear list
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Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
High Sierra Trail loop gear list on 09/16/2010 18:16:00 MDT Print View

I'll be doing a 5-day solo trip at the end of September, roughly following the first half of the High Sierra Trail then looping south to Mineral King and back to Wolverton. I expect it will be in the 50's-60's during the day, and down to 25F or so at night.

I did this loop three years ago with my wife with a base weight of 25+ pounds and am looking forward to doing it with a much lighter pack. So here's what I'm bringing...

gear list

A few comments:

-I could get a lighter shelter, but typically go on trips with my wife, and don't want to buy a solo shelter just for this trip...thus the Squall 2.

-Could ditch the Kookabay pillow for a stuff sack with clothes, but I'm afraid that it'll be cold enough at night that I'll be wearing everything. At 1.3oz it's one of the few items I consider a luxury.

-Compressor jacket is a full pound, I'm not sure if I need to bring it, but I was pretty cold hiking Whitney a few weeks ago without it.

Let me know what you think!


Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: High Sierra Trail loop gear list on 09/16/2010 18:39:55 MDT Print View

I did that loop over a long weekend a few years back. A great west side hike.

I couldn't even do summer in the Sierra with a subkilo, much less fall. Are you planning on sleeping in your clothing?

The compressor isn't super warm, but might be enough for camp. A bit on the heavy side, but it beats a fleece.

Are you really cold natured? I couldn't imagine hiking in R1 unless it's darn cold. Personally, I would consolidate both the compressor and the R1 for a nice down jacket for camp. Waaaay lighter and probably as warm as the two other items put together.

I would loose the pillow, but it sounds like a good idea if you take the subkilo.

I'd also loose the PLB, but that is just me.

I won't turn this into yet another bear can debate, but you should at least have a plan for what to do there.

I agree with the Squall. It's hard to justify the cost for a new shelter with the minimal weight savings.

Kyle Dickerson
(kyledickerson) - F
Bear Canister on 09/16/2010 18:43:20 MDT Print View

Looks pretty good. That's comparable to what I brought on the HST last month. Don't forget your bear canister! Rangers patrol the HST and will escort you off the trail and cite you if you don't have one.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: High Sierra Trail loop gear list on 09/16/2010 18:55:25 MDT Print View


The sleeping bag might be pushing it if it is colder. Also I have heard that the Neoair needs additional insulation in sub-freezing temps.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: High Sierra Trail loop gear list on 09/16/2010 19:49:25 MDT Print View

I find the sub kilo is comfy for me down to about 30F with the R1 and thermal underwear, albeit a little on the cold side. With the compressor & blowing up the NeoAir super thick I think I'll be good if it dips into the high 20's. I think the likelihood of it getting much colder than that is small, especially for more than 1-2 nights... if it does, I'll just shiver a little and deal.

I do hike in the R1 if it's below 45F or so. On Whitney a few weeks ago, I wore a thin wool t-shirt and the R1 and was quite comfortable going up hill when it was 40F and partial shade. When it got windy I put on the Alpha LT. From all the comments about being cold, I think I'll bring along the extra warm layer. Jeff, I really like your idea of replacing the R1/compressor with a down jacket. Something like an Alpine Light down parka would save me almost a pound. I really wanted to get one of the EB vests while they were on sale, but they were sold out by the time I checked.

In terms of bears- I am planning on using the existing metal bear lockers on this trail which are evenly spaced every 6-8 miles. We brought a bear can last time and never used it because of the plethora of bear boxes. It is my understanding from the NPS SEKI website that you are not required to carry a bear canister in this portion of the park. I am bringing a hang kit and an odor-proof bag as an emergency back-up but don't plan to need to use it. Anyone familiar with this area who can confirm that this is okay? I will check with the rangers and will stick the bear can in the car just in case.


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Nix the tent on 09/16/2010 21:23:05 MDT Print View

Hope this helps:

NIX the tent and get a tarp. Cheap and very light. Bugs will NOT be an issue at the end of september. Keep the warm clothing and ditch the tent!

Your pack is pretty heavy, lot's of lighter options.

132 oz of water capacity??? THat's way overkill. When would you ever nee that much?

Aqua-Mira drops are much faster than the chlorine tablets. You'll carry much less water if you can treat it quickly.

Keys and Wallet? You can pare that to the bare minimum (down to zero if you wanna be bold)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: AM Liquids on 09/16/2010 21:56:01 MDT Print View

Aqua Mira drops are NOT faster than chlorine dioxide tablets!!

OP - AM drops have only 1/3rd the amount of active ingredients of AM tablets and Micropur tablets. Read the instruction of both forms and you will see that:

1. Liquids - instructions mention treatment for bacteria only -- no protozoa (which takes longer to kill).

2. Tablets - with 3 times the concentration -- will treat bacteria and also protozoa -- but takes up to 4 hrs. with water just below freezing.

In my conversation with AM rep. -- it takes the same amount of treatment time for both liquids and tablets to kill bacteria. Actually, liquids take 5 minutes longer because of the pre-mixing time.

But unlike liquids, solids are good for protozoa as well. The rep mentioned 30 minutes treatment time for water at room temp. -- but longer treatment time is required for colder water -- up to 4 hours for water that's just above freezing.

But can one use liquids to treat protozoa effectively? The rep said yes, but to quadruple the liquids' dosage -- and then follow the same treatment time as solids (i.e. up to 4 hours). Why quadruple and not just use three times more -- I didn't ask.

Edited by ben2world on 09/17/2010 12:33:15 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
20 minutes vs 4 hours? on 09/17/2010 09:48:50 MDT Print View

Aqua Mira Tabs
Directions For Use:

- Remove one tablet from foil packaging and quickly insert into one liter of contaminated water.
- Allow to react for four hours in an area away from sunlight.
- The treated water is now ready for drinking.
AquaMira Drops
Directions for use:

- make mix (5 min)
- add drops
- wait 15 minutes for clear water
- TOTAL = 20 minutes

20 minutes vs 4 hours?

The mix can be made as a pre-mix in advance, eliminating the 5 minutes waiting.

And - the alpine water in the Sierra is mostly cold and clear.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: 20 minutes vs 4 hours? on 09/17/2010 10:52:57 MDT Print View

Cool! A water treatment debate! :D

A pump filter is faster than both drops or tablets, weighs less than an extra liter of water waiting on treatment time, and doesn't make the water taste like chlorinated city water. :D

Of course, depending on the water logistics of your trip, you may not be carrying an extra liter just for the treatment wait.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: 20 minutes vs 4 hours? on 09/17/2010 12:27:01 MDT Print View


Read your Am liquids instructions. They mention treatment of bacteria. Do you see ANY mention of protozoa (e.g. Giardia) at all. No? Why not? The liquids are not approved and are not marketed as effective against protozoa!

Now read AM tablets instructions. Same manufacturer. This time, they clearly mention effectiveness against bacteria, viruses AND protozoa (e.g. giardia)!! Why? 3X the concentration of chlorine dioxide -- meaning 3X the potency of liquids. EPA approved.

So, let's recap:

o Liquids -- 20 minutes but good only against bacteria.
o Solids -- 3X the potency -- good against the much harder to kill protozoa as well -- but long treatment time (up to 4 hours).

In my conversation with AM -- Solids will kill bacteria the same speed as liquids. The longer treatment time is required to kill protozoa in cold water. AM chose to indicate the longest treatment time (4 hours) rather than differentiate/confuse users about different times for different baddies at different water temps. I suspect the EPA "encouraged" them to do so.

Edited by ben2world on 09/17/2010 12:55:47 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
neo and water on 09/17/2010 13:24:10 MDT Print View

won't wade into the water treatment debate :)

I will say that if there is a relatively god chance of below freezing temps- I'd consider adding a thin pad (GG thinlight 1/8" ~ 2 oz) to put atop the neo- I'm fine till about 32 (I'm definitely on the warm end of the scale sleeping), below that the addition of the thinlight definitely helps.

I have to agree w/ Mike that 8 oz in water storage could probably be trimmed- not sure what 1 liter platy you have, but mine only weighs 0.9 oz

maybe a smaller bladder and a lighter platy for gatorade

also agree that a down jacket may ultimately save you some weight (and volume) and might work better as well- especially as part of your sleep system


Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: High Sierra Trail loop gear list on 09/17/2010 15:05:39 MDT Print View

In terms of aqua mira vs. tablets. I have used both and don't see much of a difference. I happen to have a bunch of tablets on hand right now so plan to use them instead of buying more drops. I would be pretty comfortable drinking the water in this area of SEKI without filtering so I am not too worried about it either way. I never seem to notice the taste of the tablets.

Mike C I will take your suggestion and bring a 70oz bladder and the platypus instead of a 100oz+platypus. That still gives me 3L capacity so I can fill up once at night and have enough for dinner/breakfast in camp but is a few oz lighter than the huge reservoir. I don't have a scale yet so the weights are approximate or what the mfg says... Mike M you are right, the platy only weighs 0.9 oz and the smaller camelbak weighs 2 ounces less.

So the main areas I could save weight...

-Save about 1 lb by going to a tarp+groundsheet
-Save about 13 oz by replacing R1+compressor with a down jacket
-Save 4 oz by switching from camelbak to platypus brand bladder
-Save 8 oz by going to a frameless pack
-Save 7 oz by leaving the Spot at home

...which would put me somewhere around 10 lb base weight instead of 13.5.

Thanks for the suggestions,


Edited by andrew.f on 09/17/2010 15:06:46 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
water capacity on 09/17/2010 16:35:02 MDT Print View

Andrew wrote:

"70oz bladder and the platypus instead of a 100oz+platypus. That still gives me 3L capacity"

Wow, 3 liters? That is overkill unless you are in the mojave desert in July. Why so much? When would you EVER need to carry that much water?

I strongly suggest going down to 1.5 liters. That's just me. In most mountain environments, I will never cary anything else but a 1-liter soda bottle. The weight of the vessels is insignificant, it is the act of carrying that much water that seems like overkill.

Eat b'fast & dinner on the trail (a great UL skill) near a water source. Then there is no need for extra water & quota;in camp"



Edited by mikeclelland on 09/17/2010 16:40:35 MDT.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: water capacity on 09/17/2010 16:54:57 MDT Print View

Not planning on carrying more than 1.5L at any time and only on the few stretches where there isn't a water source for ~10 mi. I would typically carry ~1L and fill it up at the next creek when I run out. So I could get away with just the 70oz bladder, but I want to have two containers in case one leaks.

Plus it's nice to fill up to 3L when I get to camp and treat it while I'm setting up. Then use a liter for dinner, drink one during the night, and then have 1L treated left over in the morning when I get up.