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JMT/PCT Gear list
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Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
JMT/PCT Gear list on 02/14/2011 21:32:32 MST Print View

So I'm going to be doing the JMT and the SHR this summer, and the PCT next year and am trying to finalize up my gear list. As follows:

Big 4:
WM Summerlite +32 19
ULA OHM Pack 22
Z-packs Cuben tarp with guylines etc 7
neo air 13.5
MLD Superlight Bivy 7.5
69 4.31

Cooking and hydration:
powerade 1 liter 1
nalgene soft 1 liter 1
platypus 2 liter 1.5
Ursack 8
Caldera ti tri inferno cone system 9
lexan spoon 0.5
Total: 21 1.31

Clothes carried
Montbell Ex light 5
wool socks 1
cuben rain skirt 1.5
Fleece Balclava 1.5
Marmot windshirt 4
mld event gloves 1
possumdown gloves 1
Marmot essence 6
21 1.31

Steripen adventurer 3.6
Lighter 1
Waterproof stuff sacks for bag and clothes 2.75
maps 0.5
tp 0.25
waterproof matches 0.5
Fire starter 0.75
permit 0.25
car key 1
headlamp 1
first aid: 6
band aids
dr bronners soap
sun screen
duct tape
water purifier tablets
17.6 1.10

Base weight 128.6 8.04

Clothes Worn
Wool socks 1
sun glasses 2
swiss army knife 1
Columbia zip off pants 5
Columbia Long sleeve shirt 4
boxers 2
Compass 2
bandana 1
Gossamer Gear LT4 with straps 8.3
la sportiva shoes 27
OR sun hat 2
Clothing worn weight 55.3 3.46

Fuel and Container 17
water 32
Food 100
Consumables weight 149 9.31

weight with consumbles 329.6 20.60

The main things I am worried about are if I have enough insulation. Other than that, the only things I can see to cut out are the ursack, take a CCF instead of the neo air for ~6oz savings, and a poncho tarp for a ~4oz? savings. A total of a little over 1lb for a lot of comfort.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: JMT/PCT Gear list on 02/14/2011 22:31:39 MST Print View

Just a few thoughts...

The 32 degree bag may work just fine, but on the PCT hike, depending how warm you sleep and how much clothing you wish to wear, you may want something a bit warmer depending when you get north. For a lot of the trip, it would work fine.

You will need a bear canister through much of the Sierra - unless you plan to use designated food boxes along the way - a proposition made more difficult by some big miles between some of them. Also, I would add using the boxes would be rather limiting in terms of camping sites.

In the Sierra, you can get by with carrying a lot less water than on other sections of the PCT.

Have fun! Terrific adventure.

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth1) - F
JMT/PCT Gear list on 02/15/2011 04:16:34 MST Print View


your gear is definitely not warm enough!!!

For a PCT thruhike you need a sub-freezing sleeping bag and most PCT thruhikers would carry a WM Ultralite - not a Summerlite. Even with a Ultralite you need extra insulation. The rule of thumb for a thruhike is that you need one spare set of sleeping clothes, that is clothes that you don't wear during the day and that therefore cannot get wet. You don't have that included in your list.

When I thruhiked the PCT I was freezing in the Sierras despite a WM Ultralite, warm long johns, a warm fleece pullover and a balaclava.

I suggest you get Yogi's PCT handbook - she has an excellent section on what gear to bring.

Christine aka German Tourist

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Beg to disagree on insulation on 02/15/2011 06:14:31 MST Print View

I'm a cold sleeper, and I used a Summerlite (with a bivy) for my entire PCT thru-hike. I had maybe 3 uncomfortably cold nights the entire trip, and I'd take the same bag if I hiked again. I slept in my Thermawrap jacket a lot of nights, but that was enough.

I don't think that you need sleeping clothes except maybe in Washington. Everywhere else, your clothes will dry fairly quickly once you stop hiking at the end of the day.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Beg to disagree on insulation on 02/15/2011 07:32:37 MST Print View

Joseph, your Ursack will not be allowed on the JMT or Sierra High Route. Rangers will be asking about your storage. Also, in the backcountry if they want to stop you and ask about a cannister they may want to have you produce it for them

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Beg to disagree on insulation on 02/15/2011 10:44:59 MST Print View

"Also, in the backcountry if they want to stop you and ask about a cannister they may want to have you produce it for them"

Typically, they ask you to point to the area of your pack where the hard bear canister is. Then they rap on that area with their knuckles. If it sounds hard like a Garcia, you pass. If it sounds soft like an Ursack, you fail. The entire transaction takes about twenty seconds.

I saw a backpacker with a homemade Rubbermaid food container, and it just did not sound right.


Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
JMT/PCT Gear List on 02/15/2011 11:30:59 MST Print View

+1 on the WM Summerlight. Great bag for a range of temps. I do agree that you may have to wear some clothes on a few nights to add to the insulation. Good list. Have a great trip!

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
some suggestions on 02/15/2011 22:42:07 MST Print View

This is an admirable base weight for the JMT.

As others have noted, you need a hard-sided bear canister.

Why both tablets and a steripen? The steripen has a reputation among through-hikers for being extremely prone to failure. Water treatment is unnecessary on the JMT if you're careful about where you collect your water. Potty hygiene is the big issue, not contaminated drinking water. More info here:

Gloves are not needed for the JMT.

What's in the 6-oz first aid kit? Does it include moleskin?

Does your tarp gear include stakes and some kind of pole for use above treeline? Looks like you don't use trekking poles, which agrees with my own religion -- but then you need some way to hold your tarp up at places like Guitar Lake. I found tensioners to be handy, since I'm perpetually forgetting my knots. Without a ground sheet, you risk getting your bag wet in a big storm. (You can dig a trench or something, but that's pretty environmentally ugly.)

What is your date for the JMT? E.g., if you're going in early season and/or it's been a heavy snow year, you probably want to bring an ice ax.

A pen?

Peter Burke
(Fishmonger) - F

Locale: Midwest
ursack on 02/16/2011 09:05:12 MST Print View

Usack is not legal for much of the JMT, and where it's legal it must still hang on a tree (because that is the only way of legally using it in the non-canister sections of the trail, and youc an hang any nylon bag and still be legal there). So get a can and be done with it - you'll sleep better, too.

Steripen? Learn where to drink the water safely and leave that thing behind. I don't filter anything I drink in the Sierra, but I am selective where to get the water. In late season, I'd bring a filter, because your water sources dry up. A small eyedropper bottle of bleach is what the UL folks bring to treat suspect water.

Ice axe is only necessary during very early season and in very select locations (Forester south face, some sections of Glen, perhaps south face of Mather, but that thaws pretty early). For that time of year, you probably want to upgrade a few clothing and shelter items anyway.

Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Feedback on 02/16/2011 10:04:17 MST Print View

Well I've used the summerlite with that clothing down to about 25, although it was a tiny bit cold.
The ursack will be fine on the JMT, I've gone through it with multiple people, but I will need a canister for the PCT. (How much of it exactly do I need one, where a ursack will not suffice). The tablets are a backup to the steripen, and I have a 4 day or so supply.
I don't use moleskin, but ducttape seems to work fine, and if it's really bad, a little tissue paper underneath has always suited me just fine.
The tarp is going to be used with the GG LT4's, and the rain kilt for a beak if necessary.
I will be leaving in late July for the JMT, and will then be doing the SHR finishing hopefully in middle to late august, for a time frame. You guys don't think gloves will be needed at all? What would you recommend bringing as far as sleeping clothes if I decide to go that route. I have a pair of 100 weight wool shirt, and a pair of cap 2's that I could use, I just didn't want to add the extra 10 oz.
As far as hiking and camp time, will that clothing be warm enough? I'm pretty sure I can take it down to the low 20's hiking, and high 30's sitting around camp. Fwiw, I don't cook or eat at camp in the morning or evenings, and can set up or break down camp in about 15-20 min when I need to (i.e. it's cold).

Edited by jainsworth123 on 02/16/2011 10:21:55 MST.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
JMT/PCT List on 02/16/2011 18:19:39 MST Print View

I have found the Cap 2 longsleeve upper and lower to be pretty good in conjunction with my Summerlight. I think gloves are a personal thing, but since I use trekking poles I would highly recommend them, particularly in the mornings. My hands got pretty cold without them. If your not using poles, then I guess it just depends on your tolerance for cold hands. The bear can debate will rage on for the JMT, but there are people that can and do pull it off all of the time, but it depends on how well you time your bear box stops, stealth camping, avoiding rangers, and putting in some big miles in between some areas where there are bear boxes. I sleep pretty well knowing my food is in a bear can though, FWIW.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: JMT/PCT List on 02/16/2011 18:28:24 MST Print View

Lighweight gloves are a must. I don't care if it is summer or not in the Sierra's. One thunderstorm can drop temps very quickly. Or all it takes is a low to set in over the Pacific and that too will drop temps. 2-3 ounces is not going to kill ya.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
jmt on 02/16/2011 20:51:46 MST Print View

lists looks pretty darn good :)

I think combined w/ the exlight you'll be just fine in the Summerlite if you sleep on the medium to warmer end of the scale- if you sleep on the other end of the scale- a warmer bag may be in order

light wool gloves weigh under 2 oz I can't imagine NOT carrying them everywhere (well maybe not Death Valley)

is the 6 oz FAK including your sunscreen, soap etc? if it's just 1st aid stuff that can be cut way down, if not disregard :)

as others have mentioned I'd consider a mid-weight upper/lower base layer- can be used for sleep, around camp and with many conditions- hiking

the superlight bivy has a good waterproof bottom- no need for a ground cloth imo

will the Ohm handle a canister? maybe a way to tie on top????

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: JMT/PCT List on 02/16/2011 21:32:13 MST Print View

"2-3 ounces is not going to kill ya."

I found thin synthetic glove liners, and I cover those with disposable vinyl gloves if it is raining. =1.6 ounces


Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: JMT/PCT Gear List - Bear Canister regs on 02/20/2011 04:34:52 MST Print View

"I saw a backpacker with a homemade Rubbermaid food container, and it just did not sound right."

They checked me as well. I had a legal canister, no big deal. I did run into a hiker who got ticketed - he was rather unhappy. However, given the rules of the road - I kind of was flabbergasted by his level of moral outrage.

Here is a map of the required places - I wouldn't count on the bear storage being there - the trend is less storage lockers, not more. A stricter interpretation of the Wilderness Act accounts for this.

Personally, I advocate following the rules in the Sierra. It has little to do with the inconvenience of the hiker but protection for the bear.


Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
I stand corrected on 02/20/2011 13:21:17 MST Print View

The entire bear canister issue in the Sierra is changing quite a bit...They are not required in as many areas as they were up to a couple of years ago.


Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Bear canister on 02/21/2011 09:44:06 MST Print View

So realistically I can pick up a canister in the mammoth area, take it through yosemite, and then ditch it afterword? As long as I camp near a bear locker for one night in kings canyon if I don't make it all the way through in one day. I know I'll be fine for the JMT, just wondering about the PCT.

Joseph Ainsworth
(jainsworth123) - F

Locale: Greater LA area
Re: jmt on 02/21/2011 09:47:02 MST Print View

I do sleep on the warmer end, so I guess I should be good tehre. I guess I'll throw in gloves as well.
First aid is everything, though everything is basically Dr. Bronners and some sunscreen.
Instead of a midweight base layer, wouldn't just subbing in a pair of down pants give me a much wider range of temps to use. Something similarly light like the EXlight. That way I'm not carrying single use gear? Or am I missing something?
The Ohm can fit a canister if I have to, but it's not fun.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
down pants on 02/21/2011 11:30:30 MST Print View

down pants would definitely give you more warmth for the weight, might be overkill for sleeping in most conditions???

can't hike in down pants (well you could, but they wouldn't do so well), while a base layer you can

always trade-offs :)