Andrew, Thank you for taking the time to review my list. It especially helps to hear from someone familiar with hiking in the area.
>Rain pants- I never bring rain pants in the Sierra. Consider nixing.
I'd consider not bringing these. When we hiked the Wonderland Trail we had some wet weather including one afternoon when we arrived at our assigned camp in a cold downpour. I wasn't wearing rain pants to hike in--too hot--but it was very helpful to be able to change out of soaked nylon pants and into long underwear bottoms with rain pants over them. I spent some time tweaking the tarp, going for water, fixing supper, helping Robert with his stuff, etc. But perhaps in the Sierra the odds of this situation are so low that it isn't worth carrying them?
>Spare underpants- I change into long underwear when I get into camp and wash my normal underwear. If it's warm out I wear them dry, if not they are dry by morning if I hang them on a tarp guyline. Consider nixing.
Probably can. Old habits die hard, even when trying to evaluate critically.
>Tarp- There are lighter options, but would only save you ~5 oz for $150+. Yours is just fine.
A lighter option would need to be large enough to shelter both of us without bivies, and also be flat so it can be battened down to the ground in cold wind. The tapered catenary ones let cold wind in under the curved edge, and cold wind is one of my weak points. I probably won't spend $150 for 5 oz. but would like to hear what the lighter option is, that you have in mind. I could be tempted.
>Cup- I don't bring a cup and just share my pot with my wife.
Maybe the cup is a "want" but I am reluctant to give it up, since it gives me something to drink tea and coffee from other than the cookpot. I actually sort of cook on the trail, not just FBC boiling water.
>Hard case for glasses- You don't have a weight listed but these are usually pretty heavy. I put mine in a small fleece case and wrap it in my down jacket to protect them.
Sorry about omitting the weight, I missed that. Weight is 3.4 oz. which is heavy. I am inclined to agree that it should be OK to just bring one of those little fleece bags. Good to hear from someone who does that successfully. (It's just that both pairs are $300+ trifocals and I would be lost without them!)
>Battery charger- You said it's lighter than spare batteries but by the weighs you have listed you could bring 3 spare batteries for the weight of the charger. Would you really go thru 5 batteries on the trail? (1 in camera + 1 spare listed + charger = 5 batteries at the same weight) My canon lasts 4 days with the screen on and 5-6 with the screen off for taking pics.
Well it's almost a wash, actually. Figuring on about 4-5 days per battery I would need 5 batteries at .8 oz each = 4.0 oz. including the one in the camera. Which you are right I forgot was still in there when I weighed the camera so that's 3.2 oz. for 4 spares. One spare at .8 + charger at 2.3 = 3.1 oz. Might actually be easier to just bring the spares, wouldn't have to go monitor the charger at resupply. Thanks for helping me think this through.
>ULA Catalyst- Make sure you trim off any excess strap length and any features you don't use.
I already took off the thumb loops, and it doesn't have a hydration sleeve or any of the other accessories offered. Will check for more trimming possibilities.
>Stuff sacks- You have 4 total plus a pack liner. Consider nixing a few and just putting items directly in your pack.
The two small sacks are to keep the kits of small items (personal care/fire kit and repair/first aid) from losing items, not for rain protection. How to you keep from losing all the tiny things?
The medium holds the cook kit. There are endless threads on BPL about how people carry their Caldera Cone sets, with all kinds of rigid cups and contraptions including the sleeve provided by Trail Designs, most of which are weightier than the OR sack and accomplish less. I have a stack that goes, starting at the bottom: BPL 1300 pot, cone with wide end down, 12-10 burner down inside, matches on top, BPL 500 cup upside down on top, 1300 pot lid on top of cone, spoon down the side. (On short trips near home the 2 oz. or 4 oz. alcohol bottle goes on top of the stove under the cup but I won't have that on this trip.) It all slides into the bag, and I've had no trouble with the cone getting crushed or the nest falling apart in my pack. I do still need to make a mock-up of the bear can to be sure this assembly will fit around it somehow. If not I'll need to rework the system and might or might not want the sack.
Considering the advice I am getting from many quarters, about generally dry conditions in the summer Sierra, I think probably you are right the dry sack for the sleeping bag isn't needed inside the pack liner. I do without it at home on shorter trips but would hate to compromise my bag on a 3 week trip. Probably worrying too much.
>Consumables- Looks good here. 1.5 pppd of food is a good number to shoot for. You won't need to carry 2L of water very often-lots of water on the JMT. I try to carry 1L or less at any one time.
And the heaviest day--the day coming out of Muir Trail Ranch--looks like it has water every couple of miles, so we can probably both carry only 1L at a time on that day for sure. And for most of the trail we'll be carrying a lot less than the maximum in consumables so that should help.
One more thought. As noted in my original post, I also have a Mariposa Plus. Does anyone think I can do this with that pack instead?
I will make some adjustments to the gear list on googledocs, in light of this discussion.