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Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Still another JMT Gear List 2011 on 05/22/2011 22:59:33 MDT Print View

Maybe we'll all see each other out there this summer.

Hike dates July 25-August 15, southbound Yosemite to Whitney. Conditions probably warm and dry but we have been cautioned to be prepared for freezing weather and storms. Resupply at Tuolomne, Reds Meadow, and Muir Trial Ranch. 10 days after MTR to Whitney Portal.

Party of two, my husband Robert and me. But this is just my list. It is a result of our experience on the Wonderland Trail, with what we brought on that trip that we did not, in hindsight after the trip, feel we needed. (See Mina’s trip report on BPL for the Wonderland gear list link.) Note that I (Mina) am carrying the shared equipment--the cook kit, shelter, first aid kit, fire kit. If Robert is able to share this, then my pack weight might be a little less. But that depends on what he decides he needs to bring. In the past, I have generally carried the shared items because of Robert’s neck and back issues. But we have him a new Exos 58 now, and his neck is getting better. I could maybe save about a pound by taking the Mariposa Plus pack instead of the Catalyst, but the Expedition bear can might be hard to fit in it, and 36 lbs. (the weight going out of Muir Trail Ranch with 10 days of food and fuel) is pretty high for the Mariposa Plus.

Here is the link to the spreadsheet on Googledocs:
(bad link removed see below)

I am a little worried about the weight going out of MTR but of course it will shrink day by day. You are all probably tired of JMT lists by now but any comments would be appreciated.

Edited by elmvine on 05/23/2011 18:14:36 MDT.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
permission issue on 05/22/2011 23:01:18 MDT Print View

Hi Mina, I'd love to look but the permissions set for the document do not let me. "You need permission to access this item."

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
permission on 05/22/2011 23:04:34 MDT Print View

Yes I just realized that and fixed it. Just in case, here is the link again.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoS7ue8oPhKjdG1sTndvYmlpZmtiM04wSHJIVktobXc&hl=en_US&authkey=CNL1iuQL

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT List on 05/23/2011 14:12:48 MDT Print View

Your first link doesn't work for me but the second one does. It looks like you have put a lot of thought into your list & overall looks good to me.

Here are my specific comments:

Rain pants- I never bring rain pants in the Sierra. Consider nixing.
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.
Tarp- There are lighter options, but would only save you ~5 oz for $150+. Yours is just fine.
Cup- I don't bring a cup and just share my pot with my wife.
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.
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.
ULA Catalyst- Make sure you trim off any excess strap length and any features you don't use.
Stuff sacks- You have 4 total plus a pack liner. Consider nixing a few and just putting items directly in your pack.
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.

Andrew

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Your review of my list on 05/23/2011 19:22:34 MDT Print View

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.

Thanks!

Jeff M.
(Catalyst)

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
mariposa plus on 05/23/2011 21:07:23 MDT Print View

I definitely think you could use your Mariposa Plus for the JMT. I know a few people who have successfully used it and its what I plan on using. It would also be a great way to cut down on some weight. It could be a little uncomfortable with 35 lbs that first day though. I'd load it up with 35 lbs and test it out. Carrying 1 liter instead of 2 and whittling down the list could probably get you lower. Looks like a good list. One other place you could cut down on some weight is your bag, but that may cost $$$ to do.

Edited by Catalyst on 05/23/2011 21:33:21 MDT.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Excellent and very detailed list on 05/23/2011 21:29:22 MDT Print View

Impressed with your list, that is very detailed AND A GREAT LIST.

My suggestions for changes are really minor, but here they come.

With the sleeping clothes you might be able to find something a tad lighter.
Target makes a really light weight tshirt in the 2 ounce range called a Tissue T.
The Patagonia lightest weight bottoms are about 4 ounces.

Skip the rain pants. I backpack for weeks every summer in the Sierra and have never brought a pair.

Definitely keep a cup, you want something other than the shared pot to drink hot liquids out of. But maybe a green regular plastic measuring / scout cup that weighs about an ounce and costs about a dollar at REI.

Water bottles. Keep one Aquafina for water on the go and then bring maybe a two liter Platy for extra water in camp or for the very few (I can think of only three) times when you need to carry more than a pint between available water sources.

I see that you are carrying 4 extra coin batteries for your e-lites and photons.
What tool do you use to open the e-lite? I am asking mostly because I have one myself and have never figured out how to open it at home, much less on the trail.

Does your half ounce Silva compass have declination adjustment? The Tom Harrison JMT map pack, although great do not show the declination on the map.

You might be able to cut down somewhat on the number of stuff sacks. Use the pack liner to make sure your sleeping bag and spare clothes stay dry. Ziplock bags can be used to organize other stuff so that its not just all rattling around getting lost in your pack.

If you do want to bring another ditty bag, make it one with strings as shoulder straps, that weighs about an ounce and a half, so that you can use it as a very simple day pack. The day pack will come in handy when you scale Half Dome in the beginning of your trip and Whitney at the end.

I'd throw back in a spare set of hiking socks and one pair of underwear so that you always can wash one set and hike in the other.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
nice list on 05/24/2011 08:26:07 MDT Print View

Your weight is 36 pounds for 10 days. That seems a little too high. But the combo of the bear canister and the larger frame pack add up to a lot.

--------------- CONSUMABLES:

Alcohol fuel should equal 0.75 liters per person per day (and that's PLENTY). That works out to about 16.4 oz per person on day-1 of a 10-day trip, a total of almost exactly 1 pound. You have 1.7 pounds listed, this is TOO much.

For FOOD, You list:
1.5 lbs/day, including bags/bottles, max. 10 days

That is pretty good, but you could round down to a little bit lower, and go at 1.4 lbs/day. Also, scrutinize your packaging.

--------------- WATER:

Also - You list the water at 2-liters carried. THere should be very few occasions that you'll need that much on your back. You should have access to water as you hike.

For WATER TREATMENT you list:
Micropur tabs or Aqua Mira for 40 liters

I would advocate NIXING the Micropur tabs and ONLY using the AquaMira Drops. This is a HUGE time saver, because the tabs take SO long. And, you should use a tiny pre-mix bottle for the AquaMira (as noted in my book).

-------------------- NIT PICKING ------------------------

You have a lot of stuff sacks, you could trim these a little. But this is minimal.

You seem to have put a lot of thought into each item (I'm not sure I would take a camera battery recharger).

Could you take a razor blade and scissor to your pack and trim off some extraneous stuff?

NIX the rain pants and make your own rain SKIRT!

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Wow! on 05/24/2011 14:45:12 MDT Print View

A "nice list" from Mike C! (Can I frame it?)

Alcohol fuel @ 16.4 oz per person for 10-day stretch. Yes, per person. But remember I am carrying all the fuel for 2 people. So by your calculations what I have listed is pretty close.

Food packaging. I've been thinking about that. Thinking about whether it is feasible to pack "ingredients" instead of "meals." For weight of packaging and also for volume in bear can, which is alleged (many posts on JMT yahoo list) to be tight for that last stretch. Still working on it.

Water. Most of JMT seems to have water at least every couple of miles (luxurious for us Texans!) so yes most of the time we'd need no more than the 1 liter apiece. I put the maximum on the list because of a couple of 5-6 mile stretches, but actually those aren't where we are carrying maximum meals etc. so being not at the same time, I really shouldn't add them together in the list I guess. Adjusted calculation to 1L at a time.

Water treatment. Weight is MicroPur since that's what I had available to weigh. Aqua Mira just came in today's mail. (Yes I got your book right away when it came out.)

Stuff Sacks. Noted above, the big one holds the cook kit together, and the 2 little ones keep all those tiny items from going astray in my pack. Could save a little I guess by switching those to ziplocks but for a long trip those might wear out too soon. I have been advised by many that the dry sack for the sleeping bag isn't really needed for this trip so I've taken it out.

Recharger. Switching to extra batteries, almost the same weight. (Yes I happen to own all these extra proprietary batteries, b/c of replacing cameras.)

Pack. The only thing that is maybe excess on the Catalyst is the length of the strap that goes over the roll top. Might could shave a little there. I am also still thinking about taking the Mariposa Plus instead. Saves 22 oz. or so--a lot--but will it hold the Bearikade Expedition and the first day weight on the 10-day stretch? Advice from anyone on putting approx. 35 lbs. in MP would be appreciated.

Rain pants. I don't really tend to wear rain pants while hiking anyway. As noted in my post above, the idea is to have them for wet weather at the end of the day. Maybe for summer Sierra not needed at all? I took out of list totals for the moment. Probably no need for skirt since the DriDucks jacket is already pretty long on me.

Other thoughts:

I can lose 5 oz. by bringing the SubKilo W instead of the Halo 25 W. But people have posted warnings on the JMT list about dangerously cold nights, asking if I am prepared for that. For the moment the googledocs list shows the SubKilo.

I can lose about 22 oz. (!) by using the Mariposa Plus instead of the Catalyst. Adjusted list to show MP. But haven't decided yet. Will try loading it up that much for a test hike. But somehow 10-lb. bags of kitty litter never feel like real gear and supplies!

Thanks so much!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Still another JMT Gear List 2011 on 05/24/2011 15:07:34 MDT Print View

10 lbs of kitty litter is WAY too much for the JMT. I'd take only about 5 lbs. ; )

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Excellent and very detailed list on 05/24/2011 15:21:40 MDT Print View

Especially good to hear from yet another Sierra hiker.

Sleeping clothes: I sleep cold and really like the Smartwool stuff, not just to keep my bag clean but to keep warmer at night. If it gets really cold (maybe not the highest likelihood but this is the mountains...) I'll also be wearing everything I've got!

Rain pants. Took those out. See the other post.

e-lite. The battery hatch on the e-lite opens and closes with one of the batteries. Use the edge of one of the new ones to open it, then use the edge of one of the dead ones to close it. The photon is trickier because you have to get the tiny split ring off the end. Best method I know for that is my husband.

Compass declination. It just has the little scale for declination. Hadn't thought of checking the Harrison maps for it. Guess I'd better look that up! Thanks.

Socks and underwear. Take an extra or not? The jury is still out.

Thanks again. I have asked my husband Robert to start working on his list. It will be more difficult, I expect.

Edited for typo.

Edited by elmvine on 05/24/2011 15:27:16 MDT.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
tarps on 05/24/2011 15:22:10 MDT Print View

P. S. Still interested in information on lighter 8 x 10 flat tarps. Found Etowah (13 oz.), Bear Paw (15 oz.), Oware (13.5 oz.), Campmor (13 oz.), all not including stakes and lines. My ID 8 x 10 is 14 oz. without the stakes and lines. So far I haven't found anything enough lighter to matter.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Kitty litter on 05/24/2011 15:30:34 MDT Print View

10 lbs of kitty litter is WAY too much for the JMT. I'd take only about 5 lbs. ; )


Uh-oh. Back to the drawing board....

Dustin Snyder
(DustinTSnyder)

Locale: Southeast
Re: tarps on 05/24/2011 18:20:43 MDT Print View

Zpacks cuben fiber 8 x 10 only weighs 5.2oz.(but the price is up there!)
Dustin

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Mina on 05/24/2011 19:22:37 MDT Print View

I would bring the Catalyst with those food loads. I stick with a lightweight full framed pack for loads over 25 lbs. What will let you hike longer / be more comfortable, carrying a Mariposa Plus that totals 34 lbs or a Catalyst that totals 35 lbs?

Tarps- yours is pretty good for an 8x10 flat tarp. You won't do much better. If you were willing to go to a catenary tarp, you could get a Spintwinn and save 5-6 oz.

Sleeping bag- My wife has the Sub Kilo 15F and uses it all the time. I would not spend the extra 5 oz on the Halo. If you look at historical weather for ~10,000 ft at various locations around the Sierra you will see that in August and September the overnight lows are usually in the 30-35F range with the occasional cold snap that gets down to 20-25F. I plan for 30F and am OK with wearing rain gear & doing sit-ups for a night or two if it gets really cold - though I have never had to.

Compass declination is ~13 deg east in the Sierra.

I fill my bear can with canned foods & sacks of rice to simulate my food load :)

Andrew

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: tarps on 05/24/2011 19:24:57 MDT Print View

Oh, my. The Z-packs tarps do look nice. Will have to think hard about the price though. Or I could gut up and carry the extra half pound the ID tarp weighs and send the money to an environmental activist group...

The dilemma of the American consumer...

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
Batteries on 05/24/2011 21:08:52 MDT Print View

MTR sells batteries,but when I went into their small store to get some, the lady suggested I look into the grab bag. I found some for free there! I did not want to run out of battery power for my camera. I never used the spares. (AA). I did not find any CR 123 that I used in my Steri Pen, but I had mailed extras to VRR which I needed.
Whenever passing convenient, on trail water sources, I drank a liter. Often I carried no water, or never more than a liter. I am also cautious about dehydration which had led to kidney stones. So, I was not being foolhardy in carrying no water. (August)

Edited by rambler on 05/24/2011 21:13:47 MDT.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
offtopic - elite batteries on 05/25/2011 12:11:49 MDT Print View

Mina, thanks for the info on changing the batteries on the elite. Worked like a charm!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Mariposa Plus on 05/25/2011 17:58:45 MDT Print View

I used a Mariposa Plus on my JMT hike a few years ago. Our longest resupply was also from MTR to Whitney Portal. We had 8 days for that stretch. The Mariposa Plus has plenty of room but for me it is uncomfortable in its upper ranges. The weight does drop quickly as you consume 1.4-1.5 lbs of food a day. Also, you will have put a few miles behind you and should be used to the pack. I hate those resupplies after dropping so much food weight. I find socks work the best in the shoulder straps.

Do not carry more that a liter of water and drink at the source or fill and treat as you go.

The other problem you have is 10 days in a canister. It will be tight. I use a Bearicade Weekender and can fit 7.5 days in there if I repackage well.

Lots of good advice from seasoned professionals so far! Enjoy. It's an incredible hike.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Mariposa Plus on 05/28/2011 08:19:56 MDT Print View

Scott,

I am leaning towards using the MP on this trip, since you and some others have found it practical to do so. You are right, the volume seems to work out. I made a model Bearikade Expedition (what we are renting) out of a concrete pier cardboard form, and it fits in there with my other gear. In the next few days I'll have a chance to load it up with my actual kit with kitty litter or rice or something to represent the food, and see how it does on a hike.

Right now I have round foam pipe insulation in the shoulder straps. I haven't tried it with socks. Might try that since the foam insulation is a single-purpose item. But it is mighty comfy in the straps.

I am figuring 8.5 days maximum *in* the canister since the first day (lunch and supper after picking up resupply) and last day dinner (restaurant, presumably) of the 10 days won't need to be in there. There is a lot of information on the JMT yahoogroup about bringing food that packs down small, for that stretch. Still have a bunch of experimenting to do.

When my now 30-year-old son solo hiked the JMT in 1998 at age 17 he went a lot faster (12 days total) but, he says, miscalculated the food and ran out the day before Whitney. He was glad to find abandoned food in a bear box. Some odd combination like oatmeal and pesto, I forget exactly, but it got him through. We would rather not chance a situation like that!