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Wonderland Trail July 2012
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Jon Christensen

Locale: Midwest
Wonderland Trail July 2012 on 11/12/2011 23:16:35 MST Print View

Hey everyone,

A group of friends and I will have the opportunity to hike the 93 mile Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainer in WA the last week of July this coming summer. I know it's early but I'm getting excited as we start to plan the trip. We will be doing the trail in 9 days. It looks like lows will be around 45 degrees at night at the end of July. I'm not trying to go SUL but would like to get my weight as low as possible as this will be the longest hike I have ever done while maintaining some comfort with it being a long hike. Critique my list and make suggest where I could cut some weigh or change pieces of gear. I also want to make sure I will be warm enough but not carry to much as well. I will be hiking with a group so I will have a partner for our shelter.

Here is my list and I have a list of a lot questions below it!

ULA Ohm - 22.0 oz
Gossamer Gear Pack Liner - 1.3 oz
BPL Nano Stuff Sack - 0.3oz
BPL Nano Stuff Sack - 0.3 oz
Watchful Eye Design OP Food Sack - 0.8oz
Total = 24.7 oz

Golite Shangri La 3 with permitter bug net - 30oz (Partner will carry the floor)
TT Stakes (4) - 1.6oz
Gossamer TI Stakes (3) - 0.6oz
Total = 32.2oz

Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon 60 Quilt - 12.5oz
Thermarest NeoAir - 13.75oz
Thermarest Pillow Stuff Sack - 1.9oz
Total = 28.15oz

Aquamira - 1.0oz
Platypus 1L w/ spout cap - 0.8oz
Platypus 1L w/ spout cap - 0.8oz
Mini Bull Elite Stove - 0.3oz
Platypus 1L Fuel Bottle - 0.9oz
Hienikin Pot - 1.8oz
Firelite SUL TI Spork - 0.3oz
MSR UL Pack Towel - 0.7oz
BPL TI Windscreen - 0.3oz
Total = 6.9oz

Possom Down Gloves - 1.4oz
Mountain Hardwear Micro Doom Hat - 0.8oz
Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon 60 Hoody - 10.0oz
Golite LW long underwear - 5.2oz
Surgo Helium Zip Wind Shirt - 3.5oz
Dri Ducks Rain Jacket - 6.6oz
Golite Reed Rain pants - 5.0oz
Patagonia silk weight - 4.7oz NOTE: (extra shirt to rotate and for sleeping)
Underarmour boxer briefs - 3.5oz NOTE: (extra pair - do I need it?)
Golite Vapor Barrier Socks - 1.0oz NOTE: (to use at camp with Aqua water shoes to keep sock and feet dry and warm)
Aqua Water Shoes - 1.0oz
Smartwool Hikers - 3.0oz NOTE: (sleeping and extra pair)
BPL Bug Net - 0.3oz
Total = 46oz

Trick No Blow Candles - 0.1oz
Matches - 0.3oz
BPL Spark-Lite Fire Starter - 0.7oz
GG UL Finger Tooth Brush - 0.1oz
GG Lip Balm - 0.2oz
Purrell - 0.3oz
Dr. Bronners Soap - 0.5oz
Goldbond - 0.5oz
Deet - 0.5oz
Photon Freedom w/ Clip - 0.4oz
Petzl E-Lite - 0.9oz
First Aid Kit - 2.0oz
Suunto Gem Micro Compass - 0.2oz
ARC Whistle - 0.2oz
Razor Blade - 0.1oz
Toilet Paper - 2.0oz
Mount Rainer National Geo Map - 1.0oz
iPhone 4 in aLoksak bag - 6.0oz
Total = 16oz

Under Armour Boxer Briefs - 3.0oz
Icebreaker 140 Wool Short Sleeve - 5.0oz
Golite Skyrunner Shorts - 3.8oz
Smartwool Trail Running Socks - 1.5oz
Dirty Girl Gaiters - 1.0oz
Montrail CDT Shoes - 35oz
Cubs baseball hat - 3.2oz
Titanium Goat Poles - 8.2oz
High Gear Axis Watch - 1.9oz
Total = 62.6oz

BASE WEIGHT Total = 154oz or albs 10oz

Ok So I have tried to think through this but I have a lot of questions so I really appreciate the help! I will have some time over the next months to test the temps of cloths, bags, sleeping pads but your suggests are helpful!

1. Shelter: This is my first time backpacking in the PNW. I normally would use a Tarptent Squall 2 but thought the size of the Golite Shangri La 3 might be really nice to have for 9 days on the trail especially if it is rainy. I would be carrying 30oz which is the same weight I would carry for the Squall 2. I have a bug net around the perimeter, my hiking partner would carry the floor and we would use my Trekking Pole for the pole. Would the perimeter bug net be enough to keep the bugs/critters/mice out? Any thoughts as to which shelter would be best for this trail and for the PNW

2. Cloths - Top: For a 9 day hike is it worth carrying an extra shirt and pair of underwear? I usually only carry one pair of each but I am thinking it might be worth for a longer hike. Any thoughts.

3. Cloths - Bottoms: This is where I am having the most trouble figuring out what to do. I have a few different options, what do you think is the best? Remembering I will be using my bottoms with my Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon 60 Quilt for sleeping

A. Currently what I have in my gear list:
- wearing: Golite Sky runner Shorts - 3.8oz
- packed: Golite Lightweight long underwear - 5.2oz

B. - Wearing: Golite Sky Runner Shorts- 3.8oz
- Packed: Bozeman Mountain Works Coccon pants - 7.7oz (is it worth 2.5oz for a lot more warmth around camp for sleeping?)

C. - Wearing: Columbia GRT convertible pants (mainly hike with shorts) - 7oz
Packed: Columbia pants zipped bottoms - 3.2oz (this would be the lightest option but 9 days on the trail would these get really dirtily hiking and sleeping in these?)

3. Sleeping pad:: Would I need to bring my Gossamer Gear Thin 1/8 sleeping pad to supplement the Neo Air for warmth? I just got the Neo Air so I have not had a chance to test it yet. I could use the GG for sitting around camp and when we stop for breaks.

Ok wow that is a lot. Thanks for helping me think through this! Let me know your thoughts.


Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wonderland Trail July 2012 on 11/13/2011 01:59:24 MST Print View

Jon -

Well, first off, congratulations for getting a group of friends to hike the Wonderland Trail. You picked a good time of year to hike the mountain, late July and early August often is the driest time in this part of the world.

I looked over your gear list - it looks pretty good to me.

I can comment on a couple of things:

The NeoAir should be fine on its own. I don't think you will need anything more unless we have another late and cold spring (like we had this past season). As a result, the snow didn't melt out until four or five weeks late. But seriously, it's usually a very nice time of year to be here.

As for your tent, I would likely opt for the Shangri La. I have a Tarptent, and if you are sharing it with another person, it can be a bit of a challenge in the event you encounter cooler / wet weather. Though this is unlikely in late July, it certainly isn't unheard of - the sagging of silnylon as a result of high humidity/rain makes keeping a taut pitch tougher. The net result? The walls will have a tendency to sag a bit and as a result can come in contact with the sides of your sleeping bag. If this happens, you are going to have a wet bag. But, and there is always a but - depending on the season it can be buggy in late July. SO a bug net would be recommended especially when and if you camp at lower elevations. Plus, I think the real estate might come in handy in a bigger tent. I haven't had issues with critters - just mosquitoes.

On clothes - well, let me just preface everything by saying I can wear the same clothes day after day while hiking. BUT I do like to carry seperate sleepwear (including sleep socks) only because I don't want to go to bed in damp/wet clothes and socks. I wear that stuff exclusively when sleeping except for the last day, when I will walk out in that stuff if the weather warrants it.

The temps on the mountain can vary quite a bit depending on the weather. This year we had unseasonably cool summer - in the mountains because of all the snow it didn't heat up that much. THe days were nice but it was definitely cool in the evenings. I would go with the long underwear. If I had zip-off pants, I'd use those exclusively (and not sleep in them). Or I you prefer shorts, go with the lightweight shorts and hike in those exclusively. I wouldn't carry both necessarily. You are going to get dirty. You are going to sweat. You could see some snow.

If you want, you could always cache extra clothes. How so? Do you plan to make use of the ranger stations along the way to cache food/fuel? If so, you would only need to carry 3-4 days worth of supplies at the most at any time. You will need to plan this out and of course, it does depend upon the sites you draw for your permit. You can mail food/gear ahead to selected stations - we drove as I live within an hour of the mountain. You could put an extra shirt or other clothes into one of your caches.

Here you can find info about the food caches.

The phone won't be of much use on the mountain except for a couple of spots. I did get a signal along the west side of the mountain for a short while.

Finally, fires are prohibited pretty much everywhere along the trail. Stoves are permitted, but make sure you read up on the rules regarding sending fuel through the mail.

Finally, send in multiple permit requests! And pick good spots. Are you going for group sites or just individual sites? In most of the individual sites, you can fit two tents. The group sites do have the advantage of some shelters.

Among the many campsites I'd recommend reserving are:

Summerland - Follow the trail out a bit ...the ones further back are the best

Indian Bar (if you do choose the individual sites you will be tempted to camp near the river...For a MUCH warmer experience, climb up towards the latrine. It goes back a fair distance but up here it is MUCH, MUCH warmer. The cold air that sinks from the mountain side will be below you.)

Klapatche Park - my favorite spot to camp on the West Side

AVOID camping at MOWICH LAKE at at all costs - it is serviced by a road and is terrible place to camp. It will full with people.

Oh, and do take the Spray Park Alternative rather than follow the traditional route of the Wonderland Trail - the scenery is WAYYYY better. Not even close.

Have fun!