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2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist on 01/16/2012 16:21:14 MST Print View

Howdy all,

I can't get the gearlist linked to my profile (or it's not loaded yet), so here's a link to my blog page with the gearlist link on it.

Plan is to fastpack the JMT, Happy Isles to Whitney Summit/Portal, in 7 days or under. I plan on resupplying at MTR to save weight/carry a smaller bear can.

I haven't got permits/finalized dates yet, but here's the preliminary list:

Tips/comments appreciated, though I'm somewhat fixed on this setup because I'm trying not to purchase any new gear. I'm already borrowing the GG SpinnTwinn tarp from a buddy (my lightest shelter is a GoLite poncho tarp but I want better coverage). Damned bear canister adds two pounds....

Edited by xnomanx on 01/16/2012 16:23:52 MST.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT fastpack on 01/16/2012 16:40:10 MST Print View

Hey Craig,

Nice list...when I saw your post I was interested to see what you came up with since from reading your TRs you seem to have the minimalism thing pretty dialed. The JMT list is an interesting benchmark for me since I do most of my hiking in the Sierra...personally I have never been able to get below about 11lbs with a bear can and stay at my chosen level of comfort.

My only comments would be:

Make sure you have some hydropel and/or sports tape in your first aid kit if you are going to be doing 30 miles a day for a week.

Do you need the groundsheet and bivy? This is something that I always think about... the groundsheet is redundant, but I really like being able to pack everything else up on top of it without getting my stuff dirty, then pack it away last not caring if it's wet. Not so easy with just the bivy.


Paul Johnson
(johncooper) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: 2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist on 01/16/2012 17:46:24 MST Print View

I do most of my hiking in the Sierra's with the JMT representing the weather/altitude that I need to plan for. My gear is surprisingly similar to yours. I am in the process of buying a new bag and WM Summerlite is most likely. What has been your experience with the Summerlite in the JMT area? Do I need to pack lower thermals with this bag?

I also have a JAM2 (large) which is 32oz. I haven't trimmed straps etc yet. What did you do to get your JAM2 weight to 21oz?

Is an URSack (7.3oz) a viable alternative to the Bearvault? I know Yosemite and Whitney zone are issues, but you can spend night one in Tuolumne Meadows (ie. bear box) and you won't have a night out in the Whitney zone.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Solid! on 01/16/2012 17:59:13 MST Print View

Nice list Craig.

Only things that stick out to me, and a lot of this will depend on when you are going but:
1) Balaclava...not sure this is necessary, and doesn't seem to jive with the minimal insulation you're bringing.
2) No long johns? I don't know if you sleep cold or warm, but I wore montbell dynamos and running shorts as well, but found that I needed the tights to supplement my sleep system at night (I was using a quilt)

also, at 30 miles a day, I presume that entails night and pre-dawn hiking? If no, then maybe a lighter headlamp?

Edited by Konrad1013 on 01/16/2012 18:03:07 MST.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Bivy with Poncho Tarp on 01/16/2012 18:00:32 MST Print View

I havent ever used a poncho tarp or a bivy but i do have a question.

If you have a Bivy why do you want more coverage than a Poncho tarp provides or does the other shelter provide enough coverage thar you can get rid of the bivy.

My thoughts on tarps ( i only occasionally use them, i perfer tents) are that you use a big tarp plus rain gear or the smaller poncho tarp, bivy and skip rain gear.

The gear list looks pretty well paired down. I think the other area that really needs to be dialed in is your nutrition, fat/carb ratios based on your exertion levels, density of food to fit in the bear can, and food that you can stomach at that level of activity. What are you planning on bringing for food

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Bivy with Poncho Tarp on 01/16/2012 18:27:01 MST Print View

Some answers:

@Andrew: I've never felt the bivy makes a good groundsheet if I'm not inside it. I end up in the dirt.

@John: My Summerlite has been the perfect 3 season Sierra bag for me so far. Wearing all my clothing, I can go below freezing. Combined with the bivy, even lower. As for the Jam2, I have one of the originals (about 5 years old), before they added all the crap (hip pockets, mesh padding on the back, etc). Mine is completely stock at 21 ounces. I don't believe Ursacks are allowed on the JMT.

@Konrad: I like the balaclava- usually wear it rolled up as a beanie. It's a pretty thin OR model. I only wear it as a balaclava for sleep and for cold morning hiking. I really only carry it because it's the same weight as most beanies but a wee bit more versatile. As for long johns, etc., I usually carry cap 1 tops and bottoms, but I'm trying to go lighter on this trip. As I'll be moving all day, I'm not worried about staying warm then- the windshell will be enough and my shirt is a long sleeve. At night, I'll be fine wearing the windshell over everything to bed, including the thermawrap. Keep in mind I also have a bivy. I realized I forgot to add sleep socks though...

@Greg: I've found I don't like the minimal coverage of small tarps/poncho tarps in the Sierra- I've been really screwed up there before. You have to pitch a poncho tarp so low to get full protection that you can't even sit up to cook and hang out. I got stuck in days of storms one summer with a tiny tarp. No thanks, I'll go with something with more coverage that I can sit up under to cook. I usually only use my poncho tarp in the southwest. So why add a bivy to a decent sized tarp? Mainly to boost my bag rating, cut wind, and reduce the chance of spray in really bad weather. I could probably do without since I'm carrying a SpinnTwinn, but I do feel they add a lot of versatility for a small weight penalty. Since I'll be trying to do 30+ miles a day, I might not be able to be too choosy about my sleeping sites; the bivy adds bomber protection above treeline. For 16 ounces, it might be one of the most versatile shelter systems out there; tarp only (great for light rain/wind and warmer temps), tarp+bivy (great when it's getting ugly), or bivy only (great when it's windy, cold, and sites are rocky/small, but skies are dry).

Edited by xnomanx on 01/16/2012 18:29:57 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
fastpack on 01/16/2012 18:42:15 MST Print View

Craig- list looks good, you'd be really light if weren't for the need of the canister! what's "Pulsar" in your lanyard list- a knife?


Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: fastpack on 01/16/2012 18:50:51 MST Print View

Yeah, the bear cans really kill those beautifully tiny base weights, don't they? At least they make good drums and tables.

"Pulsar" was an old microlight by Princeton Tech. Forgot to change it on the list (I just update/tweak existing ones when creating them).
I actually have a Photon Freedom microlight instead of a Pulsar on the lanyard now.

Two items I will add:
-sleep socks (fuzzy merino)
-possibly a rain wrap/skirt. I might go sew one tonight if I can scrounge the material (I think I have a few yards of 1.1 sil), or see if I can make one from a trash bag.

Edit: Just made a rain skirt- 33 gallon Glad Forceflex plastic bag with drawstring. Cut off the bottom, done. Actually fits well. 1.7 ounces in a ziplock. Can double as a pack/gear/shoe cover at night.

Totally geeking out on gear tonight. It's been a while. This is fun.

Edited by xnomanx on 01/16/2012 19:06:16 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist" on 01/16/2012 19:26:17 MST Print View

That's a great looking list Craig, you look the waiting.

Noticed you don't have a fire source listed..... matches, mini Bic, firesteel?

What are you eating over the 7 days to sustain 30 mile days?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: "2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist" on 01/16/2012 19:48:30 MST Print View

and where's the knife?- blasphemy! :)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist" on 01/16/2012 19:49:24 MST Print View

I've got a firesteel on my lanyard. There are a few little items that are also included in my first aid kit- a razorblade, leukotape, etc.

We'll see about the eating.
I'm thinking it'll be mainly energy bars, nuts, chocolate/candy bars, potato chips, jerky, and cheese/mini bagels by day.
Dinners will be instant potatos, ramen, bean burritos, and pasta.

Most of my daily calories will likely be in bars and nuts though.

Definitely an area to work on/experiment with, though I know the stuff listed above usually does it for me. I'll probably be aiming for ~4500-5000/day. I'll actually have to revise my food weights on that gear list to look more like 2 pounds/day instead of 1.5. I'm really not thinking's only 7 days. I'm only going to be thinking weight/calories.

I'm just hoping everything goes well this year...I've wanted to do this trip for at least years now and it keeps getting screwed up.

Edited by xnomanx on 01/16/2012 19:51:45 MST.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
2012 JMT Fastpack Gearlist on 01/16/2012 20:24:29 MST Print View

Craig, Your gearlist looks good! The WM Summerlight hits the 'sweet spot' for the JMT for me as well. I may get a little chilled in the early morning hours, but by then I am getting ready to get up and get moving anyways.

When are you looking at going? I will be heading out to for an uptempo 7 - 8 night JMT trip as well in August. It would be cool to run across a fellow BPL-er. Are you looking at NOBO or SOBO?

The bearcan is a bit of a pain, but for me, has been well worth it for a good nights sleep knowing my food and first aid kit will be there in the morning! My bearcan has kept me out of the SUL club for a while now; )!

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
Looks good on 01/17/2012 00:17:06 MST Print View

Looks like I'm not the only one thinking about the JMT 6 months before I'll actually get on it. Your list looks great, I'd love to get my base weight down to where you're at.

Just two (super small) ideas. What about using esbit instead of alcohol? It would weigh about a third of what you're planning on bringing. Also, I know you're not spending any money on new gear, however if you rented a Bearikade Scout it weighs 28 oz and the owner gives JMT thru hikers a discount. If you're not feeling up to that, I plan on purchasing one myself before this summer. If were not going on the same dates then you're free to borrow it.

Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
Ditch the pillow on 02/01/2012 01:31:09 MST Print View

You could save 2 ounces ditching the pillow and using a inflated platypus instead. That's what I do.


b willi jones
(mrjones) - F

Locale: NZ,,, best place in the world !?
Re: Ditch the pillow on 02/01/2012 03:49:20 MST Print View

great list... but the dudes right, ditch that pillow.

what are the keys for? i dont see anything on that list that needs unlocked

but i would take some superlight leg wear. cold legs and knees can take a bit to get warmed up. mine do anyway

that would be a fair few miles in a day, so even a compression type fit may be beneficial at the end of the day, may also saved a pulled muscle on those early starts

i think the balaclava is a nice touch. i use a merino buff myself, but may be looking for a switch

im a fan of the bivy/tarp combo, i see where you are coming from. stick with that

thats what i think anyhow


Edited by mrjones on 02/01/2012 03:55:19 MST.

Kevin Lutz
(mtntrailrunner) - F
Bugs on 02/08/2012 01:45:37 MST Print View

I thruhiked the JMT in August of '06. Ten days.

Mosquitoes can be hell on the JMT. They were for me. I had sketeer oatmeal and ramen most days. Your shelter won't keep them out and I don't see bug juice on your list. A few ounces of netting could save you lots of grief. It's a dry year out there so far but that could change. Usually the hatch lasts well into July, longer in wet years. Of course if you go later than that bugs won't be a big problem.