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JMT 2012 Gear List,
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Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
JMT 2012 Gear List on 01/16/2012 17:06:37 MST Print View

Here is my preliminary gear list for my JMT hike this summer. I will be going the first week of August for 15 to 17 days. I maybe going with someone else, if not I will be buying a newer lower weight tent. I am trying to shave as much weight as possible, any help would be appreciated. Here is my gear list so far:

Edited by jkokbaker on 01/31/2012 15:57:06 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: JMT 2012 Gear List, on 01/16/2012 17:45:00 MST Print View

I'm looking over your list and there's a lot I think you could scratch...
You're at ~25 pounds without food and water...I suspect you're going to be hovering in the ~35-40 pound ballpark by the time these are added. Ouch.

Here are some thoughts:
*Clothes- no sun hat, no sunblock, and no sunglasses listed. I'd take those.
*You're carrying almost 10 ounces of keys, phone, and money. Ditch the phone. Key, ID, money can be done for well under 2 ounces.
*You're carrying over 2 ounces of lighters and nearly 2 ounces of firestarters. Why? A single .5 ounce Bic will work.
*You could save close to a pound by ditching the compass (JMT is easy), Goop for repairs (what repairs?), trowel (use a stick), and pocket shower (go swimming).
*2 ounces of Dr. Bronners is too much, you only need a drop. .5 ounces in a mini dropper will do.
*you're carrying a 5.5 ounce bottle for your steripen. You could easily cut that to 2 ounces or less. WHy not zap your water in your cookpot, then transfer to something like a 1.5 liter soda bottle?
*Save 5 ounces and skip the extra shirt. Wear a shell while you wash/dry it. Other clothes look heavy.

Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
Re: Re: JMT 2012 Gear List, on 01/16/2012 18:49:56 MST Print View

I made most of those changes you listed. The extra shirt is a short sleeve shirt in case I do not want to wear a long sleeve shirt all day. The worn clothes do seem really heavy, they are the Columbia brand Bug Off shirt and pants, do think I should just wear something lighter and not worry about bugs?

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
Ideas on 01/16/2012 23:55:51 MST Print View


here are some thoughts I had. Mostly changes that I made when I was getting ready for last summer (and what I'm doing right now).

1. Even though the weight of the granite gear crown 60 isn't too heavy, it'll be way too much volume for the gear you'll end up carrying. If you haven't already purchased it I would hold off. I had a Gregory 70L pack and I thought I was going to be able to use it but it would have been way too much after I got all my gear worked out.

2. You're carrying pants and shorts. I didn't carry any pants on the JMT section I did this year and it was fine. I just used lightweight running shorts and briefs.

3. I would consider a wind shirt. It's really lightweight, keeps the bugs off, helped me regulate my temps when it was both hot and cold, and the list goes on.

4. You're carrying a down jacket that weighs 14 oz and silk base layers that weigh 6+ oz. Ask yourself when you will be wearing the down jacket...just at night in camp or under your quilt? On the trail in the morning? Can your jacket handle being under your straps while you hike? I have the patagonia nano puff which weighs 9 oz and I brought long john bottoms and I was totally fine. Also keep in mind how warm your quilt is. If you have a 20-30 degree quilt and you're a warm sleeper you might not need all those extra layers.

5. Your stove and fuel weigh app. 15 oz. I would consider checking out the Caldera Keg with the Esbit tabs. My stove, cone, lighter, esbit graham cracker, spoon, carrying sack all weigh 3.6 oz. The tabs weigh about .5 oz each and I used a little less then one per day (I hot meal plus a big cup of hot chocolate each night). I was hesitant at first since I was so used to canister stoves but it's surprisingly easy to use and it looks cool!

6. Your Steripen, batteries and bottle altogether weigh 7.5oz. You should try the Aquamira drops. If you repackage it and have a small mix bottle it'll end up weighing less than 2oz and you won't have to worry about any electronic failures. I originally tried this with tap water at home and I hated the taste but I tried again on the trail and I never noticed it. It's worth a shot.

7. I know some people feel really strongly about hiking in boots and feel that having that ankle coverage/protection is really important, however, I would encourage you to try some trail runners. They are extremely light and will dry a lot quicker as there is a lot of water on the JMT. Give it a try on some day hikes or overnights and see how you feel.

The nice thing about starting your preparation this far out is you have a lot of time to test out gear and get help. This site helped me immensely when I first started (not too long ago) and I still pick up tips all the time. Hope this helped some!


Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
Re: Ideas on 01/17/2012 11:45:49 MST Print View

1- What would you suggest instead?
2- The pants are kinda heavy, I really want to take pants, any suggestions of lighter ones.
3- Would the wind shirt replace my long sleeve shirt, if so that would save about 3 ounces.
4- I was thinking of getting a MontBell EX light down jacket instead, would save me over 6 ounces.
5- If I switched I could save some weight here, but I probably will be boiling water for 2 people, will 1 esbit tablet boil 1 to 1 & 1/2 quarts of water each night?
7- I have some Keen shoes already, over a pound less total, I will include those instead.
The biggest way I could save some weight would be to cut my camera weight. I want a camera that has bulb mode for night photography. I have been thinking of getting a Sony Nex 5N or 7, that could save me 2 pounds at a cost of over $1000, not a big deal because I was thinking of getting a new camera anyways.

Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
New Weight on 01/17/2012 12:02:06 MST Print View

With all the changes I have made I am down to under 18 pounds skin out weight. Some of the stuff I am carrying is shared weight, if I take the tent I have listed I only included half the weight for me.

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
ideas... on 01/17/2012 23:47:03 MST Print View

1. check out Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus. Without a suspension system it's 17 oz and with one its 22.5 oz (per the website). Or the ULA Ohm which varies in weight from 22-28 oz.

2. I can honestly say I've probably worn pants a total of 4 times in the last year and a half haha. I never wear them on the trail as I heat up really quick. However, I would check out the pants that have the zip off bottoms that convert them to shorts.

3. Same thing with the long sleeve shirts. I heat up and get sweaty way too fast so I usually forgo a long sleeve and rock my synthetic tee and windshirt. I basically never took it off except for when I got into camp and wanted to wash it.

4. The Montbell jackets look good. I've been thinking about getting a vest and trying it out.

5. I never boiled more than 3-4 cups on a single Esbit tab. I'd let the water get to the point where it was just starting to boil and then I would let my food cozy do the rest of the work. That allowed me to burn the esbit tabs longer.

There are a few other things you could be nit picky about. Such as: less TP (1.5 oz max), repackage soap to .5 oz or less, a 1-2 oz headlamp (petzl e+lite), a 1L SmartWater bottle weighs just over an ounce and is easy to take in and out of side pocket without having to take your pack off, and you can rent a "bearikade weekender" bear canister for a flat rate as long as you specify that you are thru hiking the JMT and it'll save you 10 oz.

J Boro
(JBend) - F

Locale: PNW
JMT 2012 Gear List on 01/20/2012 09:49:22 MST Print View

As always, great advice form people on this board. Noticed that you are in Central Oregon (I live in Bend). I'd suggest that you check out a Patagonia Nano Puff rather than a down jacket if you want to maximize your usage. I have a couple of down jackets and have been disappointed with the minimal water they will withstand before packing out. Just food for thought since half our state sees a lot of rain.

J Boro
(JBend) - F

Locale: PNW
Steripen on 01/20/2012 09:54:43 MST Print View

I also use a Steripen (AM drops freak me out). I carry a 1 liter water bottle with the top cut off and keep the pen in that (1 oz). The bottle makes it easy to filter water with a Buff, makes it fast to drink from streams, and provides some protection for the pen while in my pack. I'd also carry a few tabs of AM as well in case you have a failure/accident with the pen.

Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
Re: Steripen on 01/20/2012 10:32:55 MST Print View

I live in Bend also, I will check out the Nano Puff, thanks.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: ideas... on 01/24/2012 17:06:33 MST Print View

Does the MLD Exodus fit a bear canister? horizontal? My GG Vapor trail is comfortable with my Bearikade both horizontal at the bottom (when the canister is full) and vertical above the sleeping bag (when about half full)

I've been looking for a possible replacement for my GG Vapor Trail, but carrying a bear canister is (obviously) important for Sierra hiking.


Edited by geokite on 01/25/2012 09:21:03 MST.

. .
(CzechClown) - MLife

Locale: JMT/PCT
JMT 2012 Gear List on 01/24/2012 18:37:06 MST Print View

What UL/SUL backpack have you used to carry a BearVault BV450 Solo Food Container or other bear canister on JMT length hike?

Randall Spratt

Locale: Minnesota
Batteries on 01/28/2012 21:26:38 MST Print View

Justice, I did the JMT this year and one thing I would change if (when!) I do the trail again is batteries. I carried extra batteries for my Steripen, but they lasted the entire 19 days. If you are worried they won't make it, I would just put a fresh set of batteries in my MTR resupply but not carry any extra. Same goes for camera batteries, headlamp batteries, etc.

You will have a BLAST!!

Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
New weight with food and water, and other new gear on 01/31/2012 15:56:32 MST Print View

I have added food at 1.75 pounds per day for 8 days for the longest stretch to give an idea of the heaviest the pack will weigh. I have added 16oz of water, and made a few other clothing and camera changes, let me know what you think, thanks. Here is the link:

Edited by jkokbaker on 01/31/2012 15:57:39 MST.

Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
I got my permit on 03/03/2012 20:40:34 MST Print View

I got my permit on my second try, I am starting in Happy Isles on July 31, please check out my most updated gear list. I have everything in hand now with weights, any advise would be great, thanks

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Ideas on 03/03/2012 20:48:01 MST Print View

Erik, I have done the JMT 4 times and the High Sierra Trail 3 times and I have seen it get down to 25F in the Sierras between July 15-Aug 21, including down to about 35-40 during the daytime hours. Yes, most of the time it's far warmer but it doesn't take too long at the low temps for someone without adequate clothing to get hypothermia. I tell hikers to be prepared for temp swings from 20F to 95F.

I've got plenty of photos of tent condensation turning to ice in the early morning, of Lake Wanda freezing overnight (around Aug 5 2011).

I personally think the GG CRown pack would be just right for someone traveling u/l and safe. Now if someone is capable of hiking 25 miles a day, they could get by with a smaller pack. I'm 62 and can only average about 10-11 miles a day.

Jim Fitzgerald
(jimfitz12000) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Sierra Ideas/weather, etc. on 03/04/2012 23:27:07 MST Print View


I want to second Roleigh's comments re Sierra weather. There is an old saying: "It can snow in the Sierra any month of the year." This is true; I have been snowed on in the Sierra every month of the year. One someone writes they hiked the JMT and state you will be fine without bringing this or that, it means they encountered "normal" Sierra summer weather, often based one Sierra outing, even if hiking the entire JMT.

There are exceptions, however infrequent, to normal Sierra weather. I have been in the Sierra for about 45 consecutive summers, hiked the JMT, etc. Not all of my Sierra summers included backpacking (small kids make it hard), but all were 9,000 ft. or above elevation. As Roleigh states, in Sierra high elevation (JMT), one has to be prepared for low 20's weather for one night or two.

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
... on 03/05/2012 09:59:10 MST Print View

I agree that you should be prepared for both warm and cold weather when hiking in the Sierras. I didn't tell Justice to forgo any of his cold weather gear (warm jacket, silk base layers, long pants, etc) because the weather is always "normal." All I said was that he should consider what he's bringing and if it will work the way he thinks it will. If he brings a down jacket, is it tough enough to wear for hours under the straps of his pack? If not, maybe get a tougher one. If you're only going to wear it around camp and under your quilt, you might be able to get something lighter. If you actually read what I wrote, I added my reasons (i.e. not bringing pants or long sleeve shirts because I overheat) and gave him alternatives.

gunther kirsch
(goonch92) - F

Locale: Northern California
I feel your pain! on 03/08/2012 21:17:53 MST Print View

Im bringing my 7d with extra battery charger and memory cards, as well as a lightweight (secret) peice of camera equipment and intervelometer (plus maybe a mic??). I will hopefully have a decent little documentary by the end of it... the fact remain though that no matter how light i get ill have about 10bs of camera gear on my shoulders! oh well the amazing pictures and footage will be worth it... maybe ill see you along the way!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I feel your pain! on 03/08/2012 21:24:43 MST Print View

"Im bringing my 7d with extra battery charger"

Don't forget your tripod and a long wildlife lens.