CT 2012 Gear List (Revised)
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P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
CT 2012 Gear List (Revised) on 02/18/2012 18:48:00 MST Print View

It's in my profile. (All weights are from my scale instead of websites).

Things that have changed: Lighter camera. Trimmed my Pinnacle. Changed my sleeping bag. My knife is actually lighter than listed weight. Keeping the Platy Clean Stream but ditching the "clean" bag and just using my Hoser as my clean bag. Plus the Clean Stream actually weighed less than listed.

Added Cap 2 bottoms.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: CT on 02/18/2012 19:08:18 MST Print View

You'll have to decide what works for you but if it were me:

I'd cut the zrest down to 6 panels -- probably bring it down to 6 oz or so.

I'd also go all scissor/knife happy on the pinnacle. I'm sure there is 6 or 8 oz of marketing BS stored in there. Pretty sure when I saw Skurka speak he cut out all of the back panel padding for starters.

3L is probably all you need. Although the water situation this year compared to last year will be night and day -- much less snow this year.

I'd leave the nanopuff at home. Rain jacket should be plenty when you're moving and if you're stopped use wrap up in your sleeping bag.

On a personal note -- Smartwool socks suck. I've never seen a pair last more than 250 miles before the wool has rubbed out of 'wear' areas.

I'd add some super glue and roll up several feet of duct tape. Great gear repair and first aid combo.

Also, your camera battery charger (or extra battery) is missing.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
ideas on 02/18/2012 19:17:06 MST Print View

Extra socks in resupplies are a very good idea. The trail was very dusty when I was there.
I would NOT cut up the Pinnacle. That foam backpanel gives the pinnacle a better carrying capacity (Will tested Golite packs with and without it to prove this). You'll probably want that extra capacity. You can take out the hydration sleave. Pockets can be removed but are they really worth it? I found pockets to keep stuff organized worth it when I was trying to move fast and be efficient.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: CT on 02/18/2012 19:18:44 MST Print View

Matt: I completely agree with you on Smartwool socks sucking! I'm actually mailing myself 2 more pairs in my supply box in Salida with plans to mail the 2 I'm starting with back to Smartwool to show them how bad their socks are. But durability aside, they are the only socks that actually keep my feet dry while doing any activity. I always buy them from REI so when they wear out too fast, I get a new pair.

The smaller Platy bottle is for drink mixes. I'm super anal about putting nothing but water in my water bladders.

As for the Pinnacle, I trimmed all of the straps, got rid of the ice axe stuff, and haul loop. I've actually thought about chopping the Z rest in half. But at the moment, I'm not sure the weight savings would be worth it. I've never slept on a half sleeping pad and/or used my pack backpad as a sleeping pad.

Edited by reacttocontact on 02/18/2012 19:23:09 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
More Ideas on 02/18/2012 19:27:10 MST Print View

Your gear list looks very solid to me.

Pack
With all due respect to Andy Skurka I think he has a different taste in packs than I do. I'm not saying its wrong just different than mine. His way of packing a frameless pack and wearing it appears to put a lot more weight on his shoulders. It works for him but when I wear a pack that way I get sore. I pack mine more like Will R. recomends in his SOTM report on frameless packs. I fold a pad up against the back of the pack and pack everything against that. If you pack this way the foam backpanel helps a lot in my opinion (and in Will's tests). Especially with a Z rest I would keep the foam backpanel.
Clothing
I noticed you don't have any rain pants. You can get by without them but I did like having them. I might actually ditch the capiline bottoms and replace them with rain pants. I hiked in REI zip off pants with no leg insulation. When it got cold I wore my rain pants.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: More Ideas on 02/18/2012 19:41:47 MST Print View

Reason behind no rain pants: The Rock Guides tend to fend off wind and rain a lot better than regular nylon pants and they also dry really fast. And to be quite honest, being a Colorado resident, I've been caught in my fair share of I'm just going to rain for an hour to p*** you off storms. I guess you could say I'm immune to wet legs and putting on rain pants just for those storms just seems annoying. Hahaha.

As for wearing a pack: I switch it up. Sometimes I'll cinch up the hip belt so it pretty much takes all the weight. Then I'll loosen it up so the weight is on my shoulders. And there are so many ways to fiddle with the positioning of the sternum strap to move weight from here to there ever so slightly. I come from a background of 1) lugging 50-60 lb packs for retarded distances and 2) lugging a pack full of cams and a rope when hiking to crags with my gf.

The more I think about it, with such a light load, I might rethink my timeline and cut off 10 days or so. Haha.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re More Ideas and some trail ideas. on 02/18/2012 20:06:32 MST Print View

Well if you're happy with what you have more power to you.
Some people here might consider 10 pounds a bit heavy but Andy Skurka's gear list seems to average 8-10 pounds and I don't think it slows him down. I wouldn't worry about it anymore. You wont' drop significant weight without making major compromises and/or spending a a lot of money. Personally I think budgeting an extra hundred dollers for a room off the trail would do more for your comfort than a slightly lighter pack or sleeping bag.
Oh by the way I might keep the pullover. I liked my jacket. I just wore it for the time when I was setting up camp and eating dinner but it was so worth it not to go to bed chilled.

Paul if you want I can tell you a bit about the last part through the San Juans. It stressed me out a lot because of all the trail above timberline, not a place you want to be in a thunderstorm. Once I got there though some areas weren't quite as bad as you'd think from looking at the map (but some are). If I went back I could probably play the odds better because I'd know exactly where there was shelter and where I would not want to be in a thunderstorm.

For example
1. Between Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass there's maybe 5 miles of exposed hiking. About midway there are some shoulder high willows by a creek. Not ideal but it is a spot to hunker down if you get caught up there.
2. On the map the route through the Holy Cross Wilderness looked pretty exposed. When I got there though it actually was never really exposed for that long. I'd be careful in an actual storm but I'd feel fine going over it in the afternoon. If some weather started moving in I think you could get down into the trees pretty fast.
3. At San Louis Pass in the Lagarita Wilderness there are a few trees you can go into if it looks bad. After that its pretty open for a while.
4. Snow Messa is pretty open. You could camp in one of the valleys before it but up high I didn't see a lot of water (maybe more earlier though).
5. After Spring Creek pass the trail goes in and out of trees for a while. There's a Colorado Trail Yurt just off the trail. There are actually a number of trees at the top of whatever drainage that is (don't have a map in front of me). Thats the last real cover for a LONG time.
6. After Carson Saddle you go a little ways and there are some shoulder high willows on the right. There are a couple spots up in there you can camp that are sort of sheltered from the wind. After that there's really no cover for a lightning storm until you get down into Elk Creek. Awesome scenery though.

Edited by Cameron on 02/18/2012 20:13:06 MST.

Kyle Leonard
(kyle121378) - MLife

Locale: CO
Re: Re: More Ideas on 02/19/2012 11:15:20 MST Print View

If you are going to shorten your timeline, practice the high mileage with the weight. I did this last summer on the CT (Molas Lake to Durango) and found out about serious chafing that I haven't ever had before with my gear I've used for 10 years. I have changed my socks to the wrightsocks cushioned dx which are double layered socks and have worked really well for me. I also had to switch over to using underarmour series "o" boxer briefs.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: San Juans on 02/19/2012 12:57:50 MST Print View

Luke broke it down pretty well -- I only had to sleep above tree line once -- after I turned around in Durango I ran into a great group of hikers in Silverton and sat around all day drinking coffee and didn't leave until late and had to camp above tree line. Even though you're above tree line if you take appropriate measures to drop down you can typically find some fairly sheltered places to sleep. After a while you'll get pretty use to the afternoon dark clouds and the pattern of the storms and learn to predict when and if it will storm. On the flight line we use to coin it 'keeping your head on a swivel' -- pay attention and it's a non issue.

I've suggested before and will suggest again -- do an alternate route south of Twin Lakes. Hope Pass/Missouri Gulch or just simply following the CDT is worth the extra effort.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re San Juans on 02/19/2012 17:13:30 MST Print View

+1 Matthew
I think the main advantage of know where there is shelter is it helps you manage risks better. For example if I'd known the area in the Holy Cross Wilderness wasn't that exposed I would have hiked differently. It looked pretty bad on the map so when I saw clouds moving in I hunkered down and waited a while. When I actually got up there it wasn't so bad and I should have kept hiking.

Matthew I've heard that alternate route is good. How bad is it for exposure during storms? On my maps it looked pretty high and open. I was going to do it but I'd had so much bad weather that I decided to go the official route which is lower. Part of the problem was I was behind scheduel and I wanted to catch up. I figured waiting out thunderstorms on the CDT and adding Hope Pass to my itenary with 12 days of food on my back wasn't a good idea.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: CDT alt on 02/19/2012 17:25:14 MST Print View

The CDT to Monarch Pass (US50) is roughly the same length as the CT is to US50. There is certainly more exposure but nothing like the San Juans -- tree line is always in sight and your route is up and over a pass and then back down. So you do more elevation but you're rewarded with views.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re CDT Alt on 02/19/2012 17:45:47 MST Print View

Well if I go back I'll take that route for sure. Gets back to the whole "do your research first"

Darren Bagnall
(dbagnall)

Locale: El Portal, CA
CDT on 02/19/2012 21:58:30 MST Print View

Hi Paul,

I am just wondering when you are starting and what direction. I am headed out SOBO in mid-late June; snow dependent.


Darren

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Re: CDT alt on 02/20/2012 14:12:33 MST Print View

Ya definitely take the CDT route over hope pass. I made the miserable trek all the way around the lakes in the hot summer sun, it was not fun at all. Also on the socks issue... I blew through 2 pairs of smartwools by the time i was in buena vista, and then decided to buy some darn tough socks. I bought the light wool ones, and I still have them. They were the best hiking socks i have ever owned. They dry quickly and last longer than any other sock i have come across.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: CDT on 02/20/2012 18:26:22 MST Print View

Darren,

June 15 if it doesn't snow that much in March and April. July 1 if we get normal snow here. July 15 if some sort of blizzard hits during March and April. I am also heading south. I have a timeline set up already. I have the time so I am trying to stick with it. Average around 16.75 miles a day. Some shorter, a few over 20.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: Re: CDT alt on 02/20/2012 18:28:33 MST Print View

Allen,

I have been wearing Darn Tough socks (the same 4 pairs for hiking, running, backpacking, everyday use) for the past 18 months. I chose the Smartwool socks because I can never find the thinner Darn Tough socks anywhere. In fact, I was beginning to think Darn Tough didn't make thin socks. t will have to look around.

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: CDT alt on 02/21/2012 19:04:02 MST Print View

They are quite hard to find i will agree, I wear the merino wool 1/4 running socks, coolmesh. They have been absolutely fantastic and I would urge you too try and order them online if you cant find them in stores.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Darn Tough on 02/21/2012 21:28:08 MST Print View

As I said before, I have 4 pairs of Smartwool socks already bought for the trip. With plans to actually mail the 2 pairs that I swap out in Salida to Smartwool. Should be interesting.

As for Darn Tough socks, here is a photo of one of my socks. A single sock from the 4 pairs I have been wearing for 18 months. This is the worst of them. And it's still not half as bad as a pair of Smartwool's get after 3 months.

DT

Matthew Bradley
(patojo) - F

Locale: Berkshire County
I bought my first pair of Darn Toughs last week. on 02/21/2012 22:59:53 MST Print View

I concur that they’re a nice piece of snivel. Not only tough but very comfortable, as well.

These socks are every bit as good as advertised.

Edited by patojo on 02/21/2012 23:00:37 MST.

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Darn Tough on 02/23/2012 08:34:55 MST Print View

Sorry Paul I misunderstood your first post. I do agree that they are fantastic socks though.