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Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July
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Andrew McManama
(andymac321) - F

Locale: SoCal
Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July on 03/11/2012 12:21:39 MDT Print View

I am planning a 4 day/3night hike covering 9, 10,000 ft+ peaks along the way. If I go solo, this would be my gear list. Of course, if the others who are saying they're interested go, We'll be sharing the load a bit.

Here is a link:

I will also be using this list for Rae lakes in July which most likely will be solo (even though I have permit for 4). The only changes would be 2 more days of food (4#) and my fishing gear (7.5 oz in all)
Any Advice is welcome. My first trip ever saw a 65+ pound pack (base weight w/ no food or water) I don't know what I was thinking! I have trimmed and replaced a great deal of stuff. Some things I am not willing to change (i.e, my boots, pack, and tent), but I am always open to suggestions on some of the other things. I would like to get a new Sleeping Bag before these trips (Marmot Sawtooth or Helium)

Basic Summary of List:

Base Wt: 27.05#
Worn: 5.69#
Consumables: 14.43#
Total pack: 41.48#
Total: 47.17#

Thanks in advance for your input

Edited by andymac321 on 03/11/2012 13:08:57 MDT.

Rob Vandiver

Locale: So Cal
Re: Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July on 03/11/2012 13:27:01 MDT Print View

Where's Mike C! when you need him?

This is a traditional gear list. Heavy pack because you have so much weight, heavy boots because you have so much weight. It's circular. The first time I did the Rae Lakes Loop I had probably a 20-25 lb base weight.
I went again last year early in the season on a big snow year, and had to carry some extra gear because of that. Still, with the ice axe and extra insulation, I was carrying around a 12 lb base weight. The difference was incredible. Instead of slogging to Arrow Creek Crossing and setting up camp, I was there by 1 PM, even with the trail obliterated for miles because of snow damage! Miles ahead of schedule, we finally made camp at Castle Dome Meadows. The next day we tramped up to the Raes, again way ahead of schedule, and had the entire afternoon to soak it all in and explore. The next day was tough, a lot of backtracking and route finding, but we finally made it to the pass and out of the snow above Charlotte lake by 3PM. We all decided that a real dinner sounded good, so we put the gas on, and 9PM found us 15 miles down the trail at Road's End.

This would not have been possible for me with a 30-40 pound pack. I would not have had so much fun if I had had a 30-40 pound pack. Light weight backpacking has improved my experience in the back country 100 fold (and I already loved it).

Look at some other gear lists in the forum. 10-15 pound baseweights are easily achieved for a little money and a little time.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July on 03/11/2012 13:46:34 MDT Print View

"Arrow Creek Crossing"

Woods Creek Crossing?

This does not compute if you were going clockwise around the loop.


Rob Vandiver

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July on 03/11/2012 13:57:14 MDT Print View

Darn it Bob, you got me again.

Meant Kings River crossing. For some reason, the first time I did this I saw Arrow Creek on my map (north of the crossing) and have always associated it with the crossing, even though Ive been corrected a couple times.

Edited by ShortBus on 03/11/2012 14:00:51 MDT.

Brian Raap
(braap) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Re: Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July on 03/11/2012 14:40:15 MDT Print View

I'm no expert but here is my opinion. Without spending any money you could drop these items:

Extra Boxers: 3 oz
Camp shoes: 14 oz
Hydration System/Nalgene: 12.5 oz. Add a gatorade bottle and/or another platypus to save ~10 oz. 3 L water is really the max you will need. There is water everywhere and carrying about 1L is what you should plan on.
Journal: 7 oz. Can you get a lighter one? Save ~4 oz.
Stakes and rope: 11 oz. How many/what kind of stakes and what kind of rope? Rope should weigh no more than an ounce. Save ~8 oz
Bandanas: 4 oz. Only need one. Save ~3 oz
Extra batteries: 4 oz. What are these for? You are only out for 4 days. Put in fresh batteries in headlamp beforehand.
Toiletries 12 oz: I am sure you can save at least ~4 oz
Spot: 7.25 oz. You really don't need this on the JMT. But thats up to you.
MSR Hand Towel: 2.25 oz. Have a bandana
Knife: 8.25 oz. 8 oz knife?! Get a swiss army classic or razor blade. Save 7.5 oz.
Lantern: 3 oz
Lighter: 1 oz. Get mini bic lighter at .4 oz. Save .6 oz
MSR Pack towel: 6.5 oz. Why so many towels? You have a bandana.
Trowel: 3 oz. Not entirely necessary. Rocks are easy to find.
Water Filter: 17.62 oz. Heavy-go with tablets or drops. Save ~15 oz.

That is 95.1 oz, or nearly 6 lbs. There are many more opportunities to save weight, but that is with spending nothing.
Have a great trip, that area is amazing!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Gear List for 4 day hike this May in San Bernardino Mts and 6 Days Rae Lakes in July on 03/11/2012 14:59:19 MDT Print View

"Kings River crossing"

Rob, that can also be confusing because there are different forks of the Kings River. The Woods Crossing of the JMT is the one with the substantial bridge.


Andrew McManama
(andymac321) - F

Locale: SoCal
Thanks! on 03/11/2012 15:39:03 MDT Print View

@Rob: Thanks for the insight. How many nights did you stay out there? My plan is 6 nights at a nice, leisurely pace. PV, Woods Creek/JMT Jct, 2nights @ Rae lakes, Junction Meadow. I usually start early (on trail by 7AM) and get to destination around 2 or 3PM, the walk is half of the fun for me, I never tend to rush it. I tend to hike at a semi fast pace as it is but in the Sierras I stop and take pictures and just breathe in the surroundings. This keeps me from getting into a "slog". I have learned that my Boots are not optional to me from many long day hikes and backpacking trips. I have trail runners and don't use them at all for any hike with any weight (5# daypack or 30# backpack) due to very sore feet after using them. I've tried a few models and insoles. For me, boots=happy feet, non-boots=sad, hurting feet.

@Brian: Thanks for the ideas! I see some places that I can definitely shave weight. I am so used to "dry camping" that I almost automatically carry more water than I should in the Sierras. On the bandana/towel issue all I can say is that I am "A Hoopy, Frood who knows where his towel is." (For you "Hitchhiker" fans out there.) I have found so many uses for bandanas and towels that I tend to over pack them. I couldn't go with only one bandana/towel, but I can probably go with half the amount on the list. I see what you are saying with the First Aid kit, steaks, knife (I've been ton the fence about replacing it with a smaller pocket knife, you may have just pushed me), and extra batteries. The SPOT I use for my blog entries and personal fun, I love the track feature.

Thanks again for both your advice. I think I see potential for a few pounds of shaving. and if I can get the Helium Bag that will be a couple of more pounds.

Rob Vandiver

Locale: So Cal
Re: Thanks! on 03/11/2012 17:07:15 MDT Print View

Hey Andrew,

First solo trip I did in 4 days, 3 nights, 2nd trip was planned for the same but we shaved the last day off, making it 3 days, 2 nights. It is a beautiful trek, you will love it! With that itinerary I would probably try to camp at middle Paradise Valley, every time I have gone Upper Paradise was crowded and not as pleasant. YMMV of course.

As for the boots, if that's what works then stick to it. What works for me sure doesnt work for everybody.