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JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please!
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Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please! on 05/23/2012 03:08:39 MDT Print View

I posted my gear list and I'd like some advice on what I can leave out or change, etc.

The items in red are items I'm undecided on taking. In particular, in the Clothing Packed Section, I'm not sure if I need thermal bottoms (the capilene 2 bottoms) and I think one top will be sufficient for thermal and insulation layer in one. I'm not sure I need the thermawrap vest. For example, if i only carry one top, I think either the Capilene 3 or merino 3 top will be fine. However, if I take the vest I would choose the capilene 2.

The reason I'm hesitant is because I took the capilene 2 top & bottom and the thermawrap vest all with me for the CT last year and never really needed them. If I needed more warmth at night, I just slept in my wind pants.

Also, I could change out my Montane Rain jacket for a Patagonia Houdini wind shirt or driducks poncho for half the weight savings, but I'm hesitant to do so given I'm not sure about the durability of the driducks or the sufficiency of the Houdini for rain protection since it would be my only rain gear, ie I'm not planning on carrying an umbrella.

Thanks for your help.

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
JMT on 05/23/2012 09:02:51 MDT Print View

Hi Susan,

I'm very jealous, the JMT is a lot of fun. Here are a few ideas regarding your list:

1. In your "packing" section you have a trash compactor bag liner yet you also have a separate bag for clothing and a sleeping bag. Stuff all your clothes and sleeping bag into the trash compactor bag and roll the top down to keep them from getting wet. Ditch the stuff sacks for those two items.
2. Again in your "packing" section you have a food bag, two opsacks AND a bearvault. I've read that there are certain sections you can be on the JMT without a bear canister but if you're planning on bringing one anyways then the opsacks and food sack aren't needed.
3. In terms of clothes, I'll tell you what I brought for a section of the JMT i hiked last year. I wore: low cut wool socks, trail runners, running shorts and briefs, synthetic shirt, wind shirt, hat with bandana covering neck. Packed clothing: extra pair of low cut wool socks, extra briefs, lightweight glove liners, rain jacket, down jacket and a wool beanie. I washed my shirt and shorts every few days and therefore didn't need an extra pair. I would say ditch the shell pants and camp shoes but absolutely get a wind shirt, it's the one item I used and needed every day...sun protection, keeps the wind chill out, etc.
4. For "water treatment" I would consider using AquaMira drops. Once repackaged it'll weight an ounce or two and (I think) it's tasteless.
5. I would ditch the camelbak bladder (they're heavy and hard to use without sucking the water through the hose) and replace it with something like the Evernew bladders that you can use in camp.
6. On the smaller really don't need a multi tool if you're already taking a knife. If you want to take multiple fire starters, just bring two mini bics. Put one with your stove and one in your survival bag. You don't need the parachute cord but some people like having some rope.
7. If you're set on bringing your cell phone mail your cell phone charger, camera charger, ipod charger and extra batteries to your first or second resupply box. Or you could bring an extra camera battery and leave that charger at home. Change out the batteries right before you leave and you'd be surprised how long they last. I'm still using the same batteries from last summer and I've been out for several weeks since then.

Is 1lb of food per day enough? I eat about 1.5-2 depending on how long I've been out hiking.

Good luck and have fun!!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
JMT LIst on 05/23/2012 09:20:57 MDT Print View

Just a couple of thoughts:

32 oz. Gatorade bottles are heavier than many other options. I use 32 oz. soda bottles with wide mouth.
2L Camelback. Camelbacks are heavy. Look at Platypus or other. I only take a 1 L spare. Lots of water on the JMT
Headlamp. If this is just for camp chores at night take a lighter one
Iodine. Do you really like Iodine? Chlorine Dioxide is easier, tastes better and does not yellow bottles
Silnylon groundcloth. Use Polycro that Gossamer Gear probably sent you with the tent. Way lighter and plenty tough
I see lots of thermal layers. May be too much since you also have a puffy layer
Heet. Are you doing the whole JMT? I don't know if Heet is difficult to mail to a resupply.
Ditch the TP. Look for videos and articles at BPL and free yourself
Purel? If you have Brommers just use that.

Also, you listed 16 oz. of food a day. That to me seems a bit short. I don't know if you are doing the whole route or just a section and I don't know your daily mileage. You will need more food if you are hiking substantial miles. Go to food and nutrition forum and find plenty of research there. You need to pack a minimum of 125 calories per ounce.

Nice job. The Sierras are awesome. Enjoy

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
+1 on 05/23/2012 17:26:46 MDT Print View

+1 on what everybody else said such as:

You don't need all those containers and ditty-bags.
Packed clothes needed are only: warm hat, rain jacket, puffy jacket, spare socks and undies. Nice to haves in addition are: long underwear set, gloves, and wind shirt.
You will need more food.

Personally I would be freezing in a 17 ounce quilt. My 15 degree bag that I use in the Sierra has 19 ounces of 900 fill down and weighs in at 2 pounds. Never cold, never worried about the weather, unzip if it's warm, zip-up if it's cold.

Enjoy the JMT, it's fabulous.

Terry G
(delvxe) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
on the houdini on 05/23/2012 17:29:49 MDT Print View

just to speak to your question about the Houdini -- it is a great wind jacket but mine wets out in the lightest sprinkle.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: on the houdini on 05/23/2012 17:47:35 MDT Print View

When's the last time you washed it to renew the DWR?

Mine takes at least 10-15 mins to wet out in a light rain.

Edited by simplespirit on 05/23/2012 18:28:59 MDT.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please on 05/23/2012 19:13:44 MDT Print View

Susan, I'll probably be echoing a few of the previous replies, but here are a few suggestions:
-If you are using the bearcan for storing all of your food and scented items, ditch both the Opsacks.
-I have been very happy with Cap 2 for my long sleeve top and full leg coverage at night. It also keeps body oils off of my sleeping bag.
-I love my Erik The Black Atlas, I have used it the last two years and will be using it again this summer!
-Ditch the Camelback. If you need extra water storage for camp cooking and drinking, replace with a Platypus.
-Switch out the TP roll for paper towels cut into squares, it packs more compact.
-15 ozs. of fuel seems like a lot of fuel. Are you cooking more than 1 meal a day? They have fuel at MTR and I have picked some up every year I have been there.
-As others have mentioned, 1 lb. of food per day seems awful low. I usually don't have a huge appetite for the first day or so and still eat about 1 1/2 lbs the first couple of days, and when my appetite 'kicks in' I eat around 2 lbs or a little more per day.

Are you still doing the TRT before the JMT? Best of luck on your JMT hike!

Edited by rp3957 on 05/23/2012 19:18:02 MDT.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please on 05/23/2012 22:59:43 MDT Print View

Thanks Everybody!

Few things. For thermal or insulation, the biggest decision is whether to take a thermal top and bottom or not or to take an insulation layer or not, ie the MB thermawrap vest. I'm going in August and although I know weather can come in at any time, I don't want to go overboard with carrying warm clothes that I don't really need, especially for during the day. At night, my 30F quilt is plenty warm and I can always wear my rain pants to sleep if needed. I was just looking for feedback from others on what type of warm clothes they actually needed on trail. Again, last year on the CT, I took capilene 2 top and bottom and the thermawrap vest and didn't really need them. Long story short, I may just take the capilene 3 top.

Windshirt. If I brought my Houdini, it would be to replace my Montane Minimus rain jackaet. My long-sleeve Columbia PFG shirt is my primary hiking shirt and also acts (very effectively) as sun and wind protection.

For camelbak. I do like having the ability to drink/sip as a I walk with the hose set up versus having to dig a bottle from my pack. Other similar products I've seen, like the the platypus and evernew bladders are about the same weight when comparing equal sizes of bladders or less than 1 ounce difference at most. Still, if I could find a significantly lighter option, I would go ahead and buy it. Any suggestions?

I take an empty 32 ounce bottle, (ie gatorade) to mix sports drink or emergency-C in, treat water, access low streams etc. From reading other people's journals or trip reports, I hope the most water I ever have to carry at once is 2 liters. I have a few platypus bags, but I find that I like the bigger opening available in the disposable drink bottles.

Iodine. I should have represented the weight better. The weight I listed was for the two-part system still in the little bottles, but I actually put the tabs in a small plastic pill container that weighs less than half an ounce. With the two part system the iodine taste and color are removed. Old school, but I tend to like it better than the chlorine taste left by bleech, AM, etc.

Fuel. I usually pick up a yellow bottle of HEET or use a 20 oz. size disposable drink bottle to pick up some denatured alcohol. I have to get it locally, so I get what's available. 15 oz. was a conservative place holder. Sorry for the confusion. I tend to only cook dinner.

Food. I chose the smaller BV450 bear can because I realized that a bear can is not required for the entire second half section, which is the longest period without resupply, ie ~10 days, and thus represents the maximum amount of food I would need to carry at any one time. I tend to use very compact food, so I thought I could fit ~ 7 days worth in the can and then I figured I'd use an OPSAK (I would only take one)for the remaining ~ 3 days worth of food that didn't fit in the smaller bear can. Another option would be to hike out to say, Bishop? and resupply once during that latter half.

Also, 1 lb per day in the begining may be right, but probably 1.5 lbs/day for later sections. Again, I like to supplement my food with very calorie dense meal replacement mixes, so I can pack my food very compactly and with lighter weight per calorie.

TRT. Yes, my goal is still to do the TRT in late June, early July, so it can be a shake down trip for testing gear before the JMT in August. I actually have a Zpacks Hexamid tarp and a Borah Gear bivy on order. So I may change out my shelter system entirely before doing JMT. Some people have suggested that I do JMT first and then do TRT later, but I'm thinking late snow encountered in places on TRT would be easier to deal with than on JMT, ie no special gear like ice ax or microspikes would be needed. Any thoughts?

Any other suggestions, like do I need a bug head net, etc are greatly appreciated.

Mahalo for your time and feedback!!


Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: Re: JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please on 05/24/2012 09:14:36 MDT Print View

For thermal or insulation - You'll be fine night one, night two, and on and on until you get more towards the end. Sleeping around Forrester and the like is COLD. Last year I was there maybe August 13th and kept waking up cold using a thermawrap and a katabatic palisade. It was the only night that happened, but I enjoyed a jacket while prepping dinner and the like prior to bed, especially in the last few days.

the ability to drink/sip as a I walk with the hose set up versus having to dig a bottle from my pack - Water bottle pockets can vary in usefulness, my Osprey atmos? Lost cause. My SMD Swift? Very readily available. Might look into that. Is there a way you can... I don't know... sew the opening down a bit to make them easier to get stuff in and out of?

I hope the most water I ever have to carry at once is 2 liters - make that 1 liter for me, a big guy chugging water all day. At night though I like a 3L capacity total for cooking, drinking, and next morning's water. Platypus can be filled using your gator bottle to scoop.

Iodine.- I'd check into aquamira drops. They rock, no taste for me. 15 minutes when using a pre-mix bottle.

Food. - I'm doing the same, can + opsak. Glad to hear someone else is doing the same. My last supply might be VVR, but I'm planning to look into another where I hike out and then back in. Send me a PM if you find a better way to do it, pretty please.

Food. - Depends on miles and your body. I took 1.8 per day and couldn't get probably a third of it down the first 3-4 days. After that I was ravenous and ate more towards 2, thankfully I brought a touch extra. I'm 6'3 215lb and was doing about 17-20 miles a day, so your mileage may vary. I would suggest bringing stuff you'll actually eat, especially the first days. Big bag of funyons? Sure, whatever you can and want to eat. Calories are important, sometimes trail mix isn't appetizing.

I had a terrible time with mosquitoes last year in August. I wouldn't have parted with my headnet for $100. Late snow was also a big problem last year, so I can't comment towards a reasonable year, which this one is looking like. I'm bringing one though, and DEET, lots of lip tingling DEET.

These comments are nit picky, just trying to be helpful, you seem ready enough judging by your list and expectations. You'll have a great time =)

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Calories on 05/24/2012 09:16:11 MDT Print View

"Again, I like to supplement my food with very calorie dense meal replacement mixes, so I can pack my food very compactly and with lighter weight per calorie."

What are some of the calorie rich meal replacement mixes you use?



Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Meal Replacement on 05/25/2012 01:34:26 MDT Print View


One meal replacement I'm using now is by Garden of Life called Raw Meal. It's a completely organic mix, is vegan, has 26 raw superfoods (sprouts, seeds, greens), and great list of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc. Servings size is 85g with 280 calories, carbs are 38g, protein 33g, fats 4g & 14g fiber. I also mix in some soy protein powder.

I also take some sports drink mix for exercise and recovery like Hammer Perpeteum and some Emergency-C. for extra vitamins and electrolytes.

Edited by veganaloha on 05/25/2012 01:35:09 MDT.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please on 05/25/2012 01:49:10 MDT Print View


Thanks for the feedback. My last resupply will also be VVR, unless I hike out to break up that second half adn avoid carrying ~10 days worth of food. I have read some online journals by past thru-hikers that came out at different points, I need to re-read that to see how it would work, especially with the time element of how long that would take and whether it would be worth while or not. Seems like the decisin will be time and distance added by hiking out versus just staying on teh JMT and carrying a lot more food.

Will definitely PM you with any information I come up with for such an additional resupply plan. I haven't made my flight plans yet, but I'm hoping to have enough flexibility in my schedule that I can hike at a leisurely pace. My general plan is to have 3 weeks dedicated for the trail with travel on either end to get there and away. (That's still a whole 'nother Oprah - I'm still comparing travel options.) I usually go 15-20 miles per day, but also would like to just enjoy the trail without having to do that if I don't want to.

I will bring a bug face net.


Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
JMT 2012 GL - Advice, Please on 05/25/2012 09:52:33 MDT Print View

I have a WM Summerlight rated at 32 degrees and I still use my Cap 2 long sleeve top and long johns, ( or whatever they are called :) ) I had one night in mid-August where I also put on my Nano Puff jacket in the early morning hours as well, but that was higher up in elevation.

My advice on mozzie protection, FWIW, is just bring the headnet and VERY little DEET. In a 'normal' year in the Sierras the mozzies are not that bad in August. Last year was an exception due to the late melt-off. Mozzies need water and plants/flowers to thrive, and this year we are anywhere from 1 1/2 - 2 months ahead on snow melt and wild flower blooms compared to last year. I wouldn't bother bringing a lot of DEET. This August will be more like mid to late Sept. conditions this year IMO.