Thoughts/advice... to get down to 15lb (or below!)??
I'm doing the JMT this summer for the first time (north -> south, July-Aug). First time thru hike too - although I attempted the TRT a few years ago but was sidelined after ~70 miles with terrible blisters that took all the joy out of this solo hike. I presume my pack was too heavy (~35+) and covering 25 miles on day 2 was not a great idea. So, now I'm older and wiser (hopefully ;) Anyway, I would LOVE your feedback on my gear list. It is linked under my profile and on the Community Gear Lists page. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all the details/decisions! I added some notes/questions below.
Gear list items in green are either purchases I'm considering in order to lighten my pack or things I'm undecided about (see notes).
New sleeping bag/down jacket... I currently have a Marmot Angle fire 15 degree bag and a Marmot Venus down jacket, both are too heavy and neither is warm enough. I am a cold sleeper and worry about being chilled in the evenings b/c my Icebreaker base layer is pretty light. Montbell UL down jacket and Sierra Designs Vapor 15 seem to be good choices for the $, weight, & warmth, no?
Hiking top/sun protection - I like to hike in sleeveless tops, but I'm concerned it may mean 1oz is not enough sunscreen. I think my light-weight long-sleeved insulating layer could also provide some sun protection. I've considered bringing a super light long-sleeved button up top, but this would be yet *another* top. Could the OR Helium jacket offer sun protection or would I end up sweating bullets?
ExPed pad - When I look at my list it seems ridiculous I'm considering this item. It weighs a ton (well, a pound), but I would sleep like a baby every night and I'm a big sleeper. Frankly, I love this thing and I'm looking for a way to justify bringing it! My 13oz prolite 3 pad would only shave 3.6 ounces and a whole lota comfort. I have a z lite too, but I wake up constantly with achy hips/shoulders.
SteriPen - I'm pretty sure I'll ditch it for AquaMira. It's too heavy and requires batteries, though I love its ease and have used it tons with no problems. Better for shorter backpacking trips, I guess.
AquaMira question - What do you carry it in? I've carried it in its original square plastic container, and once the seam split on one of the bottles and all the liquid leaked out. Not good.
3-cup pot and cozy - This may look excessive (just cooking for 1) but the combo weighs only .05oz more than my SnowPeak Trek 700 mug. My thought is that the capacity of the pot and simmering function the cozy affords make it worth it.
Tent - I know, it's heavy and I can't really ever be truly UL with a tent in my pack... but I don't yet feel ready to make the leap to something else. Something psychological is going on here ;) And I just bought it and can't return it... and need to spend the money I have remaining on a lighter sleeping bag & jacket.
Thank you so much for your input!