August JMT 2012 First-Timer
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Daniel Oeffinger
(daniel2400) - F
August JMT 2012 First-Timer on 07/18/2012 14:28:00 MDT Print View

Hi all. First off, I've gotten a lot of help just from reading through these forums the past few months, so thanks to all you savvy lightweight enthusiasts. I'm heading out on a JMT thru-hike at the start of August with a few friends, and I've been using this hike as an excuse to pare down my gear list and improve upon equipment I already owned. Would love any feedback or criticism on my equipment list. My previous experience is with more 4-6 day trips, the only long distance trail I've completed is the Haute-Walker Route, which didn't require the same sort of planning.

We're planning a leisurely 19 day pace, so I opted for a ULA Catalyst over something smaller like a Conduit. With the amount of food we'll be carrying from MTR on I didn't feel comfortable with a frameless. I'm sure I'll get some flak for bringing a 1.8L pot just for myself, but some of the meals I'm prepping require ~6 cups of water, and the weight difference for a smaller one didn't seem to justify the hassle of presoaking pasta etc. I'm still missing a few items on this list (Toothbrush, toothpaste, minor toiletries), but if you see something big you'd recommend bringing, please let me know!

Geargrams link: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=8836

Thanks for checking it out, any criticism or ideas are appreciated.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: August JMT 2012 First-Timer on 07/19/2012 06:49:41 MDT Print View

Looks good. You don't have a map, compass, and knife listed. I'd try to avoid taking the trowel by using sticks or tent stakes to dig with if you can.

I personally favor filters (Sawyer Squeeze) or a Steripen over chemicals, but there are certainly pros and cons to each.

Chris Scala
(Scalawag) - F
Trowel on 07/19/2012 22:28:46 MDT Print View

I've heard that advice about trowels before, and I know they aren't a UL item, but man... when you gotta poo, I can't imagine trying to dig 6 inches with a stick or a tent stake? Do people really do this successfully? I mean by instinct, poo-ing makes me very impatient and anxious, I couldn't see myself stabbing away at the ground with a tiny tent stake for 15 minutes.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Trowel on 07/19/2012 22:53:36 MDT Print View

"I can't imagine trying to dig 6 inches with a stick or a tent stake?"

You've never seen the SMC snow stake, have you?

It's about 9.5 inches long and multiple function.

--B.G.--

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Trowel? on 07/19/2012 23:15:44 MDT Print View

If the ground isn't too recalcitrant, a boot heel (this is one place boots work better than trail runners) or, in the Sierras, a piece of granite can work pretty well most of the time.

Edited by rgless on 07/19/2012 23:16:35 MDT.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
As for toothpaste... on 07/19/2012 23:26:38 MDT Print View

Check out this thread:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=17119

#4 are toothpaste dots, a reply on the thread spells it out. Everything else on here nails down the little things pretty well.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
August JMT 2012 First-Timer - sleeping bag on 07/19/2012 23:39:12 MDT Print View

I did the trail a few years ago and would have been far too cold in a Summerlite (I've owned one); I used a -3 (C) rated bag and was just about OK.

We all sleep differently though - and I suppose you have other clothes to layer-up with.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
re on 07/20/2012 00:42:59 MDT Print View

I didnt see it on there, but youll be fine with just the maps. The guidebook is nice if you want to read about trees and burn the pages to start your fire.

I took a REI Halo 25 degree bag and was fine, your Summerlite plus your down jacket should be fine. Might want to take some kind of long-john for camp and sleeping tho.

After 19 days, you will stink if you only wash with Dr Bonners. That was fine with me but if I did it again (I took 18), I would take some travel-size wet-ones. And hand sanitizer is a MUST. People say they get gihardia but I think they just didnt wash their hands properly.

Go easy on the DEET if you can, I used it less after I spilled some and it melted the red paint off my MSR fuel can and melted through my cigarette filter i was smoking.

Carry a real small nail file if you want. After 19 days youll collect a lot of grime under your nails and maybe wanna take down your toenails a bit. Weighs almost nothing.

Didnt see a spoon on there, I prefer spoon over sport, easier to get at the corners of your bag meal.

Have fun, take a bunch of pictures!

EDIT: if you havent bought the tent, get the UL2, its negligibly heavier but more spacious for 1 if mosquitoes trap you in there

Edited by dharmabumpkin on 07/20/2012 00:44:25 MDT.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Trowel on 07/20/2012 08:20:59 MDT Print View

>I can't imagine trying to dig 6 inches with a stick or a tent stake?

Depends on your hiking locale's soil conditions. I hike in Eastern hardwood/softwood forest areas. In some areas, you'll probably need a jackhammer rather than a stick, stake, or trowel. :)