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August JMT (First time, first gearlist)
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Matt Breuer
(mebreuer) - F

Locale: Northeast
August JMT (First time, first gearlist) on 07/27/2012 00:08:53 MDT Print View

Hey all,

Getting ready for an Aug. 6th start date for the JMT! Started putting together my initial gear list, and I was hoping I could get some input on where I can get the most cost efficient improvements. A couple of notes: I don't have a stove or fuel listed here, I'm going with a group of 3 and my friend is bringing (and probably carrying) the stove. I also haven't gotten around to weighing everything yet, but I think you can get the idea on weights (i.e. the camelback). The copper spur is not yet purchased, but I'm pretty set on it; my other option is a ~5 oz cuben MacCat tarp that I bought spur of the moment earlier this year intended for hammocking, but it seems that hammocks aren't viable on the JMT. This thing is a pain to set up with poles, so I think I'm going with the tent (tarp is FS in perfect condition so PM if interested).


Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
JMT Gear List on 07/27/2012 09:50:19 MDT Print View


My wife and I will leave on the 4th with two of our daughters (8 & 10) on the JMT. So we might meet along the way.
You could save a couple of pounds from your pack.
Since you have not yet purchased the tent, I will start with that. I looked up the price at and you could use the same $400 to save some weight.

1) Tent. Get a tarptent. There a many choices out there. Look for example at the Double Rainbow (41 oz) from Tarptent for $275 or the Haven (18 oz) from Sixmoon Design for $200 (the NetTent (16 oz) would be an extra $150, but at this time of year there should be no problem with mosquitos). So assuming you go with the SMD Haven and buy a Cossammer Gear Polycryo groundsheet and TI shepherd stakes you save roughly 2 lbs from your pack and $200 from your wallet that you can spend on other items.

2) You have several items from REI. In case you got your Osprey Atmos 65 there, bring it back and replace it with the Osprey Exos 58. That saves you over a 1 lbs.

3) Same for Camelback bladder. Return it to REI and replace it with Platypus 2l bladder. Saves you 1/4 lbs

4) Return the sleeping bag liner. You won't need it with a 20F sleeping bag. You can wear your long johns in the sleeping bag to keep it clean. Saves you 1/4 lbs and another $70.

5) Replace the Nalgene bottle with a free Snapple/Gatorade/etc. 1l bottle to save another 5 oz

So assuming you can return/exchange at REI, you saved already 3.75 lbs and over $250 dollars.

You can now use these $250 to lighten up in other areas and buy things that are still missing from your list like sunglasses & sunhat.
- Replace the headlamp with a a model that weighs 3 oz or less (like Petzl Tikka) to save another 3.5 oz
- Replace the swiss army knife with a smaller version that weighs only 0.75 oz and saves you another 2 oz
- etc.

So by now we are already at over 4 lbs of weight savings. You can easily save another pound in other areas. Replace the 10 oz rainjacket with a cheap 5oz driducks jacket (under $20 and comes with "free" pants). Replace the 19 oz jacket with a 12-14 oz down jacket with the rest of your saved money from the tent, ...

Have fun out there,


Edited by Orienteering on 07/27/2012 09:52:43 MDT.

Matt Breuer
(mebreuer) - F

Locale: Northeast
JMT Gear List on 07/27/2012 10:20:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reply Manfred,

1) But wouldn't I eventually have to buy the net, making the total cost $350 + stakes, groundsheet, etc? I will look into this option and also check gear swap for other tarp options.

Also, this is a question I've always had but never asked (regarding tarps): My trekking poles are shock loaded - does this make it difficult/impossible to pitch a taut tarp that relies on a trekking pole for support?

2) I didn't get my Atmos there, I got it at EMS which doesn't have the same return policy.

3) I also didn't get my camelback from REI. I really value the ability to drink on the go, although I guess I could sacrifice that.

4) The liner was a gift a couple years ago so I can't return it, but I don't have to bring it.

5) Definitely will do this.

-Headlamp: Was planning on this already, will need less batteries too!
-What knives would you recommend?
-I could return the synthetic jacket to REI and get a down jacket, maybe a feathered friends?

Thanks again for the recommendations! Maybe see you on the trail.

Edited by mebreuer on 07/27/2012 10:28:44 MDT.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
JMT Gear on 07/27/2012 10:48:47 MDT Print View


1) If you camp a lot in mosquito infested areas, you will want the NetTent with the Haven. If you take the TT Double Rainbow or the SMD Lunar Duo, you have built-in netting for 41 oz. That still saves considerable weight and around $100.
My wife uses shockloaded trekking poles and never had an issue with setting up any of our tarp tents
3) The Platypus bladder is just like the CamelBak bladder - only for half the weight. So you can drink from the hose like you prefer.

Knife. I carry a 0.8 oz Leatherman Style (knife, Scissors, tweezer, nail file, screwdriver). That is all I need - even when fishing and preparing trout. The "classic" swiss army model is very similar.

Down Jacket. If you have the money for the Feathered Friend Helios (or similar from Western Mountaineering) you can't go wrong. If you want to save some money and weight (at the cost of warmth) you might go with a Patagonia Down Sweater or Marmot Zeus. The have less down fill weight and less overall weight. That is all you need at this time of year on the JMT.


Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Great list on 07/28/2012 16:39:53 MDT Print View

You probably won't need the bug headnet as we've had such a dry year.
Ok, that was it for the deletions, the rest are additions.
Might want to add an additional platy, that way you can choose to dry camp instead of hiking on to the next lake that might be quite busy with other campers.
Protect your eyes, add sun glasses, the sun is intense at altitude.
If you are hiking in shorts and a t-shirt you will also need plenty of sunscreen, alternatively wear very thin, loose fitting nylon long pants and long-sleeved shirt, plus floppy hat and sun gloves for complete sun protection.
Sharing a single stove between the three of you and taking turns using it means eating meals in shifts rather than together. You are not saving much weight either as simple canister stoves weigh three ounces or less. Bring one each.
You'll also need a bear can each.
Bring a small container of hand sanitizer, good for when you don't have extra water to spare for hand washing.
Deck of cards, paperback or even an ipod might provide some needed entertainment in the evening hours.
Have fun!

. .
(CzechClown) - MLife

Locale: JMT/PCT
JMT - Thru Hiker on 07/28/2012 22:51:17 MDT Print View


Order this book, read it.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: JMT - Thru Hiker on 07/29/2012 11:59:05 MDT Print View


seconded, my favorite book on the topic.

Matt Breuer
(mebreuer) - F

Locale: Northeast
RE on 07/30/2012 07:53:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll check it out when I get the chance.

I've updated a few things on the list - returned my synthentic jacket to REI and picked up a down sweater. Also found a clearance headlamp that weighs 2.75 oz instead of 6+. I was in the whites this weekend and actually found my camelback had a hole (that leaked all over my bag....), so I replaced it with a 70 oz platypus. Also ordered cap2 top and bottoms, so I've shaved off a pound or so with those upgrades.

Katy, thank you so much for all of those responses.

Really good to hear that it's bug free - I'll think about dropping the net to reduce clutter, although at ~1 oz it's a minor item that could be essential if we stay at a buggy spot, especially since I don't carry any deet.

I think I will bring a little sunscreen, I have the cap 2s in case it's really bad, but I am generally pretty good about not getting burnt. The only sunglasses I have are Ray Bans that I'd rather not bring to the woods - are bad quality sunglasses even worth it? I've heard a possible myth that poor lenses are actually worse for your eyes since they dilate your pupils but don't actually block harmful rays. Not sure what to think about this.

I'll probably try to grab a cheap straw hat at a thrift store, the $40 REI ones are ridiculous.

My friend's stove is a whisperlite, so we won't be using canisters (although I own a pocket rocket). I think since most of our food is just add boiling water, we will be able to just boil a pot of water and all eat together.

As much as I'd like to rent a bearikade, it's significantly cheaper to rent the big black box from Yosemite. Also, my friends (who are not really concerned with weight) are renting from Yosemite, so it will be much easier logistically. It is a significant weight savings...but I think this time I'll have to pass.

Sani is a must - I have that, just haven't weighed it and added it to the list yet.

Entertainment suggestions are good - a deck of cards and a book will definitely be travelling with me.

Edit: another question, about food: I've planned for ~4000 calories/day, with almost everything above 100 cal/oz. I'm thinking this might be too much food? I'm 20 years old, 160 lbs, in good shape and we're planning 12-18 mile days.

Thanks again for all your help!

Edited by mebreuer on 07/30/2012 08:01:52 MDT.

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: RE on 07/31/2012 17:53:42 MDT Print View

A friend and I start the JMT in two weeks. We are planning for 4000 calories per day, averaging 125 calories per ounce (2lbs pppd) and will be doing similar mileage at times. I may cut it to 3000 calories per day for Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows (our 1st resupply) to make my appetite kick in so I do eat everything thereafter.

Robin McKay
(rlmckay) - M

Locale: Auckland NZ
Re: August JMT (First time, first gearlist) on 08/03/2012 03:17:04 MDT Print View

I did the JMT exactly the same time last year - Cowboy camped all the way - the tarp stayed in my pack - however you do need to take a shelter (Not a tent - a cuben fiber tarp - Zpacks). My current gear list at - although for NZ is basically what I took on the JMT. We had 18 days straight blue sky.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
reading material on 08/05/2012 21:08:12 MDT Print View

We found reading material was important when we did the JMT:Reading material on the JMT