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JMT Trail!
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Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
JMT Trail! on 09/02/2012 13:07:48 MDT Print View

Hi everyone,

First time I've put my gear list together on here so be nice :) I like to pack light but I'm not really into the whole SUL just so you know.

Thinking of planning a trip through the whole JMT next year and decided to get an early start on setting up my gear. Below is the list of what I usually pack. Note, I don't have a scale so everything is just the stock weight from what I found online except for the hammock which I was able to weigh in the past. There are a few items that I couldn't find the weight on in my clothing section but I'm guessing people will have the general idea. Love to hear ways I can make it lighter and also things that I may be missing.

Things I know I'm missing are a rain jacket, bear canister and I didn't list any of the food or fuel I'll be bringing.

Biggest ways I can see how I can lighten my pack would be a different pack and a different shelter if I bring the tent instead of the hammock. For those of you who have hike the whole JMT would there be portions where a hammock wouldn't work because I would be sleeping above the tree line? Guess I would able to split of the weight between me and my friend if I bring the tent though since we'd both be using it. Anyone have any recommendations for a lighter pack that would work on the JMT? I've been looking at the new Gossamer Gear packs to find a lighter option but I've never used a frameless pack.

Thanks guys!

Osprey Exos 46- 37 oz

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2- 42 oz
Warbonnet traveler hammock- 9 oz (altered including complete suspension) (need to find a nice light hammock tarp for rain which would probably add 6-10 oz)

Sleeping: 28 oz total
EE Revelation X 30 wide Quilt in zpacks medium cuben fiber stuff sack roll top- 21 oz with sack
Gossamer Gear 1/4 pad cut down- 7 oz

Kitchen: 16 oz
GSI minimalist mug and spork- 6 oz
Optimus Crux stove- 3 oz
Sawyer squeeze filter plus bag- 3 oz
Two 1L platypus bottle- 2 oz
Bic lighter- 1 oz
LMF Swedish mini fire starter- 1 oz

Clothing packed:
Montbell UL down jacket- 8 oz
Rei pants
Icebreaker Mondo 1/4 zip LS
Arc'terx beanie
Wool socks
spare undies- 1 oz
Camp slides- 4 oz

Hiking clothes:
Five finger spyridon
Stioc thrive
Smartwool shirt
Golite hat

Misc: 27 oz
Knife- 2.5 oz
Leatherman CS Multitool- 1.5 oz
First aid kit- 2 oz
iPhone (camera)- 5 oz
Small camp towel- 2 oz
Repair kit 1 oz
Black diamond spot headlamp- 3 oz
Zpacks Toothbrush/paste- 1 oz
Thermarest stuff sack/pillow 2 oz
sunscreen 3 oz
bug spray 2 oz
Map 1 oz
compass 1 oz

Thanks again!

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Two more things.... on 09/02/2012 13:26:37 MDT Print View

I plan on going around July/ August and I dont like creepy crawlers so I like to either be off the ground or fully enclosed


Jacob Blumenfeld
(surfingdwedge) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: JMT Trail! on 09/02/2012 13:52:34 MDT Print View

Bring the tent. Hammock will not work above treeline and a lot of the jmt is above treeline.

May want to consider a headnet if u really cant stand the mossies. Although this year on the jmt i never once even put on bug juice.

Personally i would ditch the extra undies plenty of opportunity to wash them and wearing them dry isnt as bad as it sounds.

Looks like a solid set up to me, very functionally similar to what i would bring.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Thanks Jacob on 09/02/2012 13:58:19 MDT Print View

Thanks for your incite, was thinking the hammock
Might not work. Tent shouldnt be to bad if we split it up and one person carries the poles/stakes and the other the rainfly and tent.

I'm fine with swatting at bugs when I'm awake. It's just when I'm sleeping that I like to be enclosed.

Edited by lundquistas on 09/02/2012 16:53:16 MDT.

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
JMT Hike Plan & List on 09/02/2012 14:13:37 MDT Print View

I last hiked the JMT in 04. Hiked from Lake Tahoe to Tuolumne Meadows (~185M) last month. Some other Sierra hiking in between.

Couple of observations: I've never been a hammock camper. I think I'd rather not try finding trees along the JMT (often above timberline) to set up shelter. I'd stick w/ a lightweight tent or tarp situation. I'd see if I could whittle down some weight in some areas and add a little in my sleeping pad. I used a Z-rest (72") in 04. I now use a Neo Air (basically the same weight - ~14 oz - w/ greater comfort. My old bones probably wouldn't like the 7 oz GG pad. I don't understand the knife & multitool. I'd pick one and leave the other. I'd probably swap one of the 1L Platypus for a 2L. The GSI Minimalist is really pretty heavy for it's size. I weighed the full kit @ 6.4 oz. I'd use a .9L Evernew pot (my solo go-to pot) or something smaller/lighter. A phone would probably be useless as a phone. Not sure of the quality of the photos from an I-Phone. You could shave an oz or so on your headlamp, towel, pillow/stuff sack, etc. Your maps will probably weight more than an oz. I used Tom Harrison's map set. You could print the PCT map set of that section (covers most of the JMT; missing the start & where the JMT & PCT diverts after Donohue Pass) from You'll need to add a bear canister. Make sure your pack works with it. Some of the smaller, frameless packs can be tricky w/ a canister.

What I'd do logistically if I did it again: Plan the miles per day you want to hike. If you do 12M/day, the hike would take 18 days. Adjust up or down from there. Maybe add a layover day somewhere at a resupply point. I'd resupply every chance I got. The following examples are for 12m/day itinerary - Tuolumne Meadows (day 2, maybe 3 if you want a side-hike of Half Dome), Red's Meadows (day 5), & Muir Trail Ranch (day 9). Vermillion Valley Resort is two days after Red's and a day & a half before MTR. If you want to stop there for an additional resupply and clean up (showers & washing clothes), I'd camp at Mono Creek 2 days after leaving Red's. Catch the early boat shuttle to Vermillion (10 am?). That would give you more time to get stuff done. Take the shuttle the following morning out of Vermillion (1st night & beer was free when I was there in 04).

Injury or illness can come into play on the trail. Be aware of your bail-out points - Tuolumne Meadows, Red's, Bishop Pass, Kearsarge Pass, etc have access to Hwy 395 to the west. I've used Bishop Pass (buddy's injury) & Kearsarge Pass (my injury) on previous hikes. No hitching problems at either location (I must have looked like I didn't smell bad; but I did!).

Have fun on your hike.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Awesome! on 09/02/2012 17:00:58 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the tips about packing and the hike! I carry the knife as well cause I like a decent size blade to widdle away at sticks and stuff when were at camp.

I just love the streamline nature of the GSI minimalist. I leave the pot holder at home so I guess that would save some weight and the weight includes my eating utensil.

Think of adding a poncho tarp to use as my rain and pack cover and than when I'm on a shorter trip I could use it as my rainfly for the hammock. Anyone ever use the golite poncho tarp?

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
New shelter idea on 09/02/2012 17:49:25 MDT Print View

Think of how to save weight on my shelter since that's the heaviest thing in my bag.

Love sleeping in a hammock, that's what I usually do. If I get a poncho tarp that works as a ground shelter and a rainfly for the hammock it may be the perfect setup. I could use the hammock when there are trees and sleep how I normally do, than of we are camping above the tree line I can use the poncho tarp as shelter if it's raining and my Hammock as a ground sheet or just sleep on the poncho tarp if it's nice out. Figured there aren't as many bugs up above the tree line so I could make do. Also give me the poncho for hiking in the rain so I wouldn't need a rain jacket.

Thoughts? Am I getting to creative here? Of it got a nice cubeb fiber one it would be around 5 oz so my shelter would go from around 42 oz to 16 oz and give me a rain poncho.

Sorry for any grammar or spelling mistakes, I'm on my phone.

Jacob Blumenfeld
(surfingdwedge) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: New shelter idea on 09/03/2012 01:46:38 MDT Print View

I dont know of any poncho tarps that can do both. One option would be to bring the hammock and a typical ground poncho tarp. You can hammock when below treeline and when good weather is expected, and use the poncho tarp on the ground in the rain.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Idea on 09/03/2012 09:47:46 MDT Print View

Thanks, but than I still need something as a rain cover for when it rains

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
poncho tarp on 09/03/2012 10:18:51 MDT Print View

"... I could use it as my rainfly for the hammock. Anyone ever use the golite poncho tarp?"

I have the golite poncho tarp, and find it on the skimpy side as a hammock rainfly. In the JMT in July/Aug it's probably fine, but I'd not want to use it in places I expected rain on a more regular basis, particularly any windblown rain. You pull it out from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner and the other two corners don't pull out symmetrically, so that you feel a bit exposed on, say, your upper left and lower (body) right sides. Or vice versa.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Thanks on 09/03/2012 16:49:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the help. I'm thinking I may just get a nice tarp that I can use with my hammock or as a ground shelter and than just get a rain jacket. Good thing to have anyways...

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
New shelter on 09/05/2012 00:14:35 MDT Print View

Decides to lighten my shelter since it was clearly the heaviest item. Here is the new set up I'm going to bring:

Oware Tarp- 9 oz
GG 3/8- 7 oz
LMD Superlight Bivy- 7 oz
Total- 23 oz

Easily cut my shelter weight in half. Works nice to know because if I want to take a trip with my hammock I can just swap out the Bivy for the hammock and I'm all set. Figure this gives me some versatility because I can lighten things even further on other trips if I know bugs won't be an issue I can leave the Bivy behind or if there is no rain I could leave the tarp behind. Anyone use a familiar set up?

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: JMT Trail! on 09/05/2012 00:31:18 MDT Print View

Steve -

If you hike the Sierra in the summerish months, you don't need much. The weather is incredibly good. I hiked with a tarp and a bug bivy (glorified bugnet) and honestly, i setup the tarp twice. I camped in my bag inside the bug bivy atop a NeoAir pad.

Now, I need to qualify my statements that I've only spent a total of four weeks or so in the Sierra over these two trips, but they were dry, dry, dry, as was the rest of California.

And this is where the entire discussion of lightweight gear somewhat breaks down - depending where you live and/or backpack - and length of those trips - for many people, the choices in gear can change radically. But Sierra rainfall is sparse in the summer months and mostly in the form of an occassional thunderstorm or worse, some tropical moisture pulled in.


Edited by dirk9827 on 09/05/2012 01:03:32 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: JMT Trail! on 09/05/2012 00:39:17 MDT Print View

"But Sierra rainfall is sparse in the summer months and mostly in the form of an occassional thunderstorm or worse, some tropical moisture pulled in."

Yes, and that happened in the second week of August around the Sequoia-Kings border. I got rained on during five consecutive days, so it is nice to have more than the minimum of rain shelter.


Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: JMT Trail! on 09/05/2012 01:17:10 MDT Print View

Bob -

Not disputing it can rain - and rain substantially - in the Sierra during the summer months. But this is a relatively uncommon phenomena. I agree that few people would regret carrying a good shelter in such circumstances - thus my advocacy for a quality tarp.

As a Washingtonian, I fall into the over-prepared category of hiker, reticent to surrender my rain paints/jacket combination no matter the weather forecast. Few of us possess the temerity to declare gear unnecessary due to predicted sunshine.


Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: JMT Trail! on 09/05/2012 01:49:13 MDT Print View

You have plenty of time to research your entire kit before next summer. Virtually everything on your list has a significantly lighter alternative with equal or better funtionality, and most without spending a fortune. But to start, i would focus on the "big 3;" shelter, sleep and pack. You will gain a lot of savings here. Buy your pack last.

I would research the other JMT gear lists posted on this and other sites for ideas, gear reviews, etc and I would NOT spend a single penny on any new items until you do more thorough research for each and every item in your kit. I find it frustrating to buy something and then find an even lighter option I like better, which usually results in me buying the new option as well. Again, you have plenty of time even though it may be exciting to dive right in and start acquiring new gear. Also, shop the gear swap. There are a lot of good deals on gently used or even new gear items.

Also, DO be prepared for inclimate weather. I just got back from doing the JMT in August, we had 12 consecutive days of thunder, rain and hail storms.

Good luck!

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Rain Shelter on 09/05/2012 14:55:23 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone,

I was hiking just south of Whitney in the beginning of August and experienced a few of those storms. Glad I had a shelter, definitely planning on bringing one along even if the weather is supposed to be good.