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Colorado Trail Summer 2013 Gear LIst
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Sean Fletcher
Colorado Trail Summer 2013 Gear LIst on 03/21/2013 21:24:38 MDT Print View

Hey all, I was hoping somebody with a little more experience would be able to help me with this. As the title suggests I'll hopefully be hiking the Colorado Trail this summer and wanted to cut down my pack weight as much as possible.

I didn't list any consumables but I hope that water will be abundant and food should be 1.5-2 lbs per day for about a week at a time.

Any help cutting down on pack or worn weight would be much appreciated!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Gear Ideas on 03/21/2013 21:53:45 MDT Print View

Here is a list of things I noticed, roughly in the order they appear on your list

Bug Shirt - You won't need it. 9.5 oz saved. Probably won't need the headnet either.

Socks - These wear out. If you only want to carry two pairs I'd have at least one pair in a resupply.

Water Bottles - You'll need more then two. There are a couple dry sections.

Sleep System - Very similar to mine. I wouldn't worry too much about the bivy tearing. Just don't put it down on sharp sticks or rocks that could poke a hole in it (or in your pad).

Aqua Mira - You'll definately want if for some sources of water (livestock are common in a few areas).

Camera Batties - I might take two extra batteries (assuming you are charging them in town). I used five batteries on my trip (no recharges). Its the trip of a lifetime you want to make sure you get good pictures. Here's a tip. Cold drains batteries fast. Sometimes a battery will be "dead" on a cold morning but warming it up will help you squeeze a few more shots out of it later.

Sleeping Pad - A lighter pad might be a torso length ridgerest. If you are comfortable with a foam pad I'd use that. A folded ridgerest should improve the carrying capacity of your Jam with heavier loads. There will be a few sections when you are loaded up on water and food and it will weight 25-30 pounds.

Stuff Sacks - Nice but 10 oz seems a bit much. Might be able to eliminate one or two.

Good luck! I don't live that far away from you so if you want to meet up somewhere that might be fun. There aren't a lot of backpackers in Texas.

These are all relatively minor tweaks. Overall it looks like a solid list. You won't save a huge amount of weight without replacing major items and spending lots of money.

Edited by Cameron on 03/21/2013 22:03:40 MDT.

Sean Fletcher
Thanks for the tips on 03/22/2013 06:51:45 MDT Print View

Sounds like you've hiked the trail before. And yeah, there aren't a lot of backpackers in Texas! We're a rare breed. You kind of backed up what I already thought: I could save a little weight but it would cost a lot.

I'm about to buy to trail book and get some more water bottles. Are there no bug problems around there for the Summer? I've only backpacked in Colorado once but it seems like a big risk to not bring any bug clothing.


Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
CT Gear List on 03/22/2013 09:24:58 MDT Print View

From my CT experience, it is often very windy for extended periods. Mornings can be cold, often well below freezing, even in August. July and August are the Monsoon season - expect rain (often heavy) every afternoon, often lasting into the night.

You might want to add:

1- fleece liner gloves

2- hooded wind shirt (you'll live and hike in this a lot)

3- WP/B rain pants (double as wind pants)

4- I see no navigation aids (maps, compass, guidebook pages, etc.)

5- toilet paper?

6- whistle

7- ground cover of some sort. (Gossamer Gear Thinlight pad 25x76x1/8 = 2.1 oz) Protects bivy and/or inflatable pad and when cowboy camping.

8- bandana (multi-use). I carry 2

9- +1 on extra socks. I carry 3 pair, one of which is dedicated for sleeping. I rotate the other two pair from foot to rinse/dry on pack every 1-2 hours. Wet, dirty socks lead to blisters and foot rot.

Incidentally, your Jam 2 is not clothing. :D

Be sure your hat has a wide brim. The sun is rather intense above tree line. A chin strap will keep your hat on your head in the wind.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Bugs on the CT on 03/22/2013 15:19:45 MDT Print View

I did the CT in late August/early September and had zero issues with bugs. I've been along the trail earlier in the year and their were mosquitoes but nothing horrible. I think DEET and your bivy will be enough to keep you happy (I'm assuming the bivy has a bug net).

I'd swap the bug shirt for a very light wind shirt. Nice to wear on windy days and it will be relatively bug proof as well.

The guidebook was okay. I wouldn't carry it. I'd get both the official data book and Eric the Blacks guide to the trail. Eric's guide has better maps, notes on cell phone coverage, and notes on trail towns. The only flaw is I think he's more optimitic in his assessment of water sources. He will say a water source is reliable while the databook will list it as unreliable. I'd buy both, make notes in Eric's about what water sources might be less reliable and the just take Eric's book.

Sean Fletcher
Forgot that stuff on 03/23/2013 10:25:48 MDT Print View

Thanks, Bob, I completely forgot to add some of that stuff. And yeah, I guess the Jam isn't clothing!

I don't know about adding rain paints, the zip offs I have are pretty water resistant. I'm not entirely sure how cold the rain gets up high but my legs don't usually get cold.

Gloves are a good idea.

As Luke suggested I am getting a data and guidebook so I'll have those as navigation. I'm assuming I won't need a compass since the trail should be straight forward.

I'll add those and look into getting the guidebook that you suggested, Luke.

Edited by Risen19 on 03/23/2013 10:32:39 MDT.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Rain Pants on 03/23/2013 13:51:14 MDT Print View

I would definitely bring rainproof pants or at least water resistant wind pants. If your legs get drenched on a high pass and it gets windy (which it probably will be on an exposed pass), the combo will zapp all warmth out of you. The number one danger for hikers in Colorado alpine country is hypothermia, even in summer.

You would probably stay warm enough if moving quickly, but you will be completely miserable. Worth carrying a few extra ounces to stave off days worth of constant torture.

Not bringing wind pants in alpine country is 'stupid light', IMO.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
CT Gear List on 03/23/2013 15:29:40 MDT Print View

+1 Andrew on the rain/wind pants. Rain at altitude is often very cold. Even after it stops, the brush is dripping. Your pants will be soaked within a few dozen yards, then it wicks upward. I take off and store my hiking pants and wear just the rain pants. That way, I have dry pants for use in camp and to start the morning's hike. Hypothermia is a very real danger in the Rockies, especially so due to the almost constant wind, and it is scary just how fast the temperature can drop when the sun gets behind the ridge.

You can depend on the following on the CT, so gear up accordingly or suffer through:

- it will rain, often heavily (especially in July and August)
- it will get windy, often for long periods
- it will be hot at lower elevations and in many long, open areas (segments 2, 18, 19)
- the sun's rays will be intense, especially above tree line.

Here's what I carry for clothing on the CT - both worn and carried. I've used every item at one time or the other.

ounces WORN & CARRIED:

11.50... long nylon pants
10.00... long sleeve nylon shirt
1.63.... 1 pair merino wool liner socks
40.00... Merrell Moab Ventilator low boots
3.63.... LT6C Tilley Airflow hat with integral sun cape
6.88.... Icebreaker 150 long sleeve crew base layer
1.25.... Avocet watch/altimeter
2.50.... Icebreaker boxers
2.00.... knife, whistle, red photon
0.50.... bandana
7.40.... GG LT4 trekking poles
1.50.... sunglasses
2.00.... waterproof matchcase
1.00.... wallet
0.13.... today's route plan
0.10....lip balm


2.13.... eVac eVent dry sack, 8 Liter
11.50... Micropuff pullover (PolarGuard Delta)
4.63.... Patagonia Houdini windshirt (hooded)
1.00.... Smartwool liner gloves
1.63.... 1 pair merino wool liner socks - spares
7.75.... Icebreaker 200 merino wool bottoms
0.30.... Headnet
0.75.... bug glove shells (double as wind gloves)
0.63.... hand sun guards - MYOG
4.00.... GoLite Reed WP/B rain/wind pants
11.40... Montbell Peak rain jacket (hooded)
1.75.... Possumdown hat for sleeping & hiking
2.75.... 1 pair wool hiking (not liner) socks for sleeping (= emergency spares)

Edited by wandering_bob on 03/23/2013 15:50:15 MDT.

Sean Fletcher
Newbie on 03/24/2013 10:29:20 MDT Print View

Guess I'm showing how much of a newbie I am about hiking outside of Texas. So rain pants, windshirt and other 'warmth' items look to be a must. Will definitely add them to the list.

Thankfully they don't take up much weight or space any way. Has anyone had any experience wearing a rain jacket as sort of a windshirt? Would that be too stuffy?


Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Newbie on 03/24/2013 10:45:20 MDT Print View

'Has anyone had any experience wearing a rain jacket as sort of a windshirt? Would that be too stuffy?"

It depends on how much you are prone to sweating. There will be minimal humidity so that's not a real issue; its a personal choice. If you have a decently breathable rain jacket with pit zips and aren't prone to overheating when hiking, you should be okay without a wind shirt. If that's the case then don't feel like you need to spend money on another piece of gear that you don't "need."

That said, for hiking here in Colorado, I always prefer having a wind shirt; it is hands down the single most versatile item of clothing I own. I wear mine pretty much all day long on trail. My Houdini weighs in at less than 5 ounces so the weight is negligable. I can guarantee that if you do bring along a wind shirt for the CT, you will never once doubt your decision to do so.