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Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip?
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Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 00:21:41 MDT Print View

Someone said to post here bc I got no feedback when posted it for two days on Gear List page. Love the community feedback here and appreciate you people!

-Top (Short Sleeve Under Armour for hiking and maybe one SS black merino)
-XO Brand sport sleeves (2) for long sleeve warmth / sun protection
-Wind jacket Arc Teryx --4oz
-Down vest by Western Mountaineering
-Cut zpacks bivy to serve as poncho and bivy
-Pants are REI with zip-off legs; taking undies as well
-Zpacks rain pants for rain plus extra warmth
-Visor hat with bandana for sun and staying cool; long bandana for easy neck tying

Footwear stuff:
-New Balance Trail Runners
-Micro wool socks plus spenco pads for foot impact help
-I'll list Johnson and Johnson blister band-aids here early in post bc foot care is crucial and need feedback
-Zpacks ultralight tent repair tape for blister and foot band-aid ultra thin wrapping
-Very small number of rubbing alcohol pads for foot cleaning when a blister gets bad

Sleep stuff:
-Thermarest ultralight cot (its 2lbs 10oz but amazing... I saved in other areas but open to limited feedback)
-Gossamer Gear hammock-wide 1/4 inch grey foam torso sleep pad (i cut it down a little but still wider at shoulder than standard)
-Zpacks 20 degree tall version quilt --22oz (may attach hiker Velcro to underside of pad and to quilt side tabs to keep wrapped warm at night)
-Thermarest grey sleeppad roll purchased at REI sale and cut down to minimum size for sit pad
-Other sleep gear---- Warm fleece skullcap, bandana (already mentioned) for warm neck, eyes / ear noise blocking
-Bivy (already mentioned) and line to attach bivy high point to tree
-Inflatable pillow of ultralight variety to use with Six Moons backpack for head support (this is a maybe item)

Water stuff:
-Sawyer filter
-Two 1 Liter Evernew pouches and one 2 L pouch
-Water flavoring bc taste matters
-Can add cheap plastic bottle or the llike on trail if needed for more L carry

Electronics / other stuff I'll bring:
-iPod plus headphone (cut for only one ear)
-Charge wall plug plus cords (I've found you just need to bring that wall plug as much as I'd like to leave it)
-iPhone with Google Maps, Halfmile PCT app, Eric the Black elevation map, and Topomaps loaded ----Plus e-card game to hone poker skill (I kid)... Now experimenting with Gaia GPS map after reading more at BPL
-Solio small solar charger

-Yogi's sheets (to use with iPhone maps for Situational Awareness)

Hitch materials:
-White tyvek matting for dirt mat and used for hitching (writing destination on this really helps)
-Black Sharpie
-Ireland flag handkerchief bandana (mentioned... multipurpose and helps get rides)

Food stuff:
-High energy food like husked sunflower seeds
-Spoon is a maybe (will carry food and not bring stove again is my plan)
-Ursack and not sure if I'll bring the aluminum reinforcement --1lb4oz
-I'll hike to hitch for re-supply at least three times

-2 mini Petzl e-lite... I find two work best for night hiking -- .95 oz per
-Backup battery is a maybe

-TiGoat carbon fiber pole (only use one)

-Baby wipes / TP / magazine (joke)
-Small light case w q-tips and floss
-Zpacks light toothbrush and paste
-Vasoline lip stuff that also acts as cut healing item
-Soap and balaclava for possible showers I find (balaclava is add'l warmth item as well)
-Pain, infection, and giardia pills (two each until get to town)
-Light rag for nose etc

Other stuff:
-Backpack is Six Moons Feather at 11oz (awesome pack)
-Mini shoulder strap pouches custom from zpacks (hold iPhone, iPod, sunscreen in one pocket and rag, wool gloves, and hat in other)
-Wool micro gloves
-Head bug net
-Zpacks ultralight little bag for wallet / Credit Card items
-Zpacks Hexamid Duo tent for its length and rain protection (I'd almost like to leave it but not taking poncho most likely and need real shelter despite preference to cowboy camp)... and it weighs light for a tent at 11.1oz per website
-Titanium stakes and addl small support pole (.4oz)... May leave 4 stakes and use rocks for other 4 tie downs
-Stuff sacks and plastic baggies... can also be used for stream crossing w small streams
-Small plastic ties... for solar panel strapping or bivy tie
-Chafing stuff
-Zimmerpacks 1.1oz stuff sack/day pack... Might get someone to slack pack my bag for a day or three somewhere on trail and would go ultra ultra-light for a stretch
-May also take: Safety pins to dry socks, small lighter, scissors or tiny knife, needle / thread, and bug spray

Weight was 11.4 base weight without the light tent, Ursack, and a few other small items. Good weight but might cut something.

Ideas on how to make better? 12 days on trail already this spring. Great trips so far.

Edited by Thadjw on 06/24/2013 01:26:51 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 07:12:01 MDT Print View

First of all, I guess I don't understand your sleep system...cot, tent, lots of pads...I feel like I don't have a good understanding what you're doing so I don't want to be critical. Yet.

Are you going some place where the ursack is ok? I'm not well-versed in which areas require what, but if you are going with the aluminum liner are you in a place where you need a full-on bear can?

You seem to have a lot of bandana/balaclava/nose rag pieces. How many do you really need?

At that altitude, with no tree cover, you absolutely need sunglasses. You might feel fine with just the visor, but the UV at that altitude is quite damaging to your eyes, especially if you are looking at any snow, reflective granite, etc.

As far as you requested comments about foot/blister care...Johnson and Johnson makes a hydrocolloid bandage called "tough pads." The hydrocolloid dressings are amazing for foot/blister stuff because they are padded, they keep the moisture from the blister contained (which you want, by the way...), and it is wholly waterproof. You put it on and can wear it for days without having to change (which is also better - allows for healing inside the bandage). I have a preference for the tough pads because they are rather large and can be cut into pieces if you need to.

Just nit picking of course, but that's what you asked for!

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Bring sunglasses on 06/10/2013 08:58:52 MDT Print View

If you hit snow it could cause serious eye damage. Even the rock is uber bright.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 09:43:28 MDT Print View

New Balance makes 12,000 models of trail runners.

Which model are you planning to use?
how many miles have you logged in this model ... while carrying a pack?

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
Trip deets on 06/10/2013 09:52:57 MDT Print View

Where in the sierras are you planning on going?

Sun glasses IMHO are not optional.

I dont really get your sleep system? You have a cot with two foam pads? that you use in a bivy? with a tent.

For all the stuff you out lined it seems light(11pounds). But I have no clue what your gear actually weighs.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 11:18:07 MDT Print View

Josh, I thought I read that the way you did.

I usually only bring a spare shirt, socks, undies.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Maps on 06/10/2013 14:35:29 MDT Print View

You need a map. If your electronic gismo breaks then what. It is wrong to rely on others for your navigational needs.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 06/10/2013 17:06:09 MDT Print View

Lol someone actually bought the thermarest cot for backpacking.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Maps on 06/10/2013 17:10:00 MDT Print View

No map and sunglasses = just dumb. If you ask for directions you will probably run into someone else with the same dumb idea. That would be a hoot. The cut down map is miniscule weight and space, so what is the deal? And you are likely to get headaches without the glasses, if you are lucky enough to be without snow (white sierra granite is almost as bad), that is. If you go through a snow field it might be worse. They are one of the 10 essentials after all :-)

Can you write a short paragraph explaining your sleep system. I think we should start there before we worry about anything else. Its not just that it is non-conventional, which is fine in my book - sleep is important, and everyone feels they need something different. It just seems...well, not to compute. There seems to be duplications and/or possibly mutually exclusive things. I'm a big dummy, but why both a cot and a hammock. I'm sure if you explain in more detail it will make sense.

Edit: Thanks Eric, Ok I see, no hammock. Whew!

Also, are you sure of you insulation. 1/4 " does not seem enough in the sierras. In hammock or cot (those are great in warm overnight temps I would presume) you are going to compress your bag, so you need insulation under you, touching ground of not. Does the cot have built in insulation?

Edit: Quick stab at specifics-

-Ditch both SS shirts.
-Ditch ponchos and bring Driducks chepo top for warmth at night and to get through showers if that happen. (assumes you bring hexamid).
- I would ditch cot. For the weight of the cot you could get a pad that would make the sultan of Brunei blush. Im thinking warmth here - assume you might have a night in the 20's F.
- You already have the perfect backup shelter, even if you prefer to cowboy camp. hexamid is huge, light, and obviates the need for ponchos and bivy.

-2 mini Petzls... I find two work best for night hiking '

These are good. I hear if you get the dual strobes synced just right you can make an attacking bear have a seizure!

-Ditch the day pack, you have a frekin' Whisper! LOL

Edited by millonas on 06/10/2013 17:50:52 MDT.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 17:32:45 MDT Print View

While I agree with others that the combination of a cot and bivy are strange, I'd like to see how it even fits, I think his sleep system does not include a hammock. He is using a wide 1/8" closed cell foam mattress which he refers to as a hammock mattress, probably because it would work well in a hammock because of its extra width.

You have 4 shirts which could easily be reduced to two or even one if you're wanting to drop the weight. I'd pick a long sleeve and push up the sleeves during the heat of the day. If you insist on a clean shirt for sleeping bring the lightest one you have for that.

Since you have the solar charger, I would drop the iPod and just use the iPhone. I would only use a GPS device and/or digital map as a backup to my paper map.

What are the "plastic baggies for stream crossings"? Feet will get wet, let them.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 17:54:44 MDT Print View

Don't forget your JMT pencil! LOL

I agree w/ others:

No sunglasses- wha?

Thermarest cot- Wha? Just stack two neoairs. As comfy with less weight/ volume. I jest

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/10/2013 18:33:10 MDT Print View

Told you would get answers here. Good advice.

That is a ton of stuff.

Edited by kthompson on 06/10/2013 18:42:50 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
One more on 06/10/2013 18:52:01 MDT Print View

You would think that shorts would be good to sleep in. Keeps your dirty pants from hitting your bag. Well, not exactly. Your legs will be far dirtier than your pants. Dirt doesn't stick to your pants nearly as easy as it does your legs. If your planning on hiking in pants then ditch your shorts.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: One more on 06/10/2013 21:16:11 MDT Print View

I just took a look at the cot on amazon out of curiosity, and it does look lovely - makes me want to take a sleepy time nap right now. And wow, expensive. I thought it was insanely heavy, but right next to it was a "mountaineering" one that weighed 11 lbs! I guess those things always get carried by sherpas, so net weight 0 oz. Now that is light weight backpacking! According to Yvon Chouinard they even nowadays leave a little mint on your pillow at Everest basecamp.

But yes, I assume it is comfortable. How do you get it in your bag? If properly modded (some on this site no doubt know how to do this) you should be able to rearrange it, rubrics-cube style, to form an old school external frame pack. Then packing would not be an issue and you would save the 11 oz of your UL pack.

Anyway, I kid! The folks on this site more than you.

Seems like your net comfort might be greater, however, with a pad of some sort. For one thing you might still need a pad for warmth (though not comfort clearly) on the cot. I think you might find an equal comfort for sleeping with a pad, and a superior walking comfort during the rest of the trip. If you don't need a CCF pad to give your pack some structure, then many of the folks here will probably suggest you get an xlite. Thinking this might already weigh less than your current foam pad, but with up to 2 1/4 inches more insulation, not to mention comfort. Just one, if you use 2 like Jeffs suggested you might fall in and need to be rescued.

Edited by millonas on 06/10/2013 21:26:34 MDT.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/10/2013 21:55:24 MDT Print View

Thanks for the kind replies... Thought I'd get fawning admiration for this clever setup!!

Ken, you certainly were right...

Let's see here... Sleep system is cot, hammock-sized wide shouldered 1/4 inch foam on that, then bivy. Foam is torso length and so I use sitpad for foot pad inside bivy. Quilt bag. Warm skull cap and neck handkerchief worn during sleep. Bivy is about 4oz and zpacks is light so not a big deal to me to bring this.

No poncho for small weight savings is something I've determined.

Sunglasses is a must I'll agree with. Wanted to push that button to hear feedback bc didn't use on last three day section in the desert.

Tested this setup... It works well. Tested in Kennedy Meadows at ~37 degrees and was warm enough on the bottom that I thought is be ok down to 20 - 25 degrees.

Full Whisper is still 12 or so lbs... so worth it to use Zimmerpacks 1.1oz daypack as a stuff sack. I will happily slack pack a day and carry water, food, and sleeping bag in this pack for a supa-fast distance-making slackpack day. What else do people bring for a 24-30 mile slack pack stretch I guess I'll ask to turn this to positive advice?

Not totally sold on utility of this cot idea but I can haul it and it is wicked comfortable. Energy earned through good sleep can be worth it. I'm not 100% positive but I'm sticking with it for now.

Right now there are tons of people on PCT Sierra section. Paper map may not be necessary... Do I really think I'll lose my iPhone w saved map pictures of higher resolution than any crappy paper map? There is a scolding tone to some of this... Are we not resourceful people?

Plastic bag foot cover through small streams is a good thing to bring. Why soak feet every time you cross a decent stream?

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: on 06/10/2013 23:14:17 MDT Print View

"Right now there are tons of people on PCT Sierra section. Paper map may not be necessary... Do I really think I'll lose my iPhone w saved map pictures of higher resolution than any crappy paper map? "

On the other hand do you really want to risk being the guy who famously doped his iphone on a rock, and then had to be rescued carrying a cot, but no map. LOL

Dale...wake up Dale! That's you cue!

(Joomy) - M
Re: Re: on 06/10/2013 23:32:39 MDT Print View

"Right now there are tons of people on PCT Sierra section. Paper map may not be necessary... Do I really think I'll lose my iPhone w saved map pictures of higher resolution than any crappy paper map?"

I would much rather use a paper map than a tiny iphone screen. Plus it can't run out of batteries. But I guess you don't NEED one.

(JRinGeorgia) - F
take it on 06/11/2013 04:58:00 MDT Print View

The weight of a map compared to its utility isn't worth the time to discuss it. Take it.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Maps on 06/11/2013 05:06:20 MDT Print View

In the hiking world there is a buzz about UL hikers being so focused on weight that they don't even take a map and irresponsibly mooch off of other hikers. Don't be that hiker! So yeah, there is a bit of scolding because you should be self sufficient. As far as technology, accidentally leave your phone on overnight with your GPS on and your battery is drained. Cloudy day and your charger wouldn't work. Now what. Take a dunk on a simple stream crossing, phone gone. (This one just happened to me). Finally I don't think you mentioned where exactly in the Sierra you are going. I have done 30-50 mile hikes on trail at peak season and not seen a single person after the first couple miles from the trailhead. So not all the trails have hoards of people.

Edited by gg-man on 06/11/2013 05:07:53 MDT.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: on 06/11/2013 06:02:20 MDT Print View

It's always puzzled me how people carrying only map (sheets) that can blow away in the wind get all hot and bothered about "what if you lose your phone".

Never have made sense of it.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/11/2013 07:45:09 MDT Print View

Is it entirely certain this isn't simply a gag thread with the OP pulling everyones chain for amusement ?

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Gag on 06/11/2013 11:01:35 MDT Print View

Well, I find it amusing

Christopher *

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Gag on 06/11/2013 12:24:08 MDT Print View

I see he has posted another thread that he is looking to park his car for a Sierra PCT section hike from Kennedy Meadows to Mammoth.

If that is true, and this is actually a gear list for that section, I think food storage becomes a stand-out concern. I've personally had encounters with aggresive bears along that stretch.

Edited by cfrey.0 on 06/11/2013 12:31:02 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/11/2013 13:59:36 MDT Print View

I tried on one trip over 10 years ago to the Graveyard Lakes, making only a copy of the large map I had, so I only needed where I was going. A little disappointed as I could not tell peaks beyond my partial map. So now I bring more map than I'm going to. Cell phone? I have a long cord from one of my rotary dial phones, they always work. It does get caught up in brush all the time.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/11/2013 21:25:55 MDT Print View

Really appreciate the good comments. The ones that are positive that is. There is a little bit of snark to some but oh well. I forgive you for being a jerk! I've brought paper maps for most of the other PCT sections. You're hiking in a straight line for 160 miles so its hard to carry a map with any decent resolution. Maybe I'll bring something. PCT is well marked is another thing that I'll mention. There are over 200 people hiking this section now as well. We stick together nearly all the time. Groups of 2-6. Not very dangerous but there is a tad bit of risk with anything in the High Sierras. Good luck on all your endeavors and any more last minute pieces of advice are welcome.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
PCT Pencil? on 06/11/2013 21:32:52 MDT Print View

How are you going capture you journey without a pencil or paper?

I am unfamiliar with "hitch materials." Can you explain this?

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/12/2013 01:52:35 MDT Print View

Easier to hitch with the above. Black sharpie on tyvek with large letter written destination can help aid in getting picked up. My experience.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: on 06/12/2013 08:30:11 MDT Print View

Andrews talk .

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
160 miles straight on 06/12/2013 10:46:46 MDT Print View

"I forgive you for being a jerk!"

Your on an open forum,some of us are jerks... your forgiveness is not required.

"You're hiking in a straight line for 160 miles so its hard to carry a map with any decent resolution."

Wow how do the other "over 200 people" do it. or are there just a bunch of people wandering the sierra's in groups of 2-6? (sarcasm) honestly I like being light as the next guy but maps are just smart period. You CANNOT depend on technology in the wilderness. having sad that you will probably be fine with what you have.....Probably.

Plus maps just make me feel cool like Im an explorer or adventurer... Dont you want to be an adventurer?

Good luck on your hike Im sure despite some of our snarkyness you will have an unbelievable time.

Last piece of advice ditch the cot... have you tried some of the sleeping mats that you could be sleeping on for that weight? They are like heaven... try the 3.5 inch thermarest basecamp. also ther exped down mat 9 long and wide. Those two mats would save you the cot and the two pads and like I said heaven to sleep on.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/12/2013 21:30:39 MDT Print View

The groups of 1-6 people all are carrying something electronic basically. They follow the markers and sometimes check how many miles they've hiked with Half-Mile's iPhone app. That is the world we live in now bros. Your comment there seemed to miss a connection on logic... What do they all do? Use electronics and sometimes reference some specific paper pages they've printed off a computer.

I hear ya though...

But really the GPS and GLONASS abilities on the iPhone ivS and up are the best. And device is light. The point that paper maps blow away easier than losing an electronic device is well made. Old archaic technologies are appreciated but let's not presume its foolish to use your careful planning, good brain, e-device, and plentiful friends as good backup for directions. It's a pretty decently laid out trail. Thanks for good luck and thanks for taking my shooting back w a good nature. Good luck to you all.

Why are those snarks even on computers?

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Not my world on 06/12/2013 21:41:25 MDT Print View

"That is the world we live in now bros."

That is the world YOU choose to live in.

Even with the newest iphone in my pack I always carry a paper map. There is nothing comparable and nothing obsolete about them. They have served society for a long time and will continue to do so. I've made my living making the electronic versions you rely on so I appreciate their limitations probably as well as anyone.

And frankly if someone carrying several hundred dollars worth of Cuben gear approached me on the trail to ask me for directions or to look at my map with their dead cell phone in hand I would laugh at them and them charge them a very steep user fee.

Good luck.

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
RE: on 06/12/2013 21:54:08 MDT Print View

I didn't see a stove, the ursack isn't allowed in most of the sierra, I would bring a map, no iPhone and would skip the bivy. How do you fit all that stuff in the whisper? Seems like with food and water you would be up to 20#. "Pack less, be more"
I would like to see a spreadsheet with weights.

Or... You could put the cot in a hammock with a Xtherm on it inside a bivy inside a Golite SL 3 that's inside a HMG ultamid 4

Edited by KalebC on 06/12/2013 22:04:08 MDT.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
PCT on 06/12/2013 22:24:13 MDT Print View

Yes bring a map, the cell phone will not have coverage everywhere.
(Pacific Crest National scenic trail plastic map is 5.6 oz)
I thought the whisper backpack was made by Gossamer Gear and was 2200 cu.
But maybe I'm just not familar with the pack you are using.
If and when I finally do the PCT then I'll take a HMG porter or Zpack Arc Blast.
ditch the cot and get an neoair mattress or a Thermarest RidgeRest Solar.
Rent a bearikade bear canister etc

Most important of all, Plan your food and food drops.

Take your gear out on several weekend trips and find out what works best for you.
What's comfortable and what comforts you could do without.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/12/2013 22:26:54 MDT Print View

I'm becoming more and more convinced this is a gag thread for the OP's amusement.
Stuck on assignment in some remote location . . .
or more actually, schools out and no plans for summer . . .

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Not my world on 06/13/2013 06:22:30 MDT Print View

"Why are those snarks even on computers?"

That is the world we live in now bros.

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
backpack on 06/13/2013 07:45:57 MDT Print View

LOL I just went back and looked at your gear list. Before I had no clue what backpack you were talking about.. but, know that I've found it(finally) there is no way you will get all that gear in that pack with food and water.

Ps. seems kind of odd that you don't remember the name of the cottage gear company you bought you backpack from...... Cause it wasn't SMD.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
11 pounds...really?? on 06/13/2013 16:40:37 MDT Print View

I just don't see how that is possible.....

Josh Brock

Locale: Outside
Re: 11 pounds...really?? on 06/14/2013 09:54:10 MDT Print View

"I just don't see how that is possible....."

With the gear he listed its not possible. He is at 6lbs with just the cot, sleeping bag, usack and backpack. But the backpack thing is really suspect kind of like the whole initial post(the more I read it).

and he is also going to carry and ipod,iphone and charger thats another pound atleast. Hell you havent even made it to his shelter, cloths and abundance of head gear hahaha...

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: on 06/14/2013 16:44:18 MDT Print View

So FYI, bro, I work in what is basically a high tech silicon valley start-up, and I could probably hit Apple (and often would like to) with a rock. I'm *making* the technology. And I'm still saying - first bring a map and learn how to use it - horizontally as well as vertically. I'd personally be embarrassed bringing a lot of gadgetry into the wilderness anyway. Don't be like one of those 10 or so a year that drive onto some dead end quicksand road in death Valley (this is all new btw, with the introduction of this fabulous technology) and get stuck in the middle of nowhere because Siri told'em to. Whoopse! Siri missed the giant sign saying road closed in 1956.

If I catch you on the PCT and you take a call on your cell phone while I'm giving you directions because you have no map I'm gonna be pissed. LOL

All that aside, this:

Edited by millonas on 06/14/2013 16:53:13 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: PCT on 06/14/2013 17:02:24 MDT Print View

"I thought the whisper backpack was made by Gossamer Gear and was 2200 cu."

Yeah I did a double take because I have one of those hanging in my closet and it is 3.5 oz. But then I was wondering if it was just a common enough name. I mean how many words mean really, really, really light?

Either way, I'd still like to see a picture of just that cot in any 11 oz bag. Guess you don't have to worry about a suspension system! Ba-da-bump. I'm here all week.

Anyway, it is an interesting kit, no question.

Edited by millonas on 06/14/2013 17:05:59 MDT.

Shawn Peterson
(afterdarkphoto) - MLife

Locale: Nor Cal
Re: Re: PCT on 06/14/2013 17:49:28 MDT Print View

I have a very distinct feeling this is a troll that just snared a lot of readers.

The term "rick rolled" comes to mind.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: on 06/14/2013 21:46:21 MDT Print View

"Easier to hitch with the above. Black sharpie on tyvek with large letter written destination can help aid in getting picked up. "

After Balls' and Sunshine's water was stolen, I don't know if I can trust someone with a black sharpie ever again.

Edited by millonas on 06/14/2013 21:47:12 MDT.

Rodney Mruk

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Paper versus digital on 06/14/2013 21:54:03 MDT Print View

I have been going over and over this topic in my mind lately. I finally got a smart phone for Christmas and have been exploring the options in this world. I have been very impressed by the available apps and maps. Once a person has the phone which many have anyway, the cost of 24k topo maps is next to nothing. I got the entire USA for 20 bucks. Now I do not need to buy each section at 9 bucks plus shipping. So saving on maps is one of the most desirable features for me.

For battery backup I have 3 additional batteries at something like 1/2 ounce each. I figure with moderate usage 4 batteries total could last me 10 days which is most likely the longest leg on most trails.

I understand the fear of breakage, loss or some other malfunction. However, loss of connectivity is no longer an issue. A smart phone has access to the GPS satellites wherever a person might want to go.

I am going out the next few days with no paper maps, However, I am going into an area relatively familiar to me. So it is easier and safer than trying to do the John Muir Trail alone for the first time. In the final analysis, when I go out for long treks like I am doing in July in the Pasayten Wilderness, I'll take some paper maps as well.

What really interested me is the the strong reaction of BPL members to the idea of not taking paper maps. I have not seen such a reaction for other proposals like using a 12 ounce quilt in the mountains with an 1/8" pad. Interesting.

You all have great hikes this summer and lets keep helping one another.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/15/2013 01:33:01 MDT Print View

I'm surprised at the tone of some of this non-constructive criticism. A few cite fantastical possible future meeting in the Sierra where they have a paper map and my phone has gone dead or has no service. For one... as I said the iPhone 4S and up get gps AND other PNT data (Russian system primarily). That is more ideal than any paper you have.

Use Google maps for precise trail mapping. Have you experienced imprecise trail mapping? Did it cause you to pause to figure out where the map is incorrect and did you waste your time with this? google map tool is better than any other mapping system I've seen, save a somewhat heavy dedicated Garmin-type GPS system, and I've tried many other apps, paper maps, and guidebooks. I've been on hikes with other accomplished through hikers and I started using mostly paper (easy to hold and to look at)... They were using apps. We settled on using their apps more than my not-precise paper maps. This is true.

On a long trail the only paper map I might bring that would be of much use without being too heavy is a map with the peaks clearly outlined.

Backpack is a Six Moons Feather. Misspoke. 11ozs is accurate on that. DIY mod to make the extended neck cinch up easier. (Btw-- another reason I'm posting my list is that I think is the best possible pack plus contents... I hope a small manufacturer works to improve these odd bits I'm trying to make work... Example: I hope that a 1lb 10oz cot is on the horizon. It is certainly possible. I'll pay for a titanium version.)

Look I wrote this quickly without pouring over every detail. I did weigh the pack and it was 11.4 base weight without the tent and iPhone in it. Look at how light I went for the other portion of the big four (I'll say big four bc sleep is important to me and I obviously am looking for ways to be comfortable w that on trail)... Big three is as light as can be.

This has been tested. Seven days on trail already. I can send myself things I may miss via mail order. Nothing needed so far. I am safe from worst case scenario. I'm prepared for cold. Water is set. I'm surprised many people on this helpful site like to sound like scolds. Whatever. Live your own life. Carry a giant map set. Be a jerkoff on the web. I says world is changing "bros" as a humorous way to get you to look at something worth considering. Maps may not be needed with a working waterproof electronics case and battery resources.

Has anyone here felt how much nicer it is to sleep on a 2lb 10oz cot? It is very different. People take 40 lbs of gear up Denali. What I use is light. May go back to torso thermarest but it is not very comfortable. We'll see.

And what is with the proud declaration from some nags that they work in Silicon Valley. Good for you chump. Have you been on the trail for six or nine days at a time even? Really? Whoopdie doo that you can throw a stone to Apple. I work in satellite systems. Big deal. Tell me information that is important to the list. Everything is the pack has a purpose. It's hard to counter all the nags but responding to the head cover comment... There is a wool skully for cold, a handkerchief for shade/hitch help/neck warming at night, and a DIY cutdown balaclava for a towel/anything else its needed for. Some carry more than this. I think this works. Things like this I might adjust?

Man alive! I feel this list is being nagged at!!

Edited by Thadjw on 06/15/2013 05:00:23 MDT.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/15/2013 01:45:46 MDT Print View

What are the controversies?

1- No paper maps.

2- Ursack

3- Cot that is about one pound over a large thermarest's weight?

Oh and planning to go w/o stove. Any other issues with this list? Safety concerns that it is only a vest rather than a down jacket?

Edited by Thadjw on 06/15/2013 04:25:22 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: on 06/15/2013 07:30:08 MDT Print View

Hey, all in good fun with an intended light tone.

Didn't mean to hector you about technology, I merely intended to make it clear I am not (nor in my experience are most folks on this forum) a Luddite, and that my (and you will notice most peoples here) advice on not depending *entirely* on high tech gadgets alone clearly does not come from either a fear, or lack of understanding of technology. In fact the folk on this site have a rather high overall interest, one might say obsession with, technology.

The whole exercise is supposed to be to pick holes and nitpick your list as a whole, and you will seldom get a blanket pass from anyone here. So you have your answers, overall from all the folks here that spent a lot of time taking you seriously, in spite of all the usual joking around. As a few people have implied, perhaps too seriously.

You now have your answers, I think:

1. No paper map at all, (and goes without saying the skills to use it for more than connecting the dots on you planned route) is not a great idea.

2. Your sleep system seems ad hoc to most here, is heavy and bulky, but it is probably ok if you like it. It a few lbs heavier than a lot of people here would take, but you are not required to adopt such light weight practices. A lot of us find it funny, and we like to joke around here, but if you like it go for it. Almost no one is going to strongly endorse it here.

3. The Ur-sack is fine, unless you are traveling through areas where is illegal, which unfortunately is a good portion of the high Sierra you may cross through. I suggest you check. Since you have not been specific what route you are taking the folks here cannot help.

4. Some stuff on your list does not seem to add up, or seems to be missing, or doesn't seem to fit, either together, or in the bag you say you will use which has been hard to figure out. Next time if you follow the usual formula for getting your gear list critiqued and include everything you are taking, with specific weights and item identifications for all the items (as one persons said, a real spreadsheet would be great), people may be able to help more. Yes you might have "forgotten" something but often the help comes down to people pointing out alternatives, and especially things not "forgotten", but duplicated.

5. Now that you have mentioned your plan of going stove-less, there are a lot of people (and tons of information already here) here who might be able to help with idea for that as well.

6. Looks like you have a lot of luxury items. On here those are defined as things you want, but do not need, including stuff that duplicates other stuff. Too much water carrying capacity for the Sierra, for example. Too many pieces of headwear when a few carefully chosen one will do has been mentioned. Stuff adds up, especially if you are using a small pack. The advice you have been getting, when it is possible to analyze what you have told us, is to leave that stuff behind, or else thoughtfully add a few back in after you have figured out what you truly need.

So I think you *do* have what answers can be given from what we can see from you OP.

Enjoy your trip.

Edited by millonas on 06/15/2013 08:03:55 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
All in good fun... on 06/15/2013 08:02:49 MDT Print View

During my time here at BPL I have found one thing to be true: it is populated by 13 year old boys. Some in the form of 18-80-something men and women with a great deal of experience in the backcountry, but 13-year-old boys nonetheless. And I mean that in the nicest way: I feel I have found my peeps!!

We all joke around, some in good fun, some not so much; the criticism is harsh, no doubt...this is not the place if you want people to tell you your kit looks perfect! Most of us wait a good long while before we post our gear lists...girding ourselves for the onslaught to come.

I bring a nook to read on every rest stops, in camp, eating my it. Most people here would tell me to ditch it. I choose to keep it as a "necessity" to ME. But I know that when I post my's going to come up. So?

You asked for people to look over your list. We did. Our role here is to look for what you may have overlooked, and point out that you have for things that all do the same thing that could be accomplished with one of them, etc.

I mean, come on, you HAD to know you were asking for trouble with that cot.............

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: All in good fun... on 06/15/2013 08:07:24 MDT Print View

"I mean, come on, you HAD to know you were asking for trouble with that cot............."

Now Jennifer, stop picking on him. He's sensitive about the cot!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: All in good fun... on 06/15/2013 08:15:27 MDT Print View

"During my time here at BPL I have found one thing to be true: it is populated by 13 year old boys."

So unfair. I'm much more mature than most of these other maroons. I'm at least 14, fer crying out loud!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
gps/nav articles on 06/15/2013 08:57:17 MDT Print View

By the way Thad, in spite of what you may be thinking about us pseudo-Luddites here, the best and most comprehensive articles and advice I have found BY FAR on the subject of backcountry use of GPS navigation and other the technological devices are found on this site, including on chargers and such. Especially evaluations of failure modes and reliability. So an additional suggestion is to take a look at those. Please do make sure you understand the wost case scenarios (batteries not changing properly or fast enough, satellites not coming in, internal device failure, batteries not working in the cold, and especially the ubiquitous falling into a stream and having them all die at once, and so on) and consider having a backup plan. A 1 oz map in the bottom of your pack including all the escape routes to your planned route is a lot of backup for almost no weight.

If you search through the forums going back for a long way you will also see that there is a perpetual debate (as is only right) between two camps. There is the hard-core 10-essentials, don't-leave-your-house-to-get-coffee without-at-least-a-lightweight-shelter-crowd, and there is the I-will-be-fine, you-worry-too-much, reads-disaster-porn-for-entertainment type. The latter think the former are wimps and crybabies, and the former think the latter are boneheads and knuckle-dragers. All in a friendlily but competitive way.

As for me, I used to be in the latter camp, but had at least two experiences which changed the way that I looked at things radically. One was the experience of getting very close to hypothermic (cold enough to stop functioning well physically) alone on a 4 day trip where *everyone* warned me that excessive heat was going to be the big worry that time of year. So yes, I'm going to tell you to ditch the down vest and bring the full puffy MB jacket with a hood! The second was hiking in the mountains very close to where I live. It was overcast, it was cold, and it was 30 minutes to sundown. I knew I was 20 minutes from the road, but got turned around and suddenly for almost the first time in my life, I didn't know which way was north or south. I didn't have a compass or a light either. That feeling, however brief, is very educational. In 2005 I also had a friend, but someone I knew to be a bonehead, die in a boneheaded accident while backpacking, in a situation where I later felt, rightly or wrongly, that I should have educated him better, or else been there to bail him out.

I'm not going to go through a list of the ways your gear can fail, or how, though by no means likely, you can still very quickly get into a situation over your head as I have participated in many such tedious crybaby vs. knuckle-dragger exercises in the past. Mostly I find that there are guys and gals on here with world class experience in this stuff, like 100 times more than I will ever have, and a lot of them would never leave home without a paper map and the other 10 essentials as backup. I find that most convincing.

Now I will shut up.

Edited by millonas on 06/15/2013 09:28:38 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: gps/nav articles on 06/15/2013 09:22:03 MDT Print View

"Now I will shut up."

No you won't.

But seriously, I could see if the map weighed like 4 ounces or something, but a few pieces of paper......just shove em in the bottom of whatever you are using to keep your down stuff dry and forget about it. Unless you need it.

For goodness sake, you're bringing a COT!!!!!

Which does look pretty sweet, by the way.

I, for one, was far more concerned about the lack of sunglasses and the bringing of the ursack.

Edited by Jenmitol on 06/15/2013 09:23:47 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip? on 06/15/2013 09:27:59 MDT Print View

So glad I suggested you move your post here. Been fun. Wish I was on the PCT.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 06/15/2013 10:54:05 MDT Print View

Ken,Ha! No kidding. Thanks for the idea. There is some helpful feedback here. When I'm back I'll weigh everything. What is the cheapest way to get a scale that I can weigh items accurately with? I looked on amazon and everything I saw was expensive. Maybe some old triple beam balance that will be accurate. I'll post weights in the future.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Wanted -Extensive TR Cot users report! on 06/15/2013 14:59:56 MDT Print View

TW the cot is an intriguing piece of your puzzle to say the least. I myself have looked at them with wanting eyes but I cant justify the weight.
However it takes "trailblazers" like you to move the cot technology forward.

Someday we will have 16oz cots. So as on who looks to the future-

I want pics & a very detailed report on the T-rest cot. Tell BPL why it works
The Good, Bad the ugly. Interested in a first person user report!

Have fun,be safe

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Wanted -Extensive TR Cot users report! on 06/15/2013 15:29:54 MDT Print View

"I myself have looked at them with wanting eyes but I cant justify the weight. "

Sub in some Ti for main structural supports, and maybe some Cuben for the bed. Fix that puppy right up. Might even come in under $1000 and under a lb.

The multi-use is what I'm worried about. We need to come up with a way to rearrange both the frame and the cuben to act as the pack as well.

* insert non-existent satirical smiley here *