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Am I forgetting anything for a Sierra trip?
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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: PNW
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 *