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Wonderland Trail in late August
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John Rowan
(jrowan) - M
Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/25/2013 22:28:16 MDT Print View

I'm doing the Wonderland trail at Rainer 8/21-28 this year, and I'm starting to plan things out in earnest. For the most part, I'm pretty set in my gear choices, but I'm very curious for people's thoughts. (I've run out my gear budget for the next few months, although I'm quite happy with what I have.)

The list below is a re-typed version of my more detailed spreadsheet (it didn't copy all that nicely). Rewriting everything started to get to be a pain, so I didn't include the weights of the smaller stuff towards the end, but it adds up to somewhere in the range of 11.5 pounds or so as a base weight. (Everything has been weighed with my postal scale.)

Any thoughts/feedback would be greatly appreciated. I'm especially curious on thoughts about trading in the down vest for a synthetic one (probably the MB Thermawrap), since I have another month to return it if I want to. I tend to sleep/generally run reasonably cold, so I'm willing to live with the extra half pound to keep warm.

List is below, I have a feeling I forgot something very obvious...


Pack: Elemental Horizons Aquilo (34)


WM Summerlite (19)
Prolite Plus Torso Size (16)
Tarptent Contrail + 6x stakes (29)
Inflatable pillow (4.1)


OR Helium II rain shell (5.9)
ULA Rain Kilt (2.4)

MEC 100 Weight Fleece (6.5)
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest (9)
EMS Polartec Top (sleeping clothes) (8.5)
EMS Polartec pants (sleeping clothes) (7.6)
EMS Midweight Socks (2.2) (sleep socks)
Sun Hat (TBD, I have a few)

Worn: Golite Merino Shortsleeve, EMS Zipoff pants, Defeet Wooleator socks, La Sportiva Wildcat Trail Runners


Esbit 600ml pot (5.5)
Esbit stove (1.8)
EMS spoon (0.4)
2x Platy 1L bottles (2.4)
AquaMira Drops (3)


Dr. Bronner's
Hand Sanitizer
Lip Balm

First Aid:

athletic tape
Few band-aids
Small quantity Benedryl


Small bit of duct tape
Small towel (MSR PackTowl)

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/26/2013 00:45:45 MDT Print View

After a quick glance, I don't see any bear bag stuff.

I also use down and I live hear. I protect all my insulation so I don't have to worry.

Edited by bestbuilder on 06/26/2013 00:47:35 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/26/2013 08:18:47 MDT Print View

I'm hitting the Wonderland the first week of Augsut. From what I understand, there are bear poles at all of the campgrounds so all you should have to bring is a weatherproof bag to hang your food.

John Rowan
(jrowan) - M
Re: Bear Poles on 06/26/2013 08:24:53 MDT Print View

That's my understanding as well.

(I can't say I'm sorry to not have to deal with the embarrassing mess that's me trying to get a stupid rope over a tree branch.)

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/26/2013 08:56:35 MDT Print View

I haven't hiked the entire WT, but at all the campsites I've been at at various points along the way, there were bear poles.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Bear Poles on 06/26/2013 09:44:24 MDT Print View

I guess I should have been more specific- bear bag equals waterproof bag to put on bear pole

John Rowan
(jrowan) - M
Re: Re: Re: Bear Poles on 06/26/2013 09:56:07 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reminder on that- I will definitely be snagging something waterproof for the bear poles. (Unless I want to get a serious head start on rehydrating my dinner.)

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/26/2013 09:58:47 MDT Print View

I had the Prolite Plus 3/4 pad and loved it. My only problem was that for a 3/4 pad weighing 16oz, I could either go for a more comfortable full length pad for the same weight penalty or go with a lighter 3/4 length pad. I'm still torn as to if I'll carry the Prolite 3/4 (11oz) or Exped synmat.

I recently purchased the LS Wildcats. I love these shoes but after reading a couple reports, I'm concerned that they may be too fragile for hiking. Not sure if I'm going to order some inov8s or just bring extra floss in case I need to do some field repair work on them. So far they've been great but I haven't really put them through their paces yet.

My hike ends on the 7th. If you’re interested, shoot me a PM in the middle of August if you have any questions about the trail conditions. Mosquitos can be night and day different between the beginning and end of August but I can at least let you know what I encountered.

John Rowan
(jrowan) - M
Re: Re: Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/27/2013 08:02:05 MDT Print View

Hi Ian,

If you don't mind, I'll definitely drop you a line in August to get your thoughts on the trail conditions...even with the gap between your trip and mine, it'll be good to at least get a sense of how things are trending. Thanks for the offer.

I had a similar conundrum with the sleeping pad, but my biggest issues are that I'm a pretty active side sleeper (which pretty much rules out CCF for me, even on really soft campsites) and I tend to get really bothered by cold/cool ground temperatures. I have a full-length regular Prolite that weighs about the same and used to be my go-to pad, but a few unpleasant nights in colder temperatures definitely left me scrambling for something with a bit (okay, a lot) higher R-value. My body goes flailing every which way while I sleep, so there's not a ton of point to trying to get my feet/legs to stay on a mummy taper. I'm not all that tall, so I fit most of the way on there and then just use my pack as a buffer for the last foot or so.

I have about 120 miles on my Wildcats so far and really like them, but I definitely share your concerns about longer-term durability. I'm not sure how founded they are, especially since they replaced a pretty hefty pair of boots (i.e. not a ton of experience with lighter trail runners beyond this season), but I can definitely see the potential for a problem.

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Bear Poles and rodents on 06/27/2013 17:47:40 MDT Print View

The bear poles are nice and easy and you don't have to worry about bears getting at your food. Rodents are a different story, though. I had something chew a hole in my cuben fiber drybag and get into my trailmix on WT last year. Only happened on 1 of 4 nights, so not sure how common it is. On at least one other night a person who was sharing the same pole as me had a rodent get into their bag.

I assume it was chipmunk or squirrel, but not sure. Maybe people here have advice on how to avoid this. I expect having tight wire mesh around bag would work, though that's a little extreme. They do sell product for this at REI, though way larger than I would need: .

Edited by hes on 06/27/2013 17:48:42 MDT.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Wonderland Trail in late August on 06/27/2013 20:58:35 MDT Print View

John, don't worry about the Wildcats, my have held up as good as most of the trail runners I've owned.
I have Inov8's and the Wildcat soles are holding up much better.
I did about 1000 verticle ft of unintentional scree skiing/sliding which there was no turning back from, that I was for sure my shoes were going to be shredded by the time I was in the clear. When I regained my composer and I looked down at them, they were just very dusty- that was over a year ago.
I just picked up another pair because its time to retire these to yard work.