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Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13
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Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13 on 07/05/2013 12:55:49 MDT Print View

I am going on a 5 day trip in Rocky Mountain National Park the first week of August and wanted to get a critique of my gear list. This is the same basic list I used on the JMT in 2011 and in Wind River Range in 2012. My shelter is heavier this year as I am going to use it on a group trip in the Tetons in September and havent gotten a chance to use it much so I was going to take in and put it through the paces on this trip. If bug protection is needed I will probably take my Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter (10.15oz) and innertent (10.20oz) instead as the big SL5 has no bug protection.

Quilt warm enough? (I have a Jevan Dempsy quilt that is good to upper teens if needed)
Jacket Warm enough? (I have a Mont-Bell Mirage if needed)
OK without rain pants? (Golite Reeds??)
OK without rain mitts (Extremities Tuff Bags??)

My gearlist is in my profile

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
"Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13" on 07/05/2013 13:39:33 MDT Print View

Hey Brad, best of luck on your upcoming trip! I just got back from a 6 day hike in RMNP earlier this week. Your list looks pretty solid, but here are a few considerations:

The mosquitoes are out at higher elevations so I would consider a head net if you are using a shelter without bug protection.

As far as quilt and insulation that is kinda a personal thing, I would just be sure you have enough to be comfortable down to the thirties.

I brought rain pants and they got some use, the temps can drop a bit when storms come thru. I didn't bother with rain mitts tho and never missed them.

You didn't specify what type of stakes your using, but be aware that the rangers require you to camp on designated sites while in the park which is most of the time going to be hard rocky ground, I would suggest something that you can drive with a rock like an Easton peg or groundhog. You may want to take that into consideration in regards to your choice of ground pad too, I brought a neo-air and never regretted the weight for just that reason.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: "Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13" on 07/05/2013 15:25:23 MDT Print View

I hope you had a good trip. What was your route?

I do have a headnet, and can take it if needed. If the bugs are going to be too bad in a month, I can just take my SpinnShelter and Alpinelite BugShelter 1025.

I am fine down around 30* with the Golite quilt and have had it down to the lower 20's with no real problem, but if I expect temps down below 30 I would take my Jevan Dempsey quilt that is warmer and only about an ounce more.

I do have my Golite Reeds that I can take in the place of the wind pants

I am using 6" Blue Eastons for the corners of the shelter and Ti Skewers for the midpoints. Do you think that will be good? They work well here in the East and were fine on the JMT and in WRR.

I normally use a RidgeRest but cant fit it in my pack with a Bear Can so I have used the Z lite on the JMT and in WRR but really dont think it is that comfortable. I do have a Zimmerbult pack with a frame that would let me take my Exped Downmat UL for more comfort albeit more weight. It may be worth it though if the campsites are rocky and uncomfortable.

Guy Trek
Where at? on 07/05/2013 15:27:26 MDT Print View

Where specifically are you going in RMNP -- elevation, etc.? I went last July and it was an awesome place. I spent most of my time around the 10,000 ft. mark. Based on my trip last year, if this was my gear list I would...

- Leave the wind pants behind (you have hiking pants already and that was sufficient for me)
- Leave the balaclavas behind and the beanie -- unless you need them in combo with your shelter and sleep system to be comfortable to 30F

My favorite gear last year was a wind shirt and bug head net -- the combo allowed me to forego bug spray. Mosquitos were only a problem around camp at night but these two pieces of gear kept me comfortable.

That's all I got. Good list!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Where at? on 07/05/2013 15:58:42 MDT Print View

I haven't finalized the route yet as this is a last minute trip and I just bought the map today. Thinking of doing a loop out of Bear Lake, probably camping at ~10K.

Brian Reyman

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Great Trip on 07/05/2013 18:03:13 MDT Print View

RMNP is a great location! I would guess that the JMT is similar to RMNP, so you're pretty well dialed in. Just a few thoughts:

I'd definitely recommend a headnet or similar. Bugs aren't as bad as other parts of the country, but can definitely be out at various times based on hatches.

I don't think you'll need the wind pants in August. It's a warm time of the year up there - I've never felt cold enough for those personally.

+1 to another suggestion on leaving rain pants out. I hike in Colorado with them all the time and find the storms are typically brief enough/early enough that I dry out with plenty of time before bed.

Another +1 on the stakes. The backcountry campgrounds in the park are great, but the ground is compacted.

Make sure to check fire bans right before you leave. If they're severe enough, you might have to switch to a canister stove instead (some of the more extreme bans include alcohol stoves).

As a note on the bear canister, keep your food in it whenever you're in camp. They require it for the bears (and rangers will check if you run into one at your site). I use it for the critters. Some of the campsites have almost no ground animals (ie chipmunks) but I've been at a few that are as bad as shelters on the AT. I left a bag of trailmix sitting out on top of my canister and turned around for 30 seconds while setting up my shelter. Turned back around and it had 3 holes in it from the chipmunks.

Fishing - not sure if you have time for - or enjoy - fishing, but RMNP has some of the best fly fishing in the state. Fern Lake has several sites (it's on one of the loops off Bear Lake) and has ridiculously great fishing in August. I sat in one spot last August on a boulder along the lake's edge and could see half a dozen fish trolling the shores. Caught one every 10 minutes or so. It's catch and release in many areas, but still a lot of fun.

Guy Trek
Route on 07/05/2013 21:07:22 MDT Print View

I know this is the Gear forum, but IF you happen to put Flattop Mountain on your agenda, I highly recommend not stopping there, and instead go past Tyndall Glacier and up Hallett Peak (easy but rewarding scramble). A friend told me about this and it made the trip 10x better. You are in for a treat at RMNP!

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
"Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13" on 07/05/2013 22:05:27 MDT Print View

Brad, I had a great time, we went back and forth on several trails on the east side of the mummy range since our original plan of following a section of the CDT was cancelled due to a wildfire. I recommend checking out lawn lake and climbing the saddle over to crystal lake.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13 on 07/07/2013 12:42:39 MDT Print View

Personally, I'd take something with a bit more cush than a z-rest for sleeping on the hard, compacted ground of the designated campsites of RMNP.

For brief thunderstorms that blow through, you can do without rain pants. But sometimes it can turn into something more serious and chill you to the bone. My choice would be to pack the Reeds and drop the windpants.

I think you'll be fine with the SL5. It's rare that I find myself in a situation that calls for more than a bit of DEET and a headnet to deal with mosquitos. If you haven't tried one yet, take a look at petersheadnets. They are very breathable and the only ones I can stand wearing.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13 on 07/09/2013 07:41:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for everyones help I have made the following changes due to your input:

Add Zimmerbuilt framed pack (26.1oz)
Delete SMD Swift '10 (16.4oz)

Add Exped Downmat UL7 (19.75oz)
Delete Thermarest Z-Lite 3/4 (9.8oz)
Delete Evazote 1/8 (3.3oz)

Add Sierra Designs Cloud Rainpants (3.5oz)
Delete Mont Bell Dynamo wind pants (2.6oz)

Add Headnet (.75oz)

I will upload a new list and appreciate any and all feedback.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Re: Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13 on 07/12/2013 18:33:13 MDT Print View

Updated gear list

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13. on 07/13/2013 16:13:35 MDT Print View

Don't know what it will be like when you are there or where you will be, but I just returned from the Grand Ditch, Thunder Pass area and while the skeeters weren't bad during the day, if I hadn't taken my net inner for the tarp they might have carried me away, especially at dusk.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Rocky Mountain National Park - August '13. on 07/14/2013 13:35:59 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info. I hope that they arent bad when I am there if so I will need to switch to my Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter and Alpinelight Bug Tent 1.25.