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One more JMT list (first timer)
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Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
One more JMT list (first timer) on 07/09/2013 18:19:32 MDT Print View


I'm taking on the JMT for the first time in mid August. Would love feedback on this list! Note that I'm missing a few items at the bottom that will push the weight up.

Pack + Bear Can Subtotal: 70.7 oz
Shelter Subtotal: 27.0 oz
Sleep System Subtotal: 41.9 oz
Clothing Packed Subtotal: 29.1 oz
Cooking & Water Subtotal: 21.3 oz
Other Subtotal: 16.3 oz
Base Pack Weight: 206.3 oz (12.9 lbs)

Consumables: 270.6 oz (16.9 lbs)
Total Pack Weight: 476.9 oz (29.8 lbs)

Equipment Worn or Carried Subtotal: 48.1 oz (3.0 lbs)

Total Skin Out Weight: 525.0 oz (32.8 lbs)

Pack + Bear Can:
ULA Circuit 35.6 (I own an Ohm but don't think it can carry the can and weight as well as the Circuit)
Schnozzel 2.2
ZimmerBuilt Summit Sack 1.3
Bearikade Weekender 31.6

Tarptent Notch 27.0 (estimated, on order)

Sleep System:
Exped Downmat UL 7 19.5
Exped Air Pillow 3.5
Western Mountaineering Summerlite 18.9

Clothing Packed:
Capilene 2 Crew 5.2
Capilene 4 Bottoms 5.1
Houdini Jacket 3.6
Houdini Pants 3.1
Down Sweater Vest 8.3
Polar Buff 1.9
Injiji Mini-Crew Socks 2.0 (estimated)

Cooking & Water:
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter 4.5
Evernew 2L Bladder 1.6
Evernew 2L Bladder 1.6
Evernew Drink Tube 2.2
Snow Peak GigaPower Stove with Piezo 3.7
Snow Peak Giga Power Windscreen 2.0
Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 5.4
Snow Peak Titanium Spork 0.5

ZebraLight H31w Headlamp 1.9
CR123 Battery (2) 1.2
Towel 1.6
Compass 2.7
Leatherman Micra Tool 1.9
Apple iPhone 4 5.0
Apple EarPods 0.4
Kelty Triptease 50' 1.6

Fuel Canister: 8.0 (estimated, not sure how much fuel I'll need)
Water (2 liters): 70.6
Food (8 Days @ max): 192.0

Clothing Worn or Carried:
Patagonia Tropic Comfort Sun Hoody 7.4
Hiking Pants 9.9
Belt 2.3
Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon 11.0
Injiji Mini-Crew Socks 2.0 (estimated)
Lotus Gear Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole 11.4
Sun Gloves 0.6
Underwear 2.0 (estimated)
Sunglasses 1.0
Whistle 0.4

First Aid
ID, CC, Cash
Rain Gear (umbrella and/or DriDucks
Mini bic & Spark-Lite Firestarter

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: One more JMT list (first timer) on 07/09/2013 18:38:42 MDT Print View

You will only need one liter of water, there is water everywhere on the JMT.

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Your Gear List on 07/09/2013 23:22:43 MDT Print View

I just finished the JMT Nobo a couple weeks ago so I'll give you some feedback based on my recent experience.

Pack: I would seriously consider taking the Ohm. It's lighter and can easily handle the weight if you can get it down into the 25 lbs range. The Circuit is a nice pack but it's not light. I also recommend that you leave the Schnozzel and Zimmerbuilt pack at home.

Sleep system: You have a lot of warmth there. I would not expect the night time temps to drop below 50 in mid-Aug. If you have a lighter alternative for the higher temps then I would highly recommend it. As for your shelter, I cowboy camped every night but one. My preferred shelter was a bug bivy. I carried a CF tarp but only used it once.

Clothing: You really don't need your Cap 4 pants. Not that cold in Aug. The Houdini pants are also unnecessary as is the rain gear. Rain storms are short and warm in the Sierras. The Houdini jacket should provide plenty of rain protection and wet legs probably won't kill you. I'd also leave the Polar Puff at home. The down vest is also overkill but a fleece probably weighs about the same. Either will be plenty when layered with the Houdini.

Consumables: You will need to carry up to 2L of water at times. This was a very dry year and I expect a lot of the smaller creeks to be dry but the time you get to them. One thing missing is sun screen. You'll definitely need it. I also recommend that you leave the sun gloves at home. Sun screen should take care of this problem for the brief time that you're on the trail.

Cook System: I don't see a need for the Evernew Drink Tube. You have the Sawyer. Also, you only need one 2L Evernew bottle (assuming you're using one of the Sawyer Squeeze bags.) I carried one 1L Platypus and one 1L Sawyer Squeeze bag which worked out perfectly. As for your gas needs, I used one 100g can to make 8 dinners and the occasional cup of coffee during the VVR to Whitney Portal stretch.

Food: I carried 3500 calories per day (22 oz). I think your estimate is fair.

Other: I also carried 50' of triptease. Never used it. You're not bear bagging and you have a TT so leave it at home and save yourself a few oz. I'd also leave the whistle at home. You'll see 10-30 people per day and you wont need a whistle to get their attention. I also would leave your compass at home. You're walking thru canyons and valleys 99% of the time where its very easy to orient yourself relative to your maps. Also, I recommend that you take plenty of duct tape and some foot care lotion. Your feet will thank you.

I hope my comments help.

Edited by kgarrison on 07/10/2013 00:03:35 MDT.

Jeff Sims
(jeffreytsims) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal
JMT info on 07/09/2013 23:40:08 MDT Print View

Kevin, thank you for chiming in.. Some great info. I too am getting ready for my first JMT thru hike. Heading NOBO early Aug.

Not to thread jack, I will be watching this one closely!!


Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
JMT Nobo on 07/10/2013 00:11:06 MDT Print View

Jeff, you have an even bigger challenge climbing Whitney on your first day. My pack weighed in at roughly 26 lbs that first day and I cursed the excess weight with every step I took up the switchbacks.

You'll love the Nobo route, however. It's breathtaking. The Yosemite segment was actually slightly underwhelming after having cross thru the High Sierras and their magnificent passes.

Kevin B
(kedward) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Your Gear List on 07/10/2013 10:34:12 MDT Print View

"I would not expect the night time temps to drop below 50 in mid-Aug."

I would. It regularly gets much, much colder. I would plan for at the very least low 30s, preferably being ready for temperatures in the 20s.

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Sleep System on 07/10/2013 13:10:33 MDT Print View

To Kevin B's point, I used a layered approach to my sleep system on my recent JMT thru-hike. The night time lows in early June we're projected to be in the high 30s to mid-40s. As I mentioned before, I cowboy camped almost every night. I used a Marmot Plasma 32 on a NeoAir xLite inside a TiGoat Bug Bivy. I slept in my clothes most nights but also used my Marmot puffy on a couple nights when I slept near the top of Glen and Donahue Passes. As a general observation, I was way too hot. I wish I had brought my silk liner and thrown my bag over the top as a quilt to better manage the heat.

My approach to the high passes was to overnight at least half way up each pass. This enabled a quick summit in the morning, followed by a big downhill from late morning to early afternoon and then another uphill in the afternoon. This also allowed me to avoid sleeping in the cold valley floors or on the exposed summits.

Wind was actually the more important temp-related factor. I'd generally start off most mornings around 5 AM with a windshirt and fleece gloves. These would stay on for the first hour or so or until I had made it over the day's pass where the wind was typically blowing.

Can it get into the 20 or 30s in mid-Aug? Sure. Is this the normal lows for this region in Aug? No. Numerous sites provide historical lows for several points along the JMT in the high 40s to low 50s for Aug. Does this mean you should ignore the chance that it might drop into the 20-30s? No, but you'd be amazed at how well layering and prudent overnight site planning can help you manage your temp exposure to your advantage.

My comment regarding the warmth of your sleep system was indirectly pointing at your Exped Down pad. You're carrying almost 10 extra oz for something that you'll really not need. The Summerlite is a great choice, however. Very nice bag. Whatever you decide, enjoy the trip. It's an awesome hike!

Edited by kgarrison on 07/10/2013 13:37:46 MDT.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Sleep System on 07/10/2013 18:21:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of the feedback. The Downmat is certainly one area where I can cut weight, but it's the one mat I have. I put $$$ into the solo shelter and the Bearikade to shave weight. I suppose I could get the Synmat (or other mat) to cut back a bit more. I'll think about it. I could also ditch that Exped pillow (not that comfortable for me).

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Exped Pillow on 07/10/2013 19:48:26 MDT Print View

Funny that you mention the Exped pillow. I didn't take mine and l wished that I did every night on the trail. I had so few clothes that my clothes bag did not make an adequate pillow.

Edited by kgarrison on 07/10/2013 19:49:29 MDT.

Eileen Duncan
(eileensd) - MLife

Locale: The Sierra or the SF Bay Area
JMT night-time temps. on 07/16/2013 19:51:32 MDT Print View

"I would not expect the night time temps to drop below 50 in mid-Aug."

I also advise you prepare for possible temps in the upper 20s along the JMT. While I have hiked the JMT only in late July-early Aug., I have spent many weeks in the high Sierra in July/Aug., and on at least 70% of those trips temps dropped to the high 20s-low 30s. At the end of last July, SOBO JMT, I left the trail in Mammoth for warmer capeline layers due to freezing temps (literally) in upper Lyell Canyon and subsequent worries about hitting equally/colder temps at higher elevation further south.

I do not doubt Kevin's research, and his advice about prudent overnight site planning is sound. But sometimes it's unexpected and just not feasible to make significant adjustments to your schedule/day's destination. Also, what's 27* at 11k' is still going to be pretty darn cold at 9k' or within a few hour's hike. I guess for some it's worth the gamble... of course the "what ifs" are endless and you can't plan for them all - so the statistics weigh heavily. And yes, there are weeks that are warm and toasty all night long, but I absolutely *would* be prepared for hours of cold weather night/day.

I forgo rain pants and just bring long underwear. Sleep in an EE Revelation X 20* (w/30% ovrfl). Bringing an xtherm for this year's JMT. The tent may go up in a deluge.

I have to add that I ended up administering CPR for 2 hrs. in a cold wind/rain storm just below Piute Pass following a number of consecutive blue bird days in Aug. a few years back. Since then, it's really hard for me not to chime in when I see something that sounds potentially unsafe and implies something that is plain wrong (i.e. not to expect night temps to drop below 50*) - any time of year. Shock, injury, illness, etc. ain't pretty and sometimes help is not as close as one would think - even on the JMT.

And I agree, 2L water capacity is also a must. For the same reasons Kevin B. outlined.

I'll be going south again this summer... off the trail by Aug. 8, so I'll probably miss you! Have fun!

Edited by eileensd on 07/18/2013 15:50:03 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: JMT night-time temps. on 07/16/2013 20:31:09 MDT Print View

Lake Mary July 29, 1997. This is just above Mammoth.

Summer snow

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Re: JMT night-time temps. on 07/18/2013 10:48:45 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for the additional feedback. I just had my WM Summerlite overfilled. I think I should be good with my Cap 2 top and Cap 4 bottom in that bag with the Exped DM UL7 in my tent. I'll use the buff, down vest, and wind shirt and pants if needed. Then I can also add my (smelly) hiking clothes.

Frank T

Locale: San Diego
Re: One more JMT list (first timer) on 07/18/2013 11:08:17 MDT Print View

A little late to the game, but I would echo the response about nighttime temps going down to freezing or below. A few years ago we were hiking near the Mammoth area in August and had a hellacious rain & hail storm in the evening, followed by low enough temps that the surface soil was frozen in the morning. Felt like hiking on rough pavement, although having no dust was nice.

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Night Time Temps on 07/24/2013 20:19:14 MDT Print View

Eileen, I'm very sorry but I fail to see the irresponsible part of my observation and subsequent recommendations. The gear list in question, including my recommendations and others' recommendations, will easily take him into the low 30s...and probably the low 20s. The fact that you didn't make any recommended changes would seem to confirm this.

As you've pointed out in other posts, you've only seen the temp drop into the 20s twice in the summer months in the Sierras above 10,000 ft. I don't doubt that observation. Are you suggesting that he should carry a 10* bag...just in case?

My strategy is to plan for the typical low temp and weather conditions and to ensure that my gear, experience, and skill set provide adequate safety margin. A 30* bag, with clothes and a down jacket in the right location will provide plenty of safety margin. Will it cover every possible scenario? No. That's when you better have a plan B which may include snuggling with your hiking partner, packing up and hitting the trail, or any number of other options depending on the situation.

If you read my actual commentary, I question the need for a down mat for the extra 10oz of weight given my expectations for temps (and adequate safety margin). I hardly think suggesting a lighter and less warm alterative mat qualifies as irresponsible.

Apologize for venting but the "irresponsible" comment hit me as almost "irresponsible".

Edited by kgarrison on 07/25/2013 10:26:51 MDT.

canyon steinzig
Re: Sleep System on 08/02/2013 12:14:13 MDT Print View

I was there this year too. It was one of the warmest June/July in recent memory. It is well known and I've experienced low 30's in the Southern portion. In fact this year I slept hot on a granite slab near Guitar lake this July. I've had 25 degrees in the exact spot and time of year.
Making/taking recommendations based on one year or month is the sierra is risky.

Still, a little chill at 3am is not so bad
I like your kit and think you will be stoked but slightly heavier than you might like.
I assume your carrying the down pad for comfort as you could clearly go lighter and be equally safe.

I'd take thinner tights (is cap 4 the thickest?)
Keep windpants!!! I wear them on most passes and they keep out bugs allow warmth for hiking in sleet.
Wish I was heading back already

Edited by myparka on 08/02/2013 12:18:07 MDT.