I'm a long-time lurker, but now it's time for me to emerge and humbly seek the advice of the best experts available.
Some background: A buddy of mine really wants to go backpacking in Yellowstone (or vicinity) this fall--probably September or early October. This is likely to be a comparatively short trip...I have a week available including travel to/from, so trail days would only be ~5 at the most.
I've got a whole 'nother set of questions about where exactly to go within Yellowstone (or vicinity), but that should be a separate thread.
My experience is as an overloaded old-styler, but I'm keen to make the transition to lighter weights, so I'll need your advice to avoid serious mis-steps, especially given the potentially cold conditions.
I'll skip a full gear list, as I'd like to focus on a few areas that concern me:
I'd really like to try a tarptent (probably the Rainshadow 2).
Question: Feasible for the likely conditions?
My gear closet includes a somewhat antique sub-zero (4-lb.) Marmot bag, a synthetic Marmot bag (the Wizard), and a homemade RayWay quilt -- but I'd really like to use the WM Megalite I just got instead. I would augment it with insulating clothing (see below).
Question: would I need a bivy or other moisture protection to keep the down bag dry?
Question: Pad...I've got a full-length Evazote pad, but I'm thinking about cutting it in two pieces. For this trip I'm thinking of a POE Ether in 2/3 length and have the shorter Evazote piece for the legs, doubling as a sit pad. What do you think?
Clothing/insulation: (some combination, but not all, of the following)
- MH rain jacket
- Montane Aero w/s
- Various Marmot DriClime w/s
- Patagonia Micropuff pullover
- possum wool sweater
- possum wool hat
- possum wool socks
- Smartwool and Glowing Sky merino underwear (shirts and longjohns)
- convert-o pants in quick-drying nylon
- Golite Reed rain pants
Question: from that list, which combination(s) would you recommend? Or am I missing a critical piece?
Footwear (largely following the advice of the recent BPL column on the subject):
- Inov8 Flyroc 310s
- Gore-Tex socks
- eVent shortie gaiters
- Toasty Feet insoles
- Feathered Friends camp booties (2-part: Epic layer + down insert)
Questions: 1) Does this seem feasible? 2) Can I avoid bringing snowshoes in Yellowstone at that time of year? I have a pair but they're heavy and I don't have much experience with them.
We plan to go freezer-bag, so cooking only water. I've got a Coleman F1 and an alcohol stove. I know y'all are pretty down on canisters in cold conditions, but I have used them successfully by helping them along with a chemical toe-warmer and a little piece of insulation for it to sit on.
Question: Can I likely get by with the F1 since it won't be (hopefully) deep winter? I hate white gas...do I need to seriously consider something like the Fyrestorm?
Thanks in advance for your considered opinions. I'm looking forward to learning from this august group!
(edited because I forgot a couple of relevant bits)