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What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it)
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Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (simplicity at it's best) on 07/31/2013 23:10:35 MDT Print View

Okay, I've said a lot about how people don't need much when they hike.

So now I am finally hiking the JMT at my own pace and decided to put my list where my mouth has been for too long.
I'm going self supported so, I'll get stuff at Reds and Tuolumne.

I can take a few pounds off, but this will be a Fastpack.
I'm trying to keep everything as simple as can be and carry the least fussy items.

The Big 3 + food storage:
Pack ULA Conduit - 16.5
Shelter Homemade M90 Bivy- 3.0
Homemade Down Quilt- 18.9
Pad 1/4" (24"x 72" closed cell pads - 4
Cuben Tarp and 6 stakes (Groundcloth if not raining) - 6.5
Food bag and hanging line- 3ish
Total 46.0 ounces, 3 lbs 3 ounces

Trail Lite Ti 900- 3.8
pot stand, wind and mini bic 1.0
Long Ti Spoon- .2
Total: 5.0 ounces

Equipment Carried:
Homemade beane 1.0
Mid weight L/S Shirt - 8
Wind Jacket - Homemade M90 - 2.2
Fenix HL20 with battery- 2
Water 2 Gatorade 32 ounce bottles- 1.9
MP3- 1.0
Mosquito head net - 0.5
Total: 18.6 ounces

10 Esbits 5.0
Water Average 24 Ounces
Food 10 pounds
Total: 11 pounds 13 ounces

Others in Pack:

Maps Tom Harrison, cut down
ID, CC, Cash, Key
Phone and Charger
A little bit of Sunblock, Chapstick
Tape for Feet
Pills various
4 extra aaa batteries
3 extra aa batteries
Total: 12.5 ounces

Clothing Worn:
Rail Riders long sleeve
Hiking Pants
CEP Calf Compression
Hat with neck protection
Asics Scout
Injiji Socks and light layer over them
Fingerless Bike Gloves

Total Start Pack Weight: (with 24 oz water)
17 pounds

Finish Pack Weight: (all consumables expended)
5 pounds

Edited by awsorensen on 08/30/2013 23:53:20 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 07/31/2013 23:16:02 MDT Print View

No rain jacket?
Not a criticism, just wondering if you plan on sheltering it out if it rains.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 07/31/2013 23:21:25 MDT Print View

Hike Aaron Sorensen's Hike.

Nice list though.

Edited: after OP was edited this reply makes little sense.

Edited by Kat_P on 08/01/2013 12:37:58 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 07/31/2013 23:22:16 MDT Print View

It rains in September in California?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 07/31/2013 23:42:05 MDT Print View

I've only been backpacking in the southern Sierras a few times, so I wouldn't know.
It definitely doesn't rain anywhere I've been to in September.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike on 08/01/2013 06:33:52 MDT Print View

"I'm trying not to criticize anyone, but the "hike your own hike" seems way too blown out of proportion."

Could you explain that please?

"(this is how you do it)"

So it is HASH.

Good thing ego doesn't need pack space. You'd need a much bigger pack.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike on 08/01/2013 07:29:02 MDT Print View

No resupply between Red's and Whitney Portal?

And, how many miles per day for your "FastPack"?

Edited by greg23 on 08/01/2013 08:51:00 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 08/01/2013 07:49:19 MDT Print View

Which pack is the MLD Conduit?

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 08/01/2013 08:18:09 MDT Print View

of course it never rains or storms in the Sierra (my recent horrific July storm experience not withstanding).

but your plan to combine just a bivy as shelter and then no rain gear is a bit brazen and a slap and a taunt at mother nature.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (this is how you do it) on 08/01/2013 10:04:53 MDT Print View

Aaron, I'm surprised to see a stove and pot in your list since you've advocated no-cook in the past. I assume you are planning to do the trail in ~5 days... do you take the time to cook when you're on that pace?

Interestingly, your total pack weight is about the same as mine, but I am bringing more conventional stuff on the JMT in August (shelter, raingear, etc.). I'll have about 17 lbs with water when leaving MTR, with 4 days of food heading south. About 8 lbs base weight. However, I have the benefit of sharing gear with Manfred K. who will be carrying our bear can and a few other items. You must eat more than me if you have 10 lbs of food for the stretch between Red's and Whitney Portal.

At the risk of starting another raingear debate, Aaron has a number of things going for him in terms of weather:
-Since he is fastpacking, he has the advantage of an accurate weather forecast before his hike. I imagine if lots of rain/t-storms are forecast he would add back in a raincoat or change his dates.
-He has a polycro groundsheet, so if he starts getting rained on in his bivy, he can drape it over the top of himself. I have done this before and while I would not describe it as comfortable, I woke up dry and warm.
-Since he is hiking at a fast pace, he is much more likely to come across natural shelter that he could use in case the weather begins to turn.
-Again, since he is hiking at a fast pace, if things start to get bad he can be out of the mountains in ~4-6 hours from most anywhere on the JMT.

When are you hiking the trail? Might see you out there.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike on 08/01/2013 10:04:54 MDT Print View

Yeah, didn't mean to come off that way.
I'm trying to emphasize more on the gear people seem to have to bring with them and why they can't go without.
That is what turns the hike your own hike, when so many people say something like "you don't need an extra this or that" and there is always a reason for them to bring it anyway. Then everyone criticizes the people trying to help them and the reply is "hike your own hike".

The way to avoid rain is a big tree.
You will rarely get wet sleeping under a tree in the sierras. This is the reason I feel the M90 bivy is more than adequate.
I can also throw the GG ground cloth over me if it is raining that hard.

A rain jacket will wet out anyway. I would rather have a synthetic jacket, but the Marmot is perfect for hiking in the cold. It keeps you warm, and wicks very well in and out.
If you have a rain jacket, you still need warm layer underneath. So 'll have a 10% chance of getting rained on, big deal.
I've hiked in the sierras more than 40 times and have never brought or needed a rain jacket.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/01/2013 10:15:59 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
cat stove? on 08/01/2013 10:15:06 MDT Print View

Pretty sure the Sierra is under a severe fire warning, meaning (among other things) that alcohol stoves are banned.

I'm sure you have your reasons for ignoring the ban.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: cat stovee? on 08/01/2013 10:17:10 MDT Print View

No, just didn't know there were no alcohol stoves allowed.
Switching to esbit.

I gave myself 7 1/2 days for the hike.
Trying to average at least 35 miles a day and still get somewhat of a good nights rest each night. 35 miles is a piece of cake.
On my speed (FKT) attempts I did not bring any sleeping gear based on sleeping 1.5 hours before sunset and 1.5 hours after sunrise when it warmed up. That did not work at all. If the push for any more milage per day was happening, I would just bring my sub 10 ounce quilt for naps.

I have 10 pounds of food for 5 days to Reds.
Cooking for a warm dinner, coffee and oatmeal in the morning. I'm always cold so a warm meal should be worth the weight?
That is pretty impressive that while sharing a load, you'll be lighter than this.
Really wish Ursack would have gotten approved when they say they should have this year.
1.5 pounds off would be nice.

I'll be starting on Sept 8th.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/01/2013 11:07:53 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Better on 08/01/2013 12:25:42 MDT Print View


You edited your OP and now a few replies make little sense.

Edited by Kat_P on 08/01/2013 12:36:52 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Better on 08/01/2013 12:57:00 MDT Print View

Yea, still a little cooky though. I saw that.
I guess people see going 35 miles a day as cooky though.

Moving at a faster pace and more miles per day has every bit of being Ultra Light.
You are still essentially "hiking".
I have learned so much on this sight and even more going out.
You realize just what you need and use. There are also times I have gone out with 30+ pounds on my back for a 3 day trip and so many of the items in the pack were useless or at least could have stayed at home without any problems.

I've learned how to stay warm, dry and comfortable (for the most part) while moving and really like the experience of what you get from it.
I've also taken too little and been in situations where eventually the list above has been the sum of experience more than what you may need.

Hobbes 1
What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike on 08/01/2013 12:57:18 MDT Print View

"I'm always cold so a warm meal should be worth the weight?"

Aaron, I've read your past accounts with great interest, so I know you know what you're doing, but, at the risk of sounding insulting, I think you're verging on the the realm of "stupid light".

For one, I didn't see a thermal layer, like an R1, on your list. Did I miss something? Also, a 10oz down vest is also key, especially for someone who gets cold. Depending on your direction and your planned bivies, night time temps will definitely start to dip below freezing.

A second instance is that M90 bivy isn't going to do you any good. For another 9oz (12oz total), you could take along a proper 6x8 silnylon tarp. If you don't want to take stakes, then you could use rocks.

A third example is the lack of rain protection. While I like the Frog Togs poncho, rain gear can be as simple as a large garbage bag.

Four, I hate air mattresses for two reasons: simplicity & lack of lightning protection.

The 4th point ties into the bivy/tarp question & (lack of) rain gear. You seem pretty nonchalant about hanging out under a tree, but that is perhaps the most dangerous place to be in the event of a T-storm.

I think you're really underestimating the risk of inclement weather, even in Sept. If the afternoon storms don't get you, a good monsoon flow can clean your clock.

Assume you get stuck during a T-storm somewhere "south of Forester". What are going to do? With proper equipment, perhaps weighing no more than 16oz more, you could:

- lay out a CCF pad & assume "the position" (no, not that position - the anti-lightning squat) amongst the trees, but definitely NOT next to a trunk - more out amongst the general canopy
- put on your R1 and/or down vest (remember, you're not going to be moving, so people can get hypothermia)
- put on your garbage bag and/or poncho

The above also applies to a storm developing overnight - if you got wet/cold and you could't move due to lightning, your trip is gonna be over pretty soon.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike (simplicity at it's best) on 08/01/2013 13:59:14 MDT Print View

Looks good to me Aaron.

I like the spartan approach Aaron is taking here and I don't doubt his ability to make this work one bit.

We can throw out hypotheticals here, but ultimately, Aaron's post isn't for feedback on whether or not we think he can be safe out there, rather this is his statement to how little he requires to move efficiently in the mountains.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike on 08/01/2013 14:05:22 MDT Print View

Oh, these reasons are all the more why I don't take them.

A down vest doesn't keep you warm in rain. This is what the 19 ounce quilt does.
With a warm enough quilt, you don't need the insulation layer you would to normally get you there with a bag or quilt that is not warm enough. The thermal layer is that the jacket is fleece lined vs just bringing a rain or wind jacket.

I have a 5.5 ounce TNF rain coat and a 5 ounce cuben tarp, but if the tarp goes and the bivy stays, then I have to worry about the quilt staying dry. M90 is pretty much waterproof. The bivy even helps with the dew accumulating each night where a tarp, no. So bring both, yes, if the weather cast gives a chance of "real" rain, not an afternoon shower, that just feels good.

"Assume you get stuck during a T-storm somewhere "south of Forester". What are going to do? With proper equipment, perhaps weighing no more than 16oz more, you could:"

I don't get this question.
If you get in this situation, (south of Forester), you don't stay put anyway.
How is setting up a tent and getting in supposed to help you in lightning?
You keep moving.

In the day, you get wet, at night, I wouldn't be south of Forester if it was going to rain.
There is so much emphasis on rain. A rain jacket is not going to keep you dry in a monsoon.
Mostly a rain jacket just doesn't breath when moving at a good pace. It becomes more of a hindrance than anything.
In solid constant rain, you have to slow down and I would have an Event jacket. In the sierras, a rain jacket while moving fast is about the same need as needing a gun for bears.

At least I don't put a down vest on that would get wet and then sleep in quilt that isn't warm enough without the vest. On top of that, your quilt gets wet???

Sometimes less is more.

I don't mind the criticism at all.
It's funny that I'm explaining why an item isn't needed. I would like some feedback for items that would make sense to bring in favor of ditching another heavier item to save weight.

On my speed attempt, I didn't need a bear canister. Asked the rangers and they said having sleeping gear implied "camping", where anyone can have food in a day pack and take a nap. I would love to ditch both the quilt and canister. It just did not work out with the sleep last time. I even brought a 9 ounce synthetic jacket and 6 ounce synthetic pants to take those naps in. Brrr... another 4 ounces for the quilt is well worth it, but then the canister goes.

So maybe a warmer jacket and pants? I mean as long as it's less than the sum of the canister?
Oh, I'm such a baby and need sleep.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/01/2013 14:19:50 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Your post on 08/01/2013 14:11:51 MDT Print View

No , 35 miles a day is not cocky, it's just great mileage.
Writing that" this is how you do it" and HYOH is overrated and you know better- that is cocky.
Could just have posted your list and the replies would have been different. At least you changed it around a little.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: What I'm Taking on my JMT Hike on 08/01/2013 14:43:51 MDT Print View

Hike your own hike, putting one foot in front on the other for 35 miles a day on a trail does not sound fun at all to me. I enjoy the scenery, exploring around off trail, relaxing and fishing at a lake, getting plenty of sleep, ect. You must get the most enjoyment out of pure physical exertion.

I suppose if you are hiking fast and steady your fleece lined windshirt will keep you warm while wet. I often go hiking in the rain without a rain jacket, just a fleece or wool sweater under a windshirt. I just get way too hot in a rain jacket unless its real cold and raining.