I'm starting to think about a JMT thru hike next year. This gear list is based on experience with a couple of 5-day backpacks in the Sierra (this year and last) and a lot of research on this forum (and other places) over the past year and a half. In fact, I need to offer a belated thanks to all of you who've shared your expertise and opinion on the various forums. BPL is a tremendously useful source of information!
I'm currently focused on two major questions:
1) I'm looking for a pack to replace my Golite Pinnacle. I've never used the full volume, even when carrying a bear canister. And particularly if I do make the switch to a tarp, my pack volume will decrease even more. So far I've focused on the Six Moons Designs Swift as an excellent value for the weight saved. But I'd be interested in other suggestions
2) I'm seriously considering moving from a TT Rainbow to a tarp. Still mulling it over, and will probably make an MYOG tarp from 3-6 mil plastic sheeting to do some test runs with. My strongest candidates thus far are the zpacks Hexamid, a Bearpaw Wilderness Designs flat tarp (probably 8x10, with some additional tie-outs) or a Borah Gear 9x9 (with interior tie-outs added). Not sure about a bug bivy, but would like to forgo it if (for example) a headnet is good enough.
I'd love feedback on any of these issues, or on suggestions about how I might shave ounces off other parts of my kit.
My gear list is in by BPL profile: