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First time on the JMT
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Garett Pearce
(Gpearce) - M
First time on the JMT on 04/30/2014 06:22:57 MDT Print View

Hey everyone,

This will be my first time hiking the JMT and I'm also brand new to the UL community so recentely I've been trying to make that transistion.

Trip Details:
2 people, late August/early Septemeber, South Bound

Here is my current set-up with highlighted items in yellow being items that I have yet to purchase or items that I am thinking about purchasing (need a few more paychecks to get everything bought). Please feel free to offer as much feed back or suggestions as possible. One of my largest areas of needs is a tent. Looking for a 2 person tent that is lighter then my BA Coppper Spur so critique away. Wanting a tent and not a tarp (haven't made that transition yet but convince me other wise :))

Side Note: On some of my est I tried to estimate high (sawyer filter, etc) just to play it safe

Tent-78.76/split by 2 people: 40 oz
Toiletries/Hygiene-5 oz
Technology-10 oz

Base Weight-287 oz or 17.9 lbs
With EE 272.5 oz or 17.00 lbs

Northface Paramount Peak Conv Pants
SS Smart Wool shirt
Darn Tough Socks
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2
Sunnto Core

ULA Circuit- 40 oz
ULA Pack Cover- 1.1 oz or trash compactor bag, thoughts?
Total: 41.1

Neo Air Xlite-16.15
Exped Air Pillow Large: 3.4
Marmot Helium- 38
EE Engima 750-23.5 Possibly buying
Total: 57.65 (or 43.15 with EE)

Big Agnes Copper UL 3-78.76
Please help this makes me cry just thinking about a 5 lbs tent
Total: 78.76 (split between 2)

Packed Clothes
Montbell UL Down Jacket-5.7
Smart Wool LS 150-6.25
REI Long Johns-5.5
Patagonia Houdini-4
North Face Gloves- 1.35
Dri Ducks (Top and Bottom)-10.35
Darn Tough Socks-2.32
ExOffico Boxers-3.0
Sleeping Socks- Undecided
Zip off Pants Section- 5.8
Beanie-Need to buy (1 oz)
Total: 47.27 (est)

Sawyer Mini Squeeze- In Mail (est 7 oz)
Spare Bag-In Mail (2oz)
Smart Water Bottle 2x- 1.38
Platypus 1.8 Hoser-3.6 OPTION, thoughts?
Total: 13.98

MSR Pocket Rocket- 2.6
Light My Fire-.24
Evernew Ti Pasta Pot M-4.44
Ziploc Bowl-.82
Mug-4.3 (would like a mug to drink from)
Fuel-Need to buy (5oz est)
Cleaning-need to buy (1 oz est)
Mini Bic Lighter- need to buy (1 oz est)
Total: 18.4

Bear Vault BV500-41
Tom Harrison Maps-2
BB Spot headlamp- 3.17
FAK-Need to make at 4.0 oz
Journal and Pen- Need to Buy (est at 2 oz)
Tenacious Tape-Need to Buy (est at 1 oz)
Duct Tape-Need to buy (est at 1 oz)
Total: 54.17

Dr. Bronners- 1
ToothBrush- Need to make
Tooth Paste-Need to make
Chapstick- .3
Sun screen- 1
Total: est 5 oz

Camera-Need to Weigh
Spare Battery-Need to Weigh
Total: est 10 oz

Edited by Gpearce on 05/01/2014 08:35:49 MDT.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
First time on the JMT on 04/30/2014 06:35:20 MDT Print View

My Marmot Helium weighs 28 oz, not 38. Otherwise, it looks like a pretty good list. Yeah, some of your stuff is a bit heavy but it will work. I'm sure others here will make suggestions, the tent is an obvious target. You could cut a few oz by replacing your DryDucks pants with a trash bag kilt. I didn't notice fuel canisters listed.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
No Cheating! on 04/30/2014 06:52:18 MDT Print View

You really should list weights for items carried as well. Just because it's not in your pack doesn't mean you aren't carrying it!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: First time on the JMT on 04/30/2014 08:01:27 MDT Print View

On the shelter there should be lots of ways to save a lot of weight and pack space. Do either of you use trekking poles? A lot of beautiful and light shelter make use of trekking poles. Consider it if you are new to the mountains. That time of year you would not need bug protection in the sierra, so it is mostly psychology, but would you be willing to consider something like a tarptent, or (gasp) a tarp? How attached are you to the (nominal) 3-person size? Lastly, how important is price, and are you going to be using this shelter a lot after the JMT?

If you answer the above I know you will get a fire hose of suggestions on here? For example, here is a beautiful example of a solution that might have more space than your current tent and weights 1/3 as much - ask Bill Gates for a loan though!
or cheaper:

There a tons of other options that are cheaper - look on the the shires tarptent site:

Good luck and see you out there - will be there around the same period.

Edited by millonas on 04/30/2014 08:17:05 MDT.

John Rowan
(jrowan) - M
Pack and Bag on 04/30/2014 08:40:52 MDT Print View

FYI- the listed weight on the Circuit is 39 oz (including all removable parts) on the ULA website. I don't own a Circuit and can't say whether or not that's accurate, but at the very least, it's almost certainly lower than the 50oz you have it pegged at on your list.

As far as switching to a quilt goes, have you used them before? A lot of people love them, but a lot of people really don't. I'm a quilt user myself, but if you like your current bag and are comfortable using it, I would probably stick with it. (Especially if it's 28oz instead of the listed 38). If you haven't used a quilt before, I would probably take it out for a low-stakes overnight or two when it's still cold out (if you're somewhere that's still getting chilly nights). At least for me, it took a little bit of fiddling before I got mine (Golite Z30) set up in a way that fit my sleep style.

David Ayers
(djayers) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: First time on the JMT on 04/30/2014 09:51:06 MDT Print View

The yellow highlights didn't come across for me, so I'm not clear on what hasn't been bought yet.

You can save a few oz on the BA Cu Spur if you skip the BA ground cloth and cut your own ground cloth from Polycryo. My 2013 model weighs in at 74.4 oz, including generous polycryo ground covers under the tent and both vestibules. The newer 2014 model is lighter and would probably total ~69 oz with ground covers.

There may be upside on the water supplies at 14 oz. For 2 people I've been taking a steripen (3.3); ~6 coffee filters (0.2); a 1L mayo bottle with wide mouth to accommodate the steripen (2.0); a 2nd 1L bottle (1.8); and a Nalgene 48 water bag (2.3) for a total of 9.8 oz. I imagine the UL guys would trim that down further.

Ivo K
(joylesshusband) - M

Locale: Mid-Atlantic (PA)
Sawyer mini on 04/30/2014 10:18:40 MDT Print View

As already mentioned, your highlights in yellow do not show up.

Aside from that, the Sawyer mini filter weighs about 2 oz when wet, while you have it listed at 7 oz.

Garett Pearce
(Gpearce) - M
Thanks for the comments on 04/30/2014 13:23:04 MDT Print View

When it comes to weights I had been manually copying it over from a spread sheet. On the bag I must have hit a 3 key instead of 2 and same with the ULA Circuit (no way to weighs 50 oz).

Charles: Can I just leave the rain pants at home?

Andrew: I have the carried weights listed on another spread sheet, Ill be sure to add those in

Marko: Let's open Pandora's box and say. I originally bought a 3 person tent to be able to take more friends out so not attached to it at this point. I have poles so any type of trekking pole based tent would also work with me. Thanks for the links, extremely helpful.

John: Never used a quilt so I know there will a learning curve but am hoping I can have a few runs with it. Though it wont be cold where I live I think I can still make it work.

Ivo: Sorry on the highlights, for some reason I don't think the forum pulled that through. For some reason I remember someone saying the Sawyer was 7 oz weight and with all the fixings (bag, syringe,etc)

Really appreciate all of the feed back

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Thanks for the comments on 05/10/2014 07:43:34 MDT Print View

Garrett - I'm also SOBO the end of Aug/first part of Sept. It will be my first solo hike and I'm really excited about it! Say hi!

Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
Rain pants on 05/11/2014 08:49:53 MDT Print View

Did the JMT in mid-August a few years ago. I would not leave the rain pants at home. Everyone will tell you that the Sierras are dry in the summer and it only rains in the late afternoon. I was in a torrential downpour three times during my thru hike. One time I was asleep around 2 am, once was during mid-day lasting about 3 hours, and once was around 9 am coming over a mountain pass. There were people who got completely soaked. Usually, you dry out pretty quickly, but it's not unheard of to have a few days of continuous rain in the summer. Keeping dry is really important, because you can get hypothermia if you're not careful even if it's warm outside. One person had to be evacuated from the Muir Hut that year because of inadequate rain gear.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Rain pants on 05/13/2014 00:17:16 MDT Print View

"Did the JMT in mid-August a few years ago. I would not leave the rain pants at home."

I hear you... I've had sleet swallow me in late July, and wish I had my rain pants. Or hit by a drastic temperature drop in early September and wish I had them for another layer. Although, I've also carried my DriDucks out of paranoia few times in sunny 85 degree days and 45 degree nights. Oddly enough the year I brought them, the only use my rain pants got on the JMT, was when my friend forgot to put sunscreen on his legs, and because he only brought shorts, he needed something to shield the burn on the back of his knees for a few days.

Tend to pack my rain pants at least to where I park, and depending on the latest 10 day forecast I can get on the day, I'll maybe leave them in the trunk. I also went to a Gatewood Cape for shelter, so my choice is just down to rain pants and I've ditched the jacket (unless I leave in the rain). Also, in a pinch I guess I could always make a skirt from my Polycryo groundsheet.

Garett Pearce
(Gpearce) - M
GEAR LIST ROUND DOS: Critique Needed on 06/18/2014 06:30:27 MDT Print View

Hey Everyone,

So I've finally get everything together (outside some odds and ends).

Two areas that I'm still working on is my journal and a few toiletries (sun screen in particular).....advice in this area would be great.

Lastly is a pair of Dri Ducks Pants going to be warm enough on the trail in late August. I can always add in my zip off pants but wanted to try to cut out that weight (7 oz)

Critique away!!!!!!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: journals on 06/18/2014 08:54:32 MDT Print View

Your journal depends on how large you want. You can get tiny Rite in the Rain journals and Moleskine makes some thin ones.

You can take the paper of your choice, cut it to size, fold it, drill small holes in the fold and sew it together.

I have a large university book store handy for writing supplies. Art supply stores can be good too. The offerings are endless.

A Fisher Bullet Space Pen is my favorite. Fisher also makes the Stowaway model that is skinny and light, but I like a fatter grip. You could just take a refill of your choice if you can write comfortably with one. Pilot and others make short ballpoints that are light.

Somewhere on BPL is a silly thread on the best pencil for the JMT--- not the shining moment in BPL forum writing :)

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: journals on 06/18/2014 09:10:41 MDT Print View

+1 rite in the rain paired with a fisher space pen. I carry one every day off trail so it feels pretty normal to have it with me when I'm hiking.

If you carry a smart phone, you can use the voice recorder feature and transcribe it when you get home.

David Ayers
(djayers) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: GEAR LIST ROUND DOS: Critique Needed on 06/19/2014 12:32:54 MDT Print View

Good list.

Are the Harrison maps you are taking one-sided? If so, you could write your journal on the back sides.

Also, your flex bowl is 3.5 oz. My ZipLoc bowl is only 0.8oz if that will work for you.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: GEAR LIST ROUND DOS: Critique Needed on 06/19/2014 13:08:15 MDT Print View

For your shelter what about a larger mid? The duomid might be small for two unless you like to be cozy but what about the speedmid, the supermid, the Golite Shangri la 5 (without inner or pole), Golite Shangri la 3, or a mid from black diamond or ow are? They are all under 2 pounds if you support them with two trekking poles lashed together, they have good room inside for people and gear, and can even fit 3 or 4 if needed. They handle wind, snow, and rain pretty well too. The only major downside is the large footprint but that's not a big deal on the JMT.

Use poly window film, gossamer gear polycro, or even tyvek as a groundsheet. No bug netting should be needed that time of year especially on chilly nights.

Adam White
(awhite4777) - MLife

Locale: On the switchbacks
Re: First time on the JMT on 06/21/2014 18:33:29 MDT Print View

I hiked the JMT last August/September as one half of a duo. If you haven't seen it, I have a trip report here, with a full gear list.

Since I can't tell what you already have and what you're purchasing, some of my advice may be referring to non-negotiable items. With that in mind, my $0.02:

1. I'd get a different shelter. Bugs will not be a problem, so no need for anything with netting. Marko gave you some good links above. I'm partial to Zpacks and Mountain Laurel Designs, and would advocate any of their offerings. You haven't made the transition to tarps yet, but again, there will be NO MOSQUITOS on your trip. Get a tarp or shaped tarp that pitches with trekking poles (and take (and learn to use, if necessary) trekking poles--I didn't see those on your gear list).

2. I'd look for a lighter pack, if you can lighten up your base weight by a few pounds. IMO, you've got about an extra pound of pack.

3. Is a Sawyer Mini really 7 oz? A Steripen is 4.6 oz or so, and repackaged Aqua Mira drops weigh only a couple oz. On the topic, I almost always bring repackaged Aqua Mira drops since they weigh so little, as a backup in case my primary fails.

4. Are you both carrying full cook setups? Definitely share the stove and fuel.

5. Is that a L Neoair XLite? The S weighs only 8 oz--half what the L weighs. I made the switch to torso length sleep pads and will never look back. I suggest trying that.

6. I'd bring the zip-off pants section, and leave the rain pants at home. Even in an uncommon multi-day rain event in the Sierra, acknowledge that your shoes, socks and pants will get wet. It's fine. When you get to camp, you'll put on your (dry) socks and long johns, and climb into your (dry) sleeping bag. I would also want those zip-off sections for wind protection--it can get quite cold in the Sierra in September. I (and many others on here) have been snowed on. Also, you'll need less sunblock if you wear your pant legs.

7. I'd leave the mug at home. I use a 20 oz Gatorade bottle as a mug and as a water bottle. It works fine.

8. I'd get a lighter headlamp--in fact, I'd bring three Photon microlights; two white and one red. That comes to 0.75 oz and gives you great redundancy.

9. I'd leave the toothpaste, Dr. Bronners and DEET at home. Bring some floss.

10. I'd consider bringing Erik the Black's trail atlas. It has many campsites and water sources listed. Have one person carry the Tom Harrison maps, and the other the trail atlas.

11. I'd bring the sleep socks (Possum down are great, or down booties for more $$). I like a clean, dry, fuzzy pair when I sleep. Maybe I'm a wuss.

12. I'd bring horse repellent (ah, inside joke--if you read my trip report, you'll get it).

This is all mostly nitpicky and matters of preference--most importantly, have a great time!

Garett Pearce
(Gpearce) - M
Tent Selection Ideas on 06/23/2014 12:15:59 MDT Print View


I recently bought a TT Rainshadow 2 to try out but am not huge fan of taking it on the JMT (Its a bit small when it comes to fitting to two 6 foot plus guys into it). After reading your comments I started looking at the MLD Duo. What are your thoughts on taking two (each person carries their own tent)on the trail. It seems like this would be a bit more comfortable and far less weight then my BA Copper Spur 3.

If I could get my hands on two at a decent price I feel like I may go that direction.


Edited by Gpearce on 06/23/2014 12:16:51 MDT.

Adam White
(awhite4777) - MLife

Locale: On the switchbacks
Re: Tent Selection Ideas on 06/23/2014 20:01:45 MDT Print View


I have no experience with the Duomid, but my dad uses a Solomid, and took it on our JMT hike last year. The Solomid is was great. Seemed bomb-proof to me. Stood up to a reasonable storm in Evolution Basin, and kept him dry during 24 hours of rain near the Palisades. Of course, my Hexamid did just fine too, at less than half the weight...

I suspect the Solomid is spacious enough for you--it's 3'6" wide, and only 1" shorter than the Duomid. My dad is 6' a few", and he was fine in the Solomid.

So, to answer your question--yes, I think two Duomids would work just fine for you. If you buy them new, check out the lead time on MLD's homepage--you might be cutting it close.

As Bradford pointed out, you will probably want a groundsheet. Some around here may do it, but I wouldn't want to put my Neoair on bare earth.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Journal Shame on 06/23/2014 20:41:12 MDT Print View

I have to confess, I will for the first time ever take my iphone (or any phone) with me backpacking on my extended-edition JMT starting in August. I justified this rock, and all the support stuff by agreeing with myself to replaces everything possible that can be replaced by a smart phone. All books - Kindle Library on the iphone. Trail info (but not maps) by the iphone. Check list - yup - only on the iphone. I don't use GPS much, but I'm gonna claim GPS replacement anyway on this. Likewise on the music, lectures and books on tape I never took before or needed - claiming them also as a net savings.

So as I hang my head in conflicted-Luddite shame I must confess to you now that I am also going to try to replace my beloved trail journals with - you guessed it - an app. I found one last week I like reasonably well. RIP JMT pencil - I hardly knew ye.

The good news is that I expect my texting speed by the end of the trip may at last come up to the level of (or at least not be totally laughable in comparison to) that of the average 15 year old girl.

Edited by millonas on 06/23/2014 20:44:51 MDT.