The JMT Tourist Gear Review

9:45 p.m. on October 26, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. WLD257

Gear Review

First off, we did not take anything that we had not first tested ourselves on several trips if not several months. I had extra backpacks and tent in our vehicle in Mammoth just in case of a problem.

My Backpack was the Arterx Bora 95. A little heavy, but very comfortable. In the first couple weeks it caused some chaffing on my hips. The shoulder straps began coming loose on their own the last two days going to Guitar Lake and up to Mt Whitney. (I have been using it for a couple years now so I have no complaints)

JDSmiling's Backpack was the Kelty Flight: Light weight and durable. No problems, although we did not load it with much more than 30 lb..

The Tent was the Sierra Designs Hyper Light AST, It is a large tent with plenty of floor space. Free Standing. Even though I was the only one in it on the second half of the trip. I continued to use it despite the 5 lb weight. It performed well, although after 10 hours of hard rain at Wallace Creek, by morning there was moisture on the top of my sleeping bag.

Stove was the MSR Pocket Rocket It worked perfectly the entire trip.

Bic Lighters: Hey what can I say....

Fuel: Markell Power Fuel: ISO butane / Propane mix. It work very well.... And priced right.

Water Filter: Pur Hiker, it worked perfectly the entire trip. I changed the filter at Muir Ranch just in case. (Now called the Hiker by Katadyn)

Head Lamp: Princeton Aurora, worked well, multi brightness control was a useful thing to have. It has an adjustable mounting for tilting the lamp, which came loose by the Charlotte Lake resupply, but after tightening it back up it was as good as new. I changed the batteries at every resupply (four times) whether it needed it or not.

Hiking Boots: Montrail Torre GTX, I have used this brand and type of boot for a couple years. They are only good for about 800 miles so I replace them about every ten months. (No blisters on the entire trip) I had tired feet on a couple long days 18 miles and 14 miles on very stony ground. But they still are good and I will be using them this weekend.

I use Tyvek as a ground cloth. It works really well. It is light weight and tough as nails. Makes me wonder why anyone would buy a foot print.

SlingLight Chair 18 oz gave me some comfort after a long day on the trail. Even if the guy on Glenn Pass did not like the idea.

Bearicade Bear Canister: Withstood the bear batting it around in Yosemite. But I had to keep an eye on it. During heavy rains, it would somehow get dirt around the lid and make it hard to seal. The screws are already showing wear. Something I will speak to Wild Ideas about.

Trekking Poles:REI Haute Route with thermogrip worked perfectly.

I used synthetic shirts and thermos. they were awesome but it was tough to keep them from smelling. Even after bathing and washing clothes. Big plus is they dried quick.

I used Black Diamond Fleece. Top and bottom. They are awesome

Rain Gear: Marmot Precips, light weight, and kept the bugs from biting. Kept me dry from the rain. But often times I would cook inside them and sweat up a storm, which made me wet anyway. Plus, during heavy rains it felt as if the inside against my skin was wet. Whether this was a fact or an illusion I am not sure. I was busy dodging the lightening. As far as comfort my opinion of them has drop considerably.

Socks: Synthetic Liners and Smart wool. I took two pairs of wool socks and one liner. They worked great.

Pants: One pair of REI Sahara pants with zip off leg. The only pair I took and they were awesome, easy to wash and quick to dry. They do not show any wear after the trip.

Thermorest pad: Guide light, full length. Was a comfort each night. No leaks and no problems

Cup, cheap one I purchased for little to nothing. It is insulated and has a lid. The insulation and lid for a cup are necessary out there.

Nalgene bottle: 32 oz soft plastic. Worked great

Hydration Bladder: 70 oz camelbak. No problems there either.

Other items included a $5.00 watch from walmart. Best buy for this trip.
$1.00 pair of light knit gloves. Some of the fingers were exposed at the end of the trip. But other than that they lasted quite a while. I should have placed extra in my resupplies

Purell hand sanitizer, if you have to go, take this with you. You friends will appreciate you not getting them sick.

WalMart $1.00 head mosquito net. I had a new one brought in at Muir ranch. They worked great and at Bear Creek I was glad I had them.


WLD

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12:03 a.m. on October 27, 2003 (EST)
MODERATOR
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Sounds like a great trip (except for the lightning). I'm just in the process of buying some new gear. A couple of questions if you don't mind:
"My Backpack was the Arterx Bora 95." I've got a Bora 80 I haven't tried out yet-I don't expect to give it hard use, but any weak spots I should watch out for?

"I use Tyvek as a ground cloth. It works really well. It is light weight and tough as nails. Makes me wonder why anyone would buy a foot print."

Glad to hear the Tyvek worked-I bought some of this from some guy on E-Bay selling it by the foot in 6 or 8' wide pieces (can't remember which). Haven't tried it yet, though.

"I used synthetic shirts and thermos. they were awesome but it was tough to keep them from smelling. Even after bathing and washing clothes. Big plus is they dried quick."

What brand were they? I have some Capilene from Patagonia-a top and bottom and they never smelled,even after some time. And they seem to last forever.

Thanks.

 

 

Quote:

Gear Review

First off, we did not take anything that we had not first tested ourselves on several trips if not several months. I had extra backpacks and tent in our vehicle in Mammoth just in case of a problem.

My Backpack was the Arterx Bora 95. A little heavy, but very comfortable. In the first couple weeks it caused some chaffing on my hips. The shoulder straps began coming loose on their own the last two days going to Guitar Lake and up to Mt Whitney. (I have been using it for a couple years now so I have no complaints)

JDSmiling's Backpack was the Kelty Flight: Light weight and durable. No problems, although we did not load it with much more than 30 lb..

The Tent was the Sierra Designs Hyper Light AST, It is a large tent with plenty of floor space. Free Standing. Even though I was the only one in it on the second half of the trip. I continued to use it despite the 5 lb weight. It performed well, although after 10 hours of hard rain at Wallace Creek, by morning there was moisture on the top of my sleeping bag.

Stove was the MSR Pocket Rocket It worked perfectly the entire trip.

Bic Lighters: Hey what can I say....

Fuel: Markell Power Fuel: ISO butane / Propane mix. It work very well.... And priced right.

Water Filter: Pur Hiker, it worked perfectly the entire trip. I changed the filter at Muir Ranch just in case. (Now called the Hiker by Katadyn)

Head Lamp: Princeton Aurora, worked well, multi brightness control was a useful thing to have. It has an adjustable mounting for tilting the lamp, which came loose by the Charlotte Lake resupply, but after tightening it back up it was as good as new. I changed the batteries at every resupply (four times) whether it needed it or not.

Hiking Boots: Montrail Torre GTX, I have used this brand and type of boot for a couple years. They are only good for about 800 miles so I replace them about every ten months. (No blisters on the entire trip) I had tired feet on a couple long days 18 miles and 14 miles on very stony ground. But they still are good and I will be using them this weekend.

I use Tyvek as a ground cloth. It works really well. It is light weight and tough as nails. Makes me wonder why anyone would buy a foot print.

SlingLight Chair 18 oz gave me some comfort after a long day on the trail. Even if the guy on Glenn Pass did not like the idea.

Bearicade Bear Canister: Withstood the bear batting it around in Yosemite. But I had to keep an eye on it. During heavy rains, it would somehow get dirt around the lid and make it hard to seal. The screws are already showing wear. Something I will speak to Wild Ideas about.

Trekking Poles:REI Haute Route with thermogrip worked perfectly.

I used synthetic shirts and thermos. they were awesome but it was tough to keep them from smelling. Even after bathing and washing clothes. Big plus is they dried quick.

I used Black Diamond Fleece. Top and bottom. They are awesome

Rain Gear: Marmot Precips, light weight, and kept the bugs from biting. Kept me dry from the rain. But often times I would cook inside them and sweat up a storm, which made me wet anyway. Plus, during heavy rains it felt as if the inside against my skin was wet. Whether this was a fact or an illusion I am not sure. I was busy dodging the lightening. As far as comfort my opinion of them has drop considerably.

Socks: Synthetic Liners and Smart wool. I took two pairs of wool socks and one liner. They worked great.

Pants: One pair of REI Sahara pants with zip off leg. The only pair I took and they were awesome, easy to wash and quick to dry. They do not show any wear after the trip.

Thermorest pad: Guide light, full length. Was a comfort each night. No leaks and no problems

Cup, cheap one I purchased for little to nothing. It is insulated and has a lid. The insulation and lid for a cup are necessary out there.

Nalgene bottle: 32 oz soft plastic. Worked great

Hydration Bladder: 70 oz camelbak. No problems there either.

Other items included a $5.00 watch from walmart. Best buy for this trip.
$1.00 pair of light knit gloves. Some of the fingers were exposed at the end of the trip. But other than that they lasted quite a while. I should have placed extra in my resupplies

Purell hand sanitizer, if you have to go, take this with you. You friends will appreciate you not getting them sick.

WalMart $1.00 head mosquito net. I had a new one brought in at Muir ranch. They worked great and at Bear Creek I was glad I had them.


WLD

Webshots Community - wld257's Photo Home Page

11:57 a.m. on October 27, 2003 (EST)
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Great review, and great TR! Thanks!

I am a bit concerned about the Bear-I-Kade. A friend carried one (plus a couple other bear containers) on his family's JMT trip summer before last and had no problems. Why did the dirt get into the lid area, and why the wear on the screws, do you think? The Bear-I-Kade is pretty expensive, much more so than the Garcia, even considering the lighter weight and larger capacity, and I would have expected it to stand up to the trip with no problems at all.

Same question as Tom - what brand was your synth clothing? The newer stuff (not just Patagucci) is pretty much odor free. Then again, hey, you are out there with just other hikers, so who cares?

5:19 p.m. on October 27, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. WLD257

The Bearicade screws becoming worn very quickly seems to have become the norm. Most of the people I hike with have the Bearicades and the screws have small knotches in them from opening. Quite possibly the metal the screws are made of is to soft. During a Sierra storm, it is nearly impossible to keep out the broken pine needles and dirt from entering the mouth of the canister. The solution is to keep it clean. Not something that is as easy as it sounds during a hard rain. Once the canister actually had water in the bottom. I had to empty it out and drain the water, then dry it and replace the food. On the other hand, the Garcia, which I also have. Is not water proof at all. And seems to me to have a greater chance of leaking. I will add the bear that had gotten into the 2 Garcia's in Yosemite, did not spend much time on my Bearicade. And I think a lot of it had to do with the lack of fragrance. The seals were clean and it was air tight.
My synthetic shirts are Patagonia. I do not to smell like food while out there, but neither do I want to smell like I have not taken a shower in a week... :)

5:28 p.m. on October 27, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. WLD257

The Artrex Bora is a bullet proof pack. But after 3 years of very consistent use. The shoulder straps began loosing up on there own on the way down Mt Whitney.
Tyvek is a good option
The shirts I posted just before were Patagonia. JDSmiling's shirts were Sierra Designs and REI, she did not have that problem. But I did not notice it until Muir Pass and beyond. She had gone out at Muir Trail Ranch and before the trail became more difficult. I resorted to washing everyday and not just rinseing off.

8:20 p.m. on October 27, 2003 (EST)
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Garcia

Quote:

....I will add the bear that had gotten into the 2 Garcia's in Yosemite, did not spend much time on my Bearicade.

That's interesting! First time I heard of a bear getting into a Garcia. How did the bear get into it? Was it carrying a quarter to turn the lock? Or, more likely, someone left them open. The Garcias are pretty tough, even when bounced a long way onto rock or cement. I have seen them crack, but never break open enough to let a bear get at the food. My ranger friends in Yosemite have never mentioned a case of a bear getting into a Garcia or BearIKade unless it was left open. They get into UrSacks all the time (newest version as well as older ones), as well as the homemade PVC sewer pipe versions and some all aluminum knockoffs of the BearIKade.

In all cases, putting the smellables in plastic bags and sealing the bag pretty thoroughly before putting it in the bear container is important, as you indicate. Even the steel boxes permanently installed in a lot of places will attract bears who will clamber all over them if you just set the food inside without putting it in sealed plastic bags (not just ziplocks).

Don't like to smell like you have taken a shower, eh? What kinda through-hiker are you anyway? So, everyone else stinks on the trail, too. If'n ya takes a bath more than once a month, it breaks down the barrier that keeps the cooties out. Besides, if you eat lots of garlic, your whole body will stink and the mosquitoes will stay away, and you won't need that WalMart mosquito net.

It is a bit of a surprise, though, that Pata would pick up smells. They are one of the best at avoiding major stink. I haven't had any problem with my Pata, even when wearing it for 3 weeks solid on Denali or a couple weeks on other mountains. And yes, you do sweat a lot when climbing hard, even during temperatures of -20 to -40F.

11:18 p.m. on October 27, 2003 (EST)
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Thanks, I am surprised to hear about the Patagonia shirts-Mine is a Capilene pullover long sleeve-midweight, I think. I've worn it for a week at a time and no problems at all-usually in colder, dry weather so maybe that helped, but I do recall sweating some in it and still it seemed to stay relatively pong-free as they say down under.

Quote:

The Artrex Bora is a bullet proof pack. But after 3 years of very consistent use. The shoulder straps began loosing up on there own on the way down Mt Whitney.
Tyvek is a good option
The shirts I posted just before were Patagonia. JDSmiling's shirts were Sierra Designs and REI, she did not have that problem. But I did not notice it until Muir Pass and beyond. She had gone out at Muir Trail Ranch and before the trail became more difficult. I resorted to washing everyday and not just rinseing off.

6:33 p.m. on October 28, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. WLD257
Re: Garcia

Just inside little Yosemite, a woman had two canisters rolled away by bears. They would slam them against the rocks until they broke open or the lids popped off. Another group had theirs taken also, but retrieved them from the bear before they had succeeded. Now I am not sure they were completely latched down, she said they were. But I did not ask if she had over filled it. I have heard sometimes that pressure against the lid can also pop it off, when slammed around. I saw the canisters, and the lids were not with them. Nor did she enclose them in a large plastic bag, to help keep the smells down. I might add the bear in question is scheduled to be terminated as soon as her cubs are weaned from her. She will barge right into tents, Whether they are occupied or not.

Quote:

Quote:

....I will add the bear that had gotten into the 2 Garcia's in Yosemite, did not spend much time on my Bearicade.

That's interesting! First time I heard of a bear getting into a Garcia. How did the bear get into it? Was it carrying a quarter to turn the lock? Or, more likely, someone left them open. The Garcias are pretty tough, even when bounced a long way onto rock or cement. I have seen them crack, but never break open enough to let a bear get at the food. My ranger friends in Yosemite have never mentioned a case of a bear getting into a Garcia or BearIKade unless it was left open. They get into UrSacks all the time (newest version as well as older ones), as well as the homemade PVC sewer pipe versions and some all aluminum knockoffs of the BearIKade.

In all cases, putting the smellables in plastic bags and sealing the bag pretty thoroughly before putting it in the bear container is important, as you indicate. Even the steel boxes permanently installed in a lot of places will attract bears who will clamber all over them if you just set the food inside without putting it in sealed plastic bags (not just ziplocks).

Don't like to smell like you have taken a shower, eh? What kinda through-hiker are you anyway? So, everyone else stinks on the trail, too. If'n ya takes a bath more than once a month, it breaks down the barrier that keeps the cooties out. Besides, if you eat lots of garlic, your whole body will stink and the mosquitoes will stay away, and you won't need that WalMart mosquito net.

It is a bit of a surprise, though, that Pata would pick up smells. They are one of the best at avoiding major stink. I haven't had any problem with my Pata, even when wearing it for 3 weeks solid on Denali or a couple weeks on other mountains. And yes, you do sweat a lot when climbing hard, even during temperatures of -20 to -40F.

11:19 p.m. on October 28, 2003 (EST)
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Smelly clothes while backpacking - my constant companion's comment

Quote:

My synthetic shirts are Patagonia. I do not to smell like food while out there, but neither do I want to smell like I have not taken a shower in a week... :)

Barbara (my constant companion for something like 38 years, mother of Young Son, breadwinner of the family for the Old Retired Greybeard) gave her usual quote when she read your comment about smelly clothes and bodies when on long backpacks -

"Goes with the territory"

She says that when I come home from climbing trips with scrapes, cuts, and such, too. No sympathy whatever.

Our "courtship" was a 65 mile backpack through Yosemite backcountry (about half on the JMT, then over Vogelsang and back through Little Yosemite), taking about 5 days. This was after Labor Day, so there was virtually no one on the trails. Just a few folks around Tuolumne (at the former Sierra Club campsite next to the former Sierra Club Lodge) and the workers closing up the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp. In those days, they just threw all the left-over food out for the bears. After 4 days of freezedry (the primitive version you could get in the mid-60s), we stood in line with the bears to collect steaks, chops, bacon, lunch meat, cheese, etc. That last night's dinner was a feast to be long remembered! (I only exagerate slightly about standing in line with the bears - humans had a separate line). Anyway, we decided that if we could still stand each other after 5 days on the trail, we could safely make a long-term commitment. However, even 10 years after her father paid out all that money for the festivities, he still refered to me as "Barbara's boyfriend."

Ya can't be fastidious if ya wanna be a woodsy type.

11:54 p.m. on October 28, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. WLD257
Re: Smelly clothes while backpacking - my constant companion's comment

That is a great story.... And of course she is right.

Quote:

Quote:

My synthetic shirts are Patagonia. I do not to smell like food while out there, but neither do I want to smell like I have not taken a shower in a week... :)

Barbara (my constant companion for something like 38 years, mother of Young Son, breadwinner of the family for the Old Retired Greybeard) gave her usual quote when she read your comment about smelly clothes and bodies when on long backpacks -

"Goes with the territory"

She says that when I come home from climbing trips with scrapes, cuts, and such, too. No sympathy whatever.

Our "courtship" was a 65 mile backpack through Yosemite backcountry (about half on the JMT, then over Vogelsang and back through Little Yosemite), taking about 5 days. This was after Labor Day, so there was virtually no one on the trails. Just a few folks around Tuolumne (at the former Sierra Club campsite next to the former Sierra Club Lodge) and the workers closing up the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp. In those days, they just threw all the left-over food out for the bears. After 4 days of freezedry (the primitive version you could get in the mid-60s), we stood in line with the bears to collect steaks, chops, bacon, lunch meat, cheese, etc. That last night's dinner was a feast to be long remembered! (I only exagerate slightly about standing in line with the bears - humans had a separate line). Anyway, we decided that if we could still stand each other after 5 days on the trail, we could safely make a long-term commitment. However, even 10 years after her father paid out all that money for the festivities, he still refered to me as "Barbara's boyfriend."

Ya can't be fastidious if ya wanna be a woodsy type.

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