Lightening up for the JMT...Rx please

7:47 p.m. on May 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Hello,

I'm planning my JMT for next summer. I currently use a Baltoro(5.9lbs), synthetic bag(5) and just got a Copper Spur (3.13). I love these for my weekend trips, however for JMT thats 15.5 pounds I'd like to cut in half...at least.

I'm leaning towards;

1. Go-lite Pinnacle (2)

2. TNF down bag (Kazoo or Hotlum) @ 2.12

3. Nemo Meta @ 1.5

Total 6.1 pounds.

I'd like some rx on this list. Some of my limitations include the req for a bear cannister(so the pack needs to support one). Is the Pinnacle comfortable enough? Does it wear well? Is the Nemo a decent choice? I'm plannning on rain. These bags are 15 deg. Is a 25deg or 40deg ok for July/August JMT? Any rx are appreciated.

Please bear with me as I plan, I'll be posting alot.

M

10:11 p.m. on May 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi Migolito

The Pinnacle will work for you..I have a friend who thru hiked the AT with one and loves that pack..have you looked at any www.ula-equiptment.com Like the Circuit? It's 4200 alpine style pack..Well used on the AT,PCT,CDT weighs about 3 pds..you can get a bear canister in it Vertically..As for Down bags have you looked at www.Montbell.com they have Ul down bags rated in all the ranges you have listed and they weigh 1.5lbs. the spiral huggers..last your tent the Nemo are great from what I hear. How about www.Bearpawwd.com

 Pryon tent. say's it sleeps 2 and comes in cubin fiber ? I just wanted to give you some options because you listed dropping weight. I haven't hiked the JMT but wanted to throw my 2 cents your way...I hope the members who have give you their experiance..Have a great Hike...

1:08 p.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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go light

6:53 p.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow! This can be a little Dangerous...$$ The more I look, the more great designs I'm seeing. The Granite Gear Blaze look pretty nice and has been reviewed well. The harness and back pad in particular look very sturdy.

The Six Moon Designs Skyscapes (tents)look good.

Can anyone rx a good pad that is blow up only, as compared to self inflating? Or an otherwise lite weight pad.

7:25 p.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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six moons designs are rocking from what I heard from ultra lighters. I have 2 Tarptents by Henry Shires one weighs about 3 pds. Because of Seamseal. The other I am presently useing 1.5lbs. 2005 Virga...Granite Gear makes great packs..The Vapor was ahead of the curve years ago for the AT..The discontinued it last year but you could still find some around.Most UL hikers drop more weight each year...I have the Thermarest Neo Air 14oz... Some people like the Big Agnus  aircore pad but weighs alot more...Then you have the Klymix Xframe new last year 9.1oz  also some are switching to  the Exad sym UL 7  16.20z. It's all up to you but yes it could get pricey with what your willing to pay and drop and sacrifice for comfort. I am in the middle with gear to be honest..I like to play it safe regardless...Also look at www.Mountainlaureldesigns.com

 if your loooking for a pad made of foam Granite Gear has varying thickness's and you can call their Headquarters in Austin and ask if they will ship....

 

 

11:50 p.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I have spent a good amount of time on or near the JMT in July/August, mostly in the Sequoia/Kings Canyon sections.  When camping high you can expect nights below freezing on occasion; last summer when I took a scout troop from Onion Valley to Whitney during the first week of August, we had two nights out of five with frost (camping at 11,000' or higher).  Most nights will probably be around 35-45 over the JMT.

I use a Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag, and I can recommend it without reservation.  WM is conservative with their temp ratings; the Summerlite is rated to 32 degrees, and it works well for me, and I sleep cold these days.  It comes in at 1 lb 3 oz, so it is lighter than most of the bags you are looking at.

Make sure your pack carries weight well.  The JMT spends a lot of time at high elevation on rocky trails, so you will appreciate a good suspension.  Sometimes ultralight packs skimp on suspension and you need to be careful.

The best option for canisters is the Bearikade.  Expensive, but a lot lighter than the alternatives.

11:59 p.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Also, make sure your tent has protection from mosquitos, they can be pretty fierce, especially before August.

Practice setting up your tent without being able to use stakes, I have camped in a number of locations above treeline where you could only get one or two good stakes in.  Bring enough extra guy line to tie onto rocks to anchor the tent when stakes are impractical.

12:19 a.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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For a good inflatable sleeping pad, I don't cut ounces as much as I should, but the reward is a very comfortable night's sleep.  I use a Pacific Outdoors Insulmat (no longer made), and it sleeps comfortably below freezing, which is more than I can say for most simple inflatable air mattresses.  2.5" of comfort is worth the weight.  Look at the Exped Synmat reg or ultralight, Big Agnes insulated air core reg or mummy,  or Pacific Outdoors Peak Elite or Adventurer.  Those range from 24 oz down to under 16 oz, see what works for you. 

2:27 a.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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What spur do ya have? Sounds like a UL1 from what I see here.

10:37 a.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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You don't have to worry about granite Gear's suspension system. It's one of the best for a light pack.If you know who Trauma is he's a triple crown hiker who has also done the longtrail.High Sierra's etc and sponserd by Granite Gear. He is always on the move. Always with a Granite Gear pack....the pack looks good to a look at it.If that what you like for reasons to you and it fits your means as well as the objective and for later use..have a great hike and Lambertiana could give you better advice about that hike since he has been there...

 

 

9:45 p.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Great advice. As I read the posts I'm looking up the rx. I am leaning towards the WM ultralite bag @ 1.13 as it get me down a little colder w/o a lot more penalty. Good heads up L.

I like what I've read about the Granite Gear Blaze, particularly about he suspension. However, its 14 oz more than the Pinnacle. I'll need to try both on with some weight and make a choice based on a little in store hiking.

The Nemo Meta 1P tents looks great. They are 1.15 and have netting and from all I read take some weather.

The pad will come in @ about .12 depending on the length, although, I'm leaning towards 3/4 for.

Total: 6.5 w/Pinnacle or 7.3 w/Blaze

I can definitely live with that.

I just got my Copper Spur and it a 2p. I've only set it up in my living room so far. I'll be using it this weekend.

11:38 p.m. on May 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I have the Copper Spur UL1. For the comfort, and space it provides I wouldn't trade it for any other 3 season solo on the market. Awesome little tent. I looked at the 2p as well. I might buy the 3 for my wife and I. I'm switching to a bivy for cold weather(BA 3 Wire.) I am hooked on BA products. Very well made and very well designed.

6:13 a.m. on May 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I would not get a bag rated above 30 degrees unless you intend to sleep in your warm clothes.  Even in August camps above 10,000' may see freezing nights.

Ed

4:17 p.m. on May 28, 2011 (EDT)
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As I casually mention, from time-to-time ... get into the gym and get yourself in top shape.  Even better, hire a personal-trainer that knows your challenges.  The time you spend obsessing over uber- / ultra lightweight everything, not to mention the expense,  could be well-spent more productively, in this manner.   Reduce your BFI (Body Fat Index) and boost your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).   You'll sleep warmer, and more sound, and require less sleep to feel well-rested.   You can therefore spend more time on the trail, than in camp.

You won't notice pounds, let alone, ounces or grams in your total gear load.

_____________________________

 ~ r2 ~

7:24 p.m. on May 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Just ordered the Pinnacle AND the Blaze. I couldn't find them locally, so, I'll try on both and make a decision and return one(or Ebay). I'm either going to get a WM or FF bag rated @ 20deg both under 2.

I hear ya on the "being in shape". I don't run as far as I used to. Actually, I don't run distance at all anymore, but, I still hit the gym 3 days a week and hike about 6000 verticle feet a month. I'll be retiring in November, so exercise and hiking will increase substantially, I'll be 49.

I usually eat Mountain House, however, I'm thinking of trying some Hawk

Vittles. Has anyone tried these?

10:58 p.m. on May 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Migo...

This is my gearlist from my JMT thruhike in 2009.

http://cid-12c136b9ad0945e4.office.live.com/view.aspx/.Public/John%20Muir%20Trail%202009/JMT%20Gear%20List.docx

Base weight was 15lbs including the bear cannister.  My bag is rated 15F, only one night was chilly.

 

10:10 a.m. on May 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I just want to suggest either Western Mountaineering or Feathered Friends down bags as an option.High quality and very light.These bags perform very well and if taken care of will last a life time.At around 1lb 7oz for the bag I would chose from either of these manufacturers you would not only save weight but also have more room in your pack and sleep well.They are a bit more expensive but in the long run you would not regret such a purchase.

10:50 a.m. on May 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Steve, I was debating btwn tablets and a debris filter or the steripen and a debris filter. I'm leaning towards the tablets based on the amount of reading I've been doing, and tablets don't break. I currently use 3.5lb Vasque boots, but, will be looking into  lighter weight trail hikers. My boots support the weight I carry now, but, my aim is to half that.

I used, and still have, bivy sacks when I did mountain SAR, but, I gotta say, I just pre-ordered a Six Moon Designs Skyscape trekker that I'll be tring out. I'm wanting the room. It weighs 24 oz.

I'll be adding a lite wt fishing pole and possibly a DSLR, so I am splurging in some areas.

11:37 a.m. on May 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Last summer I used the aquamira frontier pro filter attached to a one liter platy.  This worked very well and no wait time.  Also cheaper than the tabs.  I'll carry a sheet of 10 tabs as backup.

11:39 p.m. on May 30, 2011 (EDT)
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When it comes to water treatment, I'll be the devil's advocate and mention that for a good section of the JMT (at least the SEKI section where I have a lot of experience) I never use any water treatment, and I know a lot of others who do not treat their water, either.  If there are no locations that can be reached by car or cattle grazing areas above you, the water is good.  Other than choosing water sources wisely - i.e., away from traveled areas, above trails, etc - that is all you need to know.

8:10 p.m. on May 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Unfortunately, years ago I had Giardia. It ain't fun. Even for the extra weight and inconvenience :( , I need to treat.

12:50 p.m. on June 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Migolito said:

Unfortunately, years ago I had Giardia...

Most cases of "Guardia" are attributed to hygiene issues, not microbes in the water.  I have to side with Lambertina on this one.  I haven't used water filter/treatment paraphernalia in decades in the Sierras, with no problems whatsoever. One of the state's Universities has an ongoing water quality survey where they post results on a regular basis. Google "water quality in the Sierras" and you should find it.  Only the most heavily used areas with high equestrian or livestock presence are questionable.  Actually most municipal water has higher spore counts than the typical Sierra stream. 

Ed

7:37 p.m. on June 2, 2011 (EDT)
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That's a very diplomatic way of calling me dirty! :)

To change the subject up a bit. I currently wear some Vasque wasatch leather boots, or some lite weight Merrell trail shoes. I'm looking for some non-goretex mids that are lighter weight. Something along the lines of the Lowa Zephyr desert boots or Vasque breeze. Any thought or opinions? 

6:33 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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There is a non Gore-Tex boot made from canvas, that is marvelous for hot weather, dry condiction hiking.   I can't find any information on it, at the moment.

I've had a couple pairs.  

They used to be military-issue for the Israeli Army, for use in the Negev Desert.    They have a rubber rand and toe cap.  They do tend to wear out rather fast, compared to comparable full-grain leather boots.

~r2~

10:35 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Possibly you mean the Palladiums I was banging on about in another post.

http://www.israelmilitary.com/paladium-commando-boots-sand-p-1146.aspx

Or

http://www.palladiumboots.co.uk/shop/men/men-footwear/pallabrouse-olive-drab-02477-309.html

which might be a lighter version.

These are ideal in a tropical enviroment. Not so sure about the Sierra Nevada.

Peter

4:43 p.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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BINGO !

Thanks, Peter.   You 'Da MAN' !

The first (topmost) website -- the www.israelmilitary.com website boots.

These things are BOMBER !  (pun intended ); although, I did wear-out the first pair I had from the inside (didn't wear socks all the time, they were so comfortable, and didn't trim my toenails back enough).

I recommend Summer-weight wool socks be worn.  My 2nd pair have lasted me almost 7-yrs now, and they are starting to wear through the canvas; not at the areas protected by the rand and toe-cap.

They have a removable HEMP insole, which dries quickly.

At the price, you just can't go wrong.  Cost to me is less than $8 per Summer.   And, I wore them a lot.   Not just for hiking, either.  Wore them in my construction business, when we were building houses along Dune Road, in "The Hamptons" of Long Island.   Guys were always asking me where I got them.   Quite a few went out and got them for themselves.  Loved 'em!

Wore them "fashionably" with khaki Bermuda shorts, when dining at trendy Hamptons restaurants.   People commented favorably; men wearing $300 Italian loafers would ask me where I got them.

Funny story about these boots -- The former leader of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization),  Yassir Arafat,  coveted these boots.   Paid his henchmen to steal them, and he wore them constantly;  until someone in the press noticed them, and pointed-out they were of Israeli origin, much to his embarrassment.

NOT recommended for the Sierras.

~r2~

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