Primitive and modern outdoor skills

Gear for the JMT


Jess and I are about to embark on a trip on the JMT with a highschool friend of Jess'.

I reworked my gear several times in the last couple of days, trying to get the weight down. I sat and weighed everything going in my pack. Here's a spreadsheet of my gear and weights:


Some interesting points of note: Jess is carrying the tarp for both of us, though I have the hiking poles (used as tarp poles) and groundcloth. We're both carrying stoves since Jess' friend isn't bringing one. I bought a rain-pancho and dropped my rain-coat, since I'm not really expecting much rain. It should be warm so I dropped my down vest, and silk bottoms. My quilt is warmer than needed so I also dropped my bivy in favor of a groundcloth. I'm also going to use a very thin sleepingpad.

In reality I've got more shelter than needed. I have a groundcloth, a poncho, and an emergency bivy. But I don't trust the poncho (it's quite fragile) so I don't want to use it as a groundcloth. I'm going a bit minimal on the warm clothing side, so I'm happy for some warmth backup with the emergency bivy. And of course, I need some rain-gear. Yeah, I'm a wuss, but I've been screwed by untested gear before.

My total weight is as heavy as it is, despite trying to drop weight, for several reasons
  1. Bear canister weighs 2.7 lbs, and because of it I need a heavier pack
  2. I wanted a fishing rod and tackle
  3. I have a woodstove
  4. my sleep-system is way overkill
  5. I want to record the trip, and want my smartphone to help with getting back
  6. I have a bit of extra gear because I don't trust some of it

All combined this brings what could easily be a 6-8 lb base-weight up to 14 lbs. I've got ~3 lbs I could scrape off easily given dropping a bit of gear I don't need. I could scrape off another ~2 lbs off my pack if I wanted to go frameless. After that it gets harder, I could get ~1 lb out of my sleep-system if I bought a 30 degree quilt. If I could get out of yosemite in the first day and camped in designated spots in some areas I could swap the bear-can for an ursack saving ~2 lbs. I could actually get away with no tarp if the poncho works out, but this'll be it's first test.

Anyway see you in 3 weeks!