OK, this is where gear nerds are most likely going to have a hard time with me. I’m just a normal guy…I’m not sponsored…I have a family and three kids, which = not a lot of dinero. My plan with the JMT is to make due with as much as I can and only buy what seems necessary.

I have made some purchases and I will try to note those items. Also, this is my hike. Not your hike. It’s nacho cheese…it’s my cheese. So, back off a bit. This is the gear I’m using and taking…I’m not looking for advice. Feel free to scream at the screen if you are worked up.

Lastly, I consider myself a lightweight gear type backpacker. Lighter than many, heavier than some. I’m not totally wanting or financially able to have the NASA-designed-ultra-light-metal-like-carbon-fiber doohickey that makes life great on the trail. I also don’t wipe my nethers with my fingers to save some ounces. I like my TP and an occasional wet wipe…which I don’t dry out and re-wet. So, take a deep breath if you need to. Keep calm, wipe on.

Here we go [* indicates newish purchase]:

golite_jam_neuPack: GoLite Jam 70– out of business now, but this bag serves me well…especially with the bear can I have to bring.




Fly Creek UL 2 Tent-zm

Tent: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2* with ground cloth. I like the extra space and ground cloth, so I can use the quick set up. I will use this set up the first night or two to save some weight. Plus, the ground sheet essentially weights what Tyvek would for this tent. Also, will have 10 stakes. I’ll use one as a poop digger too.


qcore mummyGroundpad: Big Agnes Q-Core Mummy I like the weight and thickness to help me get my beauty rest. I’m old and crusty and my back can have issues. Also, my hips. I need the blessing to sleep well. Happy sleep=Happy hike.




nf gold kazooSleeping bag: North Face Gold Kazoo Long* 30 degrees. If it gets colder I have clothes to wear. With the Q-core, should be good to go. I had a large NF credit and this is what I could afford. Worked well in 38 degree nights.



Clothing worn:

Base/shirt:    Icebreaker 150 L/S Keeps some sun off, helps with stink.                             Pants:          Adidas running shorts These are like 4 -5 years old. Can stink, but                                   don’t want to buy others when they still work. Have the built-in liner.               Head:           Billabong Trucker Hat* Keeps some sun off. I like to dip in                                               streams… the foam holds some water and keeps my head cool.                     Feet:            Hoka One One Rapa Nui 2* Gives me foam to help my feet, knees                                   and joints. Light and breathable. Darn Tough socks.                                       Poles:          Komperdell cork grip, anti-shock. They help me get up and down                                     mountains.                                                                                                       Sunglasses: Smith polarized somethings. Easy on my eyes, help me see fish.

Clothing packed:

Jacket:         Patagonia Down Sweater/hooded Helps keep me warm. I like the                                 hood to help my baldhead.                                                                               Pants:          Marmot Arch Rock Pants*. Light, full coverage. May wear a lot for                                   sun protection.                                                                                                 Mid:             Old Merino Wool sweater [banana republic, has holes, 20y/old]                   Socks:          2nd pair of Darn Tough, and 1 pair Defoot thin wool to sleep                         Nethers:       1 pair of exOfficio boxers, 1 pair of compression type shorts                         Shirt:             Mountain Hardwear Seaver Tech shirt L/S* Helps with wicking                                      and sun. I like that the collar has an additional flip up section to cover                                  the neck.                                                                                                         Rain stuff:     OK, so I’m one of those cheap guys. So, I’m using the Tyvek pants                                    and I cut a pair of Tyvek bodysuit, so I only have a long zippered                                        jacket with hood. Super light, super packable. I used thin bits of                                         Tyvek tape to cover all the stitched seams. I’ll let you know how this                                   goes.


iPhone 5S with Lifeproof case [phone, camera, music, reading]                                       Delorme Explorer [Rented]- so my family knows I’m alive                                                 Charger + cord To plug in at Muir Trail Ranch                                                                   Anker 2nd Gen Astro E6+ cord* To have power and not use large solar panels.               Should be able to charge phone up to 6x. Weighs less than 1 pound, lighter than               comparable Goal Zero Nomad 7 + battery.                                                                           Gorillapod Help to set up some of the pictures/video                                                         Stic Pic for trekking pole [gotta love selfies]                                                                         Black Diamond 80 lumen headlamp Light, small and hopefully good enough if I             do the sunrise hike to Whitney.

First/Gear Aid: Fairly normal stuff. I have a few bandaids, some leukotape, some KT tape, Advil, allergy meds, some triple antibiotic ointment, some Auquaphor, Deet liquid, sunblock [though main SPF help is clothes], blister helps.

For gear, I have a small sew kit, nylon thread, small duct tape roll, precut tenacious tape, very small crazy glue.

Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, Dr. B soap, TP, wetwipes, nail clippers, Swiss Army classic.

Kitchen Stuff:

Snow Peak gigapower* with wind dealie.                                                                         –MSR aluminum pot.                                                                                                           -Random small, bamboo handled silicon spoon.                                                                 -Aluminum foil lid for pot.                                                                                                     -Bear canister: Bear Vault BV400…older large size. Also, a good seat.                             -Small lighter

Fishy Stuff:

4-piece fly rod set up. I cut my flyline and pre-tied it to be like a Tenkara style. No reel. Small bag with extra leader, some tippet and about 20 dry flies.                               License.


Journal:      Field Notes [waterproof paper kind]                                                                 Pen:           Just the inner part of a Space Pen                                                                   Map:           I’m going with Nat Geo JMT booklet. I like it better than Tom H’s. I                                  know, shoot me.                                                                                               Compass:   Brunton dealie. Small, light, has mirror [I need a mirror to help put in                                  my contacts each day]                                                                                       Umbrella:    I may use a cheap pharmacy bought umbrella. Silvered. Will keep off                                  the sun and rain.


I will most likely edit this post when I remember stuff I forgot to add. But, this is what I’m going with. Looking forward to getting out there!