Tuesday, August 30, 2011

high sierra trail | packing

"not bad liz!" 
that's what i thought to myself about my packing before the journey started. 

but what i realized during the trip is that i want to go ultralight to whatever degree that i can without cutting off my limbs. carrying a heavy pack is really hard and it unnecessarily multiplies the "i'm miserable" factor by some unquantifiable but noticeable amount.

for you geeks out there, this was my packing list:

mountain hardware skyledge 2.1 tent + footprint
mountain hardware phantom 15 bag
thermarest women's prolite plus
leki women's poles
osprey women's ariel 65
rei raincover (depends on location/weather)
headlamp + extra batteries
bear canister (rented from the ranger station)
mini swiss army knife
mini flash light
s-biner (eh, not essential)
2 boxes of matches (stormproof, regular)

soto od-1r
msr isopro 8oz
pot (also used as bowl)
cloth napkin
1/5 of a sponge
45 water tablets

rei pants
patagonia pullover puffy
rei rain jacket
patagonia long johns
patagonia short sleeve base layer
patagonia long sleeve merino wool base layer (would not take next time)
patagonia zip up base (would not take next time)
2 sports bras (could possibly go with just one)
2 underwear
1 bikini
3 medium thickness wool socks (would bring only 2 really thick pairs next time)
2 thin socks (need only one for evenings)
bug bucket (mosquito net hat; would not take next time)
mountain hardware gloves
mizuno arm warmers
2 beanies (only needed one)
chacos (will be replaced with lime green crocs)
micro towel
3 dry sacks: 20L, 8L, 4L

mini deodorant, 2oz
mini toothpaste, 1oz
colgate wisp toothbrush
7 strands of dental floss in ziploc
lemon eucalyptus bug spray (need to take less, transfer into smaller container)
ultrathon, 2oz
chapstick, .5oz
biodegradeable soap, 2oz
sunblock, 2oz
first aid kit
one roll of trader joe's toilet paper minus the cardboard roll
3 baby wipes
5 tampons (needed more, thanks di!)

camera equipment
canon 5d
24mm, 1.4 mark II
3 batteries
4 memory cards (4gbx3, 8gb)
camera strap
bag for accessories
lens cleaning rag

"luxury" items
the way of the heart by henri nouwen (a small thin book)
thin paper journal

then, add the consumables
3L of water
21 oz water bottle + water
7 days of dinners + snacks (i shared meals with one person, she took care of breakfast and lunches)

at my fullest load, i was probably carrying just about 50lbs. i'd like to figure out a way to get my total weight down to about 33-37lbs with a base weight of 18-20lbs. this means i need to shave off about 10-12lbs from the non-consumables list. yipes! i better start throwin' out those matches. 


  1. Check out Hyperlite Mountain Gear. I met them at Outdoor Retailer. Their gear is amazing, and super super light. They supply through hikers on the AT and PCT, and because they are just starting out, you'd be supporting a rad start up. A combination of one of their tents and backpacking packs would cut your weight probably by about 5 pounds or more. http://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/

  2. Hey Liz, I left you an email, but didn't see the list. I like the changes already in place, but I had a few more suggestions. We use a 4 liter titanium pot for 4 to 5 people depending on the appetites. All of the cookware and most hygiene products should be group shared. By the way what is a 1/2 pound isopro. If it's a stove, dump it. Stoves are measured in grams, not pounds. As far as clothing goes, a 1 - 2 pound short sleeve base layer needs to go as well. Arm warmers? really? Isn't a sports bra a bikini? 1 liter of water max unless it will be a while. Even then, drink allot when you filter, and then take 1 liter. Liz, I'm just busting your chops. I like the new attitude, and hope to see you skipping over the pass next year. 25 pounds (plus camera) or bust, Phil


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