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Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › TRT Thru Hike

TRT Thru Hike

Oakland, CA
Post #: 2
Hi all - I'm planning a solo thru hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail this July. Anyone on this list done, or plan to do, any long-distance thru hiking? I'd love to get some feedback on my gear list because it's seeming too heavy and I'm not sure where to cut weight. Let me know!
A former member
Post #: 4
Post or send your list. is also good for feedback. I'm not ultra-lite but I'm getting there. Thru-hiked the AT in 2011. Guido (trail name) a real ultra-lite thru-hiker (cuben fiber pack & tent) said if you can't hold your pack straight out at arms length then you're not a ultra-lite hiker. But his ability to go 25-30 miles per day also helped reduce his food weight. I was much slower.
Ting C.
user 57000452
Oakland, CA
Post #: 2
Last summer I met a solo thru hiker on Jmt. He had opted to not bring the stove and fuel. Was just eating trail mix etc. People always say to cut back on the three big items first: the pack, the sleeping bag, the tent. I was doing Rae Lakes Loop last year and swapped my tent for a mosquito net bivy ($79 outdoor research) and some cheap tarp. It was great for me to lose a couple pounds that way. This year I am swapping my luxurious Gregory pack for the Rei Flash 65. It's on sale now for $105 I think. I tried it out on a short hike and I really appreciate the lighter weight. I do feel I am carrying more with my shoulders though without the giant hip belt, but in my case I think it will be worth it. I mostly backpack solo so I don't have another to share the load with.
user 2900047
San Jose, CA
Post #: 35
Yep - I thru-hiked JMT plus a bit more last year. Feel free to email me your list & I can provide feedback.
Oakland, CA
Post #: 3
Thanks all! Here's my list:­

My big three are in okay shape. I have a Tarptent Contrail, 25oz; REI Flash 52, 48.6oz; and an REI sleeping bag that is too heavy and too warm, so I'm looking into a WM one for around 20oz.

Other areas I think folks will flag so I'll flag them myself:
-- Clothing system. I am looking into a lightweight down jacket to replace the light fleece and vest, which aren't warm enough anyway. This shoud save a pound.
-- Cooking system. I have a cannister stove now but included a tablet stove because I'll either use a table or alcohol stove.
-- My first aid kit will be a bit lighter once I clean it up a little and take some stuff out.
-- Toiletries... need to cut some weight here!

I'd love recommendations on any of these options. I'm scouring forums, etc, so folks can msg me privately if they'd like. I have some time. Thanks!
A former member
Post #: 5
Just picking the low lying fruit.
Hiking boots - Get Trail runners & get rid of the boots. Many will argue for boots, but if you haven't tried trail runners you're missing a grand opportunity to cut weight.

Camp sandals - Don't need them if you use trail runners.

estimate Cheap plastic poncho - I don't recommend anything cheap on the trail, if it's worth carrying get the best & lightest (that might be redundant) A good rain jacket will serve as a wind breaker. Cheap poncho won't last 5 minutes if you really need one. Then you've carried something unnecessary that won't be of any use when you need it.

Platypus - Perhaps it's a personal preference, but a cheap soda bottle (OK, sometimes cheap is good) is lighter, cheaper, cleaner and simpler to use.

All clothing (except for Down Vest/Jacket) should be synthetic drip-dry.

Cooking system: I don't cook breakfast (perhaps a personal preference, but it saves time, fuel weight and hassle) but I strongly recommend you test Alcohol Stove cooking before you ditch your canister stove. Weight saving may be minimal at best (some have published articles demonstrating no savings) so I would suggest that if you're good at using an alcohol stove perhaps, otherwise not a good move.

Bear canister: I believe the Ursack bear bag is not approved (it should be) so no recommendation.

user 9860949
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 26
I think your list looks pretty good.

I agree on the trailrunners, and trading your fleece jacket and vest, for an light insulated jacket and a rain jacket, also a canister stove. I think the fleece neckwarmer you could loose. Consider whether you are going to do a re-supply. Also consider if you always will carry that much water or just on dry sections.

Also the sleeping bag is way overkill for July, consider a 30/40 deg bag paired with your insulated jacket. Check with rangers regarding bears, but I think the bear canister is overkill for Tahoe...

I have had good success with the Ursack using this strategy: Stop for dinner at campsite or near water source, eat, relax for a while, then amble on a few more hours at a more leisurely pace and camp at less impacted site.

Also for breakfast, scarf down a quick snack, put in a few miles, then stop "Hobbit Style" for second breakfast. : )

I also love the Platypus gravity filter system, and one small water bottle.

These are just ideas... you will enjoy your trip however you do it!

A former member
Post #: 775
The ursack should not be approved until bears can't get into it. I would never use one as they are.

I will not go into the high sierra without gear that's good to 20f. We had to bail out of a trip due to one of our group being near hypothermic - he only packed shorts, no base layer, and it started to snow in the middle of our trip, which was in summer. I have seen temps plunge to 30 degrees lower than the forecast. Lucky we were close enough to agnew to exit in a day successfully.
A former member
Post #: 21
The ursack should not be approved until bears can't get into it. I would never use one as they are.


"no aluminum lined Ursack S29 AllWhites have ever failed"

Never had a problem with a decent 30 degree bag and a reasonable layering system for summer Sierra trips. You're using a forecast for the wrong altitude if there's a 30 degree discrepancy.

Only thing I'll add is to try out the tablet stove AT ALTITUDE before you head out on a long trip with one. I find they work well enough near sea level but don't put out much heat at 8k. I don't really use mine anymore and roll with a very small canister stove when I bother with a stove at all.
bob s.
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 61
The lightest thing is the hardest thing––it's all about the money . . . if you're gonna go light on the pack there are several costly super light packs, but if you're looking at at REI, like a Flash 65 . . . I'd start thinking about something like a Granite Gear Meridian.

And Ursacks, while I would never bother, only ever seem to fail due to user error . .. I wouldn't buy anything just because it sounds light-weight and therefore you're going to be happy . . . no . . . you can get lots of advice here, but starting somewhere in the middle is a good idea . . . save the UL gear, like an esbit stove and such, for when you're more expereinced and able to say, "that's all I need." BOB X12JMT's
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