My goal for the gear I used on the John Muir Trail in 2011 was to go as lightweight as possible while still being safe and comfortable in a wide range of conditions. With this combination of gear I was ready for the warm days with extreme sun exposure on the mountain passes to very cold nights and severe wind on top of
. Mt. Whitney
A bear canister is required on the JMT so the list below is about 1 1/2 pounds heavier than I would usually carry in other areas.
The base weight (all items carried not counting food, fuel and water) is just over 8 lbs. This includes a camera and Spot II personal locator beacon in case of emergency and to track my progress.
There are several items on the list that I made myself. I designed the cuben backpack borrowing generously from some of my favorite ultralight packs. The down quilt was made using a kit from http://www.thru-hiker.com/ , although I used Momentum55 instead of the fabric that came with the kit. Momentum55 is a new extemely lightweight downproof/windproof fabric that has a triple DWR to shed water spray. The quilt has 12 ozs of down and is rated to 20 degrees. For the windshirt and rain jacket I used a pattern from http://www.thru-hiker.com/. I can't beleive that I hiked and camped for so many years without a windshirt. It is a very usefull item, especially considering the light weight. My rain gear is very similar to my wind shirt, except that I used 0.51 oz/sqyd cuben fiber from http://www.zpacks.com/. I added large pit zips to the rain gear to provide some breathability.