24 Comments

  1. Mick
    Mick January 27, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Wow, over 12 pounds for phone, gps, spot and camera. Given the following assumptions: iphone 5oz, garmin gps 10oz, spot 6oz that means your camera is over 10lbs! Seems like a lot and maybe a good place to look at weight savings? I’m not a camera buff so I can’t recommend any solution, but I hike with lot’s of people who are avid photographers who take fantastic pics with a set up that can’t weigh 2lbs?

    On a related subject, if anyone knows of a device that combines all of the above into one device and works off Satelite vs. cellular so you can have the emergency locator functionality in the backcountry I would be very interested in getting it.

  2. John Ladd
    John Ladd January 27, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I would add rain pants. Keeping your legs dry is the least important of their many uses. They keep rain from entering the tops of your boots or shoes, esp. when paired with gaiters. They add a great deal of warmth on windy, cold days. On the unusually cold night, when you are wearing your jacket inside your sleeping bag (it happens), your legs will freeze until you put on your rain pants which have the warmth advantages of a vapor barrier. When you are washing everything else, they protect your modesty. I’d leave pants at home before leaving my rain pants at home.

  3. Betsy
    Betsy January 27, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Great post! As always I learn so much. Are you using GPS and trail guide apps on your phone in an effort to combine all three? If so, can you share what apps you feel are most helpful? And won’t they drain your phone battery pretty quickly? Thanks.

  4. Ravi
    Ravi January 27, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I have been happy using trekking poles as part of my shelter. But with any multi-use item, there are possibly risks involved. My Hexamid Twin requires two trekking poles to set up correctly. Last summer, one of my poles broke and luckily I was able to still rig the shelter to work using a portion of the broken pole. But if I had lost the pole, I would have had to rely on tree branches or other improvised solutions. I find this risk acceptable overall.

    The camera on my phone (Moto G) can’t replace my camera yet and I’m still taking a Spot this year but eventually I think that we will have all-in-one devices that will shave off quite a bit of weight. I’ll probably never be comfortable without paper maps.

  5. Inga Aksamit
    Inga Aksamit January 27, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Another great Sierra Designs tent is the Tensegrity 1 Elite at 1 lb 1 oz min wt (2 lb 1 oz packed wt). I like having the gear closet next to my head, away from the door, so I can store my pack out of the rain. Good point from Ravi about the downside of double use.

  6. John Wiesinger
    John Wiesinger January 27, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Thank you for all your efforts, Ray. Your commitment in sharing information and providing advice is appreciated, especially for those of us preparing for our first JMT. Keep up the great work! And if you’re hitting the trail around the end of August, I hope to thank you in person. Kudos!

  7. Hondo
    Hondo January 27, 2015 at 7:54 am

    A few years back when it came time to purchase a tent for myself (instead of borrowing 3.5lb monsters) I decided to go with a tarptent as well. I have never looked back or regretted this decision. I have since moved on to a cuben version and a cuben tarp when bugs aren’t an issue, absolutely the greatest way to save weight and easily handle heavy rain and hail.

    Like you I need something that can shoot RAW files. I’m debating between a compact 1″ CMOS sensor camera like the Sony RX100III or Lumix LX100. They are both pricey I know but I get out on the trail so much I know I’ll get my moneys worth. do you know anyone who’s used either camera?

  8. Mark Blum
    Mark Blum January 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    FYI, I’ve been using my iPhone as my only GPS with great success. I use the Gaia GPS app on my iPhone and have been very happy with it. There are other good apps that people like as well, but Gaia seems to be the best-regarded for the iPhone. To date I’ve only used this setup for hikes in the eastern U.S., but I would imagine it works just as well for western hiking as well, such as the JMT. I guess it depends on how good the GPS chip is in your phone. The iPhone’s GPS is pretty good.

    The app is a huge improvement in user friendliness over my previous dedicated GPS unit, due to the fact that it’s operating on the user-friendly smartphone interface. I’ve since retired my dedicated GPS and haven’t looked back. I should note that on the iPhone you won’t get a GPS reading if you put the phone in airplane mode, so there is somewhat of a battery life penalty you incur if you want to use the GPS constantly to monitor your track. But with prudent battery management you can get quite a long life out of a smartphone while still using it as your GPS. There is a website with a wonderful comprehensive write-up on getting the most from this setup. Search for AdventureAlan’s site for the info.

  9. Jason Schlager
    Jason Schlager January 28, 2015 at 6:46 am

    If you are going to evaluate iphone apps give this camera app a try: 645 Pro MK III
    It doesn’t give you RAW format but you can get a TIFF.

    I have not used this software since I use an android phone.

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