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  1. #1
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    Default Tarp Recommendations for September JMT hike.....

    Due to lack of time off I need to complete my jmt thru in 14 days. Im trying to drop as much as weight as possible so my base weight should be under 13/14 lbs...rather than carry my beloved LHG Solong6 @ 32oz...thinking about shaving over a lb by buying a flat tarp under $100....looking a a borah 8x10($100) or custom size 6.5x9.($80)...not buying a bivy..


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  2. #2
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    I thought you had this figured out looong ago?

    First, when is your two wks in Sept? It matters IMO because the deeper you go into Sept the more at risk you are for colder freezing weather and possibly some of the white stuff usually not a major accumulation but it could affect your hike especially considering you're coming from Fla.


    Please DO get the tarp size you need to give adequate coverage. IMO, one of the mistakes newbie tarpers seeking to save wt make is maximizng the wt savings to the extreme, like saving those last2 ozs, at the cost of getting a tarp that is of inadequate coverage for their newly developing tarping skill set, rest of their kit, conditions, etc.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I thought you had this figured out looong ago?

    First, when is your two wks in Sept? It matters IMO because the deeper you go into Sept the more at risk you are for colder freezing weather and possibly some of the white stuff usually not a major accumulation but it could affect your hike especially considering you're coming from Fla.


    Please DO get the tarp size you need to give adequate coverage. IMO, one of the mistakes newbie tarpers seeking to save wt make is maximizng the wt savings to the extreme, like saving those last2 ozs, at the cost of getting a tarp that is of inadequate coverage for their newly developing tarping skill set, rest of their kit, conditions, etc.
    Sept 10...


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  4. #4

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    I use a 6x8 tarp for most of my Sierra trips, though I normally use a bivy. You can use the 6.5x 9 tarp without one if you know what you are doing. Otherwise take a 8x10 as its more forgiving to mistakes though it requires more space to pitch. The downside to larger tarps is the sail effect in high winds; make sure you have extra stakes for the sides and put large rocks on them so they don't pull out.

    I like hiking in Sept in the Sierra. Sure you can see some snow in some years, but I've never seen the kind that I can't hike in; that normally comes in October. In fact, I got dumped on over Memorial Weekend; it just meant I had to be more observant of where the trail was. Just be prepared for some cold weather and you'll be fine and please take a map.
    Last edited by Miner; 06-08-2015 at 11:59.

  5. #5
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    As miner says, perfect time of year to do the JMT, my wife and I took right at 15 days, no sweat, but of course you do have to stay on it. I'd go with the 8x10, for better coverage. any snow you might have would probably be modest, but do expect some chilly nights. If it looks like the night will be particularly chilly, try to camp as low (but avoid local dips which can hold cold air) and as protected as possible, plenty of sites will fit the bill. I think our base weights were right there at 13/14, 2.5lbs of which were those damn bear canisters...

  6. #6
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    I have to say don't overlook consumable wt as it's sometimes(often?) overlooked by those seeking to save wt on what they carry as they rush on to saving wt mainly by focusing in on reducing gear wt. Buying oneself into a lighter wt kit is not the only way to save wt hauled. Also expand your skills, knowledge base, and familiarity commensurate with your new gear hopefully becoming familiar with your new gear pre JMT hike. The JMT has rather abundant, regular, and well documented water sources. By availing yourself of that knowledge you'll avoid carrying unnecessary water wt. Consider your food wt as well. Perhaps, even doing an additional resupply as that reduces the wt hauled.

    Indeed, Sept, even into early Oct, is a great time to be doing 14 days on the JMT. My favorite month in the Sierras is Sept. Crisp, sometimes below freezing nights though with a bit of color and that increasing chance of some snow.

  7. #7
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    I'm assuming bugs would be gone by then.....safe bet?


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  8. #8

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    Other than a few isolated areas down lower, you won't see any.

  9. #9

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    I would deff go with an 8x10. However, I must say that 1lb off your back isn't really going to change all that much in how fast you hike. To some maybe, but imho I don't see it making that much of a difference.

    As dogwood said, get your consumables dialed in. My first thru-hike I had all this lightweight gear but had no idea what food i needed. I ended up with a 40lb pack for 4 days.. My baseweight was like 16lbs. so... I was carrying about double the food I actually needed.

    I'd say carry your tent. And spend that $100 somewhere else. Can you drop weight somewhere else? Rain gear, cook set, down jacket, etc? Or even how about buying some nice freeze dried/dehyrdated meals for yourself?

    and I don't mean mountain house

  10. #10

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    If you are inexperienced pitching a flat tarp, you will not be happy. I like to recommend a shaped tarp, for that reason.

    Nowadays, I mention Six Moon Designs Deschutes. I could pitch that in windy conditions.

    My tarp preference is for an asymmetrical tarp and/or a diamond pitch, with a caternary cut ridgeline.

  11. #11

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    Due to the extra 3.5- 5 lb of food i carried every step of the way, due to hiking faster than anticipatef, my effective "base weight" pushed 14 lb.

    I survived.

    My UL shelter choice for sierra would be a shaped tarp. hexamid solo+, no netting,

    A cheaper option would be SMD gatewood cape, or wild oasis.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I would deff go with an 8x10. However, I must say that 1lb off your back isn't really going to change all that much in how fast you hike. To some maybe, but imho I don't see it making that much of a difference.

    As dogwood said, get your consumables dialed in. My first thru-hike I had all this lightweight gear but had no idea what food i needed. I ended up with a 40lb pack for 4 days.. My baseweight was like 16lbs. so... I was carrying about double the food I actually needed.

    I'd say carry your tent. And spend that $100 somewhere else. Can you drop weight somewhere else? Rain gear, cook set, down jacket, etc? Or even how about buying some nice freeze dried/dehyrdated meals for yourself?

    and I don't mean mountain house
    Y I plan on buying my go to backpacking meals"hawk vittles" in single servings...already packed in lt weight freezer bags. I get the food weight...I seem to always have too much food...going to do my best to resist the urge to over pack food.


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  13. #13
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    My suggestion would be the Six Moon Designs Deschutes.

    http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tarps/Deschutes.html

    While I've never used one, I do have a Wild Oasis, which was the precursor. The Deschutes is 13 oz with very good storm protection. You do need to add a ground cloth - I use the Gossamer Gear PolyCryo, about 1.5 oz each. I did use the PolyCryo doubled on the JMT, due to the granite and sand - they held up well for three weeks. You can set the tarp high for excellent ventilation, or low for excellent storm protection. It will get substantial condensation if you set it very low to the ground.

    I've been very happy with the Wild Oasis over the years, and last year was totally happy with my Hexamid Plus from ZPacks. Very similar to the Deschutes, but lighter and much more expensive.

    We had zero problem with insects in our late August to Mid Sept hike last year.

    Note: Sorry, after re-reading I see you have decided on a flat tarp. Don't know how I missed that. I'll leave my post intact for others who may still be looking.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Lyle; 06-09-2015 at 07:08.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Due to the extra 3.5- 5 lb of food i carried every step of the way, due to hiking faster than anticipatef, my effective "base weight" pushed 14 lb.

    I survived.

    My UL shelter choice for sierra would be a shaped tarp. hexamid solo+, no netting,

    A cheaper option would be SMD gatewood cape, or wild oasis.
    Should you be hiking from late June through July/early Aug when the hoard of skeeters are all abuzz with their voracious blood sucking appetites you may appreciate having an enclosed shelter or at least that Hexamid w/ netting or be addressing this situation in other ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Should you be hiking from late June through July/early Aug when the hoard of skeeters are all abuzz with their voracious blood sucking appetites you may appreciate having an enclosed shelter or at least that Hexamid w/ netting or be addressing this situation in other ways.
    In late july I only saw mosquitos one evening, at Bear Creek, and they drove me into my shelter, a hexamid twin with netting. Buzzing around Marie lake the next morning when I stopped to eat too.
    but, that was it.
    Supposed to be considerably more bug free in Sept.
    with a shelter you can pitch to the ground, like the gatewood cape, they will just go to the top pretty much and stay there if you get into some.

  16. #16
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    Thx all...to many choices...so lil money!!!


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    Yep, but if you buy something $$$ used, and resell it, you will only probably lose shipping.

  18. #18
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    Yep...I'll keep my eyes open....thx


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  19. #19
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    Thoughts on the Gatewood cape???


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  20. #20
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    Ask Mags about the Gatewood Cape. I think he used one for his CDT thru hike. I would like to know about his experience too. The G. C. is on my radar too.

    Wayne


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