Part 2 - Erica Jacques

Equipment


May 12, 2017

Whenever you go on a backpacking trip, it is critical to keep your backpack as light as possible. Only bring the essentials! You will absolutely hate yourself for over packing. Trust me, my father and I were complaining about how heavy our packs were even though we packed only what we needed. We actually had to buy ultralight sleeping bags (about 2.5 pounds, which aren't even the lightest you can get) because our old sleeping bags (5 pounds) were way to heavy for the job. The lighter you pack the better. It makes the trip that much more tolerable, in a good way. Even though we packed light, we were so exhausted and not ourselves that we both joked around about grabbing items in our packs and just throwing them off the mountain. But of course we didn't do that because it's illegal and well, we actually needed everything in our packs. So instead, we just embraced the pain like champs and ran with it.


We were climbing in late August and we packed warm clothing for the trip. I know! Warm clothing during the hottest time of the year. When your above 10,000 feet, the weather is under 70 degrees. When you are at Trail Camp (12,000ft), it was in the 35-45 degree range at night. I was so cold I put on all of my clothes that I had in my backpack - especially the first night because it was raining. To be honest, I did not sleep well the first night. I have included a link to a good Mount Whitney weather site so you can know what the weather will be like a few days before your ascent. It gives temps and weather at different altitudes of the mountain.


The equipment in the picture I have below is what my father and I took on the climb. This doesn't include our hiking boots, apparel, food supply, and toiletries. That would depend on you and your preference on supplies. At Mount Whitney Portal, they have a station where you can weigh your backpack. For curiosity purposes, my pack weighed exactly 30 pounds while my fathers pack weighed in at 40 pounds. This was quite heavy for me, but I sacrificed so that I could bring my 7D Mark II DSLR, 24-105mm lens, 100-400mm lens, and the accessories for it.


Mount Whitney Weather Forecast:

https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Whitney/forecasts/4418

One piece of equipment that I want to give praise about is the hiking boots that I got for this trip. The boots that I had before do not even compare to the ones I got for this climb. The boots I got were the Solomon Quest 4D 2 GTX. I'll have the link for the mens and womens boots. These boots are light weight, water proof, and comfortable. The high top fit made me feel secure so when I jumped from rock to rock I didn't have to worry about my ankles twisting. Another feature I love is the thick soles. With my previous boot, I felt everything under my feet and after a long hike they would be tender, sore, and full of blisters. With the Quest 4D 2 GTX boots, I did not have those issues. It has a thick sole to protect your feet from harsh terrain. I didn't feel the jagged edges of the rock underneath my feet during my trek up Mount Whitney. I only got two blisters on my feet from the entire hike and that was on the last day back down, which was my fault because I didn't wear sock liners underneath my pair of socks. I was too stubborn to wear them. Other than my stubbornness, I do highly recommend these hiking boots.


Women QUEST 4D 2 GTX: 

http://www.salomon.com/us/product/quest-4d-2-gtx--w.html?article=378391


Men QUEST 4D 2 GTX: 

http://www.salomon.com/us/product/quest-4d-2-gtx.html?article=373259

I will list the equipment that is shown. There is almost two of everything so I'll just list it off once. What I have is a backpacking backpack, tent, sleeping bag, inflatable sleeping pad, thermal blanket, inflatable pillow, hydration bladder, bear canister, water filter, and cooking gear. I also have a backpacking and camping checklist that shows the supplies that we brought as well. This guide line was very helpful. You should consider putting together a list such as this so you do not forget anything. Also, start packing well before you leave just so you know that you have everything and you're not scrambling to get things at the last minute. This is what worked for me at the time and I hope it works for you. Once you have your equipment all in order, you can now get ready for the day of your climb.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments.

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