Mount Whitney Backpacking Gear

Mount Whitney Backpacking Gear

Packing for Mount Whitney

Minus the physical effort, selecting your gear and managing your packs weight is difficult. Especially for one who has not been packing for sometime. With my lesson of hoisting a 35-40lbs pack up and down Mount Baldy, I am determined to shed as much weight as possible. I won’t get into the details here but I want to share a high level view of what I’m bringing along. As oppose to one master overview shot of all my gear, I’m breaking it down into 4 categories; Shelter, Cloths, Food and Gear.


Keeping this simple, Ron hooked up a 2 person tent which Jeff & I will share the weight in carrying. Since we’ll be camping on rocky ground we don’t need the stakes, allowing us to shed a little extra weight. Also, since we’re on rocky ground Ron supplied us with double pads & a light air mattress with built in pillow for much needed comfort for sleep in between days. The little orange bag is an extra pillow just in case weighs a little more then a feather. Lastly, I have my Teton sleeping bag rated for 0 degrees to keep me nice and warm.


It’s looking like we may be in 30 degree weather as we hike Mount Whitney next week. So looking at bringing layers to be prepared. Quick overview top to bottom, I have 2 long sleeve non-cotton shirts (I may just go with one for space and weight), I have my orange snowboarding jacket, waterproof, good against wind, keeps you warm but also has zippers to allow you to vent and get some air. I have 2 light weight non-cotton short-sleeve shirts, tight cycling pants for added layer and warmth by light weight, my pRana Zion hiking pants, my Patagonia trail shorts, puffer jacket easy to smash down, warm, and light weight. My cycling rain jacket just in case. A solid Beanie, gloves, water proof underwear, wool socks and my trusty Salomon boots.


This part has proven difficult for me to know what I’ll actually need when it’s not a pantry door away. Also I’m realizing that food adds up in weight really quick. So overall I’m bringing I light weight cooking set & stove. Snacks, roasted almonds and trail mix. GU packs just in case, used these on a sprint triathlon a few years back and they can bring you back into the game pretty quick. I have a light weight cup and plenty of Super Pop pour over coffee, looking forward to enjoy a nice cup as the sun rises over the mountains… I‘ve grabbed a few dehydrated meals from REI as I figure I’ll need about 2 a day. Then of course I’m bringing Super Pop bars, rich in plant based healthy calories to fuel me while on the trail. All of this needs to fit in the bear canister so first that can’t smell it and second then can’t steal it. Hopefully we don’t run into them… 😬


Trying to minimize and keep to only essentials here. I have my 55 L pack, trekking poles, first aid kit, rope wristband with compass and fire starter, knife, utility tool, mini led flashlight, head light, small iPhone tripod, KT-tape for blister prevention, real compass, batteries, life straw that filters water direct from a stream or lake, fishing hook and wire, saw rope just in case we need to cut anything, showing boots again to make sure you get good ones test them and break them in! Lastly a little duct tape just in case.


Putting all these categories together in one nicely organized pack looks something like this, thanks to my 10-year old daughter Madi. I’m weighing in around 35-40lbs. Still working to get these down 5-10 lbs more.

Overall feels well distributed between my hips and my shoulders and comfortable on the back, minus the added weight. I’m still tweaking and may add remove a few things here and there. Just a few more days and on my way to touch the sky.


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