Warning: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'' for table 'watchdog' query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:7:\"warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:40:\"Creating default object from empty value\";s:5:\"%file\";s:86:\"/homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:33;}', 3, '', 'https://tahoetowhitney.org/category/character-entry/gear', '', '', 1590640595) in /homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134

Warning: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'' for table 'watchdog' query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:403:\"INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'' for table 'captcha_sessions'\nquery: INSERT into captcha_sessions (uid, sid, ip_address, timestamp, form_id, solution, status, attempts) VALUES (0, '430c2b16f25712394c0edb12b6175da2', '', 1590640596, 'user_login_block', 'b4502604fe0c5c1f2021ab284d97beeb', 0, 0)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:88:\"/homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc\";s:5 in /homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134
Backpacking Gear | High Sierra Backpacker

You are hereBackpacking Forum news, issue, or topic / Backpacking Gear

Backpacking Gear

The correct backpacking gear for your needs in the specifics of the weather is required for safe four season travel in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Planning and Preparing for a late Winter-Early Spring snow backpacking trip in the High Sierras

Climbing to the Headwaters of the East Fork of the Carson River, Feb 2014.
Climbing up to the Headwaters of the East Carson.

Preparing and Planning for a Snow Backpacking Trip in the Sierras

(Well, although it is Fall, the principals explored below apply to Fall as well as Spring....)

Video Prep Guide
I have constructed this four-part video guide to preparing for a High Sierra backpacking trip. Though it is designed for a Winter-first day of Spring trip, the basic principals discussed are applicable to backpacking during any season.

NOTE: Site Video Links Broken. See these Backpacking Food Prep videos on YouTube.

Factors of Success or Failure
Part one covers the range of factors you may encounter and must prepare for when backpacking in High Sierra snow. These considerations will control your preparations. These considerations are interrelated, and your measurement of each will affect the others.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Socks: Member's Favorite Backpacking Socks

Members' Favorites

Backpacking Socks

 As High Sierra backpackers display a lot of range in foot wear, so too in socks. Sock companies have reciprociated, producing a wide range of socking solutions.

A Thought: When I test and purchase my boots I bring in the sets of inserts I am going to use, along with what I figure will be the primary sock used with that boot. Summer? A medium to light sock. Winter? Heavy socks with maybe even a liner sock...


gbrahaney                               Wigwam Hiker Socks


High Sierra Backpacker's Four Season Gear List

Backpacker's Gear List: Boots & Feet


I typically bring the wool sock for the Backpacking Season. Light for Summer, medium for Spring and Fall, and heavy for Winter. Sock liners come along during some Winter trips.

I will use cotton socks during Heat Waves! They are so much more comfortable during hot conditions.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Stoves: MEMBERS FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

High Sierra
Backpacking Stoves

We have considerable range of selections from a wide range of fuels and gasses, delivery systems (below), wind shields and pot supports, not to mention the ability to construct a wide range of homemade alchol stoves.

I figure the benefit of some wisdom and experience will help us sort this all out, and find the stove that best suites us. Thus we poll our members for their preferences. Since we have lots of different types of members with lots of different types of goals and experiences we come up with a range of classic solutions.

Well, at least a good place for you to begin your investigation into what's the best backpacking stove for you.



Members Favorite Backpacking Stoves




Hiking 50                       BRS Ultralight

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Cookware and Utensils: Backpackers Favorites for High Sierra Travel

Members Favorites


Cookware and Utensils

Having the best, simplest setup that serves our food and camp beverage needs keeps everything simple and light.



Surfbum                   Spork 



gbrahaney               Primus EtaPower Group Cookset   POTS AND PANS



cmcrooker                850 mL titanium mug from Mountain Laurel Designs for my pot to cook dinner.



Alex Wierbinski's picture

Flashlight and Headlamps: Members Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

Headlamps and Flashlights 

 Reliable light at night is vital on the trail.


leesonza               flashlight


AlexW                      Princeton Tech


                                 Black Diamond Astro


abramrodd              Black Diamond Ion Headlamp


I've used maglights, a dozen different Petzl Headlamps, and now deploying a Princeton Tech Headlamp. Used a Black Diamond this year, 2018.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Filters and Purification: MEMBER's FAVORITES for High Sierra Backpacking

 Member's Favorites

What are, and how do we select the best Water Filtration, Purification, Treatment, and Usage System for High Sierra backpackers?

The fundamental requirement for me is clean water quickly. By clean I mean taste as well as purity, so chemicals are regaled to emergency status.

Next, I want to purify as little water as possible. I will filter only the water for drinking, while my cooking and cleaning water will remain unpurified. Thus I need a system to bring unfiltered water to camp for cooking, cleaning, and to provide stock for purified water.


Build Your Backpacking Water Systerm
Water Filter/Filtration Basics

"The Alex"
Water System
Gear List


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Boots and Footwear: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Member's Favorites


Selecting Backpacking Boots and Footwear from among our many, many Options. The goal is to get exactly what you need fit perfectly.



The Range of Choices
 We have an extensive selection of types and styles of backpacking footwear available from extremely heavy to virtually none at all. The barefoot and neoprene fads are quite amusing...

Finding the proper trail footwear for each of us is the same game as the rest of our backpacking gear selections; they be dependent on our own body-design, our own capacity for cold, and our own tastes and preferences.

I am my gear, in that my first piece of gear is me.
Everything else just layers on and comes back off, as necessary and required. We started at the top by thinking first, now we are going to  get physically started selecting our gear at the bottom, by matching up our feet with the proper gear, the proper footwear for the job.


Intro to Backpacking Boots, leading to the primer to boot construction and selection on the trail guide.


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Introduction to Backpacks: The Best High Sierra Backpack for You, Your Trail, and the Season

Best High Sierra Backpack for Various Applications

Getting the correct backpack for your backpacking depends on properly determining what you are going to need out of a backpack. The proper backpack for a five day cross-country Wintertime snow trip is going to be different in a number of ways than the proper backpack for a two-day Summer hike along well-marked trails. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Backpacking Tent Selection

Backpacking Tent Selection
Nowadays there are two basic schools, or philosophies, of backpacker tent use: Lightweight or None. These are not mutually exclusive catagories.

I typically fit into both categories, depending on the circumstances. Oh, and my five pound tent also likely puts me in what most would consider as using a, "heavyweight" tent, too.

No Tent Selection

Alex Wierbinski's picture

My Favorite and the Best High Sierra Backpacks: Review External Frame Packs

Member's Favorite External Framed Backpacks


Alex                    Classic Camp Trails external framed pack for Summer uses.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Favorite Piece of Gear

What's your favorite piece of gear?

I figure everyone has something they really like. I want to hear yours.


Member's Favorite Piece of Gear


AlexW                  I like the piece of gear perfectly selected for the perfectly anticipated conditions.

Rocky                  Balaclava, Down puffy coat, multi tool knife

Troy Kent             The EXOS 58 and any and all lightweight gear.

Razzi                   Convertable Pants

rjoss                    REI Neck Gators


"Most important AND favorite peace of gear"
abramrodd                Altra Lone Peak 3.5 trail runners




Alex Wierbinski's picture

Gaiters: Members Favorites for High Sierra Backpackers

 Members Favorites


Reaper            Dirty Girl Gaiters

Run gaiters during Summer? Or just when it's snowy or wet? Tell us about your best gaiters.


High Sierra Backpacking Gear List

Backpacker's Gear: Gaiters



Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bladder Systems for High Sierra Backpackers

Members Favorites

Backpacking Water Systems

I have a very specific system for maintaining hydration on the trail and in camp. There are others. The main one I see generally employed is the rubber-bladder system.

The second most common is now the most common PCT solution, which are the synthetic-material bladder/filtration systems, such as the Sawyer Squeeze Bag System.

Some rubber-bladder systems now use in-line filtration as the Sawyer System.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Upper Body Insulation & Layering: Members Favorite for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

Upper Body Insulation for High Sierra Backpackers

Proper layering to remain comfortable on the trail and camp is vital for High Sierra backpackers. Each hiker being different requires different combos of base and insulation layers. Though each hiker is unique, our range of selections to choose from is not.

It behooves us to get the best materials in the proper quanities and combinations to meet our needs for warmth in camp and on the trail.


Alex Wierbinski's picture

Camp and Trail; Members Favorite Gear Bits and Tips for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

Random Backpacking Gear Bits

There's lot's of little things that make camping in the High Sierra comfortable and pleasurable.




tstockt                 550 cord-paracord 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Ultralight Backpacks of High Sierra Backpackers: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Travel

 Tahoe to Whitney Members Favorites:
Ultra Light Backpacks

How do you find the correct type of backpack for you, let along the perfect pack?

You survey backpackers to find backpackers like you, with your capacities and preferences, and what they use. Below we find examples of some of the lighest packs available.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sleeping Pads: Members' Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorite

Sleeping Pads for High Sierra Backpacking 


Air Mattress


rjoss                                          Thermarest NeoAir pad* (*Favorite Piece of Gear)

abramrodd                                 Neo-Air Xlite

mttim                                        Thermarest

Zandar58                                   Thermarest Prolite Plus

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Shirts and Pants: Members Favorites for High Sierra Backpacking

Members Favorites

Backpacking Shirts and Pants

Best for High Sierra Travel



Ex Offcio

gbrahaney                              Ex Officio Shirts, Pants and underware 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Treking & Hiking Poles Preferred by Tahoe to Whitney Members

Member's Favorites


Trekking Poles



gbrahaney                    Leki Trekking Poles



Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sleeping Bags: Member's Favorites for High Sierra Backpakers

Member's Favorites

Sleeping Bags for High Sierra Backpakers 

 Remember, each sleeping bag is tuned to each user's preference during each season. Make sure you get the weight of bag that suites the requirements of your sensitivities in the environment.

Remember, it gets much colder than you think it will, then much hotter...


Enlightened Equip Bags & Quilts

abramrodd                 Enlighted Equipment Enigma 20

PerfectDay                Enlightened Equip





rn2pacu                      Katabatic Palisade





Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system

Latest News: RSS FEED

Syndicate content

Support Tahoe to Whitney

The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

My goal is to get you out to see your natural and social potential. Help me keep this unique resource accessible and expanding towards its potential. We've a lot of miles to cover ahead...

If you feel these efforts are valuable, I'm cordially inviting you to support them, here:



I am currently working towards publishing the completed guide between Tahoe & Yosemite as an e-book, while converting this "blog" to a fine magazine format. You will like the results! Help Tahoe to Whitney reach its potential!


Why Support Tahoe to Whitney?
Mission Statement

Warning: INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'' for table 'watchdog' query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:12:\"user warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:372:\"INSERT command denied to user 'dbo256360593'@'' for table 'accesslog'\nquery: INSERT INTO accesslog (title, path, url, hostname, uid, sid, timer, timestamp) values('Backpacking Gear', 'taxonomy/term/195', '', '', 0, '430c2b16f25712394c0edb12b6175da2', 673, 1590640596)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:87:\"/homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/modules/statistics/statistics.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:6 in /homepages/45/d175009339/htdocs/tahoetowhitney.org/includes/database.mysqli.inc on line 134