half dome permit

More Half Dome/Whitney Preparations

By Heather

There have been grand plans to write individual posts on all the junk we’ve gotten for ourselves in preparation for the Half Dome/Mt. Whitney ascents this year, but my non-hiking life has been too hectic for that business.

As anticipated, Christmas yielded a lot in the way of gear! So, let’s get started.

Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove

biolite camping stoveThis is the item we’re most excited about.

The Biolite is a stove that uses no fuel and charges your electronic devices while it burns. The product suggests twigs as a fuel source, but you can use anything that burns, including the box it comes in. I plan to copy the trail map section of One Best Hike: Climbing Yosemite’s Half Dome and use that for fuel on the trek, Wild style.

Clocking in at two pounds, it’s not ultralight, but it’s compact, really sturdy and light enough for shorter jaunts.

Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

teton backpack internal frameFor a starter backpack, the Teton is a great pack! We scored it at a nice mark down from the original $130 price.

It’s very sturdy, fully adjustable, has enough space for a one- to two-day trip, has a million straps and compartments, comes with a rainfly (a good thing, since we always seem to be getting stuck in bad weather) and weighs 4.4 lbs.

We went for the internal frame style because they’re supposed to have more stability. I’m the acid test for that one, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m really impressed with this backpack, and think they’ll serve us well for years to come.

Lands’ End Packable Down Jacket and Vest

It kills me to type Lands’ End’s name with that errant apostrophe and all. Gah. Let’s try not to think about it, because I’m really happy with the down jacket and vest I got at a killer 60 percent off.

Although I needed both of these things for non-hiking, non-camping life, I chose them with hiking in mind for three reasons: They’re very light, they’re warm enough for me (who tends to run hot, so I don’t need much) and best of all, they pack into their very own bags!

Coleman Insect Head Net

The last time we hiked the valley floor in Yosemite, these obnoxious little bugs hovered in front of my face the entire time, never touching, always hovering, as if to say, “Not touching, can’t get mad. Not touching, can’t get mad.”

This head net is knocking that off right now.

Fleece Blanket

At CVS the other day, I noticed some giant fleece blankets on sale for $3 each, so I grabbed one. It’s light, it’s warm, it’s big. This blanket, the down jacket and my thermal gear are what I’ll be relying on for warmth while sleeping. Hope I don’t die of hypothermia!


Waterfalls in Yosemite will be in full effect when we’re there, so I grabbed this poncho to keep me dry while hiking the Mist Trail portion of the Half Dome hike.

A pretty good haul, if I do say so myself. We’re pretty much all set with gear for the Half Dome hike, and now the focus will shift to getting food, procuring more permits (Mt. Whitney’s lottery opened today!) and tying up loose ends. For Whitney, we still need a few things that can wait for now, like bear boxes and the infamous WAG bags (which rangers pass out, I hear, but I don’t want to count on that!).

Disclosure: When you click one of the links above to purchase an item, we get a tiny commission that will in no way enable us to quit our day jobs and roll around in our piles of cash.