Campground Review: Wow! What an adventure! In January I applied for an advanced permit for August 18-19 backcountry camping at the Moraines for a Grand Teton Summit trip. For back county camping in GTNP you must have a permit. 1/3 are available for advanced purchase for $45/night and the remainder are first come first serve at the Ranger Station for $35/night. If you plan on camping over a weekend I recommend advanced purchase, but then you are at the mercy of the weather. We had to pick up our back country camping permit from the Jenny Lake Ranger Station prior to departure. They go over the backcountry rules in detail and provide you with a bear-proof canister if you don’t have one.
Rated 3 stars because it is difficult to get to and can be challenging to actually find a tent spot once you get to the Moraines camping zone. 5 stars based on the views! They are incredible!! The Moraines Camping Zone is above tree line at 10,800 ft elevation. It’s amongst a boulder field. And it can be very windy. I would consider this the ideal camping zone of the 5 zones along Garnet Canyon if you are planning a Grand Teton summit. Campsites can be identified by a smooth tent site amongst the boulder field. Fires are not allowed and there are no amenities. There is running water nearby they will require filtration.
Product Review: Gregory Jade 63 liter pack https://www.gregorypacks.com/packs-bags/backpacking-packs/jade-63-1115JAD63.html?dwvar_1115JAD63_color=Ethereal%20Grey&cgidmaster=jade#start=1
This pack was perfect for this trip! I was trying to cut weight as the trek up Garnet Canyon is rugged. This pack is one of the lightest options with this capacity on the market! It is 3.51 pounds. It is very comfortable, by far the most comfortable fitting pack I have used. And comfort is super important in the backcountry. The back mesh panel helped ventilate my back. I loaded this pack to its maximum 40 pound capacity. I had all the backcountry gear as well as climbing gear and a 60 m rope. I still felt stable as I crossed varied terrain. The large boulder fields had me nervous in a few spots and I considered removing my pack to cross, but made it unscathed. The materials used in the pack are very durable. Not a single tear or visible abrasions, quite dirty post trip, but no permanent scars! The hip belt pockets were great! They were easy to access while wearing and there is plenty of room for phone, snacks, chapstick, and any other small items you need handy. The stretch mesh water bottle pockets are huge and are an awesome feature the way the have dual openings. It was easy to access my Nalgene bottle when I used the forward facing opening. However as I was crossing a boulder field and needed to bend way forward it did fall out. I placed it in the upright opening when crossing terrain that required less then upright posture.
The drawstring opening is huge and there is also a u-shaped zippered access to the main compartment on the front of the pack. I made sure items like my water filter and first aid kit were right there for easy access if/when needed. The stretch mesh panel on the back of the pack was an easy stow for my rain gear if needed in a hurry. The top compartment houses the rain cover for the pack and also has a lot of room for storing small items. There are straps galore for holding trekking poles, securing climbing rope, even a sunglass QuickStow that I used often as my glasses were on and off all day long. It was nice knowing they were secure and not going to fall off the top of my head. Post trip, yes I was sore and exhausted, but no rubbing or discomfort caused by the Jade pack! Very impressed with this product and can’t wait for my next backpacking adventure!