akaa,

Reading other posts and thinking of my own advise, taking just one camera body and the zoom lens probably would be better than the advise I gave earlier. Sort of depends on one's purpose for the hike. If one's own pupose is to photograph, than the two camera bodies make sense (especially in case one body fails during the adventure.) Then one would cut everything else down to the bare minumum. But if the experience itself is the main purpose, then one camera body would be sufficient (plus a small P&S digital camera as the back-up?)

On my 11-day treks into the Grand Canyon I did not even take a stove -- thus no hot food/drinks for 11 days! No room for the stove! Photography was one of the main reasons I was in the Canyon. Just wish I could say they were photographically successful! The NZ trip was (but successfully) the same way -- I went to photograph with the 4x5 -- cycling was just they way I decided would be the best way to travel.

A cast iron pan!LOL! Reminds me of all the gear that is left at the bottom of the Grand Canyon when hikers realize that there was no way they were going to carry that Coleman lantern back up to the top! In fact, hiking down into the canyon on the Tanner Trail, I came across a group of Boy Scouts hiking up -- well spread out. One kid had no pack. When I asked him where his pack was, he said he tossed it off a cliff so that he would not have to carry it out!

The last (and only) time I hiked to the top of Half Dome was 1994 -- what a ZOO! More like a Disneyland Adventureland ride than a wilderness experience. Yosemite National Park now requires reservations/permit to hike to the top on Fridays, Sat and Sun -- and Federal holidays. http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm Hopefully this will help a little. Hope you can make it up there! That would be a great training hike -- but forget trying to get a permit at this late date for anytime this summer! You'll have to do it during the week, not weekends.