Mar 11, 2012 at 8:53 am #1286943
@doctordeeLocale: Yorkshire, UK
OK, so I'm intending to first timing the JMT in late August, early Sept. Solo and aiming for 11 days.
My gear list is looking thus:
Toiletries not yet complete, but otherwise – how does it look? Where could I save, and what (if anything) have I forgotten?Mar 11, 2012 at 11:19 am #1851982
@butts0989Locale: Northern Rockies
Looks like a great list! you've obviously dont your homework, but i think there are some things that you might want to switch out. First of all, i saw 2 long sleeve shirts and a down jacket, try and atleast eliminate one of those. It will be pretty warm on the trail when you go.
Second you might want to consider a different shelter/sleeping set up. Your bivy is quite heavy, all you really need on the trail is a basic sil tarp. Also you may want to look into buying a quilt of some sort, you could save atleast half a pound there. Overall everything is well covered, good luck to you!Mar 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm #1852011
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
An 11 day passage of about 215 miles is close to a 20 MPD pace with no days off. Given the absolute elevation and the total elevation gain, that's on the aggressive side; my wife and I plan about a 20-day passage roughly the same time frame (starting early Sept). In thru-hiker condition and already acclimated to the elevation I'd find it challenging to sustain the pace you're talking about with no time off. I'm not saying that you can't do it, but — tough to plan food unless you have a good idea of how fast you can really move per day in there.
No fuel or stove listed, so going cookless? What kinds of food are you cramming into the bear can?
If you really can move like that, maybe a BV450 canister will be sufficient, but — tight even so I suspect between resupply points. Put another way, if you can sustain that pace, I suspect you'll want to put away a lot of calories per day.
What's the solar charger for? Not the spot or the e+lite, I guess for the camera and/or ipod. For an 11 day hike, I suggest that you might make due with what you can charge ahead of time on the ipod, plus perhaps recharge somewhere like Reds Meadows. Can you get a spare battery or two for the camera? I carried a solar charger through there on the PCT in '08, but didn't find it that useful for my particular needs.
Wearing your boots through creek crossings, or … ? Maybe not a big deal in Aug/Sept, dunno (I've only been through there in June).
Using trekking poles to dig catholes, or what?
I'm not a fan of the bivy-by-itself idea. I personally would rather have a tarp than a bivy; consider perhaps a poncho tarp plus a windshirt combo, drop the bivy and the rain jacket? Nah, I see that you have a cuben jacket, pretty light there already. I'm not a fan of a cuben rainjacket personally, because cuben isn't good against abrasion, and it seems to me that pack straps would wear it out in the shoulders pretty fast (okay, not in 11 days, but still).
Best of luck; it's always possible we'll see each other out there this year.Mar 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm #1852189
@doctordeeLocale: Yorkshire, UK
Brian, thanks for your comments.
I'm fairly confident that I can make the 20 miles a day, I frequently do 22 miles and 5,000 ft of ascent in 7 hours at sea level. I've walked at considerably higher altitudes than Whitney peak and done good distances. And at the 6000 – 10000 ft mark that most of the JMT is, I don't anticipate altitude being a huge problem. I'm heading SOBO, so should acclimate as I go. I'll be training hard, and plan to be at peak fitness the day I hit the trail.
I am going cookless. A mix of energy bars, trail mix and nut/chocolat butters should see me fine for a few days. I'll be able to get real food at Tolumne, Reds, and VVR and pack a few treats in my re-supply at MTR. So there will only be five days of "hardship" until I get a cheeseburger at Whitney Portal.
That pace will require me to eat 3,500 calories per day. I'll drop a few pounds, but that's part of the reason I hike anyway.
The solar charger is for the iPod and the Suunto. I know I can recharge at Reds, but I'm not planning to stay there long enough to get a full charge. The Solar charger I am planning to take is much more effective than anything that was available in 2008, and has a larger area than most portable ones available today..
Creek Crossings – not sure! I was planning to wear my boots through, certainly that's what I do in the UK. They dry quickly enough afterwards. But this is one of the things I need some guidance on. How many crossings are there, and how deep will they be late in a dry year? What do people do if they don't wear their boots? Bare-foot it, or carry something for crossings. I could throw my Five-fingers in there, I guess.
Advice I saw on an gear list said to use a twig to dig. I was planning to pack a Sea-to-Summit Trowel at 75g. Wasn't sure about taking poles – I didn't list them, and I don't usually walk with them. But I'll consider your advice with respect to sleeping gear, and take the poles if I still save net weight.
Clearly a tarp would save me weight over my bivy, but the quilts I have seen rated to 26 degrees (as my bag is) are expensive and do not save me much weight over my sleeping bag – 150g for the MLD one. I presume you are advising tarp/bivy/quilt? Once I add a groundsheet I'm not sure I'd save enough weight to justify the expense. I'll look into it.
As for the Cuben rain jacket – I'm hoping that needing it will be the exception, not the rule. So I doubt strap wear will be a concern.
I hope to see you on the trail.
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