Aug 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm #1306362
Here is the link to my trip report.
My 17 year old son and I went from June Lake/Silver Lake/Rush Cr trailhead, to Whitney Portal in 16 days. It was probably one of the coolest experiences a father could ever have with his son!
We went UL all the way, and base weights, total weights, and gear were a constant source of conversation, and envy all along the trail from start to finish! We were not hardcore about our weights, and we had plenty of luxury items, but even then we were substantially lighter than almost everyone we met on the trail.
The report is LONG, but being a writer, and writing for the family members and friends to read about, was the goal. Even then, trying to condense 16 days and some isn't easy.
CheersAug 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm #2013954
@attaboybradLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
May I ask how you took notes along the trail? Did you just use photos to cue your memory or did you journal on a daily bases? What tools did you use to do so?
I have enough trouble keeping events straight even after a weekend trip.Aug 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm #2013966
I used a tiny digital voice recorder. I read a report by Andrew Skurka and he talked about using one, and after seeing how cheap, tiny, and easy they were, I bought a used one on Ebay and its been a good thing to have along. At my age I'm lucky to remember what I had for dinner, let alone the trip details! :)Aug 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #2013985
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If you notice, Steve shot a photo that clearly shows the trail sign. Assuming that all of those photos stay in the proper sequence, you ought to be able to reconstruct the sequence of where you were and what you saw. Most cameras will put a time stamp within the electronic image file.
We have probably all been in a situation where we can't remember exactly what that last trail sign said. If you shoot a photo of each one of significance, you can always refer to those on the rear display of your camera.
A few hikers go so far as to shoot a photo of their wristwatch as proof of what time they were at some spot.
Personally, I use a pencil and paper. If weight is an issue, then I use the back of my topo map for paper.
–B.G.–Aug 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm #2013988
Wow, what a wonderful adventure with your son. The thunderstorm you encountered at Forester Pass sounds scary. It speaks volumes for you to turn a "lemon" (your crop & water situation) into "lemonade" (your JMT hike). I;m sure your son will cherish the memories of the JMT as well as learning from the attitude you showed when confronted with "extra time".
ManfredAug 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm #2014006
thank you! I do know it will be a cherished time that we will remember. Kudos for you and yours for also making these times priceless as a family. Many people we saw, talked to and passed by will be touched with the hope that one day they too will bring their kids into the wilds…
the photo of Forester with my son and I is the reminder; we both felt ALIVE! No screens need apply…
btw, our Japanese friend Hiro had a really cool pencil!Aug 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm #2014070
haha the look on his face says "Holy *U*(&@#!!!!!!!" haha Should frame that one. awesome that some folks had space to let you in.. setting up in that would have suuuucked.
just remember that you got him into it. I went on my first backpack trip when i was 16. Last year at 32 I took my dad on 2 back to back 11mi day hikes for his 60th birthday. And this winter we did our first winter NH 4000 footer which was 14mi :)Aug 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm #2014088
Steve, I am part way through your chronicle and am really enjoying it. What tent is that in the photos? Did it work well for you?Aug 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm #2014091
Six Moon Designs Lunar DuoAug 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm #2014099
Thanks, Link!Aug 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm #2014190
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Great report!! Thank you for sharingAug 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm #2014299
yep, that's a SMD Lunar Duo. I think I took a photo of the tent at every camp site, trying to help me remember where we were!
I really really like the tent. Its downright huge, with more room than you can imagine. Good weight, good design. My only concern is that not having tons of days in it, I don't know its real limitations. Using my poles for support, I'm just not sure how much it can take. I must admit, its been pretty dang stout so far. When we set up at Guitar Lake, I really piled the rocks to anchor it down, and even though it really shook, I don't think we were in any danger of it collapsing.
Would like to know if others using trekking pole supported shelters have an idea how they compare to traditional pole framed shelters.Aug 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm #2014301
Thanks for the follow up on the tent, Steve. I loved your story and the way you told it. What a fantastic experience for father and son!Aug 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm #2014305
Fantastic, love it. My son is only 8 but I'm looking forward to the day when we can do a trip like this!Aug 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm #2016486
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Great, great trip report! Thanks for sharing. My 10 year old son & I just did a ~50 mile trip around the Three Sisters Wilderness in OR, and I was wondering if we could do the JMT next year that I had planned for my 50th. Still not sure about that, but it has me thinking.
TomAug 19, 2013 at 11:23 am #2016593
I bet he can do it! With light loads, and good planning, you can break the trip down into manageable parts, and have the breaks you and he both need for town food, like cheeseburgers and shakes, and showers, and hot springs etc.
I learned that there are more hours of daylight than we could have walked, so there was no reason to get in a hurry, and the miles really did melt away. We did NO pre-hike training before our trip. We really did start slow, and then we finished really strong.
I hope you consider it, and if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a lineAug 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm #2017112
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Fantastic. I love to see these kinds of trips with children.Aug 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm #2017114
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"Great, great trip report! Thanks for sharing. My 10 year old son & I just did a ~50 mile trip around the Three Sisters Wilderness in OR, and I was wondering if we could do the JMT next year that I had planned for my 50th. Still not sure about that, but it has me thinking.
Sure you both can!! Just start getting ready. Sunshine did the PCT at age 11, the AT at 12, and is almost done with the CDT at age 13.Aug 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm #2017137
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
Tom you know your own kid but I took 9-11 year olds on an 18 day canoeing trip with no problem. Well actually we had problems but they were problems related to being a wilderness therapy program. I have no doubt with proper gear and motivation I could do a long backpacking trip with a 10 year old.Nov 8, 2013 at 11:31 am #2042585
@mxracer33xLocale: West Coast
I enjoyed reading your trip report. I was on trail around the same time (HI-WP 6/30-7/12), and its interesting to see pictures and reports from others out there too. We must have crossed paths somewhere, but I don't recognize any of the faces in your pics. There was a lot of people on the trail in July! Glad you got to spend it with your son, Im sure it will be a lifelong high point!
For those wondering about hiking with kids, you just have to use your best judgment on what your kids are capable of. I got to meet a lady and her son who was 11 doing the JMT this year. They weren't setting records, but it definitely looked like a lot of fun! I hike with my Daughters that are 6 and 8, and they have both been going for atleast 2 years on multi day trips. The gear is where it gets tricky for kids. I have made or modified most everything mine use. Keeping there packs at 6-8 pounds (2.5 pound bags are a killer, but down isn't an option yet).Nov 14, 2013 at 11:38 am #2044538
@jacobdLocale: North Bay
Awesome trip and report. Very good writing, I felt as if I was there next to you during the storm.Nov 14, 2013 at 11:52 am #2044547
@jacobdLocale: North Bay
"Would like to know if others using trekking pole supported shelters have an idea how they compare to traditional pole framed shelters."
It really depends on the two shelters you're comparing. I've weathered a storm or two in Lunar Duo (probably lesser than the storm you experienced); unless the beating went on for hours and hours it'd probably do ok. I'd rather have a pyramid or shaped tarp that sheds the wind better. Something along those lines I'd put up against the likes of a "typical" 2 person tent like the BA Copper Spur (etc…) any time.Nov 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm #2044905
@johntLocale: Peak District
Steve, many thanks for this really excellent, positive report.
Roll on Sept 2014 for my own trip on the JMT (fingers crossed!)
JohnNov 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm #2044945
@roadster1Locale: Southeast mountains
I read your whole report, what a fantastic trip and great reporting. My son and I hiked Rae Lakes loop 2 summers ago and we hiked Philmont this year with his troop. It's a great way to spend time with your kid and I'd take my son as my wing man any day.
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