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John Muir Trail fastpack
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Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
Fastpack Food on 04/17/2009 22:08:03 MDT Print View

Hi Art and thanks for the encouragement

Perpetuem was my only on the trail energy food and it functioned great! My stomach never gave me problems and I always had plenty of energy (never hungry). At the bottom of long up hills I would tank up on 2 servings and then drink water with endurolytes the rest of the climb. The dreamsickle flavor was OK. I used a filter bottle for treating water and just squeezed water into a sport bottle to mix and drink the perpeteum. Lately I have been using a steripen and a 1 litter bottle. I mix the perpetuem after the treatment and use a hands free drinking tube. I consume more liquid this way and my kids wanted my filter bottle. Also a whisk or whisk ball is very useful to mix the powder.

The recoverite was easy and seem to do it's job. again, I was never hungry and digestion was not a problem. I had about 2 pounds of food per day and that was much more than I needed.

My time was from the summit. I just got my reservation from the USFS for this summer and I hope to improve on last years time. My total pack weight should be about 10 pounds and I have a warmer sleeping bag so I won't freeze.

I hope that info was useful

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Perpetuum & Recoverite on 04/18/2009 08:09:06 MDT Print View


So how many calories a day did you consume?

Edited by asandh on 05/02/2010 23:29:51 MDT.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Perpetuem on 04/18/2009 08:31:14 MDT Print View

I've been drinking Perpetuem as well for a while now. It works well for me. I don't need to eat much but I never feel hungry.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
Calories? on 04/18/2009 11:45:47 MDT Print View

My plan was to take in about 3200 calories/day. This worked well as I felt good the whole time, both for energy and gut happiness. I did lose about 8 pounds in five days, and I did need a steady supply of perpetuem to feel strong. Without a supply of water at any part of the hike I would have been unable to mixed the perpetuem, which would have lead to a crash. This almost happened getting to Garnet Lake.

I planned 8 servings of perpetuem per day x 260 calories/serving = 2080 calories/day. I used somewhat less than this.

I used 3 servings of recoverite (540 calories) at my afternoon rest and at the end of the day. This totals to 1080/day.

I also used fish oil caplets, which added another 100 calories.

I premixed both the recoverite and perpetuem with Emergen-C, Ibuprofen, glucosamine, conjointin, and endurolytes. Plus a little caffeine in the perpetuem. This made using these items automatic.

I'm very happy with the Hammer Nutrition product line (no they don't support me). In the future I will throw in a power bar or gel to add a little diversity to the diet, but the basic idea of a liquid diet on a hard, hot hike is very sound.

Thanks again, Mark

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Perpetuem on 04/18/2009 17:15:05 MDT Print View

"I've been drinking Perpetuem as well for a while now. It works well for me. I don't need to eat much but I never feel hungry."

My experience matches yours, Johann. It's all I use between breakfast and dinner when backpacking. I should think it would adapt very well to fast packing, especially if one has packed on a few pounds of body fat before starting out. Recoverite, or its equivalent, right after stopping for the day also makes a lot of sense in terms of replenishing glycogen stores during the critical 30 minute post exercise window. I use Ultragen, a Recoverite analog, but they are functionally equivalent. It's a flavor issue for me.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Perpetuem on 04/18/2009 18:45:25 MDT Print View

I use Heed, Perpetuem and Recoverite for road bike racing, but never gave much thought to using it for longer hikes. What have you guys found to be the easiest way to mix it while hiking? How do you package it? I've heard of numerous ways from ultramarathoners (ie. put it into balloons, ziplocs, etc). I would think ziplocs and some sort of cardboard funnel would work fine with a wide mouth bottle.

I would think that making a concentrated 4 hour bottle (like 4 servings worth into one bottle to be sipped every 15 minutes or so) would work more efficiently as it would be less mixing time.

I wouldn't use a bladder for this--I've done it for mountain biking and found that the perpetuem would clump up and block the hose.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Perpetuem on 04/18/2009 19:26:52 MDT Print View

Works fine packaged in superlight PET bottles like water bottles if you're doing 1000+ calorie amounts. I will premix up to 4 hours if it's cold out but in the heat I rarely mix more than 2 hours. If it's got protein in it, it goes bad fast.

I don't use perpetuem anymore, just mix my own but the concept/execution is the same. Ziplocks work okay too but pouring and storing bulk (1000-5000calories) seems to work better in bottles in my experience, esp if they get buried in a pack.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
perpetuem on 04/18/2009 20:48:53 MDT Print View

I'm thinking of using this for a 2-3 day effort, so I'm not sure how many empty bottles I would want in my pack (though there wouldn't really be that many). I just like having my pack volume shrink as time goes on.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Perpetuem on 04/19/2009 18:05:35 MDT Print View

"I would think ziplocs and some sort of cardboard funnel would work fine with a wide mouth bottle."

Hi Zack,
Another way is to clip a small section off one corner of the zip lock bag and pour the Perpetuem into your bottle through it. Works like a charm. When you pour it out of the regular bag opening, the powder tends to hang up on the zip lock ridge and pour rather messily.

"I would think that making a concentrated 4 hour bottle (like 4 servings worth into one bottle to be sipped every 15 minutes or so) would work more efficiently as it would be less mixing time."

This is pretty much what I do, only I mix it double strength. But that's strictly personal preference. It's definitely more efficient.

Paul Sibley
(CancerRunner) - F
Pack Idea on 05/11/2009 18:01:00 MDT Print View

Great insight from everyone's perspective, and thanks for the ideas for my JMT attempt this Aug. I can't take Perpetuem, but I'm gaining some good knowledge from everyone. Any suggestions on the packs used for about 5-6 days? Thanks

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Pack Idea on 05/11/2009 22:03:49 MDT Print View

"I can't take Perpetuem, ..."

Someone is forbidding you to take it?

Or you can't consume it?

Paul Sibley
(CancerRunner) - F
Perpetuem on 05/13/2009 15:38:42 MDT Print View

Aloha Greg - I trained with Sustained Energy for years doing IMs and ARs - no issues. Years have passed, and tried Perpetuem for months training for 100 milers. After 4 hours, system gives way. The soy content is high for my system, therefore, I can't take it. Sure, weak stomach I guess. I use Clip2 and Clif Shot mixed per 26 oz.

Nick Garcia
(saltamontes) - F

Locale: South Florida
Nutrition on 05/13/2009 19:14:10 MDT Print View

I have also been using Hammer products for many years for IM races, however in the past two years, I have been using Infinit Nutrition, their IM blend, and it has worked out great, especially in hot weather, compared to Perpetum I would say it is not as thik...has anyone used it for fastpacking?

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: JMT Fastpack on 05/21/2009 20:54:15 MDT Print View

Congrats on the JMT! The Three Sisters Loop is really nice hike, and provides a variety of sights. Here is a trip report I did about my 3/4 loop around them.

There are also plenty of side trips through lava flows and along waterfalls in the area. Mike Little has documented some great hikes in the area.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
JMT Training on 05/22/2009 10:17:08 MDT Print View

what kind of training do you do ?

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 00:55:15 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: JMT Fastpack Sub 6 Day Training on 05/22/2009 10:32:30 MDT Print View

For "ultra" distance/days I would focus on quality training that improves you overall cardio and power levels and spares your body of constant pounding.

Specifically, 1 to 2 hour efforts at LT-10 a couple a times a week, an interval day, and only one long day. Approaching your target date you will want to do back-to-back-to-back to verify and build confidence. But I would be wary of multiple 100+ mile weeks.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: JMT Fastpack Sub 6 Day Training on 05/23/2009 10:52:41 MDT Print View

"Specifically, 1 to 2 hour efforts at LT-10 a couple a times a week ..."

Terminology -- what does "LT-10" mean? I presume something like 10 bpm, or 10%, off Lactate Threshold?


Edited by blean on 05/23/2009 11:10:25 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: JMT Fastpack Sub 6 Day Training on 05/23/2009 11:18:24 MDT Print View

Terminology -- what does "LT-10" mean?

"10 heartbeats below Lactate Threshold"

Your all day cruising pace with a pack will probably be around 30 beats below LT. To train your endurance you want a little more stress, over a couple of hours.

A big part of training is learning how Your body works. LT-10 is a good starting point, but as always, YMMV. and other sites have a lot of info on training.

Carlos Figueroa
(cfigueroa) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz Area
Re: JMT Fastpack Sub 6 Day Training on 05/25/2009 01:27:20 MDT Print View

Hi Art,
I agree almost with everything Greg has said but consider this: if one plans on doing continuous 40+ miles per day, you better have continuous training as well. How do you know whether your body can handle those kinds of miles without doing those kinds of miles?

I am currently getting ready for the Colorado Trail at the end of August and here is the training regiment that works for me. For the past 4 months, I have been doing high quality training hikes three times per week at 20 to 25-mile days (with a 20 lb pack) as my base training. My weekly numbers are about 60-70 miles per week with about 12,000 ft of elevation gains. Now I am starting my continuous long-day training for the next 8 weeks. I will slowly increase my mileage until I can do continuous 30-35 mile days with some 40+ miles days thrown in there. In fact, I will be doing a test run on the TRT at the end of July. Then I will start slowing down about two weeks before the Colorado Trail so that I am well rested. If you are doing too much, your body will let you know immediately so either step back a notch or take some time off. I periodically take off a whole week several times during the year to let my body rest. I used this training schedule last year and was able to complete three long hikes (JMT, TRT and OT) at these paces and felt I was well prepared both mentally and physically. A key point to remember is that this training works for me – you need to figure out what works for you.

Good luck on your JMT attempt, it sure is one of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever done.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
Training on 05/26/2009 21:52:06 MDT Print View

I got a workout just reading this post! Time to hit the couch with some hand weights and pass-out watching girls tennis.

Carlos, it makes sense that a long fast-pack is the best way to train for a long fast-pack. Unfortunately for me I don't have the time to train this way. I do intense and short training sessions instead. Running is my primary exercise for conditioning. At home I run the Black Rock trail at either 9 or 15 mile distances depending on how I feel. This trail goes from the Deschutes River up to Lava Butte at 4500 ft and has a great view of the Cascades. It is also a very HOT trail and is good for heat training. When I'm at work, on a ship at sea, I am limited to the treadmill located in the laundry room. I try not to dwell on how pathetic this is. There I run for an hour at 7 to 8 mi/hr. I also use 1 lb. wrist weights. This year I built a squat bar for our weight machine to build more leg strength, which I determined I needed last year. I do 40 to 60 reps of 240 lb squats. I'm working up to reps of 100. In the winter we tie the ship up in Portland and I can run in Forest Park. This is an awesome place to run and I either run 10 hilly miles or a very steep 6 miles. At home in the winter I xc skate ski at Mt Bachelor, which is real fun and the most aerobic activity there is. This summer I'll do a couple of long day hikes in the Three Sisters and an easy backpack in Redwoods NP with the family. I hope to do the JMT again this year in early August south to north. Maybe I'll see you on the trail.