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JMT resupply for 2
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September Mihaly
(clovis1eoj) - F

Locale: Durham, NC
JMT resupply for 2 on 04/08/2010 07:34:48 MDT Print View

Hi All,

My husband and I are planning a north to south hike of the JMT for late July, early August, and I have a question about food. Is it possible to get from Muir Trail Ranch to Whitney with one Bear Vault for 2 people? Has anyone done this? I don't want to have to carry two canisters, but it might be unavoidable.

Thanks!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: JMT resupply for 2 on 04/08/2010 08:46:35 MDT Print View

And how many days are you planning for that section?

Are you doing "cozy cooking" with minimal volume or freeze dried in it's original packaging?

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: JMT resupply for 2 on 04/08/2010 08:59:40 MDT Print View

My wife and I tried this last year and were unable to fit it all in one BV500. So I carried the BV500 with the bulk amount of the food and we rented a second canister for overflow. From first hand encounters the bears were very food agressive out there so it made me feel much more confident having all our food protected (for our sake and the bears).

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
another option on 04/08/2010 10:15:23 MDT Print View

Many people I met on the JMT had a canister(s) but on resupply had a smaller bag that they hung for the first couple of days. We did this and it is legal. We did MTR to Whitney in 4 days and weren't able to fit food for two in a smaller Bearvault. You didn't mention how many days or type of food so here is no way of knowing. Another factor, there is lots of yummy food in the hiker box at MTR. We left with all our regular food plus two double MH Lasanga and some other food that was much better than we packed. We also had a serious pigout at MTR with Potatos and Chicken plus a whole heap of spagetti and other food.

Also, don't pass up the hot springs at MTR.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: another option on 04/08/2010 10:21:30 MDT Print View

"...had a smaller bag that they hung for the first couple of days. We did this and it is legal."

I know Ursacks are "accepted" by some rangers, but is softsided protection, in fact, "Legal".

Has there be a change in written policy?

September Mihaly
(clovis1eoj) - F

Locale: Durham, NC
JMT bear canister for 2 on 04/09/2010 07:53:32 MDT Print View

We're planning on arriving at Muir Trail ranch in the evening, and then arriving at Whitney Portal in the evening 7 days later. If we can keep up the miles, that could mean only carrying 6 days of food in the canister.

We're thinking oatmeal + flax seed and instant coffee for breakfast; tortillas, Nutella or salami and cheese for lunch, Clif Bars for snacks, and Mountain House Pro-Packs (1 each) for dinners.

I might just go out and get the food and see how it all fits. I am resistant to carrying a second canister for obvious reasons, but I don't want to leave us hungry either. Has anyone managed to do this with one canister? Is there access to food around Whitney Portal?

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
bear canister. on 04/09/2010 09:12:22 MDT Print View

"...had a smaller bag that they hung for the first couple of days. We did this and it is legal."


If they were in a canister-required zone, I can't see any way that this would have been "legal." The park would want you to carry the appropriate sized canister for your maximum food load, I'm sure; I can't see any leniency here.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT bear canister for 2 on 04/09/2010 11:54:10 MDT Print View

There are different sizes of Bear Vault canisters, and that is important. For two hikers, one canister will be a stretch. I managed to get nine days worth of food (for one) into one of the original Garcias.

The big problem working against you is the bulk of packaging. All that foil and plastic and air is terrible.

One guy figured out the answer. Go buy about 15-20 pounds of Robertson's Shortbread Cookies and crumble them up. Pour the crumbs directly into a bag directly into the canister. Seal it up and you are done. High calories. High fat. Low bulk.
--B.G.--

james clark
(jwfclark)

Locale: Southern California
JMT resupply for 2 on 04/09/2010 12:11:55 MDT Print View

Have you considered renting a Bearicade Expedition.
This canister would weigh less, can hold 12 days of food, and can be rented if the cost is beyound what you would like to spend.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT resupply for 2 on 04/09/2010 12:33:31 MDT Print View

That's Bearikade.

The web site says that it will hold 9 person-days worth of food.

--B.G.--

September Mihaly
(clovis1eoj) - F

Locale: Durham, NC
Pricey Bearicade! on 04/09/2010 12:50:20 MDT Print View

Ouch -- That's too rich for my blood! I'll try and cram minimal supplies into the BearVault and see how it goes. If we pack 12 person-days into it, I'll be surprised. I'm going back and forth between adding a BearVault Solo or rented Garcia at Muir Trail Ranch, or going for the "shortbread strategy!"

Thanks all!

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT resupply for 2 on 04/09/2010 13:20:29 MDT Print View

The one thing that I absolutely do not recommend is to simply store the excess food in your tent. For one thing, if the NPS rangers catch you doing that, they may ticket you. The bears just love it when you store food in your tent, because they take great joy in ripping a tent to find out what smells so good inside.

I've done trips where I got most of my food inside the canister, and then the excess was loose in my pack. But then I ate the excess on the first day and evening, so by nightfall everything fit into the canister.

If you absolutely must get a second canister, then consider one of the small ones, like the Bear Boxer, a.k.a. Bear Box Contender. It holds only a few days of food, but it will fit into a smaller pack.
--B.G.--

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
JMT resupply for 2 on 04/09/2010 13:38:40 MDT Print View

In addition to shortbread approach (!), consider using a mixture of jelly beans and peanut M&Ms as "packing" material to fill in all the gaps in your cannister.

Nutritional info below:
- Jelly Beans (based on brach's brand): 2.5g Carb + 10.5 cals per bean;
- Peanut M&Ms: 0.5g fat, 1.25g carbs, 2g protein, 10.3 cals per M&M.

The combination of an exact number of M&Ms & Jelly Beans in addition to "larger" food items should allow you to balance your nutritional needs with the limited space in your cannister. You could pack each "days worth" of JB/MM mixture in individual baggies... I'm sure they would slide around your large food to efficiently use the space.

Caveat: I've never done this - the shortbread thing just got me thinking... what if???

Good luck with your hike!

Cheers, James.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT bear canister for 2 on 04/09/2010 13:48:23 MDT Print View

"Is there access to food around Whitney Portal?"

Surely you jest!

The little cafe at the Whitney Portal Store is legendary. It is not that their meager menu is so good. It is that the backpackers who drag in there are so hungry for real food. After a week on the trail with f.d. meals, most backpackers seek a big greasy burger or something. Don't show up late in the evening and expect the cafe or the store to be open.

--B.G.--

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
JMT Bear Canister for 2 on 04/09/2010 14:44:38 MDT Print View

We used Bearikade Weekenders last year. We each had our own. Naturally, the longest resupply stretch is from MTR to Portal if you do not go to Independence, etc.

We could get 7 days of food in a Weekender after repackaging everything. Our last leg took us 8 days so we had a few Ursacks to help with the excess. We only needed the Ursacks from MTR to the end. I think in that area we were okay with that method. After about 1.5 days everything would fit in our canisters again.

The Bearikade Weekender, the Garcia and the BV 500 are all similar in volume. The Expedition has more volume but I don't know if you could get 12+ days in it. We rented ours. The Expeditions were not available for our trip as they had all been rented (high season).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT resupply for 2 on 04/09/2010 14:54:09 MDT Print View

Justification for each hiker carrying one bear canister:

Each hiker will have something to sit on in camp.

--B.G.--

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: JMT resupply for 2 on 04/09/2010 17:43:32 MDT Print View

Do you fish? Palisades, twin, dollar, rae, and guitar lakes are all teaming with trout and could add quite a bit to your diet between MTR and whitney. I was also told that the lake just south of muir pass had fish but was frozen when I went by.

D S
(onthecouchagain) - MLife

Locale: Sunny SoCal
I think not on 04/09/2010 22:47:50 MDT Print View

My wife and I have done the trail 3 x from No to SO...and food is always a premium doing high mile days. We each carry the smaller Bear Vaults, and from MTR are absolutely stuffed to the roids with food. ONe large can would be too tight and you would probably bonk or end up asking for handouts on trail. Two smaller cans is more than one larger can. Plan smart and bring high calorie items easy to prepare and you will be fine (no packaging).

couch

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I think not on 04/09/2010 23:01:18 MDT Print View

Dave, just for comparison, you might list or mention your favorite trail foods. Maybe you take stuff that is really compact and we had overlooked those things.

--B.G.--

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
One canister? on 04/09/2010 23:20:21 MDT Print View

To me, one canister sounds pretty aggressive, given the calorie requirements of two people. You will spend a good deal of time climbing at altitude, and honestly, having the food supply hanging over your head only adds stress to your adventure.

I can only speak for myself, but when I am hungry and tired, my future wife will attest to the fact that I can get rather, uh, "grumpy." I would imagine that having to carefully ration food over what is really a spectacular section of trail would only detract from the experience.

Dirk

Edited by dirk9827 on 04/09/2010 23:21:04 MDT.