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JMT Un-resupplied
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Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
JMT Un-resupplied on 07/27/2006 22:09:43 MDT Print View

Al Shaver's John Muir Trail Un-resupplied Speed Record Attempt Equipment & Food 7/2006

(I'm afraid the forum software compresses all the spaces packing the ounce column right next to the gram column. From left to right the first entry is grams and the second is ounces.)

(All items measured in grams. oz & lb totals may not be equal to the sum of individual items due to rounding errors.)

128g 4.5oz Gossamer Gear G6 with compression cord, Camelback attachments, sternum strap and waist belt

17 .6 Homemade frontpack

10 .4 Perry whistle, cord loop and UrsaLite Micro Carabiner

49 1.7 Timex Ironman chronograph

204gm 7.2oz .45lb

0g 0.0oz

0g 0.0oz 0.0lb

187g 6.6oz Camelbak 100floz Omega Reservoir-collar removed and pack attachment system added

3 .1 12floz plastic cup for filling reservoir

190g 6.7oz .4lb

11g .4oz Mini Bic lighter

11g .4oz .02lb

4g .1oz Ziploc bag

11 .4 Gerber Microlite LST locking blade knife w/cord loop

1 0.0 Dual Duty thread and needles

14 .5 Duct tape

5 .1 Bailing Wire

3 .1 6 Safety pins

4 .1 6' 2mm cord

42g 1.5oz .1lb

57g 2.0oz Soap and container

43 1.5 Poo Kit- shop towels,2 ziploc bags, Purell

6 .2 Ora Labs Lip Sun Shield SPF 30

28 1.0 Sunscreen

134g 4.7oz .3lb

9g .3oz Antibiotic ointment

6 .2 Bandaids

6 .2 Medications

9 .3 Ibuprofen

4 .1 Ziploc bag

34g 1.2oz .1lb

14g .5oz Collapsable scissors

28 1.0 Tape

28 1.0 Moleskin

43 1.5 Tincture of benzoin

85 3.0 Bodyglide skin lubricant

4 .1 Ziploc bag

202g 7.1oz .45lb

CLOTHES (Carried in pack in warm, dry weather)

49g 1.7oz Spare Injinji Mini Crew Coolmax Tetratsok, medium

42 1.5 Spare Balega Enduro running socks, medium

46 1.6 Spare GoLite C-Thru polyester lightweight brief, medium

33 1.2 Thin polyester balaclava

84 3.0 Nunatak down balaclava in .85 oz fabric

221 7.8 Montbell UL Down Inner Jacket, medium

126 4.4 GoLite C-Thru Polyester Men's Lite Weight Tight, Large

210 7.4 Outdoor Research Zealot GTX packlite jacket, medium

65 2.3 Montbell UL Wind Pants, medium

78 2.8 Outdoor Research Talus WPB mitten shells, medium

83 2.9 Rocky GTX Socks, size 12

8 .3 Bozeman Mountain Works Spin Sack NANO UL, medium

23 .8 Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack 4 Liter (for down)

1068g 37.7oz 2.35lb

28g 1.0oz Wilderness permit, ID, Trail junction log, cash, credit cards, contact sheet, pencil, ziploc bag,
blank paper, emergency note and medical card in ziploc bag w/ safety pins, 2 cards in ziploc
bag to drop at Red's Meadow and Tuolumne Meadow asking hikers to call my home to report
my progress in case I disappear

28g 1.0oz .06lb

78g 2.8oz Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp w/3 lithium AAA batteries

45 1.6 2 sets spare batteries

123g 4.3oz .3lb

1470g 51.9oz 21 Clif Bars deflated and resealed @ 250 Calories

595 21 21 oz Teriyake turkey jerky @ 80 Calories

3473 122.5 42 quarts Accelerade @ 320 Calories

57 2 Ziplock bags

57 2 2 Watchful Eye Designs 12.5"x15.5" O.P. Bags (odorproof)

29 1 GoLite Landlubbers Sil-lite Stow Sack, Large

5681g 200.4oz 12.5lb

WORN ON BODY (in warm, dry weather)

71g 2.5oz Marathon white mesh ball cap w/mesh cape added

8 .3 SportEyz rollup sunglasses

4 .1 Ziploc bag glasses case

170 6 Nike Ladies White Stretch Shirt w/mesh sleeves added, large

134 4.7 Asics Relay Field Stretch Short, large

46 1.6 GoLite C-Thru polyester lightweight brief, medium

49 1.7 Injinji Mini Crew Coolmax Tetratsok, medium

42 1.5 Balega Enduro running socks, medium

33 1.2 Dirty Girl Gaiters "Lime Gatorade Hurl" pattern

612 21.6 Mizuno Wave Rider 9 road running shoes, size 10

94 3.3 Superfeet green footbeds

1263g 44.6oz 2.8lb

2036g 71.8oz 4.5lb Base Pack (A)

5681g 200.4oz 12.5lb Consumables- food and packaging (B)

7717g 272.2oz 17.0lb Fully Loaded Pack (A+B) (no water will be carried at start)

1263g 44.6oz 2.8lb Worn on body (warm, dry weather) (C)

8980g 316.8oz 19.8lb Skin out weight (A+B+C)


Food: On a 5.25 day record breaking schedule the 20,370 Calories will provide 3880 Calories/day
Completing the 208 mile distance in 4 days increases the daily allotment to 5093 Calories/day

28.2% of weight of fully loaded pack will be base load plus food packaging
71.8% of weight of fully loaded pack will be food

My food averages 3.7 Calories/gram. I have gone away from the high caloric density of my oil based previous JMT
effort being that the energy output required for 40-50 mile days is better suited to a carbohydrate based diet.
I am also hoping that I respond well to the advanced electrolyte cocktail garnished with a touch of fat and
protein which is all included in the Accelerade recipe.

Clothing: 52.5% of the weight of base pack is clothing (spares, cold and wet weather)
47.5% is non-clothing

Edited by Al_T.Tude on 07/27/2006 22:17:04 MDT.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Question on 07/27/2006 22:47:55 MDT Print View

Rain?? Don't tell me you are going to sleep in your rain gear.....

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
sleeping... on 07/28/2006 00:43:28 MDT Print View

Al, I'd been hoping that you would post a gear list. No sleeping bag or shelter for 4 to 5 days... truly hard core! I have a bunch of questions regarding sleeping during the record attempt. Are you planning on frequent cat-naps, or a few longer sleeps? What is the anticipated minimum temperature? Will you sleep during the day (to minimize the insulation needed to sleep comfortably)?

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Sleep Schedule on 07/28/2006 02:31:13 MDT Print View

O.K. first of all, I'm not accepting any heat from a guy with "Crazy" in his name. As far as rain goes, if it's raining when I want to sleep I'll find the best shelter I can and "hunker down". I made it through a long night of Washington's Olymic Penninsula drizzle following a 25 mile day of backpacking by sidling up to an old growth cedar tree and doing a few sets of jumping jacks every 45 minutes when I'd wake up from the cold. If that doesn't work, then I'll get back on the trail and keep running until it warms up or dries up. I'm hoping to go for time in early September. The odds of getting hit by an early winter front which can make conditions downright unpleasant for 3-5 days is very slim at that time.

Your guesses are on the mark. Outright JMT speed record holder Kevin Sawchuk (3d:17h:23m after warming up with a 3h:39m 6200' ascent of Whitney!) calls them "micro naps". He sets his alarm for 10 minutes and feels refreshed...sort of. My single greatest fear is laying down and waking up 14 hours later and I'm not in a campsite in Yosemite Valley.

As far as "hardcore" goes, I've got 49 summers on these knees. And although the record holder set his time at the tender age of 64 years, never under estimate a former U.S. Marine. I take Reinhold's 5d:7h mark very seriously. I took 12 days to do this my first time. Although I was unacclimated, sleep deprived, exhausted and carrying a 45lb pack when I started and I hiked it in the wrong direction; I could DOUBLE my speed and still miss the mark. So yes, I'm going hardcore in an attempt to achieve something meaningful to me. Actually, breaking the record pales in comparison to the significance of trying to break it. The journey leading up to and during the event is the real show. I may only make it half way and have to bail. But I've already had quite a ride obsessively planning, training and dreaming this for many, many months.

2004 was a light snow year and I had perfect conditions in early July. This year the trail won't be that dry and as free of snow until late August or early September, if at all. I slept at 11,000-12,000' to avoid mosquitos. I saw high 20's to low 30's for my low temps. I expect to hit some high passes (8 of the 10 passes are between 11,000 and 13,000' elevation) at 2AM and see mid to low 20's. That's not when you want to be bedding down with a down jacket that weighs less than a t-shirt; especially when your depleted body started shutting down 20 hours and 35 miles ago and you have lost most of your ability to generate body heat. I think that might make for an "extended" nap.

My plan is to catch a couple of hours of shut eye at low elevation during the day which, as you said, allows me to carry less insulation- the same as Dr.J's strategy on his Arctic 1000 Challenge. One promising strategy that I think Kevin shared with me is to bed down at nightfall and start running when you get cold. If I sleep 8 to 10 PM I won't waste precious daylight not being on the move and hopefully I can stay warm enough to get 2 hours of "quality" sack time in curled up on the edge of a southwest facing scree field during the warmest period of darkness. My 3oz Nunatak down balaclava, which is as thick as a winter sleeping bag, will be a critical tool for this technique. 5 day adventure race winning teams rarely average more than 3 hours sleep/day.

Edited by Al_T.Tude on 07/28/2006 02:36:35 MDT.

Antonio Abad
(tonyabad) - F
Sleep Deprivation on 07/28/2006 06:15:42 MDT Print View

I am Jack's total sense of awe. ;-)

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Fright Club on 07/28/2006 11:29:33 MDT Print View

Thanks. We'll see home awed you are when I enter my post trip report and tell you how it REALLY went.

By the way, I think I've come up with a solution to our problem. You take the blood parasite groups and I get the ascending bowel disease and brain disorders.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Fright Club on 07/31/2006 10:45:54 MDT Print View

Hi Al.

1. Do you need the camelbak? What's the longest dry stretch of trail in September?

2. Whistle and carabiner? I see lots of little things on your list. Every little thing requires mental energy to keep track of. I suggest that you simplify your list.

3. Knife?

4. Soap? water is a sufficient wash. You're only out for a few days.

5. Blisters. Hopefully your tape is leukotape. Skip moleskin. Good call on tincture of benzoin. be quick about blisters: drain, fill with superglue, tincture, tape, go. this is worth practicing to do fast. then you will treat your feet on the trail and it doesn't have to be a long ordeal.

6. Bodyglide - if you need something for chafing, use sportslick. if you need something for your feet, try hydropel.

7. Rain jacket: Pagagonia Specter is an ounce lighter. Cut off the sleeves (to make it short sleeve), ditch the drawcords, and it gets really light. Or take a rainshield jacket for 3 oz. The JMT is open, the RS jacket is durable enough.

8. Mitten shells. If you get cold hands, the short sleeve rain shirt won't work. But if you do take a L/S jacket, tuck your hands into the sleeves.

9. Goretex socks. Leave'em. Your feet need to drain, not hold in water.

10. That's a lot of turkey jery for an aerobic event.

11. Sporteyz are cute but totally dysfunctional as a lens for running. Fine for occasional use. They are too close to your eyes, you don't get enough airflow, they touch your face too much so sweat management is awful.

12. Sew your gaiters to your shoes and ditch the bottom strap. The JMT has a rough enough surface that it could easily chew thru the gaiter strap in a few days of running.

Good luck,

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Lots of Little Things on 08/05/2006 02:35:48 MDT Print View

Ryan - Thanks for sharing your gear and food ideas. It's too late for me to aquire and test most of your ideas for this trip, but I may for future ones.

>No, I don't need Camelbak; but it will make me faster. It's not going along for long,dry sections, but rather to hydrate frequently and easily. Until I figure out how to run with a saline/glucose drip IV hooked up to me I'll stick with my Camelbak.
>biner is clipped to shoulder strap with whistle velcroed to same. All the little things stay in pack until needed. No energy, no keeping track of.
>Friction injuries (blisters and chafing) are my primary concerns. Using soap to keep clothing and body clean and freshly lubed will help me to run further before my skin breaks down.
>I'm working on locating Leukotape source. Moleskin has worked fair for me in the past. The bottom line for me is prevention. One little rubbed spot is possibly the beginning of the end for me. I may end up taking virtually nothing but lube for this reason. I am fascinated/frightened by your superglue injection proceedure!
>Specter is not currently listed on Patagonia's site. I steam up something fierce in any WPB that doesn't have the GTX hangtag.
>I have real poor hand circulation. Last time on the JMT I experienced rain/sleet for a day and would have killed for mitt shells over my OR PS 150 gloves. That's how I roll
>I'm allowing myself 2 quarts Accelerade, 1oz jerky and 1 Clif bar/10 miles. That 1oz flake of flesh every 10 miles will give me the psychological boost to make it 10 more miles.
>If you read my reader review or checkout you'll see that these gaiters don't use an instep strap. I gave those straps up years ago for all but snow travel.
>I'm sorry that you haven't had the excellent performance with GTX socks and Sporteyz sunglasses that I have. One man's ceiling is another man's floor.

I'll be reporting post trip on how this load worked out. I'm sure I'll be making changes for the next adventure.

P.S. Congratulations on an incredible Arctic 1000 Challenge! I had tussock nightmares just from reading your reports. I hope your healing is progressing well. Despite your numerous contributions to our adventures through equal applications of your diligence and genius in the office, we need you to get back out in the field (as I'm sure you do too).

Cheers, Al

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Method on 08/05/2006 10:49:18 MDT Print View

Your scientific approach to equipment, gear and training (which I'd like to hear more about) are beneficial to all of us. Like many other folks on BPL there is a level of seriousness here that takes away much of the subjectivity and provides info based on testing and fact. Granted your opinions are still simply opinions as is clear from the post above by Ryan Jordan. I look forward to hearing more leading up to as well as post trip reports, as I enjoyed the same for the fellows participating in the 1000k Arctic journey.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Blinded By Science on 08/06/2006 00:14:08 MDT Print View

I'm honored that you would even place my little stroll in the same sentence with Ryan et als Arctic 1000 Challenge. Thanks for the supportive comments. I feel the same about the detail oriented, generous, creative community of adventurers and inventor/craftsmen that we interact with here.

My training is not nearly as scientific or committed as the great trail runners like Kevin Sawchuk. Due to months of friction injuries I am way behind in duration and frequency of training runs. I seem to have found the set up for injury free 25 mile hill runs. Hopefully I can stretch that out to 40-50 miles/day w/o debillitating injuries.

Right now I'm sewing mods on my gear that should have been taken care of in winter. Hopefully I will very soon be off in the wilds creating stories rather than theorizing on the computer keyboard.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Ain't that the truth? on 08/10/2006 15:16:57 MDT Print View

> Hopefully I will very soon be off in the wilds creating stories rather than theorizing on the computer keyboard.

Ain't that the truth? I spend all this time during the work week poring over gear spreadsheets and reading the latest reviews. I do get short walks and rock climbing sessions in but nothing to compare with the 1000+ mile journey I'm planning for 2007. For now that is a hike I'm making in my head.

When will you be making your way off onto the JMT? I suppose you've written this above already, my apologies if so.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT Un-resupplied on 08/16/2006 12:20:04 MDT Print View

Hey Al,
I was hoping you were a member. I read your article here after a search but had a hard time finding this post.

Have you had a chance to read the Trail Runner article (July 2006) about John Stamstad. He was on course to do the trip unsupported in 4 1/2 days and had to bail out to get back to work. Great story.

Here are a few more ideas for you.

1. Instead of a knife (if you take one), just break of a single piece of the small breakable razor blades and put a piece of tape over the blade.

2. I don't know what you plan on doing for stream cross, but bringing something for crossing may be better than nothing. If you read article on Blake Woods 5 day crossing, he had only a few blisters his life but had 5 at one time on the trail, all from stream crossing.

3. A 100oz nalgine blater weighs less than 5.5oz. Ditching the mouth piece for a light Camelbak one would make it weigh even less.

In Blakes article he also mentioned that he just brought one of the small filter bottles and dipped in in the stream when it was empty. Since there is always water near by he usually only carried 8oz at a time. He also has a elevation graph were he would sleep. You will probably be sleeping in the same places. Vidette Mdw, Grouse Mdw, Bear Crk Trail, and Reds Mdw.
What do you plan on your sleep schedule being. In Adventure Racing, the team that wins (Nike) gets 3 hours straight a night. You end up getting 2 sleep cycles out of it which is better than naps and keeps you less tired the rest of the 21 hours you are awake. A 20 min power nap is also good and the first night you will probably only want to sleep for 1 1/2 hours. During Primal Quest our team got 22 hours of sleep over the 9 1/2 days, but only got 3 hours once. The rest were power naps or 1 1/2 hours. Whatever it was, it wasn't all that great of a plan. Getting 3 hours each night would have made us much more refreshed during the race.

Good luck. I would like to talk to you more in-depth about this. I usually like to do one big thing a year. This year it was Primal Quest in Utah. Next year I may do the same trip the same way you are doing. I am planning on a week right now, but by next year who knows.

Patrick Miron
PACK on 08/17/2006 13:25:38 MDT Print View

Hi Mr Shaver,

I just wondering if its possible to fit all your material in a waistpack instead of a backpack. Since you do not have any sleeping gear, i think your volume its not more than 15 liter.


Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Sleep Cycles on 08/19/2006 00:09:26 MDT Print View

I don't think my load would fit into even a large fanny pack for both weight and volume reasons. The most I've run with in a lumbar pack is 10-12 lbs. I'll be starting at around 17 lbs and adding 4lbs at my first water stop. A backpack will carry and control that much mass alot better.

Thanks for the tips on razor blades, cantenes and sleep cycles. I appreciate info from those who have competed at this output level and duration and understand how important sleep strategy is to success.

I'm very interested in the article on John Stamstad. Couldn't find it online & Trail Runner isn't selling that back issue. I'll check with my local library.

The sleep locations you mentioned sound plausible except for 9600' Vidette Meadow. At mile 28.5 it's only 14% into the trip. 8400' Grouse Meadow is at mile 70/34%; 9000' Bear Creek Trail is at mile 113.6/55%; and 7600' Red's Meadow is at mile 149/72%.

I've decided to carry a sleep pad, so I cut a .37"/9.4mm foam pad into a modified hourglass shape for my torso. It weighs in at 2.4 oz.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT Un-resupplied on 08/19/2006 13:14:02 MDT Print View

Hey Al
Here are a few more things for you. I really like the gear list you have for the trip. When I do this there is no chance you'll see me leave my quilt. I have done a few hikes up there and know just how cold it can get. The one thing I would change is getting a thinlite pad from gossamer gear. It's all you need and will be half the weight as yours.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/23/2006 13:51:41 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Sleep Cycles on 08/19/2006 18:30:10 MDT Print View

Sleep cycles also came up in the current UL Sailing thread. I'm very much intrigued by the nuances and strategies for sleep at high exertions. Has anyone ever tried polyphasic sleeping for super-hikes? If you were pre-adapted to the sleep schedule, it seems like it could be a viable strategy for trips within in a certain time/distance range. I'm not sure how the human body would respond and recover under those circumstances. At the least, it gives some practice for dealing with sleep disruptions and knowing how to manage your brain and body in those situations.


Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Sleep Cycles on 08/19/2006 20:24:29 MDT Print View

Hey Mark,
Our team on the Primal Quest race did the polyphasic sleep for a majority of the race.
The only problem is during the second day of this 20-40 mins doesn't help all that much, especially when you are pushing hard. You wake still felling like crap. You can actually make it through the night but you are just so tired that your pace slows dramatically.
Getting 3 hours helps both getting through that night and into the next night when you are ready to sleep again.
An hour and a half helps a lot more but after the 2nd day you still really need a good 3 hours in. Your body recovers after the 1 1/2 but getting through that the night is just miserable.
It might work to get 3 hours on odd nights and a few 20-40's on even nights.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/19/2006 20:25:51 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Re: Sleep Cycles on 08/19/2006 21:12:02 MDT Print View

Hey Aaron. Thanks for your comments--glad to hear it worked for your team, as far as those things go :) I know that AR and other endurance racers tend to ration sleep over the length of the course--but I'm not sure how regular this sleep pattern is pre-race. They probably intentionally train on little sleep just to learn what it feels like and how to pull through. But, are these racers generally getting the usual 6-8 hours of night-time sleep during their training, and then switching cold turkey to a strict sleep diet after the starting gun?

From what I have read, there is a 10-14 day window when you switch from a monophasic to a polyphasic sleep routine. During this window, you generally feel like crap with withdrawal-like symptoms, but you can pull through it and carry on polyphasically after your body adjusts. I guess my curiosity is more towards using a strict training regimen of polyphasic sleep, and integrating this into a race or challenge, having already adapted yourself beforehand. This would mean that a 20 minute nap every ~6 hours is 'natural' for you, and not a race-day adjustment. I know you can't always sleep when and where you want, but it could be an interesting strategy.


Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Polyphasic sleep on 08/19/2006 22:32:23 MDT Print View

I'd be curious to learn if anyone has sucessfully integrated this into their pre "event" training and returned to normal monophasic routine afterwords. I'm sure I could manage 2-3 weeks prior to an event and during but any more than that may be asking for a divorce. :) My wife likes her sleep

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Polyphasic and Other Unconventional Sleep Issues on 08/24/2006 13:33:50 MDT Print View

Ellen Macarthur catnaps for weeks on end. But she has telemetry to some doctor who specialises in sleep. She seems to beat the men on work-rate. Even so she will not need muscles to recover in the same way as a challenge hiker.

I was wondering whether sleeping in waterproofs was going to come up in the Unconventional Sleep articles. I have been comfortable on bare hillsides in the rain while waiting for slow, unfit, city kids on Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions, but life is so much nicer if a bivy bag is added to the equation. I don't mean a full-on Bozeman-type biv. I mean just a simple, man-size bag with a drawcord at the mouth. Mine was Entrant (a Kathmandu 2x2), but Epic would do because you would be wearing waterproofs inside. The bag means you get full value from the insulating properties of the waterproofs.

I agree with you on the water bladder. When using one, I stay properly hydrated till the bladder runs out, but with water bottles I don't drink as much, often finishing with some liquid left over. Ryan may be right about the "little things". Simplicity is good.

Best wishes. I hope you have a really good journey.

Edited by JNDavis on 08/24/2006 14:14:24 MDT.