Forum Index » Post-Trip Reports » Hiking the John Muir Trail with our 9 and 10 year old daughters


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keith obrien
(kmobrien15) - M
Hot Springs Near Reds Meadow on 07/22/2013 13:55:02 MDT Print View

Enjoyed reading all your trip details. Where is the hot springs that you visited after Reds Meadow located?

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Re: Hot Springs Near Reds Meadow on 08/04/2013 11:08:23 MDT Print View

Hi Keith,

We just returned from a 2-week trip into the Sierra with our daughters. The hot springs are marked on map #9 of the Tom Harrison JMT map pack as "Iva Bell Hot Springs".. They are located along the Fish Creek Trail.

Have fun out there!

Manfred

eric schultz
(schultz104) - F - M

Locale: phoenix
kids and gear on 12/12/2013 17:12:54 MST Print View

Great job on the JMT. I am planning a 5 night trip this summer in the Inyo National Forest with my wife and 2 kids. Their ages are 8 and 10. In your trip summary you describe the kids as going UL. I saw the gear list for you and your wife. I am interested in what the kids carried. What was the weight of the kid's packs? Did the kids carry their own fishing poles? If so what type of poles?
I saw a sample day of food for you and your wife, but what did you pack for the girls. I struggle with packing everything into the bear canisters. I have the BV 500. It seems like your family only carried one canister between food drops. Any suggestions would be great.
Thanks
Eric

Edited by schultz104 on 12/12/2013 17:16:09 MST.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Gear List for Kids on the JMT on 12/12/2013 18:13:13 MST Print View

Eric,

a week with your wife and two kids in the Sierra sounds great.

The list you saw in this thread Manfred's & Hannah's gear for the JMT 2012 is the list for myself and my 10 year old daughter, Hannah. Our daughters, Natalie and Hannah, carried both their own gear (s. spreadsheet). The kids carried their own fishing poles - they are listed in the spreadsheet as Tenkara Yagi. These fishing poles are now sold as Clarkii by Rutalocura. They require a trekking pole handle as handle. Our two daughters would use the handles of my Gossamer Gear LT4 for that.
My wife and I carried each a Bearikade Expedition with food. Our kids ate the same food we did - they had their own choices for bars and their own choices for Mountain House Meals, but the general meal plan was the same for all four of us. A Bearikade Expedition fits 10 person days of food for us. So we could go for 5 days without resupply. By carrying the first day of food outside of the bear canister, we could stretch it to 6 days and by not bringing dinner for the last day we were able to stretch it even to a complete week. Our BV500 fits 7 person days of food - if we repackage the Mountain Houses. You would have to pack really tight to manage with your family for 5 nights with two BV500. I would consider to rent a Bearikade here

Have a great time out there!

Best Regards,

Manfred

Edited by Orienteering on 12/12/2013 18:13:48 MST.

eric schultz
(schultz104) - F - M

Locale: phoenix
Hiking the mt with out 9 and 10 year old on 12/15/2013 18:17:27 MST Print View

Manfred,
Thanks for the information. I am wondering about the 2 tents used during your trip. Did the Blackdiamond Betalight have any condensation issues? Did you use any bug netting.
How did the SMD cuben haven perform? Was it worth the price or would you recommend another style?
Thanks
Eric

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
SMD Haven vs. BD BetaLight on 12/15/2013 21:14:08 MST Print View

Hi Eric,

We didn't have any condensation issues on the JMT with either tent. My wife and I used the SMD Cuben Haven (carried by our daughter as it is roughly half the weight) and our daughters used the BD BetaLight (carried by me as it is heavier).

The kids - especially scouts who are not siblings - generally prefer the BetaLight design because it has the trekking poles in the middle between the two persons. My wife and I prefer the Haven design, because there are no poles between us and we each have our own door on the side and our own vestibule - instead of just one door in the front.

We prefer the Cuben Haven over the silnylon Haven because it is lighter to begin with (10 oz instead of 18 oz). Another important advantage is that you can just shake off the water after it rains, while the silnylon takes on a lot of water and weighs way more until it is dried out again. Those two advantages were worth the extra money for the Cuben to us.

We have the InnerNet for the Haven, but didn't need it on the JMT.

I hope that helps,

Manfred

eric schultz
(schultz104) - F - M

Locale: phoenix
zpacks on 12/27/2013 11:32:58 MST Print View

Manfred,
I know that you have spoke on this subject in other posts, but I just had some specfic questions. I am looking at the zpacks “arc blast” 60liters backpack. I see that you have the exo. I do not see that one listed on the zpacks website. The site states that the blast will fit a bear canister inside the pack. Do you know how much more gear can be packed? I am wondering what if any, extra equipment you added to the pack. Such as; top pockets, top straps, etc. I am looking for a lighter pack. I currently use the osprey 70, at 75.5 ounces.
Thanks
Eric

Edited by schultz104 on 12/27/2013 12:00:50 MST.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
ZPacks Arc Blast and ZPacks Exo on 12/27/2013 13:04:40 MST Print View

Hi Eric,

We own both, the ZPacks Exo and the ZPacks Arc Blast. Both backpacks use the same bag on a different frame. The Exo was the predecessor of the Arc Blast. I'm using it for a couple of years now. Once ZPacks replaced the Exo with Arc Blast, my wife got the Arc Blast. She prefers that design as she loves to have a mesh panel that keeps her back from getting sweaty. My Exo has the 52 l bag and my wifes's Arc Blast has the 60 l bag. Both of us added two hip pockets and two shoulder pouches from ZPacks to our packs. The following list describes how we both pack our packs for the JMT.

Bottom of pack - 13 l drysack with sleeping bag and down jacket.
On top of sleeping bag all the way to right side - Bearikade Expedition
Space next to the bear canister - Sleeping pad (NeoAir xLite), tent (SMD Haven)
Top of Bearikade - 10 l drysack with clothes (long underwear, second socks and underwear, balaclava, gloves)
Left sidepocket of main bag - Caldera Keg-F Stove System (incl. stove, pot, mug, cup, Ti spoon, sparker) + 8 oz fuel bottel
Right sidepocket of main bag - TP/Trowel/Wash kit + Tenkara Pole
Left shoulder pouch - 20 oz bottle
Right shoulder pouch - 20 oz bottle (or camera as one bottle is mostly enough)
Left hip pocket - Camera (Canon Powershot SX 150)
Right hip pocket - SteriPen Freedom, headlamp (Zebra H51), personal first aid kit
Center mesh pocket - rain jacket, rain mittens, maps (in ziplock), ziplock with fishing stuff (flys, lines, tippet), DeLorme inReach
Left shoulder belt - GPS (etrex 30)
Outside/top of backpack - solar panel (PowerFilm USB+AA charger)

The Zpacks Arc Blast with the extra hip and shoulder pockets would save you around 3.5 lbs.

I hope this helps.

Manfred

Douglas Johnson
(Sponge) - M

Locale: PNW
Great writeup on 01/10/2014 15:47:11 MST Print View

Manfred,

Thank you so much for posting your trip. I'm currently in the planning stages of hiking the JMT with my oldest daughter this summer. She will be (hopefully) turning 14 at the top of Whitney to complete the walk. She's done a few overnights, but nothing as serious as this. I'm hoping she will stay motivated, and we have a pretty good fitness regimen to get her ready.

The hardest thing for me is to estimate how much mileage she can handle for that long of time. I'm thinking 12-15 miles a day would be about it, especially when we hit the passes. I'll probably start with some short mileage days in Yosemite, then build up from there.

Cheers,
Sponge

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Daily miles on the JMT on 01/10/2014 17:12:19 MST Print View

Douglas,

Wow - celebrating your daughters 14th birthday on top of My. Whitney sounds way cool to me. I don't know how much time you have for backpacking the John Muir Trail. It sounds like you might have up to three weeks. We always planned three weeks with our kids and then let them more or less set the pace. Our (back then) 15 year old sons took 20 days. They slept in every morning and wouldn't get out of their sleeping bag before the sun was shining directly into their face. They also fished a lot more than their sisters on the later hikes. Our 13 year old daughter was similar to her brothers in her morning routine and we took 19 days. My wife and I learned really fast that it is not a good idea to wake a teenager up in the morning and make them go. Teenagers have a way to make you pay for that for the rest of the day. So for those two hikes we would basically fish every morning until our kids got up by themselves. With our two youngest daughters it was very different. They would wake up with the first bird, get straight out of their sleeping bag and ask us when we will go. They were always excited to go and see more. They finished the hike in 15 days.
So in a nutshell I would say let your daughter decide when to start in the morning; let her also decide the pace during the day and only encourage her to go longer in the evening when you are seriously falling behind.
The 12-15 miles you are targeting is very doable. Our kids would usually do 2 miles per hour including little breaks (for example to treat water). So if we got started at 9 am we did 6 miles by lunch. We would then have up to two hours lunch break for swimming, fishing, cooking, etc. From 2 pm to 5 pm we would cover another 6 miles and could make camp for the night. Our youngest daughters would easily do another 4 miles just by starting their day 2-3 hours earlier than their older siblings.

Have fun out there!

Manfred

Space Q. Monkey
(Cavria6) - F

Locale: Southern California
Wonderful! on 04/04/2014 18:54:38 MDT Print View

What a wonderful trip report. We were up on roughly the same patch at about the same time. At the time, my wife was 6 months pregnant with our daughter (she wasn't on the trip) When we got up to Whitney summit, I signed the register with a dedication to my daughter to be wishing her a happy and adventurous life. Seeing this post really inspires me. Congratulations and thanks!

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
Sweet on 04/06/2014 21:41:34 MDT Print View

You kick @ss Manfred. This is an inspiration form my daughters and me. I can't wait to show them your pics. My girls are the same age.