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JMT Next Summer
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Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
JMT Next Summer on 12/12/2012 21:21:49 MST Print View

Been working on my list for the JMT next summer. I'm pretty happy with it so far, I know there are some things on the list that some people may not take (multitool) and that I could spend more $$$ to save some weight (cuben fiber tarp) but I'm really just asking people to look and see if they think I'm missing anything that I should bring if if I have something listed that is unnecessary. I'm not putting the weights because I don't have a scale and again I'm more looking for suggestions of things that I may not have thought of that I should bring...

Anyone have any good bear canister suggestions? usually don't take one but they are required on this trip...

Would those who have done the JMT suggest trekking poles? I've never used any but heard that people like them for long trips. I'm in my 20s and in good shape so I never really thought of using them on the 4-5 night trips that I've done in the past. This is my first major trip.


Pack- GG Kumo

EE Revelation X 30 Quilt with overstuff &
Borah gear custom bivy
Golite Poncho tarp or Oware Cattarp 1.5
Ti Stakes
Thermarest Z lite sol (also pack support)

Caldera Cone Keg Stove in cuben fiber stuff sack
Ti Folding Spork
Snow Peak Ti Bowl
Mini Bic lighters

Sawyer squeeze filter w/ 2L bottle
2 Smart 1 liter bottles

Clothes worn and packed
Montbell Dynamo wind pants
Patagonia Houdini
Montbell Synthetic Inner
Smartwool socks x2
Ex officio underwear x2
Smartwool Wool t shirt
Smartwool 1/4 LS shirt
Wool beanie
Stoic Thrive shorts
VivoBarefoot Neo Trail Shoes
Patagonia Capilene 3 long underwear
Trekking Poles
PossumDown Gloves

First Aid Kit
Toothbrush and toothpaste
bug spray
iPhone 5
Solar Charger
BG Mini Knife
Mini multitool
Black Diamond headlamp


Edited by lundquistas on 12/27/2012 18:36:17 MST.

. .
(CzechClown) - MLife

Locale: JMT/PCT
John Muir Trail Pocket Atlas on 12/12/2012 21:47:26 MST Print View

This is the best map available, you will see many people on the trail with it.

JMT Atlas

Edited by CzechClown on 12/12/2012 22:04:33 MST.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Thanks on 12/12/2012 22:40:58 MST Print View

Thanks! How think is the book? Does it for in a pocket easily?

George Davis
(nsiderbam) - M

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Re: JMT Next Summer on 12/12/2012 22:42:47 MST Print View

I would also recommend Erik the Black's JMT atlas (the one the previous poster linked to). I have it in preparation for a JMT thru-hike this summer and it's awesome. The maps are gorgeous and it has tons of pertinent info, including maps of all the trail towns and locations of all lodges/hostels/places to send food.

Your list looks good. I know you have bug spray, but I've heard that the bugs can be absolutely terrible at parts and that it's good to get a head net to keep them at bay. Something like this

is just over 1oz but would be a worthwhile addition.

Also, I'm a fit male in my 20s and absolutely love my trekking poles. They've saved my butt numerous times and once you try them out you'll never go back. Weight doesn't really even matter for these -- they're always in my hands, and I'd rather have a heavier, more durable pair of trekking poles than those SUL ones that look like they'd snap in a heartbeat.

I like the look of those campshoes -- I might have to get a pair. I definitely could have used some on my last couple trips.

I also just picked up a GG Murmur Hyperlight. I was strongly considering getting the Kumo but figured that I didn't need the pocket up top or the entire pack made of dyneema. How do you like the Kumo, and why did you end up getting that over the Murmur? Do you feel the extras are worth the additional weight?

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
"JMT Next Summer" on 12/12/2012 23:30:40 MST Print View

+1 On the Atlas. Fits in your pocket just fine. I find a mosquito net lighter, less slimy, and more useful than repellant, just my 2 cents. Not sure about what you mean on 'rope', but you don't need much, or any except maybe some thin stuff in case you need it for shoelaces ect. The Bearikade is the way to go for the bear can. Have a great time planning and doing your hike! I will be doing it again this summer as well.

Edit - Switching to trekking poles has been one of the smartest things I have done to help my knees. I would use them, but take a couple of trial hikes to get used to them.

Edited by rp3957 on 12/18/2012 09:53:40 MST.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Map on 12/12/2012 23:48:59 MST Print View

Looks like that map may be the way to go, thanks guys.

George- I had the newer model of the Murmur at one point and just liked the fact that the Kumo was more durable and I didn't have to be that careful with it in the field. The weight difference was worth it to me, I also like having the little zipper pocket at the top. The murmur also felt a little flimsy to me.

I have an extra one in a size medium that I'd be willing to sell if your interested.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re on 12/13/2012 17:09:59 MST Print View

You could always just take 1 trekking pole to set up your poncho tarp.

I don't like them personally, I like to have my hands free and they seem to slow me down. I can see how stream crossings or snow they might come in handy.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Poles on 12/13/2012 17:26:32 MST Print View

I've never actually used poles before. I have a cuben fiber tent pole that I could just take instead...

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Poles on 12/13/2012 17:46:41 MST Print View

"I have a cuben fiber tent pole that I could just take instead... "

Tent poles made out of fabric don't hold up well.

Carbon fiber tent poles work good.


Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
? on 12/13/2012 18:18:01 MST Print View


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: ? on 12/13/2012 19:22:43 MST Print View

Cuben fiber is a fabric used to make tarps, tents, backpacks, ect. I think you meant "carbon" fiber.

Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Haha on 12/13/2012 22:49:37 MST Print View

That would be correct! Haha, my bad.

Josh Greninger
Poles on 12/14/2012 12:43:46 MST Print View

I used trekking poles for the first time on the JMT last August.
I had the GG LT4s, and they were my favorite piece of gear on the trip. I don't know if I'd want to do the JMT without trekking poles now that I know what it's like to have them. I'm a fit 28 year old male, with no knee problems at all, but being able to slow myself down with the trekking poles going downhill really saved my knees.
They saved me from falls a handful of times too, possibly falls that could have ended my trip in injury.

I used a 2L bladder and a 1L water bottle, but I think I could have just carried 2L maximum capacity, especially if you "camel up" at water sources.

Edited by travis.bickle on 12/14/2012 12:48:58 MST.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
JMT Gear on 12/19/2012 09:13:13 MST Print View

1. I started in mid-August. No bugs! Never saw a mosquito.

2. I stopped carrying water because sources were so plentiful right along the trail. I would just stop and drink a liter. I kept my cooking pot handy so scooping water out of a small source was easy. Sometimes platy bottles are hard to get under water in shallow areas.

3 Looks like you have a good layering system to keep warm around camp...anorak and wind pants, wool hat.

4 Trekking poles are great. Remember you will be out for many days and miles. They poles will help keep strain off the knees. I did break one through a bit of carelessness, but was glad to hike with the one that survived. Luckily I only needed one to hold up my shelter (Six Moon Designs Oasis)

5 You can use the two poles to hold up your Poncho Tarp. Have a center line (parachute cord) run outside the tarp along its ridge line. Have a way to tie it to the hood. Your tarp will be in an A-frame shape. I was glad to have a shelter for warmth and one night of rain, but it was great just to sleep out under the stars. (You will not believe the number of stars) BTW if that poncho is your only raingear, have a rope or some belt system to tie off around your waist. Also be aware if you do use poles your arms will probably get wet under the poncho which has no sleeves. (I have the Golite poncho, but did not use it on the JMT) The one afternoon I encountered rain, there was also hail and I was glad to have waterproof shells to go over my hands and liner gloves.)

6 Clothing dries very quickly in the mid-day sun, so I even did a laundry which dried while I took a swim. Lakes are not as cold as the ocean in Maine!

7 That guide book looks great, but I just used the Harrison Map kit. I had zeroxed info from the Wenk/Morey Guide that has mileage and cross section chart so I could judge the ups and downs of the hikes.

8 I did not take the ferry at the Vermilion Valley Resort, but I left the jMT and hiked to it along the north side of the lake. There is a nice meadow to camp in in the valley near a good stream. I did pick up a food drop there and used the satellite phone to call home. There was no cell phone reception after Red Meadows and Mammoth until Whitney. If you do hike out from there, hike up the Bear Creek Trail rather than the ridge trail. The trailhead is about 3 miles down the road, so try to hitch to there, but the hike up that trail is fantastic. It is not steep and follows a beautiful trout stream. There is level camping areas just below the jct with the JMT. At Mammoth, I took a side trip up into the base of the Pinnacles for one night. Great hike, camped lakeside.

5 I was glad to have the expedition size Bearikade canister from Wild Ideas. It fit 8 days worth of food I needed after the Muir Ranch.
I went into the small store there to buy batteries for my camera. The clerk told me to look in the grab bag bucket where hikers leave extra gear. Batteries were there. I never used them, but I did not want not to have my camera. You will see why! It is easy to mail the Bearikade back in Lone Pine. It goes as is, no other box is needed.

6 Since there is no cell phone reception, consider the SPOT emergency system of a similar rescue beacon for peace of mind for your family at home as well. The SPOT lets you send out a daily message to e-mail addresses that will also pinpoint your location on a google map.

7 As you might tell, I enjoy writing abut my adventures on the trail. What an amazingly beautiful part of the world.

I have been back to Yosemite again and hope to head there this summer. You will see why!!

PS Have you done lots of miles wearing the "Five Toes". I heard they take some getting used to and would hate to have you have foot issues that might end your hike. I used low cuts which work great, but wore dirty girl gaiters to help with the dried out dusty portions of the trail due to horses.

A piece of gear I liked was my Dr. Shade which fits with velcro around any baseball-type hat to keep the hot sun off the neck. Take it off any time. Weighs almost nothing and packs smaller than a hackysack!

Edited by rambler on 12/19/2012 09:27:14 MST.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
atlas on 12/19/2012 11:35:34 MST Print View

I just wanted to give another big +1 on Erik's atlas. It was incredibly easy to use on my JMT hike in 2011. There were maybe 1 or 2 errors as I recall. The ones that stood out the most were switchbacks after Garnet Lake that were not marked on the map, and a direction change and descent right before Deer Creek that were not reflected in the atlas. I'm unsure if these have been corrected.

Here are some general comments I have.

+1 to trekking poles. My girlfriend and I were 27 and fit when we did the JMT. We still loved our poles, and it makes some water crossings that much easier. It also helped add extra stability to our tent (TT Double Rainbow)

Be sure you are comfortable with such a minimalist shoe. If you are, that's awesome and use what works well for you. Me personally, I would have sore feet on some days (15+mile days) especially since the passes have pretty rocky and rough trails. I was using a trailrunner with a rockplate too. Also, consider very lightweight breathable gaiter like a pair of dirtygirls or levagaiters...I lost a lot of time stoping to pick pebbles and grit out of my shoes.

I'm a bit unsure about the Kumo since it doesn't have an actual hipbelt. If MTR is your last resupply, plan on your pack being at least 10lbs heavier because of the 7 to10 days worth of food. Mine was 30lbs leaving MTR. It's doable, but I can't imagine it being the most comfortable. At least for the first few days.

Each year the JMT is different. Depending on what month you go, it can be bug free and bone dry. We went in September, and got at least 7 days of rain, and some hail and mornings that were around freezing. The mosquitos were fairly bad at times, like take a crap and end up with at least 3 bites on your butt bad. They usually disappeared within a couple of hours after sunset. I would definitely recommend a head net though, and we loved ours from (fellow BPL'er). This past summer was pretty wet as well based on the trip reports I've seen (check out Manfred's JMT trip report from this past season)

Looking at your clothing, I think you can drop the Short sleeve wool top. I brought 1 wool short sleeved shirt, 1 long sleeved patagonia capilene 1, and 1 wool quarter zip long sleeve top. I ended up never using the wool short sleeved shirt and it was mainly used as a pillow case and as a shirt when I was doing my laundry at Red's Meadow and VVR. I found the capilene long sleeve perfect to hike in, even on hot days, and it allowed me to wear less sunscreen. The wool long sleeve was great for layering into at night for sleeping. 2 socks is perfect and allows you to wash 1 while wearing the other. I didn't wear any underwear on my trip, choosing instead to bring two pairs of running shorts with built in liners. I could easily wash one while wearing the other. No chaffing, no problems, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I also wore dynamos and loved them! Perfect pants until it gets to be around 80 degrees. Shed rain just fine. Bringing a windshirt was the one thing I wish I had done, so it's good to see that on your list. Consider bringing insulation that isn't as delicate as the ex-light. In the mornings I would wear my BPL cocoon hoody for about an hour or so while hiking until I warmed up...I'm just not sure how the ex-light fabric will manage underneath pack straps (i have no experience with this jacket though).

Also, just food for thought...I used a cat-can alcohol setup with a foil windscreen and titanium pot for the first half of the trip. It worked great. When I got to MTR, I switched it out for a canister stove setup. We took 10 days to get from MTR to Whitney so the weight of an alcohol setup (including fuel) vs a canister setup were more or less the same, but I had the convenience and speed of a canister. Also, consider bringing a food cozy is you are doing boil-in-bag style dinners. It could be as simple as reusing a reflective mountain house mealbag. It'll save you fuel in the end.

True story, I decided to adopt the cat-can instead of my caldera cone at the very last minute after remembering that Andrew Skurka has used the same setup for all his epic trips. I figured if it worked for him and the conditions he faced, then I should be golden. I ran into Skurka during my trip (he was guiding a group on the sierra high route and dropped in on the JMT for a bit). In my excitement, I forgot to ask him to autograph my cat stove :/

Bring a fishing rod! I wish I did.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 12/19/2012 12:06:38 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT Gear on 12/19/2012 13:08:10 MST Print View

"At Mammoth, I took a side trip up into the base of the Pinnacles for one night."

Frank, where is that?


john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
Maps on 12/20/2012 06:25:22 MST Print View

My +1 for mapping goes to the Harrison maps. You get 13 A4 sheets of indestructible plasticised paper at 1" to the mile which are waterproof but can still be written on. I fold up one sheet at a time into a plastic bag which then hangs around my neck and gets stuffed into my 1/4 zip shirt, ready at an instant. Very satisfying at the end of the day to take out the day's sheet and slot in the next one.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Minaret Lake Trail on 12/22/2012 20:11:58 MST Print View

Apologies, Bob. I meant the Minaret Lake trail out of Mammoth, jct with the JMT at Johnston Lake and Meadows as seen on the Harrison Map entitled Devils Postpile. Find the first 3 miles of the trail on map # 10 of the Harrison JMT Series.

"..A great choice for backpackers who want to get up close to some of the most dramatic scenery in the Sierra" (Sierra South by Morey and White p. 171)

Of course, I thought the entire JMT was the 'most dramatic scenery'!

Edited by rambler on 12/22/2012 20:38:43 MST.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
JMT Next Summer on 12/22/2012 20:54:01 MST Print View

You will want and/or need:

Sunglasses (very intense UV up high & reflecting off snow and/or granite slabs

Wide brimmed hat - a Tiley LT6 works great

Bandana - at least one

fleece liner gloves

dedicated pair of sleeping socks - your feet will thank you

headnet - less than 0.5 oz and you will get tired of applying DEET quickly

I didn't see any toiletry items - TP, hand sanitizer, soap, ziplock bags for used TP, etc.

Rope is not needed. Carry 50 feet of Tripteaz-style line instead. The spectra core has all the strength you'll need and it's less than an ounce.

Edited by wandering_bob on 12/22/2012 20:58:08 MST.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
both maps on 12/23/2012 08:07:09 MST Print View

On the JMT 2011 and 2012 (we've done two sections now, planned a through hike but had to bail both years b/c of injury of a party member) we brought both Black's Atlas and Harrison set. 2 people in 2011, 3 people in 2012, so more people to distribute the weight. Blacks has more trail detail (switchbacks, etc.) and more logistical data (elevations, cumulative mileages, camps, water sources, etc.). Harrison covers a wider area. Wider area is useful if you want to identify that peak or valley farther in the distance, and understand the surrounding geography better. Wider area was also important to us for navigating our way off the JMT when we had to bail. As popular as the JMT is, there was not always another hiker from whom to ask directions, when needed.


Steven Hall
(lundquistas) - F
Update on 12/23/2012 12:22:07 MST Print View

Thanks for all the help guys, here are some changes I think I'm going to make

Definitely bringing trekking poles

Only one short sleeve shirt

Getting a headset

Considering gaiters

May go with my merrell sonic gloves as shoes. Makes wearing the socks easier

I bought Blacks set of maps

Considering taking my osprey exos 46 instead of the Kumo for the long stretch to carry the extra weight well

Brining a montbell synthetic inner jacket instead of the EX light for more durability when hiking

Going with a Houdini instead of the Montbell wind jacket

Last thing I'm considering is brining a Backcountry Boiler instead if my current stove set up. Wouldn't have to worry about buying/carrying fuel so it would be lighter for the long stretch and I really just need hot water for the meals I prepare. Anyone used the BBC on a long hike?


john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
Stoves on JMT on 12/23/2012 12:54:27 MST Print View

On my 2011 JMT I used only a wood burning Bushbuddy Ultra, but in 2012 there were fire restrictions in Kings and Sequoia due to the very dry conditions, and stoves of this type, incl the Backcountryboiler, we're banned. Some sort of back up would therefore seem a good idea, and with a bcb you could take the alcohol wick along , and change to alcohol burning if necessary.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: JMT Next Summer on 12/27/2012 14:44:52 MST Print View

I can't help but underscore how trekking poles will help with a longer trip. You won't really notice much if you're flat for say 2-6 hours... but if you're doing lots of hills (which you will on the JMT) and doing more than 8 hours a day (which you will) then the trekking poles will be DRAMATICALLY better.

I forgot my poles about 3 months ago when I did the grand canyon of the toulomne and I was KICKING myself!

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: JMT Next Summer on 12/27/2012 14:46:26 MST Print View

Another tip... break in your gear. Do lots of small 2-4 day trips with your gear. You're going to end up with lots of small revisions. New tarp setup, certain gear might annoy you, etc.

My gear has finally started to become really nice after about a year of setup and tweaking.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: JMT Next Summer on 01/02/2013 18:44:17 MST Print View

Hey Steven,

A few things.

+++1 for ETB's JMT Atlas and trekking poles. I have the GG LT4s and really like them. Anything to help take the stress off your leg joints will help over time given the rugged ups and downs.

I also have a Patagonia Houdini and really like it. However, for the JMT I took my rain jacket (Montane Minimus) and was glad for it given how much bad weather in the form of rain, hail, snow (and not to mention how cold it can get) we had last August. So, I would recommend a rain jacket versus the Houdini wind shirt, which is only water resistant.

Love your pack choice, except that you may want to see which, if any, bear can you can get in it, along with all your other gear. I used the BV450 and had no trouble getting it into my GoLite 50L Pinnacle pack, but the GG Kumo is a smaller 36L pack. Further, with my food and resupply choices, I had no problem getting in 10 days worth of food for the last stretch between MTR and Whitney Portal, especially since every place in SEKI does not require a bear can. Nonetheless, most people I ran into had much larger bear cans like the BV500 or Bearikade and a lot more food than me, so it's worth checking to see if your bear can will fit in your Kumo. For me, I resupplied at Tuoleme Store, Red's Meadows Store and Hiker Barrel and then I sent a small 2.5 gallon bucket to MTR. And like most people, I sent too much stuff to MTR. By mid-August, the many, many hiker barrels were indeed overflowing.

A few minor tidbits. You may not need both the BG knife and the multi tool. Also, unless you're planning on going off the JMT, you may not need the compass, especially if it's bigger than the tiny button style. You may not need the solar charger. You should be able to charge your phone at Tuolome and Red's. A spare battery may be more useful depending on how long it takes your charger to work. On both the JMT and CT, absolutely everyone I came across carrying a solar charger each said it was their biggest regret for bringing as it was finicky, inefficient and just not worth carrying. Finally, for hydration, you will rarely if ever need to carry more than one liter.

Hope this helps! Enjoy!


Edited by veganaloha on 01/02/2013 18:51:03 MST.