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Critique my CT/JMT-Thru List
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Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Critique my CT/JMT-Thru List on 03/19/2013 10:14:04 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

I might be able to thru hike the CT and the JMT this summer if some things fall into place. This is my tentative list for BOTH of the hikes. I am assuming that the gear used for the CT will be able to be used to the JMT more or less.

Let me know what y'all think. Thanks for the feedback! I always get good ideas from y'all.

I do not know if I will take my phone/chargers or not. I will need them a couple times during the hike so I am wrestling with the idea of using a bounce box. Does anyone have a suggestion?

EDIT: I plan on doing it during July and early August. Possibly sooner or later but that will be the bulk of the trip.


Edited by clintlum91 on 03/20/2013 06:51:54 MDT.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
CT list on 03/19/2013 19:42:27 MDT Print View

When will you hit the CT?

I've only done parts of the CT but have been researching it to do some week long trips this summer. Lack of water seems to be a pretty big issue in some places so more water carrying capacity would be helpful. Right away, segment 2 doesn't have any water and is really exposed.

I'd suggest a hat for additional sun protection.

I only take booties in shoulder season when I think it will hit low 20s or lower. Trade that for a light wool cap which will help keep you warm in camp and while sleeping. I use a pair of mid-weight wool socks for sleeping which could be used for hiking if needed. I rotate 2 pairs of lightweight socks for hiking. I don't see extra socks on your list.

It's supposed to be fairly well marked but I'd still take maps and a real compass. And the CT data book. That seems like it will be pretty handy. If you make copies, you can toss the old ones and get the new ones when you resupply.

Too bad about the Iphone having the internal battery. Otherwise you could leave the Nook and use it as a reader. The 8 oz+ for the nook and the charger goes a long way in batteries for other phones.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
CT List on 03/19/2013 20:15:19 MDT Print View

Looks like a pretty solid list but let me add a few thoughts. I have done the CT but not the JMT so my thoughts are gear more towards that trail.

Water Carrying - On the CT you will be going 20 miles between water, I believe once I went a bit farther. So you need the ability to carry plenty of water. I'd probably carry 4 platypuses.

Rain Gear - If you do the CT you might be rained on a significant part of the day. I would be a bit nervous having all down insulation and minimal rain gear. You could carry heavier rain gear and stay a bit drier during the day. A breathable rain jacket might be worth considering if you are hiking during Colorado's monsoon season. Sometimes the rain last longer then a brief afternoon shower.
A better idea might be a small towel so you can dry off a bit before you get into the sleeping bag at night.

Clothing - I don't see a wind shirt. I loved mine on the CT. If you're using a non breathable rain coat you might want a breathable wind shirt for windy days and very light drizzles.

Electronics - I'd carry one extra camera battery. Think whether or not you will really use the nook. Unless you are going at a really leisurely pace I doubt you'll use it much.

Navigation - I don't see maps or data books. You don't need super detailed maps for the first part of the trail. I mostly used the guidebook but I printed off Delorma topo maps as back up. For the last 150 miles or so I carried Trails Illustrated Maps. You might consider buying the Nat Geo mapping software instead of buying a bunch of maps. I would want topo maps at least in the southern CT. In some places the trail is faint and trail markers can be far apart.

Guidebooks - The official CT databook is pretty good but Eric the Black's guide has a few extra details like info on trail towns, better maps and information on where you can get cell coverage. However in my opinion there is one flaw in Eric's book. He is much more optimistic in what he rates as a "reliable" water source. Peronsally I'd use Eric's guide but remark all the water sources based on what the official data book says.

Packing - You can do the CT with a frameless pack. Just be aware that you have some rather long sections between resupplies and those sections are also the drier sections. Now if you don't mind hitch hiking on some tough roads you can resupply a bit more often and keep the load a bit lighter. Personally I opted to carry a bit more weight and not have the hastle of hitchhiking as much. I enjoyed the longer stretches of wilderness hiking with no town visits in between. If you want to go the way I did you might consider a pack with a frame. Of course on the JMT you'll be dealing with bear canisters as well.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you need to.

Edited by Cameron on 03/19/2013 20:18:48 MDT.

Eric Swab

Locale: Rockies
Windshirt on 03/19/2013 20:41:38 MDT Print View

I'll second the wind shirt, warm hat, and sun hat.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Update on 03/19/2013 21:55:56 MDT Print View

Thanks for the help guys.

I added a fleece hat and data book. I just forgot to put those on there so thanks for reminding me.

I do own a Patagonia Houdini but I was thinking that carrying a rain jacket in addition to a windshirt would be redundant, am I wrong for thinking that?

Also I think I will at least start with the down booties because for some reason my feet get freakin cold, I can always just take them off if need be and send them home.

Finally, what do you guys recommend as far as maps? I have the CT Data Book from 2012 (maybe 2011), will this suffice? I did 50 ish miles in summit county area last year and it seemed to be fine. Are there area where I will need a topo and if so what are the best? I dont want to have to carry like a pound of topos for each segment.



Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Re: Critique my CT/JMT-Thru List on 03/19/2013 21:59:50 MDT Print View

+1 on more water carrying devices for the CT. The longest you will probably have to go is 21 miles without reliable water. On my thru i carried 2 X Liter sized smart water bottles and a 70oz platypus bladder. It was honestly the perfect amount, although when hiking through segment 2 it was HOT (not really much shade) and i had to stop at the fire house for some much needed water. Its been quite a dry year so i wouldnt count on all of the water source being reliable. Also as a side note the data book has better water details than the actual guidebook in my experience.

+1 carrying a wp/b jacket. It rained on me 17 out of the 27 days of my thru on the CT, and hiking in a rain jacket became somewhat normal because of my need to make decent mileage.

I'm not sure of your time constraints, but if you do the CT i would suggest buying food as you go. On the segments between breckenridge and salida this allowed me really cut on pack weight by only carrying a couple days of food at a time. There are reliable places to buy good trail food in each town, although Lake city is a bit scarce and the health food store was a bit expensive (ended up spending $65 on 5 days of food!)

I'm sorry I'm not much of help toward the JMT seeing as i havent hiked it.

Mike Stromsoe
(phstudio) - F

Locale: So. Cal.
Water carry on 03/20/2013 05:25:37 MDT Print View

+1 on more water carry.

I'm going with roughly 4 liters capacity on my CT thru hike this summer. One 32 OZ. Nalegene soft canteen (easy fill and Steripen access), One 900 ml Evernew bladder and one 2 liter platypus bladder.

I did the JMT in 2011 with 2 liters capacity, with one liter filled periodically during the day. At camp I filled my first litter as my primary and had my second liter for dinner and breakfast water (dehydrated meal and morning coffee). Way more convenient than trudging down to the creek in the morning.

Edited by phstudio on 03/20/2013 05:35:46 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Resupplies on 03/20/2013 05:55:09 MDT Print View

I think the health food store in Lake City is gone. When I was there the only place to buy anything was the General Store which doubled as the post office.

Mike Stromsoe
(phstudio) - F

Locale: So. Cal.
Wind shirt on 03/20/2013 05:55:26 MDT Print View

"I do own a Patagonia Houdini but I was thinking that carrying a rain jacket in addition to a wind shirt would be redundant, am I wrong for thinking that?"

I take it then you have not done to much hiking in your rain shell? On my CT thru this summer, I plan to only be in my rain jacket (OR Helium II) when it is actually raining. Otherwise, if it is cold and/or windy I'll be in my Houdini.

I once thought I could do the rain shell only, but once I tried a wind shirt I was a convert. I know, I sound like a broken record, but it's true.

Edited by phstudio on 03/20/2013 05:56:59 MDT.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Re: Critique my CT/JMT-Thru List on 03/20/2013 07:00:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reply Allen,

I added an additional 1L bottle to the list and specified that the Sawyer Squeeze is the 2L bag. This brings my total water capacity to 4L. Do you think this is enough? I could always bring more but I have found that I tend to carry more water than I need most of the time when I have a lot of extra capacity. For Segment 2 I can just go no cook and no coffee for that night/morning to save water I think. That will leave 4L specifically for drinking.

I guess I really need to consider taking a wind shirt in addition to my rain shell. My logic is that if I am hiking in the rain I will have to be wearing a rain shell because the wind shirt will wet out, and if I can hike in a little drizzle with the rain shell the I would not mind hiking without it and just getting a little damp. You said that you had to do a lot of hiking in the rain to make miles, do you think I will give myself enough time to hike if I start right around sun up every day? That should allow for at least 8 miles before the afternoon storms right?

I pln on buying my food as I go, that is good advice. Also what did you do for electronics? Did you carry you phone and charger with you or what? I will need them at various parts of the trip but for 80% I will not and I would love an alternative to carrying them with me.

Awesome info.


Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Windshirt on 03/20/2013 07:09:20 MDT Print View


Thanks for the advice.

I added an additional 1L bottle which brings my capacity to 4L including the 2L Sawyer bag. And that is good to know for the JMT.

"I take it then you have not done to much hiking in your rain shell? On my CT thru this summer, I plan to only be in my rain jacket (OR Helium II) when it is actually raining. Otherwise, if it is cold and/or windy I'll be in my Houdini.

I once thought I could do the rain shell only, but once I tried a wind shirt I was a convert. I know, I sound like a broken record, but it's true."

---> I have not hiked in my current shell, but have in many others before. I have a Lukesultralite Sil shell with pit zips added. My logic has been if its raining hard Ill wear the rain shell and continue to hike and if it wets out then I will still be warm so I dont really care. And I guess I had not considered taking the wind shirt for anything other than light showers, but it would be a great hiking layer. I usually dont add additional layers to hike in because I have found that the only times I use them are the first half hour or so of hiking in the morning to warm up, and in that case I can use my rain shell... just a thought. Although it would be nice to have for summit days, around town etc. so who knows maybe ill throw it in the pack, it is afterall lighter than my 11 oz hoody I usually take to serve as that mid-layer warmth garment.

P.S. I updated the list in my original response to add the things y'all have suggested. Thanks for the help. Hopefully this is saving me from some uncomfortable times on the trail!

Edited by clintlum91 on 03/20/2013 07:11:08 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Critique my CT/JMT-Thru List on 03/20/2013 07:24:40 MDT Print View

"Water Treatment - Sawyer Squeeze"

I assume you will take the NEW sawyer bladders or Evernew bladders.

Regarding the CT, this is a Very low snow year for the trail north of Lake City. You need to think about how you will obtain water from low volume seeps. A pump is ideal, as all you need is a golf ball sized pit. In order to fill a bladder you would need dig more (in gravel/rock).

(I'm not advocating for a pump, only suggesting that you know how to fill a bladder in low flow situations.)

Good Luck. Have Fun.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Critique my CT/JMT-Thru List on 03/20/2013 08:28:18 MDT Print View

Hmmm that is a really good point. Anybody have any thought regarding this?

I suppose I could bring some low-profile cup/scoop for that. Perhaps the bottom inch and a half of a water bottle for a scoop?

I typically dont get water out of puddles because I have assumed they are ridden with parasites but I guess I might have to on the CT this year...

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Water and other things on the CT on 03/20/2013 16:18:49 MDT Print View

puddle water

You probably will be scooping out of puddles once or twice. After 20 miles of dry hiking this was my water! This was the only water I could find. Some kind of scoop might be a good idea. Of course I suppose you could use your cook pot if you need to. As far as carry water goes I think I had 4.5 liters and I used it all on several occasions. I was just about out when I found the puddle above.

If I did it again I would pay more attention to hydrating at water sources. If you stay hydrated throughout the day and guzzle a liter or so at your last water sources that extends your range a bit.

Regarding the wind shirt/rain coat idea. There will be windy days when you want more then your baselayer but not a raincoat or your down jacket. You might get by with just a breathable rain coat but personally I prefer the windshirt for non rainy weather. The extra breathablity is nice, especially when you are taking showers once a week if you're lucky.

On longer hikes I put my raincoat on as soon as it starts to sprinkle. I stayed in my windshirt too long once and got soaked. It was a long time before I dried out. That's another argument for a breathable raincoat on longer trips. On the CT you will have days when you keep the raincoat on pretty much all day.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Water and other things on the CT on 03/20/2013 16:58:08 MDT Print View

Is your photo the "oil slick" at Spanish Divide?


Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Water and other things on 03/20/2013 21:45:33 MDT Print View

It might have been Spanish Divide. I don't have the maps or guidebooks with me. It was about a day south of Monarch Pass as I recall.

Clint Lum
(clintlum91) - F
Re: Water and other things on the CT on 03/22/2013 13:35:22 MDT Print View

man that water looks pretty bad. But after 20 miles I prolly wouldnt care haha.

Do you think a Sawyer would suffice to clean the water? Or would you recommend carrying a Sawyer plus a couple of purification tabs for situations like this one?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Water and other things on the CT on 03/22/2013 14:35:42 MDT Print View

It looks a Lot better in the photo than when I got there. It all had a rainbow sheen.

A Saywer PointOne won't remove chemicals.
Chlorine Dioxide would kill the bugs, but the oil would still be there.

A pump with charcoal innards would remove it.
But that hardly justifies dealing with one scummy source.

Luke and I are still alive...

Edited by greg23 on 03/22/2013 14:37:32 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 03/22/2013 14:36:39 MDT Print View

I always carry a few tablets in my first aid, if I lose my Sawyer or come accross a very sketchy water source they WILL come in handy.

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Nook on 03/22/2013 22:45:54 MDT Print View

You could swap the Nook for the highest capacity iPhone battery case you can find, they usually run 2.5-3oz. Then get the Nook app for your phone. That way you still have an eReader, and a protective case for your phone, and save 5+ oz. Make sure the battery case has a switch so you can switch to backup power only when the internal battery is almost dead, you get more time that way.

Edited by drewjh on 03/22/2013 22:47:05 MDT.