Which Pencil for the JMT?
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Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Which Pencil for the JMT? on 05/15/2013 08:41:22 MDT Print View

"...but I really think the pencil is bad and you should go with a pen. While far more UL, the pencil will, eventually, dull, the nub will wear thin and you will then your tool will be useless."

Wait..are we still talking about pencils?

"I don't understand you kids and your need to carry pencils. In my day, we'd just set a brontosaurus on fire and used his charred remains to draw with."

*Sigh* The brontosaurus' and cavemen of those days at least never stole your condiment packets, water caches and sweet rolls. Condiment packets your life could depend on! In those days a brontosaur would likely as not walk right up to the fire and throw himself in - just to help out!

Nowadays everyone is a pencil thief, and too lazy to char their own dinosaur, or even build their own fire.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Which Pencil for the JMT? on 05/15/2013 09:01:35 MDT Print View

Not so sure about the pen, they smear when wet, leaving bear attracting residue everywhere.

Thinking about it, he best plan is to bring a pen for day time use on the trail, but a nice pencil for use during stream crossings.

You don't need a dedicated camp pencil, but the weight is small, and it is a nice luxury to write with a clean instrument after a day of using a trail worn pen. Some people don't mind the filth in camp, but it's the little things that separate us from the animals.

--G.B.--

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Which Pencil for the JMT? on 05/15/2013 14:39:25 MDT Print View

"Not so sure about the pen, they smear when wet, leaving bear attracting residue everywhere. "

Does that mean that you have to carry a canister if you carry a pen. :O

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Which Pencil for the JMT? on 05/15/2013 14:55:12 MDT Print View

I wonder if John Muir even carried a pencil when he invented the trail.

Edited by csteutterman on 01/15/2014 09:50:12 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Which Pencil for the JMT? on 05/15/2013 15:37:55 MDT Print View

"I wonder if John Muir even carried a pencil when he invented the trail."

The John Muir Trail was named after the man, but it was developed by others including Theodore Solomons.

--B.G.--

Brett Ayer
(bfayer)

Locale: Virginia
Was all this necessary in the gear section? on 05/15/2013 15:48:09 MDT Print View

Was all this necessary in the gear section?

Should we now start a thread on the best way to tie an invisible shoe lace.

Are the mods on vacation or is this site that far gone that the mods are afraid to log on.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Was all this necessary in the gear section? on 05/15/2013 16:42:40 MDT Print View

"Was all this necessary in the gear section?"

Well it seemed like a legitimate question to me.

Many people take writing instruments on their trips. Where would our civilization be if Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, John Wesley Powell, John Muir, Jack London, Robert Service, Edward Abbey, Colin Fletcher, Chris Townsend, Harvey Butchart and a host of others had left their pencils/pens and paper at home? I dare say that backpacking would not be what it is today; it would be less.

How is a pencil less relevant than the dozens upon dozens of the JMT gear threads I have read here on BPL over the years?

Is a pencil not a piece of gear?

Some other thought provoking threads I have read here regarding the JMT over the years include such questions as...

Do I need a sleeping bag or quilt? Is a quilt better than a sleeping bag? What temperature bag or quilt for doing the JMT in July or August?

Do I need a tent? Tent or Tarp? Bivy instead of a shelter?

Do I need a smartphone, Kindle, iPod, iPad, MPS, PLB, SPOT, spare batteries, solar charger, etc.?

Do I need a wind shirt, rain jacket, or poncho? Which is best? GoreTex or eVent?

Do I need a hat? What kind of hat do I need?

Do I need boots? Are running shoes okay? How about Vibram 5 Fingers? Do I need camp shoes? Do I need water crossing shoes?

Do I need trekking poles?

How do I pee and/or poop?

Do I need tent stakes? How do you pound stakes into granite?

Do I need a bear canister? How do I store my food? Where do I get food?

How far can I hike in a day?

How do I even get to the JMT?

What stove? Is Esbit or Alcohol okay?

Do I need underwear? If I do, what kind? Is wool better than synthetic?

Do I need a camera? Which camera is best for the JMT? Should I get a DSLR or a P&S?

Can I hike in shorts? Can I hike in trousers? What shirt should I wear? Do I need sunglasses? What brand sunglasses should I buy? Do I need polarized lenses?

Are there mosquitoes? DEET or headnet? How do you sleep without a fully enclosed tent?

What should I sleep on (foam pad, insulated pad, down pad, air mattress, duft)? What size pad should I sleep on? Do I need a groundsheet? What kind of groundsheet do I need? Where can I buy a groundsheet? Should I use a groundsheet under my tent?

Is cuben better than nylon, xPac, Dymeema, Spectra, Cordura?

Do I need a framed pack? What size pack do I need? Do I need outside pockets on my pack? Who makes the best pack? Who makes the cheapest pack?

Can I fish? Can I go vegan? Can I live off the land and not bring food?

How do I treat water? Which is best; iodine, AquaMira, filter, Steripen? Can I get by without treating water. How do I get water out of a shallow area? What should I carry my water in?

Do I need a knife, or razor blade, or ax, or machete?

How many pounds, or ounces should my first aid kit weigh? What should I carry in my first aid kit? Etc., etc., etc.

Maybe if more hikers took pencils, there would be more How To books, and thus no questions here on how to hike the JMT?

I don't think a pencil is a trivial thing, and having never used one to capture the flavor of my hikes it seemed that Gear would be the logical place to ask my questions.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
JMT ?'s on 05/15/2013 16:48:33 MDT Print View

+1 and checkmate!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Was all this necessary in the gear section? on 05/15/2013 16:52:39 MDT Print View

Nick, head down to the golf course and purchase, beg, borrow, or steal a quantity of short pencils. At home in your workshop, you paint them some distinctive color. Weigh them very carefully, and then put them up for sale here for an affordable price, say $2 each, shipped. Then you offer up a cuben fiber carrying case, and that would be $4 each, shipped. You would need to include a user manual.

You can make a million bucks.

--B.G.--

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Was all this necessary in the gear section? on 05/15/2013 17:10:02 MDT Print View

Based on the above I think may need to divide this thread into "regular" and "irony-free" sub-threads.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Was all this necessary in the gear section? on 05/15/2013 17:18:29 MDT Print View

"Based on the above I think may need to divide this thread into "regular" and "irony-free" sub-threads."

Now I am getting confused. I thought the pencils were made from lead. Are you suggesting it is actually iron? That sounds heavy. Perhaps someone makes a carbon fiber pencil; does anyone know?

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: JMT ?'s on 05/15/2013 17:21:11 MDT Print View

Nick...touché!!!!! That was simply brilliant.

But you forgot to mention what kind of shirt I should bring when I hike the JMT...short sleeve or long? Synthetic, wool, button down, rail riders?




You know, when I first found BPL I read a few posts lamenting about how the forums had turned into a cesspool of "which tent should I buy?" and "ULA packs vs Gossamer Gear?" threads. I was a tad put off, because I was that noobie and frankly, those decisions were hard! Now, thanks to the collective wisdom I've mooched from all of you, I find that I am comfortable making my own mistakes - instead of thinking every gear and route choice has to be the absolutely forever perfect one. And now I find myself lamenting that the forums have turned into this cesspool of "which tent is best?" and "MLD Exodus vs the Ohm 2.0?"

I recently joined a JMT Facebook group...then promptly unjoined as every single question was "should I carry a 70L or a 90L pack?" You've all spoiled me so....



So seriously, which shirt should I bring?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: JMT ?'s on 05/15/2013 17:27:13 MDT Print View

Just buy a cotton/poly or poly dress shirt. You can roll up the sleeves, and can try it on at the store for proper fit.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Jennifer's JMT shirt on 05/15/2013 17:29:47 MDT Print View

"So seriously, which shirt should I bring?"

Whatever shirt you choose, Jennifer, be sure to sew a little mini tube inside the pocket to securely store your BPL golf pencil. I'm sure that's what Nick and BG would do, and they know their golf pencils.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
To set the record straight... on 05/15/2013 17:33:30 MDT Print View

I think the last time I used a pencil was in 1968 when I voted for Pat Paulsen for President. I normally write with a fountain pen or type on a keyboard. So I have no recent experience with a pencil.

Edited by ngatel on 05/15/2013 17:34:50 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Jennifer's JMT shirt on 05/15/2013 17:35:30 MDT Print View

Ha!

I so enjoy it when threads make me laugh like this.
By the way, where's Max? I miss him...........

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Which Pencil (or any other piece of gear) for the JMT? on 05/15/2013 17:38:01 MDT Print View

I am heartily enjoying this thread!!! As in ROTFL! My dog just walked into the computer room wondering why I was laughing so hard!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/15/2013 17:39:05 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Jennifer's JMT shirt on 05/15/2013 17:39:33 MDT Print View

I think he got lost, used a mechanical pencil floating in water as a compass, and it sunk to the bottom. Should have used one of those UL golf pencils without an eraser.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Nicks writing implement on 05/15/2013 17:44:11 MDT Print View

And here I thought you used a quill and ink.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Others missing on 05/15/2013 17:45:24 MDT Print View

Besides Max, where's Doug, and Travis, and Konrad--they need to get in on this too.