I'm a reader of BPL from Finland I have got loads of good advice regarding gear here. I also have been planning to hike JMT for over one and half years now. I'm planing to do JMT this year, I got permits, ESTA etc. I'll start on 24th August by flying to San Francisco. Then I'll rent a bear canister, rent a tent and send a package to Muir Ranch from SF. I haven't called yet but I'll have to check if I can reserve some of this stuff in advance.
Next day I'll get a bus to Merced via Amtrak or Greyhound early in the morning, then YARTS to Yosemite Lodge midday. I'm planning to camp in Northern Pines and start from Little Yosemite Valley the next day, 27th of August. Then we will hike the whole shebang in 18-21 days. I'm planning to resupply at Muir Ranch on the 10th day of the hike. We'll continue from there southward to Mt Whitney.
From Whitney Portal, I plan to hitchhike to Lone Pine and stay a night in motel. From Lone Pine I'm planning to get a bus straight to Reno on Friday, and there Amtrak or Greyhound to San Francisco. In case I miss the bus from Lone Pine to Reno, I will take southbound bus to Lancaster and from there Amtrak to San Francisco (has anyone done this?).
We're a group of three, two males and female (unsure). Here's my pack list, expenditures, trip plan etc:
I have some general questions:
1) Is my trip plan crazy / reasonable?
2) I think I'll be using Whisperlite with canister gas. Its heavy but safely windproofable and can be inverted. Another option would be Jetboil. Would it be a better choice? Less weight, maybe 200g or so. But is it more efficient (no Jetboil Mug) ? The other question is the amount of fuel I need to carry. I'm considering getting 2x450g (net weight) canisters. We're 3 persons. I guesstimated using wind pro consumption that the Whisperlite Universal should boil about boil about 57 litres of water with 900g of fuel which is 2.1 per day for 9 days for 3 persons. I haven't done chemistry in quite a while but I think Boyle's law states that there will be a decrease in gas pressure with release of gas which will affect thermal output. I think there was Roger Caffin article about this some time ago but I'm not sure how it will affect the output (linear? logarithmic?).
I have heard that in the evening the temperatures can be a bit low but do they go low enough to affect cooking?
Then some random, less important remarks:
3) Total weight is around 18lbs base weight, 37 lbs total. My backpack is Osprey Volt 75L. I have Granite Gear Crown VC60 too but this one has more room, better strapping, padding, drinking bottle handling, hip belt pockets etc. I think I'll go with the heavier pack.
4) My sleeping bag is Viking 600. Rating 15F (EN 13537: 26F/15F/-18F). That and thick (2.5cm) CCF-mat. I might buy Exped mat, not sure.
5) I'm planning to eat 700g of food per day. 2700kcal per day. BV500 will be my canister of choice, I guess it will fit 9 days of food ?
6) I guess DEET bug spray + head net is enough to keep the buggers off
7) Is it worth taking PLB? SPOT? Lots of people on the trail.
8) I need to rent some tent from REI.com. I guess I'll take Big Agnes SL4 or something. I have to contact REI. I'm generally fine with tarp sleeping but its a lot of days with some under maybe heavy rain so I'll maybe go for a tent instead.
9) I have Rab Momentum Jacket and Marmot Super-Fly XT pants for rainy times. I'm using lightweight trail boots. Gore-Tex. With gaiters. Gaiters are nice. I have also Rab Endurance down jacket. Really warm.
10) I'm using three Rab Meco, merino wool shirts. Merino socks too.
11) Are crampoons like microspikes how useful?
12) I was using this list and bunch of others: http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/jmt2011kitlist.html
13) I need to store my extra stuff somewhere in rented locker in SF. Any recommendations?
14) Any pro tips for SF / Cal tourism? :)
Thanks for any replies in advance.