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Headed south on the JMT on July 29...
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Wesley Larson

Locale: Minnesota
Headed south on the JMT on July 29... on 06/08/2014 14:37:34 MDT Print View

This is my first extended solo trip. I've done plenty of shorter trips around MN (boundary waters, superior hiking trail), and have pretty comfortably done 20 mile days.

Looking to do the JMT in 16-17 days, beginning from Happy Isles on July 29th, with food pickups at Reds Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch.

Here's my current gear list:

Let me know if I'm missing anything, could really do without anything, or could lighten anything on the list relatively cheaply. I've checked out and tried other backpacks, but I'm most comfortable with the Exos, even though I could save weight there. I know I could save weight on the sleeping bag too, but unless I fall upon a supermegadeal, that's what I'll be going with.

Any tips, advice, suggestions, are very much appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by wes on 06/08/2014 15:07:51 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Headed south on the JMT on July 29... on 06/09/2014 08:26:14 MDT Print View

I think flip-flops will be a tough go.

I suggest going with trail runners.
I know they weigh more, but for your first trip they'll be worth it.

Wesley Larson

Locale: Minnesota
flipflops on 06/09/2014 08:44:10 MDT Print View

My bad, the flipflops listed are just for camp, not my main hiking shoes.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: flipflops on 06/09/2014 09:16:45 MDT Print View

in that case if you want to save weight drop the flip flops.
if you have the right feeling hiking shoes you don't need special camp shoes.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Headed south on the JMT on July 29..." on 06/09/2014 10:05:03 MDT Print View

Agreed, drop the flip flops. Out of Happy Isles you are instantly going to wish that you had the lightest pack possible. And on that note: have you thought about stashing food at Tuolumne Meadows too? I've met lots of hikers who were disheartened hiking from Happy Isles to Tuolumne with six days of food on their backs. It's a real climb! And you're just starting out. I'd vote making things as easy as possible. Pack two days worth of food.

terry a thompson
(terry588) - MLife

Locale: West
Re: Headed south on the JMT on July 29... on 06/09/2014 10:28:52 MDT Print View

Are you cooking with esbits or alcohol?
With the fire situation in California, you need to check to make sure you can use alcohol. As of last week you could not use alcohol in Yosemite, some of the other areas on the JMT have not made up their mind yet.

Wesley Larson

Locale: Minnesota
first few days on 06/09/2014 10:30:32 MDT Print View

Alright, I can drop the flops.

My initial plan was to be able to get to Red's Meadow in 5 days/4 nights. I was going to ship my cookset to my first drop at Red's, and have non-cook food the first few days, along with a meal or two at Tuolumne (depending when I'm around there), and then a meal at Red's when I get there.

I guess I was more focused/worried about the last drop at Muir Trail Ranch, and carrying 9 days of food up and over the high passes, than I was the first couple of days.

Wesley Larson

Locale: Minnesota
alcohol stove on 06/09/2014 10:35:53 MDT Print View

Terry -

planning on an alcohol stove, but shipping it with my pickup at Red's Meadow, so I might be fine once I get out of Yosemite?

Thanks for the head's up on that. Where do you find updates on that stuff?

terry a thompson
(terry588) - MLife

Locale: West
Re: alcohol stove on 06/09/2014 13:26:46 MDT Print View

The PCTA site has some info. They also have links to the different forest services you will be going through. Just so happens i am leaving on the JMT SOBO on the 15th of July and have been checking all the links every week to try to find out which ones are allowing what. It is very confusing! I have finally decided to carry canister stove with esbit backup, but will keep checking for changes. My feeling is it will only get worse, not better.

Eileen Duncan
(eileensd) - MLife

Locale: The Sierra or the SF Bay Area
flip floppin' on 06/09/2014 21:52:41 MDT Print View

My hiking shoes (trail runners) were a dream, yet I was still sooo happy to have my flip flops (the cheapest, lightest old school kind I could find).

If it was me, I would drop the extra pair of Darn Tough socks. One pair of Darn Tough socks (w/Injini toe socks - foot savers!!!) saw me through the entire JMT. Twice. I also brought an ankle length pair of smartwool socks for sleeping (1.1 oz) and wore them occasionally during the day if the hiking socks were drying. Mostly, however, I could get by with only washing the liners regularly, as the Darn Tough held up so well and didn't get very stinky (at least not that I noticed! ;) .

Forego the inflatable pillow? It looks like it may be your luxury item, but you can use your jacket or something and make out just fine.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Headed south on the JMT on July 29..." on 06/10/2014 10:20:51 MDT Print View

flip flops: or get a pair of mesh pool shoes that weigh about 2 ounces. I use mine if I'm going to be crossing a lot of streams, but they're fine in camp. Except for the occasional Ponderosa pine cone needle!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Headed south on the JMT on July 29..." on 06/10/2014 10:24:06 MDT Print View

As one of the many way-too-analytical BPL members I would like to know the precise weight cut off where going bare foot would be just as good ;-)

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
fire ban on 06/10/2014 17:09:27 MDT Print View

Last year the fire bans went into effect around July 1st in both Inyo and Sierra National Forests. Given how dry this year I expect it to be similar if not sooner. (Inyo NF and Sierra NF are the areas between Yosemite and Kings Canyon.)

south of MTR on 06/10/2014 20:04:28 MDT Print View

SEKI allows alcohol and esbit during fire restrictions, so from MTR southward, I think you can use those for sure. Buy a cheap ebay cannister stove and leave it in the hiker box at MTR and use alchol from there, they sell the alcohol too. The weight isnt much of an issue anywhere before there.