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6512RE: [John Muir Trail] Question about cost and time

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  • robert shattuck
    Dec 7, 2009
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      Think mosquitos––that's one thing you'll be dealing with, within those dates. They sort of magically vanish after mid-august . . . Are your dates "solid"  . . . are they? Do you mean, by solid, that you'll have enough time? Yes, unless you're a schlubb dump college kid––just plan an average of 10-12 miles a day, with one or two that might hit 13-17 depending. 

      By the time you start hitting the real passes . . . Mather and beyond, you should be doing a pass a day . . . get up below mather, go over in the morning and get up below Pinchot and so on. 

      don't bother with expensive (or do) freeze-dried––it's not cheap and it's not always what it says on the package, if you know what I mean. Since this sounds like your first big long distance trip, you probably have no idea how your body functions in such circumstances and what your ultimate caloric intake will  need to be. Some people get out for three weeks and they are ravenous the entire time. have to eat three power bars a day and hit all their meals. 

      Other people seem to lose their appetite, which is no excuse to stop eating (on the contrary) but you may need a lot less to keep your engine running. Your best bet is trial and error and this time around you should certainly suffer the lessons and take as much as you can–– always better to have more than you need than not. 

      Trader Joe's is a great place to buy food. I go crazy, not worrying about the weight of my food. I buy sardines and oysters, which I usually put in my food drop, so that by the time I get to Vermilion, I'll not only be in better shape, but certainly starved for the fat.  I buy the wet indian meals and the somewhat bulky tortellini junk. I think I usually spend about $120-50 on food. (I also take jerky, corn nuts, sea weed, miso-soup)

      Of course if you can cook and like mixing stuff up, go for it and you might get away spending less, but make sure you know what you're taking. do a test kitchen to at least make sure you like your concoctions . . . if I didn't have to use a bear canister, I'd probably still be eating two ramen packets a night––such healthy goodness. 

      Snow? let's hope there's some snow, but things being as they are, you might be lucky and find it on a few of the passes, but it will be nothing that should thwart your getting over them. 

      Weather in general, in the sierra, is usually pretty pleasant and if anything, visibly predictable––rain and thunder are always possible, but often fickle––might only last a few hours, or might bog you down for a day––the best advice again is just to be prepared with the right gear and a little bit of knowledge, such as what to do in the event of thunder and lightning. 


      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      From: jonnyboy9543@...
      Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 03:33:59 +0000
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Question about cost and time

      Hey all, so I'm trying to get an average idea of how much it'll cost me to do the entire trip. I have all my own gear (or access to that which I don't own), but am on a tight (college student) budget. Does anyone have any suggestions for ways that I can save a few bucks here and there, and a rough estimate as to how much it'll end up costing? I know it's important to get good, healthy meals while on the trail, but I'm not sure I can afford all the prepackaged, dehydrated meals. A few per leg of the trail is fine, but other than that...

      One last question: Due to me going to college and needing time to repack before heading out again, I was planning on going from Happy Isles to Whitney July 13-August 6 or 8. Should I anticipate more temperamental weather during that time, or are my dates fairly solid?

      Thanks to all ahead of time for your helpful guidance!

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