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Re: [John Muir Trail] Pack weight question.

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  • John Ladd
    Many succeed with light packs and many with heavier packs. The 2006 PCT-AR completers -- surveyed at the northern end of the trails and having hiked at least
    Message 1 of 59 , Jun 16, 2013
      Many succeed with light packs and many with heavier packs. The 2006 PCT-AR completers -- surveyed at the northern end of the trails and having hiked at least 500 miles and 90% plus having covered over 1500 miles -- had a wide distribution of self-reported baseweights

      Inline image 1

      Inline image 1

      "Pack weight was surveyed as ‘‘base pack weight,’’ meaning not including food and water."

      it's my unscientific impression -- from having talked to a lot of thruhikers in the mid 20-oughts -- that substantially less than 25% of people attempting the PCT in 2006 had baseweghts above 31 lbs. I'd guess that only 10-15% of thrus I've run into on the trail were over 31 lbs of baseweight

      Since 28% of completers were above that baseweight, and if my impressions about attempters (10-15%) are correct, higher baseweights may actually improve the chances of completion. That said, many do complete long trails with a light or ultralight approach. Clearly you can do it either way and people with back problems should logically give the light or UL approach a try (with appropriate caution).

      Figures above are from Table 1, page 252 of The Impact of Footwear and Packweight on Injury and Illness Among Long-Distance Hikers, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 20, 250–256 (2009)




      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279


      On Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 7:33 AM, Adam Bearson <abearson@sanjuan.edu> wrote:
       

      So thankful for this group. I love reading these posts. You guys inspire me.

      I am training back from herniated discs and moderately arthritic reconstructed knees, and while sometimes I feel that the JMT is audacious folly, it is also a 20-year dream. We are planning for July 2014.

      The PCT thru-hikers that I speak with coming through Tahoe say they carry 25lbs or less, but the pack weights for the JMT described here call this a "base weight" with food and water on top, so I am confused about what is possible. I have read multiple posts--a popular topic--, and while most carry 45+ pounds, a few seem to carry a lot less. I am comfortable training up to carry 25lbs, but 40+ concerns me because if the back goes, well, that would end things. My wife and kids are coming, too, and I don't want to be a liability on the trail.

      I don't need a gear list (there are many good ones here), just your impressions of whether or not packing 25lbs is safe, practical and doable--or suggestions for alternatives if is not.

      Thank you for any insights that you have.

      Adam Bearson


    • b2d099203e309ec68e85b9e81b55a7df
      Should also specify that the Injinji socks I use are the heaviest weight ones they make.
      Message 59 of 59 , Aug 30, 2016
        Should also specify that the Injinji socks I use are the heaviest weight ones they make.
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