Re: [John Muir Trail] Pack weight question.
- 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."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
415-648-9279On Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 7:33 AM, Adam Bearson <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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.