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Newbie planning for JMT hike questions

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  • Art
    Great group here, lots of useful info. My planning questions: 1) How much cash should one bring along? 2) Bathroom needs - does one need a trowel to bring
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 30, 2013
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      Great group here, lots of useful info.

      My planning questions:
      1) How much cash should one bring along?
      2) Bathroom needs - does one need a trowel to bring along? Is it legal to bury away tp/wipes? Or plenty of restrooms are available long the way (doubtful)?
      3) 20/30 degree Sleeping bags - plan to take one along, wouldn't those be too hot if the temps at night stay in 50s-70s?
      4) I been a tent camper, never done tarp but this seems to be the general expert way to go. Wouldnt ants/snakes/spiders/mice/critters/bears be an issue if cowboy camping or just with a tarp and maybe net/bivy combo? One journal/blog I read said the mice are pretty smart and chewed through the tent/food wrapper when he walked away for few minutes.
      5) Bear spray required/allowed? What are good brands?
      6) Hiking bag capacity - what are general recommendations? 4000cc bag enough? I have 2700cc bag and I can add 2200cc to it externally or I have 5200cc+ bag.
      7) Wood only stove - Are there enough dead/dry logs around to start and maintain a fire? DOnt plan on bringing any alcohol/fuel stoves.
      8) Water filteration (against giratia especially) - thinking of purchasing Katadyn Hiker Pro - any experience with that model?
      9) I hear someone here is organizing a yearly hike. Where do I sign up?
      10) Places to charge your cell phone - I assume there are minimal spots, any suggestions? I was thinking MTR and possibly taking goalzero along and keep it on top of the bag and let sun do its work....
      11) Would it make sense to take ipod nano along? Does it get boring and would it be good to listen to music/audiobooks/podcasts along the way?

      Thanks!
    • John Ladd
      I ll try a few 2) Bathroom needs - does one need a trowel to bring along? Is it legal to ... You have to bury your waste (not TP) 6 inches deep and a trowel is
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 30, 2013
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        I'll try a few

        2) Bathroom needs - does one need a trowel to bring along? Is it legal to bury away tp/wipes? Or plenty of restrooms are available long the way (doubtful)?

        You have to bury your waste (not TP) 6 inches deep and a trowel is the easiest way to do it. Soil is often hard and rocky and other solutions do not work well.
         
        TP is messy to carry out and illegal to bury. I like alcohol wipes (use wet to clean hands, nd re-use later dry for the next wipe) because they are easier to carry out and you don't need many. Other solutions at this page



        3) 20/30 degree Sleeping bags - plan to take one along, wouldn't those be too hot if the temps at night stay in 50s-70s?

        Bring a bag for your coldest night. On the warm nights, you just have it loosely over you. You are unlikely to have nights in the 60s. Most months have the occasional night near or even below 32

         

        4) I been a tent camper, never done tarp but this seems to be the general expert way to go. Wouldnt ants/snakes/spiders/mice/critters/bears be an issue if cowboy camping or just with a tarp and maybe net/bivy combo? One journal/blog I read said the mice are pretty smart and chewed through the tent/food wrapper when he walked away for few minutes.

        I cowboy (with a bivy or sigle-wall shelter set up nearby in case of rain) and do not have the problems you mention. Mice do go after food and scraps but not in my experience tents. Anything with salt might be assaulted by deer (e.g., gloves, trekking pole straps)
         

        5) Bear spray required/allowed? What are good brands?

        Not permitted and unnecessary.
         

        6) Hiking bag capacity - what are general recommendations? 4000cc bag enough? I have 2700cc bag and I can add 2200cc to it externally or I have 5200cc+ bag.

        Opinions vary. Choose the food first, then the bearcan to fit the food (custom sized Bearikades the best) and then size the  pack to the bearcab

        7) Wood only stove - Are there enough dead/dry logs around to start and maintain a fire? DOnt plan on bringing any alcohol/fuel stoves.

        The wood along this very popular trail is picked over.  Wood fires always banned along higher stretches of the trail and banned along the entire trail in years with high fire risks (like this year).  Alcohol also banned this year. Suggest you try a canister fuel stove like the JetBoil. Very practical and with care a single small cannister lasts 24 cooked meals (or 24 large coffees)

        8) Water filteration (against giratia especially) - thinking of purchasing Katadyn Hiker Pro - any experience with that model?

        I broke 2 in one year and changed to Aqua Mira drops. Sawyer Squeeze filter also polular 

        9) I hear someone here is organizing a yearly hike. Where do I sign up?

        Roleigh Martin, the lead moderator, has done this in the past.

        10) Places to charge your cell phone - I assume there are minimal spots, any suggestions? I was thinking MTR and possibly taking goalzero along and keep it on top of the bag and let sun do its work....

        They rarely have reception. I don't bring one. Others can comment on recharging
         

        11) Would it make sense to take ipod nano along? Does it get boring and would it be good to listen to music/audiobooks/podcasts along the way?

        I bring a AAA-powered MP3 for listening to books at night. (To avoid the re-charging problem) Some avoid all electronics on the trail, others bring elaborate stuff.


      • Larry Beck
        I d like to comment on the sleeping bag question. I was once given the advice from www.backpackinglight.com to carry a sleeping bag that is just barely warm
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 30, 2013
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          I'd like to comment on the sleeping bag question.

          I was once given the advice from www.backpackinglight.com to carry a sleeping bag that is just barely warm enough for the average conditions and then augment it with insulation layers. This way, you can carry a sleeping bag that is 1 to 2 lbs lighter. Since you probably need to bring your insulation layers anyway it results in a net weight savings.

          Their general suggestion was to carry a lightweight 32 deg bag like a 23 oz Mountain Hardware Phantom 32 or the ultimate, the 19 oz Western Mountaineering Summerlite.

          I personally use the Phantom 32 and I spent a night once when the temperature dipped down to 21 degrees. I was toasty as a clam though because I was wearing Montbell Down Inner parka and pants along with some Goosefeet down booties. I was in a Big Agnes Fly Creek 1 tent too so I'm sure that also adds a warmth factor as well.


          From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:04 AM
          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Newbie planning for JMT hike questions

           
          I'll try a few

          2) Bathroom needs - does one need a trowel to bring along? Is it legal to bury away tp/wipes? Or plenty of restrooms are available long the way (doubtful)?
          You have to bury your waste (not TP) 6 inches deep and a trowel is the easiest way to do it. Soil is often hard and rocky and other solutions do not work well.
           
          TP is messy to carry out and illegal to bury. I like alcohol wipes (use wet to clean hands, nd re-use later dry for the next wipe) because they are easier to carry out and you don't need many. Other solutions at this page

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirtrail/links/Safety__health_and_first_aid_001262976223/Hygiene_001362339421/


          3) 20/30 degree Sleeping bags - plan to take one along, wouldn't those be too hot if the temps at night stay in 50s-70s?
          Bring a bag for your coldest night. On the warm nights, you just have it loosely over you. You are unlikely to have nights in the 60s. Most months have the occasional night near or even below 32

           
          4) I been a tent camper, never done tarp but this seems to be the general expert way to go. Wouldnt ants/snakes/spiders/mice/critters/bears be an issue if cowboy camping or just with a tarp and maybe net/bivy combo? One journal/blog I read said the mice are pretty smart and chewed through the tent/food wrapper when he walked away for few minutes.
          I cowboy (with a bivy or sigle-wall shelter set up nearby in case of rain) and do not have the problems you mention. Mice do go after food and scraps but not in my experience tents. Anything with salt might be assaulted by deer (e.g., gloves, trekking pole straps)
           
          5) Bear spray required/allowed? What are good brands?
          Not permitted and unnecessary.
           
          6) Hiking bag capacity - what are general recommendations? 4000cc bag enough? I have 2700cc bag and I can add 2200cc to it externally or I have 5200cc+ bag.
          Opinions vary. Choose the food first, then the bearcan to fit the food (custom sized Bearikades the best) and then size the  pack to the bearcab
          7) Wood only stove - Are there enough dead/dry logs around to start and maintain a fire? DOnt plan on bringing any alcohol/fuel stoves.
          The wood along this very popular trail is picked over.  Wood fires always banned along higher stretches of the trail and banned along the entire trail in years with high fire risks (like this year).  Alcohol also banned this year. Suggest you try a canister fuel stove like the JetBoil. Very practical and with care a single small cannister lasts 24 cooked meals (or 24 large coffees)
          8) Water filteration (against giratia especially) - thinking of purchasing Katadyn Hiker Pro - any experience with that model?
          I broke 2 in one year and changed to Aqua Mira drops. Sawyer Squeeze filter also polular 
          9) I hear someone here is organizing a yearly hike. Where do I sign up?
          Roleigh Martin, the lead moderator, has done this in the past.
          10) Places to charge your cell phone - I assume there are minimal spots, any suggestions? I was thinking MTR and possibly taking goalzero along and keep it on top of the bag and let sun do its work....
          They rarely have reception. I don't bring one. Others can comment on recharging
           
          11) Would it make sense to take ipod nano along? Does it get boring and would it be good to listen to music/audiobooks/podcasts along the way?
          I bring a AAA-powered MP3 for listening to books at night. (To avoid the re-charging problem) Some avoid all electronics on the trail, others bring elaborate stuff.



        • robert shattuck
          How much cash should one bring along? Enough so that when I find it I ll have great time--a few hundred should do. Otherwise, cash needs pretty much
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 30, 2013
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            "How much cash should one bring along? """

            Enough so that when I find it I'll have great time--a few hundred should do. 

            Otherwise, cash needs pretty much consist of camp fees. You can use a card in all the stores, otherwise:

            $5 a night, person in the backpacker camps in Yosemite, so at a minimum, $10. 

            Reds BC varies as to how many people are in a section. Figure you could either be paying for an entire spot, maybe as much as $25----or you split it. 

            Cash is a good way to tip at VVR, and so on, so......

            I always "borrow" the SAT phone at the portal, to call my hotel. I tip for the phone. 

            Bob

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Jul 30, 2013, at 5:34 AM, "Art" <arthurvino@...> wrote:

             

            Great group here, lots of useful info.

            My planning questions:
            1) How much cash should one bring along?
            2) Bathroom needs - does one need a trowel to bring along? Is it legal to bury away tp/wipes? Or plenty of restrooms are available long the way (doubtful)?
            3) 20/30 degree Sleeping bags - plan to take one along, wouldn't those be too hot if the temps at night stay in 50s-70s?
            4) I been a tent camper, never done tarp but this seems to be the general expert way to go. Wouldnt ants/snakes/spiders/mice/critters/bears be an issue if cowboy camping or just with a tarp and maybe net/bivy combo? One journal/blog I read said the mice are pretty smart and chewed through the tent/food wrapper when he walked away for few minutes.
            5) Bear spray required/allowed? What are good brands?
            6) Hiking bag capacity - what are general recommendations? 4000cc bag enough? I have 2700cc bag and I can add 2200cc to it externally or I have 5200cc+ bag.
            7) Wood only stove - Are there enough dead/dry logs around to start and maintain a fire? DOnt plan on bringing any alcohol/fuel stoves.
            8) Water filteration (against giratia especially) - thinking of purchasing Katadyn Hiker Pro - any experience with that model?
            9) I hear someone here is organizing a yearly hike. Where do I sign up?
            10) Places to charge your cell phone - I assume there are minimal spots, any suggestions? I was thinking MTR and possibly taking goalzero along and keep it on top of the bag and let sun do its work....
            11) Would it make sense to take ipod nano along? Does it get boring and would it be good to listen to music/audiobooks/podcasts along the way?

            Thanks!

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