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Distance vs. weight conundrum

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  • dr.suuz_2013
    Last year, I had to bail out of an attempted JMT through hike due to sudden severe knee pain while descending south from Mather Pass. After an MRI, the
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
      Last year, I had to bail out of an attempted JMT through hike due to sudden severe knee pain while descending south from Mather Pass. After an MRI, the diagnosis was repetitive stress, one of the worst cases the radiologist and orthopedic surgeon had ever seen. The recommendation for future hikes was to carry less weight and to hike shorter daily distances. The recent discussion about the longest time-wise JMT hike has me wondering: if you do low mileage days, how much food (ie. weight) must you carry between resupplies? It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack, so how to comply with doctor's orders? Last year's hike was my first long distance trek, and I sure don't want it to be the last.
    • Jo T
      How many miles a day were you doing when you were injured? You will most likely have to schedule more resupplies. This will drive up your trip cost, whether in
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
        How many miles a day were you doing when you were injured?

        You will most likely have to schedule more resupplies. This will drive up your trip cost, whether in time or money, but compared with injury, I'd take it.
        For my 2013 trip, I allowed 12 days (estimated for 10 miles days) for the stretch from MTR to Whitney Portal and could not carry enough food (shipped it, it was too heavy for me to carry) and ended up doing Whitney on about 300 calories give or take. A resupply at Kearsage (brought in or hiked out) would have taken care of that. I balked because of the cost to bring the food in. Next time I'll hike out and add some days to the trip.

        Happy injury free hiking!
        JoT.



        --------------------------------------------
        On Sun, 2/16/14, sbadvm@... <sbadvm@...> wrote:

        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Distance vs. weight conundrum
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014, 5:22 AM


        Last year, I had to bail out of
        an attempted JMT through hike due to sudden severe knee pain
        while descending south from Mather Pass. After an MRI, the
        diagnosis was repetitive stress, one of the worst cases the
        radiologist and orthopedic surgeon had ever seen. The
        recommendation for future hikes was to carry less weight and
        to hike shorter daily distances. The recent discussion about
        the longest time-wise JMT hike has me wondering: if you do
        low mileage days, how much food (ie. weight) must you carry
        between resupplies? It seems like shorter days=more days
        between resupply=heavier pack, so how to comply with
        doctor's orders? Last year's hike was my first long
        distance trek, and I sure don't want it to be the
        last.
      • Jo T
        Sorry, forgot to answer the one part of your question. 1.5 pounds food/day (depending on your calorie requirements of course) multiplied by days between
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
          Sorry, forgot to answer the one part of your question. 1.5 pounds food/day (depending on your calorie requirements of course) multiplied by days between resupply points will help you estimate what type of food weight you will be carrying.
          I used MTR To Whitney Portal as the example, because logistically it will probably be the part of the trip that will cause you the most issues on the weight carried vs more days vs. resupply issue. Even at a 10-mile day (not low mileage enough for knee issues in my opinion), 12 days approximate, that would mean 18 pounds of food.

          JoT.
          --------------------------------------------
          On Sun, 2/16/14, sbadvm@... <sbadvm@...> wrote:

          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Distance vs. weight conundrum
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, February 16, 2014, 5:22 AM



          Last year, I had to bail out of
          an attempted JMT through hike due to sudden severe knee pain
          while descending south from Mather Pass. After an MRI, the
          diagnosis was repetitive stress, one of the worst cases the
          radiologist and orthopedic surgeon had ever seen. The
          recommendation for future hikes was to carry less weight and
          to hike shorter daily distances. The recent discussion about
          the longest time-wise JMT hike has me wondering: if you do
          low mileage days, how much food (ie. weight) must you carry
          between resupplies? It seems like shorter days=more days
          between resupply=heavier pack, so how to comply with
          doctor's orders? Last year's hike was my first long
          distance trek, and I sure don't want it to be the
          last.
        • berdomb
          take up running if you dont already, to slowly condition the tendons around your knees to repetitive stresses over a period of months. carry a light pack.
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
            take up running if you dont already, to slowly condition the tendons around your knees to repetitive stresses over a period of months.

            carry a light pack.
          • forgetwho
            It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack... This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can t maintain a pace of
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
              "It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack..."

              This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can't maintain a pace of more than 6-7 miles per day.  The only way I've thought of to deal with that is to break the remainder of the trail (from where I bailed at Agnew Meadows last year) into two parts, one for this year and one for next year.  This year I'm planning to go from Agnew Meadows to Bishop Pass, a total of 104.5 miles including the hike in from Agnew Meadows, side trails to Reds and MTR, and the hike out over Bishop Pass.  I'll be resupplying and laying over at Reds and MTR, and I have a couple of other zero days planned as well.  I'm allowing 22 days for this trip.  My total pack weight should range from 30-35 pounds.

              If I were doing the portion between Bishop Pass and WP I would probably use a packer and attempt to reduce the cost of doing so by sharing with others.  Last year five of us combined to pay Cedar Grove Pack Station $120 each for a Woods Creek resupply.  I was the only one of us who didn't make it to Woods Creek, sigh :-(.  (And btw, even though the packer made the trip anyway to bring in the others' resupplies, they refunded my money in full.)

              Gail
            • Edwardo Rodriguez
              That is the major problem. You hike less miles but it take you longer which means you have to carry more food which means your pack is going to weigh more.
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                That is the major problem. You hike less miles but it take you longer which means you have to carry more food which means your pack is going to weigh more. What is your base weight at the moment? I look into getting your base weight down. Resupply your self more often.


                On Sunday, February 16, 2014 7:27 AM, "forgetwho@..." <forgetwho@...> wrote:
                 
                "It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack..."

                This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can't maintain a pace of more than 6-7 miles per day.  The only way I've thought of to deal with that is to break the remainder of the trail (from where I bailed at Agnew Meadows last year) into two parts, one for this year and one for next year.  This year I'm planning to go from Agnew Meadows to Bishop Pass, a total of 104.5 miles including the hike in from Agnew Meadows, side trails to Reds and MTR, and the hike out over Bishop Pass.  I'll be resupplying and laying over at Reds and MTR, and I have a couple of other zero days planned as well.  I'm allowing 22 days for this trip.  My total pack weight should range from 30-35 pounds.

                If I were doing the portion between Bishop Pass and WP I would probably use a packer and attempt to reduce the cost of doing so by sharing with others.  Last year five of us combined to pay Cedar Grove Pack Station $120 each for a Woods Creek resupply.  I was the only one of us who didn't make it to Woods Creek, sigh :-(.  (And btw, even though the packer made the trip anyway to bring in the others' resupplies, they refunded my money in full.)

                Gail


              • Michael Taber
                IMO, You may want to consider 3 things: 1. It s time to get a little fanatical about ultra light gear. Are you carrying a 3 lbs 20 deg sleeping bag? A Tent? 1
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                  IMO, You may want to consider 3 things:
                  1. It's time to get a little fanatical about ultra light gear. Are you carrying a 3 lbs 20 deg sleeping bag? A Tent? 1 1.5 lb pad? Are you repacking your food? What does your BP weight? Re-assess all your gear.
                  2.  Repetitive stress injuries? Better cushioned boots-Are you wearing 'light hikers' with little cushioning?. Do you use poles?
                  3.  Conditioning. Do you lay off conditioning on the off season and really push to get into shape as the season approaches?

                   
                  Mike Taber


                  On Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:36 AM, Edwardo Rodriguez <edwardo.rodriguez53@...> wrote:
                   
                  That is the major problem. You hike less miles but it take you longer which means you have to carry more food which means your pack is going to weigh more. What is your base weight at the moment? I look into getting your base weight down. Resupply your self more often.


                  On Sunday, February 16, 2014 7:27 AM, "forgetwho@..." <forgetwho@...> wrote:
                   
                  "It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack..."

                  This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can't maintain a pace of more than 6-7 miles per day.  The only way I've thought of to deal with that is to break the remainder of the trail (from where I bailed at Agnew Meadows last year) into two parts, one for this year and one for next year.  This year I'm planning to go from Agnew Meadows to Bishop Pass, a total of 104.5 miles including the hike in from Agnew Meadows, side trails to Reds and MTR, and the hike out over Bishop Pass.  I'll be resupplying and laying over at Reds and MTR, and I have a couple of other zero days planned as well.  I'm allowing 22 days for this trip.  My total pack weight should range from 30-35 pounds.

                  If I were doing the portion between Bishop Pass and WP I would probably use a packer and attempt to reduce the cost of doing so by sharing with others.  Last year five of us combined to pay Cedar Grove Pack Station $120 each for a Woods Creek resupply.  I was the only one of us who didn't make it to Woods Creek, sigh :-(.  (And btw, even though the packer made the trip anyway to bring in the others' resupplies, they refunded my money in full.)

                  Gail




                • Michael Taber
                  Also, how much extra body weight are you carrying?   Mike Taber On , Michael Taber wrote: IMO, You may want to consider 3 things:
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                    Also, how much extra body weight are you carrying?
                     
                    Mike Taber


                    On , Michael Taber <michaeltaber1@...> wrote:
                    IMO, You may want to consider 3 things:
                    1. It's time to get a little fanatical about ultra light gear. Are you carrying a 3 lbs 20 deg sleeping bag? A Tent? 1 1.5 lb pad? Are you repacking your food? What does your BP weight? Re-assess all your gear.
                    2.  Repetitive stress injuries? Better cushioned boots-Are you wearing 'light hikers' with little cushioning?. Do you use poles?
                    3.  Conditioning. Do you lay off conditioning on the off season and really push to get into shape as the season approaches?

                     
                    Mike Taber


                    On Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:36 AM, Edwardo Rodriguez <edwardo.rodriguez53@...> wrote:
                     
                    That is the major problem. You hike less miles but it take you longer which means you have to carry more food which means your pack is going to weigh more. What is your base weight at the moment? I look into getting your base weight down. Resupply your self more often.


                    On Sunday, February 16, 2014 7:27 AM, "forgetwho@..." <forgetwho@...> wrote:
                     
                    "It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack..."

                    This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can't maintain a pace of more than 6-7 miles per day.  The only way I've thought of to deal with that is to break the remainder of the trail (from where I bailed at Agnew Meadows last year) into two parts, one for this year and one for next year.  This year I'm planning to go from Agnew Meadows to Bishop Pass, a total of 104.5 miles including the hike in from Agnew Meadows, side trails to Reds and MTR, and the hike out over Bishop Pass.  I'll be resupplying and laying over at Reds and MTR, and I have a couple of other zero days planned as well.  I'm allowing 22 days for this trip.  My total pack weight should range from 30-35 pounds.

                    If I were doing the portion between Bishop Pass and WP I would probably use a packer and attempt to reduce the cost of doing so by sharing with others.  Last year five of us combined to pay Cedar Grove Pack Station $120 each for a Woods Creek resupply.  I was the only one of us who didn't make it to Woods Creek, sigh :-(.  (And btw, even though the packer made the trip anyway to bring in the others' resupplies, they refunded my money in full.)

                    Gail






                  • Arla Hile
                    This all sounds like something you can fix. I was in sorry shape three years ago, getting older, 6 or 7 miles a day was kicking me in the rear, had to take
                    Message 9 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                      This all sounds like something you can fix. I was in sorry shape three years ago, getting older, 6 or 7 miles a day was kicking me in the rear, had to take frequent "pack breaks" from my 30+ lb pack, having (minor) injuries, developing a little jelly roll around the waist....ugh. Had a tough trip in 2011 along the "Lost Coast" of northern California and started thinking maybe it was time to hang up the pack and stick to day hikes. I can only tell you what worked for me...

                      1) If you're not already, do some kind of training...almost anything...walking with a pack, running (doesn't have to be fast!), maybe a little easy resistance work (can be body weight exercises like pushups and lunges) and start now. The trick is that you have to like it (there's the rub, eh?), you have to make the time (getting up at 4:30 to do a 5 am run when it's cold and dark is torture, I'll admit) and it has to be weight-bearing. Bones build up fairly quickly but tendons and ligaments take time, the more time, the better. I joined a local running club where there were people of all ages and abilities. I run solo a few times a week, run with the group a few times a week and also join the group for light weight workouts. It's been a ton of fun and it's a lot easier to get out there if you know someone is expecting you. 

                      2) Supplement Vit. D. My primary physician started checking all of his patients' Vit. D levels over the last couple of years and he said almost everyone was low, as was mine, probably because people are getting more conscious about using sun protection. He has me on 1500 IU per day and ten minutes of sunlight per day when possible. Weight-bearing exercise + Vit. D + calcium = strong bones. 

                      3) I'll admit I've happily swallowed the ultra light kool-aide, there's a lot of fantastic lightweight gear out there, albeit it's an investment! I've knocked more than ten pounds off my pack weight over the last year, mostly with the "Big 3" pack, shelter and sleep system, a lot of experimenting/testing/re-evaluating, finally have it dialed down so that with a few creature comforts (I won't give up my lovely down pillow) + 7 days of food + a liter of water my pack is just under 20 lbs! That's with a bear can! 

                      Fast-forward to now: 15 miles a day backpacking in the Sierra and bagging passes is absolutely reasonable (I won't say easy), and instead of groaning, I smile when I put my pack on! I don't even bother to take it off during breaks! Seriously! I run marathons with my friends just for fun (ok, so we're jogging slowly and chatting but we're out there!) and the running really translates into stronger hiking - not to mention I get to eat pretty much whatever I want. I'm one happy camper. Leaving from HI on July 22 with a 13 lb pack WOOT! :)

                      Good luck!

                      Arla


                      On Sunday, February 16, 2014 9:10 AM, Michael Taber <michaeltaber1@...> wrote:
                       
                      IMO, You may want to consider 3 things:
                      1. It's time to get a little fanatical about ultra light gear. Are you carrying a 3 lbs 20 deg sleeping bag? A Tent? 1 1.5 lb pad? Are you repacking your food? What does your BP weight? Re-assess all your gear.
                      2.  Repetitive stress injuries? Better cushioned boots-Are you wearing 'light hikers' with little cushioning?. Do you use poles?
                      3.  Conditioning. Do you lay off conditioning on the off season and really push to get into shape as the season approaches?

                       
                      Mike Taber


                      On Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:36 AM, Edwardo Rodriguez <edwardo.rodriguez53@...> wrote:
                       
                      That is the major problem. You hike less miles but it take you longer which means you have to carry more food which means your pack is going to weigh more. What is your base weight at the moment? I look into getting your base weight down. Resupply your self more often.


                      On Sunday, February 16, 2014 7:27 AM, "forgetwho@..." <forgetwho@...> wrote:
                       
                      "It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack..."

                      This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can't maintain a pace of more than 6-7 miles per day.  The only way I've thought of to deal with that is to break the remainder of the trail (from where I bailed at Agnew Meadows last year) into two parts, one for this year and one for next year.  This year I'm planning to go from Agnew Meadows to Bishop Pass, a total of 104.5 miles including the hike in from Agnew Meadows, side trails to Reds and MTR, and the hike out over Bishop Pass.  I'll be resupplying and laying over at Reds and MTR, and I have a couple of other zero days planned as well.  I'm allowing 22 days for this trip.  My total pack weight should range from 30-35 pounds.

                      If I were doing the portion between Bishop Pass and WP I would probably use a packer and attempt to reduce the cost of doing so by sharing with others.  Last year five of us combined to pay Cedar Grove Pack Station $120 each for a Woods Creek resupply.  I was the only one of us who didn't make it to Woods Creek, sigh :-(.  (And btw, even though the packer made the trip anyway to bring in the others' resupplies, they refunded my money in full.)

                      Gail






                    • John Ladd
                      ... While neither Mike nor I know enough about the original poster to know if this is relevant here, but it is often much easier for both physicians and fellow
                      Message 10 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014

                        On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM, Michael Taber <michaeltaber1@...> wrote:
                        Also, how much extra body weight are you carrying?
                         
                        Mike Taber

                        While neither Mike nor I know enough about the original poster to know if this is relevant here, but it is often much easier for both physicians and fellow hikers to suggest gear changes than bodyweight changes. While both bodyweight and packweight contribute to knee issues, people (including your own MD) always seem hesitant to mention the bodyweight issue, presumably because it seems so personal. For many, though not all, it may be easier to reduce bodyweight by 10 lbs than packweight by 10. Both should have about the same impact on repetitive stress injuries to the knees.

                        Knee and ankle injuries were the most common physical injuries on a NOLS summary of injury patterns on their sponsored trips. 


                        I haven't finished analyzing injury information on my 2013 JMT Hiker survey, but it looks like knee and ankle injuries top other injuries (other than blisters). 10% had knee problems with an average severity ranking of 2.7 (out of 5). 8% had ankle injuries with an average severity of 3.0. 

                        BTW, 45% of my respondents had some form of illness, fall, infection or some physical injury (excluding only blisters). Many were minor problems, of course, but people who had at least one such problem rated their worst such problem at a 2.6

                        Bodyweight reduction can also help with fatigue -- if you have weight to lose. Packweight and bodyweight, according to Army-sponsored research, have about equal impacts on the energy demands of walking with a backpack. 


                        Obviously, weight reduction can be overdone. I'm mot recommending anorexia here. Just expanding the list of options beyond a lowered daily pace, the reduction of packweight, added conditioning, trekking poles, etc. all of which are also options to include in a strategy to overcome  knee problems.

                        John Curran Ladd
                        1616 Castro Street
                        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                        415-648-9279
                      • Kelly Stevens
                        I m doing my first long walk this summer SOBO from Lyell. I have similar concerns and plan 3 rest days at or near resupply points I m planning to hire Easter
                        Message 11 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                          I'm doing my first long walk this summer SOBO from Lyell. I have similar concerns and plan 3 rest days at or near resupply points  I'm planning to hire Easter Sierra Shuttle to bring resupply over from onion valley. Plus I've been going crazy reducing weight (eg I found 1.8 oz rain kilt!)


                          Sent from my iPhone

                          On Feb 16, 2014, at 9:05 AM, Michael Taber <michaeltaber1@...> wrote:

                           

                          Also, how much extra body weight are you carrying?
                           
                          Mike Taber


                          On , Michael Taber <michaeltaber1@...> wrote:
                          IMO, You may want to consider 3 things:
                          1. It's time to get a little fanatical about ultra light gear. Are you carrying a 3 lbs 20 deg sleeping bag? A Tent? 1 1.5 lb pad? Are you repacking your food? What does your BP weight? Re-assess all your gear.
                          2.  Repetitive stress injuries? Better cushioned boots-Are you wearing 'light hikers' with little cushioning?. Do you use poles?
                          3.  Conditioning. Do you lay off conditioning on the off season and really push to get into shape as the season approaches?

                           
                          Mike Taber


                          On Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:36 AM, Edwardo Rodriguez <edwardo.rodriguez53@...> wrote:
                           
                          That is the major problem. You hike less miles but it take you longer which means you have to carry more food which means your pack is going to weigh more. What is your base weight at the moment? I look into getting your base weight down. Resupply your self more often.


                          On Sunday, February 16, 2014 7:27 AM, "forgetwho@..." <forgetwho@...> wrote:
                           
                          "It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack..."

                          This is my issue as well, since I discovered last year that I can't maintain a pace of more than 6-7 miles per day.  The only way I've thought of to deal with that is to break the remainder of the trail (from where I bailed at Agnew Meadows last year) into two parts, one for this year and one for next year.  This year I'm planning to go from Agnew Meadows to Bishop Pass, a total of 104.5 miles including the hike in from Agnew Meadows, side trails to Reds and MTR, and the hike out over Bishop Pass.  I'll be resupplying and laying over at Reds and MTR, and I have a couple of other zero days planned as well.  I'm allowing 22 days for this trip.  My total pack weight should range from 30-35 pounds.

                          If I were doing the portion between Bishop Pass and WP I would probably use a packer and attempt to reduce the cost of doing so by sharing with others.  Last year five of us combined to pay Cedar Grove Pack Station $120 each for a Woods Creek resupply.  I was the only one of us who didn't make it to Woods Creek, sigh :-(.  (And btw, even though the packer made the trip anyway to bring in the others' resupplies, they refunded my money in full.)

                          Gail






                        • fred_brockman
                          For 37 days, I m resupplying at TM on day 7 (spending alot of time doing other hiking), VVR on day 17, and Onion Valley trailhead on day 27 (spending alot of
                          Message 12 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                            For 37 days, I'm resupplying at TM on day 7 (spending alot of time doing other hiking), VVR on day 17, and Onion Valley trailhead on day 27 (spending alot of time after OV doing other hikes).

                            I weigh 150# and find I can hike up to 12 leisurely miles a day on 3000 calories without losing weight.  Other people will have different metabolisms and body weights so adjustment will be necessary.  I am comfortable on the long trail with a base weight of 12 lb which includes pack, bear can, and substantial first aid kit (as I often do off-trail hiking).  My 3000 calories per day averages to 140 cals/ounce with 105 g protein per day and 52 g fiber a day; 1.35 lbs of food per day taking up 63 cubic inches/day (calculated) and close to 75 cubic inches/day (actual, when packed in ziplocks and put in bear can).  So 10 days between resupplies is a 26 lb pack plus any water carried.  So it's possible to go long and light with experience and careful planning..
                               
                            Conditioning is essential to prevent injuries.  I have probably been lucky but in nearly 40 years of hiking I have never had an overuse injury or blisters.  I exercise year round, and the last 2 months before a hike, I make sure my daily training mileage (5 days a week) is 2/3rds the highest daily mileage I expect to do on the trail.  If I expect 12 miles to be my longest day, I train at 8 miles a day.  I walk half and run half of that mileage, but all walking would work fine I think. The last month before a long hike, I only walk but wear my pack during all training walks, gradually increasing weight in the pack to the greatest weight I will be carrying. This makes sure the bottom of your feet, your back/shoulders, and all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are used to the mileage and load.  With this kind of preparation, there is never a worry entering your mind and you will find a whole new level of enjoyment on the trail.  Add a low base weight if your comfort level and experience allow it.   
                            fred


                            ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <sbadvm@...> wrote:

                            Last year, I had to bail out of an attempted JMT through hike due to sudden severe knee pain while descending south from Mather Pass. After an MRI, the diagnosis was repetitive stress, one of the worst cases the radiologist and orthopedic surgeon had ever seen. The recommendation for future hikes was to carry less weight and to hike shorter daily distances. The recent discussion about the longest time-wise JMT hike has me wondering: if you do low mileage days, how much food (ie. weight) must you carry between resupplies? It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack, so how to comply with doctor's orders? Last year's hike was my first long distance trek, and I sure don't want it to be the last.
                          • dr.suuz_2013
                            Wow! Thanks for all the quick responses to my original question. In the interest of keeping the number of posts low, I ll start at the top and work down. Jo,
                            Message 13 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                              Wow! Thanks for all the quick responses to my original question. In the interest of keeping the number of posts low, I'll start at the top and work down. Jo, We averaged 9.5 miles per day. (Shortest day 2.8 miles plus side hike to Half Dome; longest day 14.8 miles from Sapphire Lake to Grouse meadow 2 days before my knee went south.) We did have plans to meet a packer at Woods Creek the day after I left the trail, and this worked well for the other four hikers in my group. 

                              Gail I felt your pain while reading your earlier posts while recuperating after my hike. The 6-7-mile days may be my limit, so I'd have to carry a lot more food weight initially after resupplies. We had also contracted with Cedar Grove to meet us a Woods Creek, at a reduced rate since there were five of us and they were also meeting other hikers on the same pack trip.

                              Mike, I do use hiking poles, and I wore Salomon Synapses, after trying multiple styles of shoes during pre-hike training. And, yes, I could have conditioned longer pre-hike. I was a 60-year-old couch potato who started serious training in January of last year only to be side-lined until March by a suspected stress-fracture of one foot. After 10 weeks rest prescribed for the JMT knee injury, I've been gradually working up conditioning in the gym and on local hiking trails this winter.

                              Mike and Arla, ultra-light may be the key, though I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends 20-degree bag and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (2lb. 5oz. packed weight including footprint.) Base pack weight was 25 pounds plus another 2 pounds if you count bear canister. Any specific equipment suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

                              Arla, I love hiking and the elliptical trainer, and was doing hour-long sessions with hills three days a week on it, alternating with hiking with a pack for 5-6 miles on three alternate days prior to last year's hike. I'm gradually trying to work back to that level and have added some upper body machines and yoga at the gym. Vit. D level is high normal and bone density is "that of a teenager" according to recent tests. 

                              John and Mike, I was not carrying extra body weight at the start of the hike, with a BMI of 21.5 and 30-lb. planned weight loss over 2 years prior to hike. You make a good point, though.

                              Thanks again to all of you for the advice and encouragement. This group was a great resource before last year's hike and continues to offer much useful information.


                            • rnperky@sbcglobal.net
                              I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends 20-degree bag and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (2lb. 5oz.
                              Message 14 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014

                                "I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends 20-degree bag and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (2lb. 5oz. packed weight including footprint.) Base pack weight was 25 pounds plus another 2 pounds if you count bear canister."

                                You've got a great start on your gear for lightening your load already with your tent and sleeping bag. Where I'm a bit puzzled is how high your 'base weight' is when two of your big three in terms of weight are only about 4 lbs? It sounds like there MAY be a lot of pack weight to trim if your at 27 lbs 'base weight' with the bear can. By the time you add food weight, you're carrying some substantial weight.

                                I agree with many of the things you are doing to stay in shape, but really you just need to get out ahead of time and hike with weight and the shoes you are planning well before your JMT hike. There is no substitute for your feet, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to get used to the movements and stress placed on them on an extended hike. I prefer pushing myself very hard in the weeks leading up to the JMT to find any 'weak spots' in my fitness level, feet, shoes, and gear. I will sometimes pay a price by being really sore or getting some blisters, but it pays dividends when you hit a trail like the JMT. 

                                Have a great hike this summer, and I hope all goes well for you! Are you planning to do a TrailJournal again? I enjoyed keeping up with your hike last year on TJ's.




                              • Joe MacLeish
                                You can keep your food and mileage pretty low for much of the JMT. 2-3 days from HI to TM. 3 days to Reds, 3 days to VVR, 2-3 days to MTR, and I break up the
                                Message 15 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014

                                  You can keep your food and mileage pretty low for much of the JMT.  2-3 days from HI to TM.  3 days to Reds, 3 days to VVR, 2-3 days to MTR, and I break up the trek from MTR to WP with a resupply at Charlotte Lake.  these are generally mile days with 2-4 days of food, except for the MTR to WP leg.

                                  Joe

                                   

                                  From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of sbadvm@...
                                  Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2014 5:22 AM
                                  To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [John Muir Trail] Distance vs. weight conundrum

                                   

                                   

                                  Last year, I had to bail out of an attempted JMT through hike due to sudden severe knee pain while descending south from Mather Pass. After an MRI, the diagnosis was repetitive stress, one of the worst cases the radiologist and orthopedic surgeon had ever seen. The recommendation for future hikes was to carry less weight and to hike shorter daily distances. The recent discussion about the longest time-wise JMT hike has me wondering: if you do low mileage days, how much food (ie. weight) must you carry between resupplies? It seems like shorter days=more days between resupply=heavier pack, so how to comply with doctor's orders? Last year's hike was my first long distance trek, and I sure don't want it to be the last.

                                • Roleigh Martin
                                  I suffered probably the same thing you did, but did not get a MRI, and I self-diagnosed my problem in 2012 as a Knee Bone Bruise. It was caused doing
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                                    I suffered probably the same thing you did, but did not get a MRI, and I self-diagnosed my problem in 2012 as a Knee Bone Bruise.  It was caused doing extensive continuous downhill hiking on the JMT, doing more than 7 miles of continuous downhill hiking.  Particularly going down (south) of Muir Pass, then going down from Whitney Summit to Whitney Portal.  Since I was undergoing every 2 months PRP Prolotherapy from one of the nation's best ( http://www.jockdoctors.com -- Dr. Paul Tortland, D.O.), I just continued the sessions for another year, and in 2013 when I did the JMT, I broke up those two stretches into 4 days of hiking and my 2013 hike was just fine.

                                    I recently posted the below advice to someone with knee problems.  This posting might help you too:

                                    I suffered a complex torn meniscus on the Cornell Crack on July 2, 2011.  I had an MRI confirm such.  I did not like the statistics on standard knee arthroscopy and after much research decided on prolotherapy.  The best clinic nearby is at http://www.jockdoctors.com in Avon CT -- a Dr. Paul Tortland, D.O. (Orthopedics, Sports Medicine).  I do a 27 day John Muir Trail hike annually and it's my goal (I'm 64) to repeat this hike every summer until I turn 100 then look for some other trail then.  I treasure my kneehealth above all.

                                    See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/health/common-knee-surgery-does-very-little-for-some-study-suggests.html for what a sham conventional orthopedic arthroscopy is for many.

                                    My knees feel perfectly normal now after two years of prolotherapy sessions.  I think I could have gotten by with just one year of treatment but suffered a second injury of the knee (a knee bone bruise) in August of 2012 so the treatments I had in 2012 Winter were for that.

                                    I also recommend you read the Kindle book, "Saving my Knees".  It's a tedious read and his main recommendation is the following: (a) keep a diary of your exercise, pain after the exercise is good just so it does not extend into the following day -- that is the sweet spot; (b) doing micro-joint exercising, which his research demonstrated the ability to grow new meniscus -- it did for him.  Micro-joint exercising is using either a leg press or if vertical, bungie cords, a ceiling beam, a 3" O ring, a large carabiner, and a mountain climbing harness and doing 200-300 squats a day but with the bungie cords, it is as if you are doing them on the moon where you only weigh 1/6th of your normal weight.  On a leg press at the YMCA you can simulate the same.  I'd do 75 reps at 25 lbs, left knee; repeat 75 reps at 25 lbs, right knee; repeat 75 reps at 100 lbs, both knees.  Over time I built it up to 60 lbs each knee, 120 lbs both knees.

                                     I have extensive research links at my Google Profile (about page-links).

                                    Also some other links of recent:






                                    8 links on Prolotherapy at the above page (search for "Saving My Knees (book and web site)" and it's that link and the 7 following links)

                                    Best of wishes for your knee health!

                                    Last, the idea of reducing body weight to optimal levels seems spot-on and I've condensed my years of reading and research to three simple recommendations -- read or listen to these two books (audiobooks via audible.com) and get the Android or Iphone App, "My Fitness Pal" and document what you are consuming.  It is super, super easy and the more you use it, the easier and quicker it gets.  It's free.  Just by documenting your intake, you subconsciously adapt and lose weight because of such.  I've lost 10 pounds in the 6 weeks I've followed this advice and I've started the easiest intermittent fasting diet of all, The FastDiet by Dr. Michael Mosley, M.D.  I've tried other Intermittent Fasting Diets (Eat Stop Eat, Fast-5, Warrior Diet--all great books and all worth reading due to the research you learn) but Mosley's version is the easiest and works the best.  He found one (a man) can eat 600 calories a day on a fasting day (a woman, 500 calories a day) and still have the same physiological benefits as if fasting the entire day.  I thus went with two Vitamix-blended green smoothies (each 60 oz, very filling) which satiated my hunger for the whole day.  I have the recipe  for my smoothy on my Google Profile page.  The other book is just incredible and its impact on your choices of food makes it vastly more easy to lose weight and gain optimal energy and health.  Grain Brain by a famous Neurologist and fellow of the American college of Nutrition (rare that a Neurologist is so educated in nutrition).  Together these two books are my current top reading recommendations.

                                    Last, I recommend 2-3 anerobic workouts a week working out the lower body from at least 12-15 types of workouts.  I focus on upper and lower body doing about 30 types of exercises, taking 100 minutes for my session.  I do it 3 times a week.  Here is the latest recommendation for help on knee and ankle strength:

                                    The ankle strap ($15) I talked about and recommend for strengthening the ankle and calf, using it with a weight machine that uses pulley and chain where the stress/pulling on the chain holding the weight is at ground level (a very common setup at most gyms) is this strap:


                                    An example of the weight machine is shown here, imagine the slider is at near ground level:

                                    Inline image 1

                                    You can do 8 exercises with the strap, 4 on each leg.  Take one leg for example:

                                    1.  Face perpendicular to slider with right arm nearest slider, attach ankle strap to right ankle.  Start with 10 lbs (I'm up to 35 pounds now).  move right leg with strap/weight resistance as far to the left (you obviously have to move your right leg in front of your left leg to avoid hitting the left leg), repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    2.  Face with your back to slider, keep ankle strap on right ankle.  With same weight as before, move right leg straight forward; repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    3.  Face perpendicular to slider with LEFT arm nearest slider, attach ankle strap to right ankle.  Start with 10 lbs (I'm up to 35 pounds now).  move right leg with strap/weight resistance as far to the left (you obviously have to move your right leg in front of your left leg to avoid hitting the left leg), repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    4.  Face with your front to slider, keep ankle strap on right ankle.  With same weight as before, move right leg straight forward; repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    Put ankle strap now on left leg; repeat above 4 exercises using the left leg.

                                    You'll find that the leg not having the strap on gets a workout maintaining balance while you do the exercise.  It's okay if you use the arm opposite the leg with the strap on it to maintain balance while you do the exercise, but try doing it without using either arm if possible.  A tremendous balance workout.

                                    The above is probably the best ankle/calf exercise you can do to strengthen your ankle/calf for a hike.

                                    Here is an example of a calf machine, which you can do two ways: (keeping legs straight while doing the exercise, or keeping legs slightly bent while doing the exercise).



                                    Inline image 2

                                    I found some pictures to illustrate what I was talking about on the ankle strap:

                                    ... . Our example is shown using the GCCO150S Cable Crossover Machine




                                    Inline image 1




                                    Inline image 2




                                    Inline image 3

                                    The Bodylastics (bungie cords) I talked about way above that I ordered is this:


                                    Hope this helps!

                                    roleigh

                                    -------------------------------------------------
                                    Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                                    _



                                    On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 1:03 PM, <rnperky@...> wrote:
                                     


                                    "I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends 20-degree bag and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (2lb. 5oz. packed weight including footprint.) Base pack weight was 25 pounds plus another 2 pounds if you count bear canister."

                                    You've got a great start on your gear for lightening your load already with your tent and sleeping bag. Where I'm a bit puzzled is how high your 'base weight' is when two of your big three in terms of weight are only about 4 lbs? It sounds like there MAY be a lot of pack weight to trim if your at 27 lbs 'base weight' with the bear can. By the time you add food weight, you're carrying some substantial weight.

                                    I agree with many of the things you are doing to stay in shape, but really you just need to get out ahead of time and hike with weight and the shoes you are planning well before your JMT hike. There is no substitute for your feet, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to get used to the movements and stress placed on them on an extended hike. I prefer pushing myself very hard in the weeks leading up to the JMT to find any 'weak spots' in my fitness level, feet, shoes, and gear. I will sometimes pay a price by being really sore or getting some blisters, but it pays dividends when you hit a trail like the JMT. 

                                    Have a great hike this summer, and I hope all goes well for you! Are you planning to do a TrailJournal again? I enjoyed keeping up with your hike last year on TJ's.





                                  • Arla Hile
                                    Mike and Arla, ultra-light may be the key, though I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                                    "Mike and Arla, ultra-light may be the key, though I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends 20-degree bag and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (2lb. 5oz. packed weight including footprint.) Base pack weight was 25 pounds plus another 2 pounds if you count bear canister. Any specific equipment suggestions would be greatly appreciated."

                                    Your bag and shelter are reasonably light (butditch the footprint). It sounds like you might be carrying a lot of extra clothing? What about your pack? Are you carrying a heavy water filter, headlamp, multitool, electronics? Do you have items that serve multiple uses? Start looking at everything, ounces add up to pounds. Also, are you going with someone else so that you can share gear like your tent, stove, first aid supplies, maps etc? Sharing is huge, definitely part of how I got my base weight under 10 lbs. I highly recommend that you read what this guy has to say (and maybe get his book) 
                                    http://ultralightbackpackintips.blogspot.com/

                                    WRT specific manufacturers, I lurk around the Backpacking Light chat list. There are a lot of small equipment makers, folks whose stuff you won't find at your local REI although it's certainly possible to get light equipment at REI. ZPacks, Gossamer Gear, ULA (Ultralight adventures) and Six Moon Designs are just a few. I have an Arc Blast backpack from ZPacks that weighs 17 oz and carries great as well as one of their two-man tents (a proper tent with bug mesh) that weighs 20 oz. Unfortunately, a lot of this stuff ain't cheap due to the materials being used and the small production, but it's made right here in the good ol' USA by people who are passionate about what they do. 


                                    On Sunday, February 16, 2014 1:31 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                                     
                                    I suffered probably the same thing you did, but did not get a MRI, and I self-diagnosed my problem in 2012 as a Knee Bone Bruise.  It was caused doing extensive continuous downhill hiking on the JMT, doing more than 7 miles of continuous downhill hiking.  Particularly going down (south) of Muir Pass, then going down from Whitney Summit to Whitney Portal.  Since I was undergoing every 2 months PRP Prolotherapy from one of the nation's best ( http://www.jockdoctors.com -- Dr. Paul Tortland, D.O.), I just continued the sessions for another year, and in 2013 when I did the JMT, I broke up those two stretches into 4 days of hiking and my 2013 hike was just fine.

                                    I recently posted the below advice to someone with knee problems.  This posting might help you too:

                                    I suffered a complex torn meniscus on the Cornell Crack on July 2, 2011.  I had an MRI confirm such.  I did not like the statistics on standard knee arthroscopy and after much research decided on prolotherapy.  The best clinic nearby is at http://www.jockdoctors.com in Avon CT -- a Dr. Paul Tortland, D.O. (Orthopedics, Sports Medicine).  I do a 27 day John Muir Trail hike annually and it's my goal (I'm 64) to repeat this hike every summer until I turn 100 then look for some other trail then.  I treasure my kneehealth above all.

                                    See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/health/common-knee-surgery-does-very-little-for-some-study-suggests.html for what a sham conventional orthopedic arthroscopy is for many.

                                    My knees feel perfectly normal now after two years of prolotherapy sessions.  I think I could have gotten by with just one year of treatment but suffered a second injury of the knee (a knee bone bruise) in August of 2012 so the treatments I had in 2012 Winter were for that.

                                    I also recommend you read the Kindle book, "Saving my Knees".  It's a tedious read and his main recommendation is the following: (a) keep a diary of your exercise, pain after the exercise is good just so it does not extend into the following day -- that is the sweet spot; (b) doing micro-joint exercising, which his research demonstrated the ability to grow new meniscus -- it did for him.  Micro-joint exercising is using either a leg press or if vertical, bungie cords, a ceiling beam, a 3" O ring, a large carabiner, and a mountain climbing harness and doing 200-300 squats a day but with the bungie cords, it is as if you are doing them on the moon where you only weigh 1/6th of your normal weight.  On a leg press at the YMCA you can simulate the same.  I'd do 75 reps at 25 lbs, left knee; repeat 75 reps at 25 lbs, right knee; repeat 75 reps at 100 lbs, both knees.  Over time I built it up to 60 lbs each knee, 120 lbs both knees.

                                     I have extensive research links at my Google Profile (about page-links).

                                    Also some other links of recent:






                                    8 links on Prolotherapy at the above page (search for "Saving My Knees (book and web site)" and it's that link and the 7 following links)

                                    Best of wishes for your knee health!

                                    Last, the idea of reducing body weight to optimal levels seems spot-on and I've condensed my years of reading and research to three simple recommendations -- read or listen to these two books (audiobooks via audible.com) and get the Android or Iphone App, "My Fitness Pal" and document what you are consuming.  It is super, super easy and the more you use it, the easier and quicker it gets.  It's free.  Just by documenting your intake, you subconsciously adapt and lose weight because of such.  I've lost 10 pounds in the 6 weeks I've followed this advice and I've started the easiest intermittent fasting diet of all, The FastDiet by Dr. Michael Mosley, M.D.  I've tried other Intermittent Fasting Diets (Eat Stop Eat, Fast-5, Warrior Diet--all great books and all worth reading due to the research you learn) but Mosley's version is the easiest and works the best.  He found one (a man) can eat 600 calories a day on a fasting day (a woman, 500 calories a day) and still have the same physiological benefits as if fasting the entire day.  I thus went with two Vitamix-blended green smoothies (each 60 oz, very filling) which satiated my hunger for the whole day.  I have the recipe  for my smoothy on my Google Profile page.  The other book is just incredible and its impact on your choices of food makes it vastly more easy to lose weight and gain optimal energy and health.  Grain Brain by a famous Neurologist and fellow of the American college of Nutrition (rare that a Neurologist is so educated in nutrition).  Together these two books are my current top reading recommendations.

                                    Last, I recommend 2-3 anerobic workouts a week working out the lower body from at least 12-15 types of workouts.  I focus on upper and lower body doing about 30 types of exercises, taking 100 minutes for my session.  I do it 3 times a week.  Here is the latest recommendation for help on knee and ankle strength:

                                    The ankle strap ($15) I talked about and recommend for strengthening the ankle and calf, using it with a weight machine that uses pulley and chain where the stress/pulling on the chain holding the weight is at ground level (a very common setup at most gyms) is this strap:


                                    An example of the weight machine is shown here, imagine the slider is at near ground level:

                                    Inline image 1

                                    You can do 8 exercises with the strap, 4 on each leg.  Take one leg for example:

                                    1.  Face perpendicular to slider with right arm nearest slider, attach ankle strap to right ankle.  Start with 10 lbs (I'm up to 35 pounds now).  move right leg with strap/weight resistance as far to the left (you obviously have to move your right leg in front of your left leg to avoid hitting the left leg), repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    2.  Face with your back to slider, keep ankle strap on right ankle.  With same weight as before, move right leg straight forward; repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    3.  Face perpendicular to slider with LEFT arm nearest slider, attach ankle strap to right ankle.  Start with 10 lbs (I'm up to 35 pounds now).  move right leg with strap/weight resistance as far to the left (you obviously have to move your right leg in front of your left leg to avoid hitting the left leg), repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    4.  Face with your front to slider, keep ankle strap on right ankle.  With same weight as before, move right leg straight forward; repeat in two sets of 15 reps.

                                    Put ankle strap now on left leg; repeat above 4 exercises using the left leg.

                                    You'll find that the leg not having the strap on gets a workout maintaining balance while you do the exercise.  It's okay if you use the arm opposite the leg with the strap on it to maintain balance while you do the exercise, but try doing it without using either arm if possible.  A tremendous balance workout.

                                    The above is probably the best ankle/calf exercise you can do to strengthen your ankle/calf for a hike.

                                    Here is an example of a calf machine, which you can do two ways: (keeping legs straight while doing the exercise, or keeping legs slightly bent while doing the exercise).



                                    Inline image 2

                                    I found some pictures to illustrate what I was talking about on the ankle strap:

                                    ... . Our example is shown using the GCCO150S Cable Crossover Machine




                                    Inline image 1




                                    Inline image 2




                                    Inline image 3

                                    The Bodylastics (bungie cords) I talked about way above that I ordered is this:


                                    Hope this helps!

                                    roleigh

                                    -------------------------------------------------
                                    Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                                    _



                                    On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 1:03 PM, <rnperky@...> wrote:
                                     

                                    "I am a novice hiker who just bought new equipment last year, including a 1lb. 13oz. Feathered Friends 20-degree bag and a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (2lb. 5oz. packed weight including footprint.) Base pack weight was 25 pounds plus another 2 pounds if you count bear canister."

                                    You've got a great start on your gear for lightening your load already with your tent and sleeping bag. Where I'm a bit puzzled is how high your 'base weight' is when two of your big three in terms of weight are only about 4 lbs? It sounds like there MAY be a lot of pack weight to trim if your at 27 lbs 'base weight' with the bear can. By the time you add food weight, you're carrying some substantial weight.

                                    I agree with many of the things you are doing to stay in shape, but really you just need to get out ahead of time and hike with weight and the shoes you are planning well before your JMT hike. There is no substitute for your feet, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to get used to the movements and stress placed on them on an extended hike. I prefer pushing myself very hard in the weeks leading up to the JMT to find any 'weak spots' in my fitness level, feet, shoes, and gear. I will sometimes pay a price by being really sore or getting some blisters, but it pays dividends when you hit a trail like the JMT. 

                                    Have a great hike this summer, and I hope all goes well for you! Are you planning to do a TrailJournal again? I enjoyed keeping up with your hike last year on TJ's.







                                  • kamekurisu
                                    This turned into a great thread, with lots of constructive responses. I m with those who suggested that you break this up into section hikes. If you live in
                                    Message 18 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                                      This turned into a great thread, with lots of constructive responses.   I'm with those who suggested that you break this up into section hikes.  If you live in California, maybe you can do it in a series of 4-day ultralight hikes, using the exit points that are well-documented.  You sections could be timed, perhaps, 3 weeks or so apart.  If you are coming from farther afield, then this might be a multi-year project-- but you could be hiking near home, in the meantime, to build yourself up.

                                      I've done this, before, with other long distance trails (because of my work/family schedule, not medical issues, but the result was the same).  It worked very well, except for all of the transport time to and from the section hikes.

                                      Sky King (I figure I'll switch over to using my trail name on this forum, instead of my real first name, since so many others seem to).
                                    • trailnameskyking
                                      Sky King (I figure I ll switch over to using my trail name on this forum, instead of my real first name, since so many others seem to). I m not sure others
                                      Message 19 of 21 , Feb 16, 2014
                                        "Sky King (I figure I'll switch over to using my trail name on this forum, instead of my real first name, since so many others seem to)."
                                        I'm not sure others do, actually... but I'll give it a try.
                                      • dr.suuz_2013
                                        Yes, I had almost 4 pounds of clothing not counting what I wore daily. Trimmed clothes a lot with a package sent home from MTR which also include things like
                                        Message 20 of 21 , Feb 17, 2014
                                          Yes, I had almost 4 pounds of clothing not counting what I wore daily. Trimmed clothes a lot with a package sent home from MTR which also include things like mosquito head net and sunscreen I'd become allergic to. Adding to weight were a New Trent mobile charger (6.6 ozs) and a rented Cyberlink device (9.4 ozs) carried to reassure worried daughter with nightly texts via satellite. I'll have to study our pre-hike gear list spread sheet further to look for thing to trim. BTW my pack is a Granite Gear Blaze (3.2 lbs).

                                          I live in fairly flat Mississippi, but did pre-hike conditioning with loaded pack on local trails with small hills plus a 33-mile AT section over a few 4,000-foot peaks. That helped reveal some shoe issues as well as realize the pack belt that fit great when I purchased pack in May was almost too large with no room to tighten with any JMT weight loss. The smaller pack belt delivered to Mammoth Lakes just before we departed was definitely needed while shedding 8-9 pounds on the trek. Painful blisters developed on the AT hike, but readjusting lacing and using Leukotape recommended in this forum resulted in zero problems from the two blisters that formed while on the JMT.

                                          Thanks for the kind wishes. I hope to do some self-paced section hikes on the AT this year to re-assess gear and find a pace that works for me, including a section with my two neighbors/friends, the AT through-hikers who inspired me to hit the trail and were co-authors of last year's Trail Journal, Dr. Suuz & Friends. If there's another TJ, I'll let you know.
                                        • fortunateblessings
                                          Hi, I d like to add that physical maintenance while on the trail has been really important for me and may help, if you re not already doing that. It will
                                          Message 21 of 21 , Feb 19, 2014
                                            Hi,
                                            I'd like to add that physical maintenance while on the trail has been really important for me and may help, if you're not already doing that. It will depend on what conditions you're dealing with. Generally, it's a good idea anyway. A little warm up and light stretching in the morning. Stretching during breaks throughout the day. Stretching and massage at the end of the day. A few things you'll probably be carrying can double as self-massage aids to work on IT bands: e.g., a Nalgene bottle (take care with it), trekking pole (hand held), isobutane canister (hand held), even a bear can. I cut down a small foam roller. It's extra weight (3 oz), unless you go with a lighter alternative to a Nalgene (~ 6 oz). The trick is to find a little spot that's smooth enough for rolling out on. Or, you can just use the butt of your palm. I send rock tape in my resupply, in case I am feeling a need for it. Otherwise, I may donate it or, from MTR, send it home with my spent batts and any unneeded resupply items. This might not make much sense for a lot of people who don't really need it. For me, it helps. So I always include something along these lines in my routine. Also, good hydration always makes a big difference for me.
                                            Thanks and have a great hike!
                                            Mark
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