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PCT hikers

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  • straw_marmot
    So, mid-June is not the time to hike the JMT SOBO if you want solitude. I passed an average of 40-50 NOBO PCT hikers every day. Peak of over 80 on the day I
    Message 1 of 47 , Jun 20, 2014
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      So, mid-June is not the time to hike the JMT SOBO if you want solitude.  I passed an average of 40-50 NOBO PCT hikers every day.   Peak of over 80 on the day I was going south from Red's, probably all rushing in to reach Mammoth before the weekend.   Jeez, I was actually having to go 100 feet off the trail too pee.   And almost all of them said, "But I haven't seen anyone for days....."    I guess they must all hike at exactly the same speed.


      I also found that maybe 20% of PCT hikers that I passed did not respond to a friendly "hello!".  Almost exclusively young solo males.   What's up with that?   I mean, I was pretty sulky as a spotty teenager, but I as I recall I grew out of it by my 20's.


      But countless fun conversations too, it was an aspect of my hike that I hadn't anticipated.  "What's the snow like up ahead?" was a great ice(ha-ha)-breaker.


      Early morning, high on the approach Forester (shouting from his bivy), "How far is it to Independence?"   "Umm... do you mean Onion Valley?   You know it' a long way by road from there to the town, right?"   "Erm, Onion Valley?"    "Do you have a map?"    "No."   I guess they just point themselves towards Canada and hope for the best.   I feel like I'm overthinking my hiking plans.  



    • Larry Beck
      I literally grabbed a pair of Keens from the backseat of my car at the trail head parking lot and strapped them to my pack. I m actually glad I did due to the
      Message 47 of 47 , Jul 21, 2014
      I literally grabbed a pair of Keens from the backseat of my car at the trail head parking lot and strapped them to my pack. I'm actually glad I did due to the water crossing necessary in 2011 but I could have come up with a lighter alternative if I'd done a little planning.

      From: "Bill Heiser bill@... [johnmuirtrail]" <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2014 1:53 PM
      Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: PCT hikers [1 Attachment]

       
      [Attachment(s) from Bill Heiser included below]
      These are interesting ways to deal with extra pack weight.  It can go in both directions though.  On my 2012 thru hike, at the very last moment I added a 9 oz Marmot "windshirt" (more like a very light jacket, with a light insulating lining) to my pack.  Could I have gotten along with out it, and used my DriDucks jacket as a wind block instead?  Yes - but it wouldn't have had the extra insulating value, and wouldn't have been nearly as comfortable in cool morning/evening conditions.  Now I take that wind shirt as a required item on each trip.


      July 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM


       
      When I get to the point, well before the last minute, when I think I am all done with the triage, I set aside an extra bag or box, where any other tempting item goes.  Then 2 seconds before I am out the door, I weigh the contents, do one last cut, assess how much over my goal weight I am willing to go, grab that amount and go before I change my mind.  Last year I sent a bounce box of travel clothes, airline duffel etc from HI to Lone Pine, and a few of those last minute items went in that box.  Not a perfect system, but it saved a couple of pounds over the alternative.


      On Jul 20, 2014, at 12:18 PM, rnperky@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:

       
      Ken nailed it on throwing in extras at the last minute, 'just in case'. I find myself doing the same thing as my hikes get closer and I also think, ' that do-dad doesn't weigh much', but than I catch myself, and ask 'is it a nessecaty or an unneeded item that is just 'dead weight'? Ounces start adding up to pounds pretty quickly!

      July 20, 2014 at 12:18 PM
       
      Ken nailed it on throwing in extras at the last minute, 'just in case'. I find myself doing the same thing as my hikes get closer and I also think, ' that do-dad doesn't weigh much', but than I catch myself, and ask 'is it a nessecaty or an unneeded item that is just 'dead weight'? Ounces start adding up to pounds pretty quickly!
      July 20, 2014 at 7:54 AM
       
      Chris, I'll take another look at your list later.

      But one caveat always to bear in mind when compiling a list is the all too easy problem of departing from the list during the last minute packing.

      You've got everything packed and then you see something else that doesn't weigh much and you say to yourself, "I'll take that just in case", and before you know it, all those little things that only weigh a few ounces apiece, and that you feel would be nice to take along, add up to several pounds and you've undone all the good you did in the planning stage. Last year outside the permit office in the Valley I weighed my pack on the scale and went "Good grief', the pack came in at a huge 31 lbs instead of the 27 lbs it was calculated to be.

      Beware of all the extras that include things that would be nice to have and not things that you have to have.

      Ken.
      July 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM
       
      Ken:

      Thanks for your comments.  One of the primary ideas of ultralight backpacking (as stated by Mike Clelland) is that a person is always warm, comfortable and safe, otherwise they are going stupid light.  When looking at my gear list, could you think of any items that you think I should be taking on a JMT trip?  

      I agree about the food.  I suggest resupplying as often as is convenient.  This year I will resupply every 4 days, which will be easy on the section of PCT I'm hiking this summer, but is more difficult on the southern half of the JMT, as has been discussed.  BTW, my 1.4 pounds supplies about 3400 calories per day.

      Another primary idea of ultralight backpacking is only taking items that are *necessary* to stay warm, safe and comfortable, and we leave behind items that not actually necessary to stay warm, safe and comfortable.  A person could spend lots of $$$ on ultralight stuff, or one could just leave out those unnecessary items.

      Chris.


      ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, mailto:kenjessett@... wrote :

      I suppose one very important fact is that with trying to reduce every ounce available we might decide to eliminate an item only to find later on the trail it would have been either essential to our safety or comfort. The reality is that even with only 1 1/2 lbs of food per day, give it two days and the pack is already 3 lbs lighter - not to mention any loss in your body fat.

      It would be great to be able to hike the entire trail with just the weight of a day pack, and it seems with judicious planning and lots of $$$'s spent on ultra light stuff that might be possible, but sans that, be safe, and be sensible and plan well.

      Ken
      July 19, 2014 at 8:31 AM
       
      I suppose one very important fact is that with trying to reduce every ounce available we might decide to eliminate an item only to find later on the trail it would have been either essential to our safety or comfort. The reality is that even with only 1 1/2 lbs of food per day, give it two days and the pack is already 3 lbs lighter - not to mention any loss in your body fat.

      It would be great to be able to hike the entire trail with just the weight of a day pack, and it seems with judicious planning and lots of $$$'s spent on ultra light stuff that might be possible, but sans that, be safe, and be sensible and plan well.

      Ken


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