East to West Translation?
- I've done all of my long distance hiking on the AT and I have two gear questions as I start planning for the JMT next year. Want to make sure I show up with gear that fits the hike.
First, the stove. Do alcohol stoves work well at high altitudes? I assume they heat more slowly with reduced oxygen. But do they work tolerably well?
Second, the tent. I use a tarptent notch. I love it. But because it uses trekking poles, it requires staking. 6 stakes in fact. While hiking in PA and NJ I ran into very rocky ground and sometimes had difficulty getting all 6 stakes securely in the ground. Can I expect to run into that kind of trouble when tenting above the treeline?
- Mando. A lot of people like alky stoves, but remember after the climb out of Yos Valley, the lowest point on the JMT is higher than the highest point on the AT. I would look at Esbit instead of alky if you are into minimalist fuel and cooking. As for staking, lots of folks use tarp tents. any place you cant drive a stake, there will be plenty of rocks. Know how to rig a dead man with a stake and a really heavy rock, and pack some extra cord. I used a non-freestanding tent for the first time last year, and I was surprised how few places I could not drive a pin.
On Aug 29, 2014, at 5:54 PM, patwright@... [johnmuirtrail] wrote:
- Mando, I have used an alcohol stove exclusively for several years and prefer camping at higher altitudes and have had no issues with my homemade alcy stove. I've had one instance where wind was an issue, but I found a suitable wind block.I have also used a Hexamid Solo for the last two years with minimal issues. There are times that I can't get all of my stakes in, but I just use rocks and it works just fine. Happy west coast hiking!
- "Know how to rig a dead man with a stake and a really heavy rock"I've seen some highly dubious attempts to tie guy lines directly to rocks. I'm not sure exactly what Peter means by a dead man (anchor) in this context, but the best method on hard ground uses no stake. When you make guy lines for your tent, tie large-ish loops on the ends, big enough to put a stick through easily. When you can't use a stake, put a medium sized stick through the loop, lay the stick flat on the ground, and put a rock on each end of the stick. This is completely bulletproof, easily adjustable, and avoids abrading the guy line on rock. In fact, when I'm camping somewhere like the Grand Canyon, when it's rare that I'll ever pitch the tent or tarp, and sticks & rocks are always available, I won't bother taking stakes at all.
- That's a good deadman.
- Stick becomes the stake in that example. But in many places, such as above treeline, there are no sticks, and a tent stake, used judiciously, serves the same function and can be used without abrading the line.