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Rlhdancer - John Muir Trail Journal - 2014

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Split & Two Step
City: Pleasanton
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Jun 16, 2014
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jun 14th, 2014
Start: Pleasanton
End: Pleasanton
Daily Distance: 0
Daily Ascent: 0
Daily Descent: 0
Max Elevation: 250

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 487
Journal Visits: 10,707
Guestbook Views: 406
Guestbook Entrys: 9

John Muir Trail Map

(Click image for full size)

Everything we need for the JMT

All our bags are packed... , prehike

All our bags are packed

We spent today going through our checklists one last time and assembling all of our gear into our ULA Catalyst backpacks. Both Two Step and I modified our PCT checklists from last year to obtain this year's JMT checklist. While I'm not going to enter our entire list of items, here are some highlights:

1) ULA Catalyst backpacks - At almost 2 pounds 13 ounces, this pushes the limit of ultralight. After hiking both the AT and PCT in this pack, I've come to appreciate the comfort of this pack, particularly when the weight of the contents exceeds 30 pounds.

2) Tarptent Double Rainbow - At almost exactly three pounds, we are very happy with this tent. It is fully enclosed with mosquito netting. It also features two doors, one on either side of the tent, so either of us can enter or exit without disturbing the other resting/sleeping partner. We fit snugly inside, but after over 200 nights together in this tent, we are extremely happy with it. One note, the flaps can form a vestibule with the help of two variable length poles (per side) and a couple pieces of string. This provides much needed ventilation on rainy nights. Without any ventilation, two breathing souls can put enough vapor into the tent to cause sufficient condensation to form rain within the tent.

3) Water purification - For the Yosemite Valley, we are going to use the same type of Platipus Gravityworks filter we used on both the AT and the PCT. But when we head out from Tuolumne into Lyle Canyon, we will dump the gravity filter. We plan to just use unfiltered water in the High Sierras, a significant departure from our longer hikes, but studies of the Sierras indicate that Giardia and other bad bugs are at undetectable levels. Still, we will carry a Sawyer Squeeze filter. At 4.7 ounces, which includes the backflush syringe and two-liter platypus bottle, this is an easy choice as a backup plan should we find a questionable water source.

4) REI Igneo and Jewel sleeping bags - At 1 pound 14 ounces, these 20 degree, 800-fill bags are ideal for the cool Sierra nights.

5) Bearikade Expedition bear canister - At 2 pounds 4 ounces and 900 cubic inches, it is the largest and lightest bear can available. It's all carbon fiber and aluminum, very high tech, and holds 8 to 10 days of food (4 to 5 days for two people). Bear canisters are required in the Sierras where the bears are really artists at retrieving food sequestered by hanging or other methods.

6) Overall weight - The combination of our personal and common gear give us a base weight (minus food and water but with the Bearikade) of about 19 pounds apiece. We carry about two pounds of food per person per day. We start with about three days / 6 pounds per person of food, add about three pounds of water apiece, which gives us each a starting total weight of about 25 pounds, a value we confirmed by stepping on our home scale. We will carry up to six days of food towards the end of the trip, which will push us into the low 30 pounds. Not too bad for two temporarily homeless wanderers who are carrying everything they need to live in the backcountry on their backs.

The planning is over,
Split and Two Step

Entry 3 of 26
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Journal Photo

Split And Two Step On The John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail passes through a land of 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks, of lakes in the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. It's also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world. The John Muir Trail is 211 miles long and runs (mostly in conjunction with the PCT) from Yosemite Valley to Mt Whitney, in California.


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