Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 7 Guests and 89 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3623 Members
10 Forums
5505 Topics
50488 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#37406 - 06/12/14 04:55 PM JMT - Food Logistics
zorse Offline


Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 5
Loc: BC, Canada
I am planning a trip on the JMT in August. I found a fantastic guidebook that is really thorough and I plan to follow the book's itinerary and complete the trail in roughly 20 days. My partner and I tend to be fast hikers but we are going in a group so I guess we have to assume we will be more "average" speed.
The guidebook suggests resupplying only at Vermilion resort. I find this idea attractive because it is cheaper and less of a logistical nightmare (we are Canadian and will be driving down to the trail - so it's harder to ship our food prior to starting). However, if we resupply only at Vermilion that means we will be carrying 10-11 days of food for the second half of the trip. From what I can tell, bear canisters only carry 6-7 days of food for one person. This means even if we EACH carry our own canister we will be 4 days short of food.

I cannot find any information about this inconsistency. Everything I read just says that people carry all of their food for the second half of the leg. But I don't understand how that's physically possible - are they carrying TWO bear canisters per hiker? And, if so, how do they possibly have room for all of their other gear?

I feel like I'm missing something here.

Top
#37407 - 06/12/14 05:05 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
simple: if you do a VVR resupply as your final southbound resupply, you just have to kick up the pace. 20 miles a day should do, and you'll get there just fine with just one full bear can per person, assuming you're not just packing rice cakes and marshmallows, but really dense food.

If you don't exit at Kearsarge to resupply in Independence, or have packers meet you at Charlotte Lake ($$$), for a more leisurely JMT there's really no way around the Muir Trail Ranch. An easy 8 days from there to exit, and it'll fit in any can.

Now there's a small detail that the guidebook you have may not have mentioned and it is what a lot of people plan to do when resupplying at VVR: It is legal to hang food between VVR and Pinchot Pass. So, if you a) can actually carry all that food, and b) know exactly how to safely counter balance hang your food that doesn't fit into the cans, and camp every night you have food that doesn't fit near a tree that actually allows safe hanging (good luck), then you could technically pack 14 days of food at VVR and slowly drag yourself down to Whitney, always looking for a good tree to camp at.

Another option is to mail food to Parcher's Resort and after the VVR resupply exit again from the MTR at the Le Conte Canyon Ranger station and head over Bishop Pass to Parchers shower and resupply there, then and go back in. Much closer to the end of the trail than VVR, even with the detour. If you are somewhat adventurous, you can also shortcut to the MTR at Palisade Lake from Bishop Pass via the Sierra High Route over Knapsack and Potluck Passes.


Top
#37416 - 06/12/14 08:28 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: Fishmonger]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: NorCal
Building on what Fishmonger wrote, you should be able to get 7 days of food into a canister if you make smart choices. You can also carry your first day's food outside the canister because you will be eating it. That makes for an 8-day "range". From Muir Trail Ranch, it's about 110 miles to Whitney Portal. So that's 14 miles per day, an "average" pace for a JMT hiker. Your pace will be dictated by the high passes, and that's about right.

Not sure what guidebook you're using, but the bible is by
Elizabeth Wenk, New 5th Edition

Coincidently, I just mailed my resupply to MTR today. It's $65 but worth it. Pack some luxury fiesta items and enjoy the hot springs across the river. It's a great midpoint break. The gang from "Mile, Mile and a Half" stayed there. It's on Netflix now. Cool JMT Movie

You can also resupply at Tuolumne Meadows and Red's Meadow to keep your food weight down. These are great stopovers anyway. Same with VVR, but MTR is just a little closer to the finish line.

Remember, the group should be getting stronger and more acclimated over time. But most importantly, PACK WEIGHT will control your pace. If you have heavy packs, then plan on resupplying somehow between MTR or VVR and the finish line, as described by Fishmonger or in a guidebook. That means either a long round trip to town, or paying a packer to deliver along the trail. Best bet is probably a packer drop at Charlotte Lake. Since you have a group, the cost can be shared more economically.

Although canisters are not "required" until your reach Pinchot Pass, there are plenty of bears along the way, especially if you camp at the usual spots. On the other hand, there are bear boxes at strategic locations, but they might be full. Alternatively, consider an Ursack to get some extra food through this area where a canister is not required, but bears are known to be a problem. Ursack 7 ounces

Happy Trails, eh.



Edited by SierraNevada (06/12/14 08:50 PM)

Top
#37421 - 06/12/14 09:48 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
Krishna Offline


Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 101
Loc: Woodridge, IL, USA
I did JMT last August solo south bound from Happy Isles to Whitney Portal with the following food supply plan. Even if you are in Canada I don't see why you cant ship your food parcels ahead of time! I am a slow hiker about 10 to 12 miles per day and this is what I did.

Started with 3 days of food from HI
Picked up 4 days of food at Tuolumne meadows post office (They keep for 2 weeks), Just mail it to yourself care of PO

Picked up 5 days of food at Red's meadow (you can mail them ahead and they charge $1 per day + some transportation fee for picking up from Mammoth PO)

Picked 8 days of food at the MTR (Muir Trail Ranch) - I skipped VVR as it was too expensive and the lake was very dry!

My friends brought food at Kearsarge for 5 days. You can also mail your food to the Berner Packers (Dee Berner, Sequoia Kings Pack Trains, Em: bernerspack@yahoo.com, Tel: 800-962-0775 ). Dee is very responsive and you should get a quote immediately.

Check other trip reports in this discussion group and also in Yahoo groups. Plenty of info there.

Top
#37422 - 06/12/14 09:54 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: Krishna]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: NorCal
Yeah, what Krishna said. Yahoo Groups JMT

Top
#37425 - 06/12/14 11:58 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 76
Loc: UK
You should be able to get 9 person-days of food (c. 35,000 kcals) into a standard bearvault, and with the first night's food separate, that covers 10 days. Make sure you let the air out of all packets and squash hard...

e.g. 40 tortillas (there's a size that perfectly fits the diameter of a bearvault), 27 granola bars, 1lb cheese, 10 snickers, 3lbs spaghetti or instant potato, 1 quart olive oil (=9000 calories!), 9 packet sauces, one squeezy jam, 1 salami, 2 lbs skittles & M&Ms (poured in loose at the end to fill all the gaps).

Top
#37427 - 06/13/14 01:49 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
zorse Offline


Registered: 06/12/14
Posts: 5
Loc: BC, Canada
9 days of food in a bearvault? Is this really doable? It's hard to find concrete info about this. I've also never used a bearvault or seen one in person.

It's also hard to gauge how quickly we will be able to get through the second half of the trip. The guidebook I have averages 11ish miles per day so it's 10 days from MTR (although we could probably cut the last day out). Like I said, the people we are going with are quite a bit slower than us so I am trying to imagine worst case scenario. I guess the tricky thing is you don't want to have to carry more food than necessary, either.

Sounds like most people resupply a couple times through the trip. I was going to try to get away with only one resupply - seems a bit silly to resupply after only a couple of days. The Canadian postal service is a bit of a disaster so I'm guessing it's going to be ridiculously expensive to send a few buckets of food from here. How come MTR is so popular? My guidebook suggests VVR because it is cheapest and nice because of the free accommodation, good food, etc. Is it likely the boat will be not running in August, though?

* The guidebook I'm using is the Cicerone Guide by Alan Castle - found it in the UK because I couldn't find anything decent at home!

Top
#37428 - 06/13/14 03:38 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 76
Loc: UK
9 days is easily doable in my experience. I've just done a test pack for my trip this summer with my son, which requires 5 days, 4 nights, x 2 people, and it fits no problem.

If you're not fussy about food, you can do even better. Instant potato with olive oil added (carry the olive oil in a platypus not a hard bottle!) takes very little space and is very calorie dense. Spaghetti similarly is very space-efficient. Rice and M&Ms can both be poured in at the end (a small sheet of card with rice sized holes can be used to separate them out again).

My record is 10kg of food in a bearvault, and this included stuff like snickers bars, not just dried stuff in bags. Repackaging is an important part of the process - e.g. potato flakes need to be taken out of paper/foil packets and put into ziplocs.

Top
#37429 - 06/13/14 06:23 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
You can go from VVR to Whitney, you just have to hang some food or eat even less than you already do, all while carrying the heaviest load of the hike at the time your body finally realizes it actually needs to get more calories. After the initial week on the trail, your body will seriously crave food, but you'll hit the point in your resupply schedule where you can't take extra calories, because your can is too small.

I have a Bearikade Expedition and do 18-25 mile days, so VVR to Portal actually is doable quite easily for me, but it is vacation, and if I can carry less, or have more to eat at the end of the hike, I am going to choose that option. The cost to have food waiting at MTR versus the overall cost of my trip is rather unimportant.

One thing you may want to consider if you just use VVR is to stop at MTR and add a few things to your can from the hiker barrels, buy some fuel there, or whatever else you know you don't have to carry from VVR to MTR. Unless you show up very early in the season, those hiker barrels (plastic buckets, sorted and labeled by categories) are rather full with food and other goodies.

If you want more advice than you can handle, join the John Muir Trail Yahoo group. They have many resources you may find useful prior to a first trip on the JMT

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/johnmuirtrail/info


Top
#37439 - 06/13/14 05:45 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: Fishmonger]
Beantown Offline


Registered: 06/11/13
Posts: 27
Loc: SoCal
Hike out of kearsarge pass and there is a pack station there in onion valley. They will hold your package but it's pricey, that is what I did last year on the jmt. also heard the food mart in independence will hold your package for cheap, you will have to hitch hike down there. There is not much to buy there at the food mart, the guy I was with that resupplied there did not have that great of food.

Top
#37441 - 06/13/14 08:17 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: Beantown]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Beantown
They will hold your package but it's pricey, that is what I did last year on the jmt.


$125 to hold a package (because they want to encourage that you hire them to pack it all the way up to Charlotte Lake). Makes the Muir Ranch rates suddenly not look so bad.

Top
#37443 - 06/13/14 09:00 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: Fishmonger]
wazzu Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 319
Loc: Orange County, CA
I have no experience with this, but I recently had lunch conversation at the top of local So Cal peak with a couple of people that completed the JMT last year. They mentioned using the resupply services of the Mt Williamson Motel in Independence. They highly recommended the place. I have no first hand experience with the place, but the two people I met thought it was a better experience than Muir Trail Ranch.

Here's a link to their web site. They offer a basic resupply service and something with more "bells & whistles". Might be a little high cost, but sounds like you get a lot.

From the we site:
We also offer our Complete Resupply Package ($150 for one person, $175 double occupancy) that includes:

Receiving and holding one resupply in our secure, air-conditioned facility
One night’s lodging
One breakfast per person
One load of laundry per person
Complimentary ride from Onion Valley Trail Head to motel
Complimentary ride from motel to Onion Valley Trail Head

Top
#37445 - 06/13/14 09:23 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1559
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Don't know what book you are referring to, but I applaud both the advice and your interest in it. I did JMT SoBo last year and and had no problem carrying 12 days food from my last resup. If your food pack is reasonably nutrient dense, there is no reason why you can't get 12 days food (16 lbs) into a bearcan, plus what you can carry for a day out of resup: easily 13 days food for 11-12 days south of VVR. To paraphrase Cap't Quint: I'll never resup at MTR again.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

Top
#37448 - 06/14/14 08:21 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: saltydog]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
I am usually packing my food to MTR myself - $25 fee, instead of the $65 they charge to pack up and hold it. Obviously not an option for everyone but if you do have the time and enjoy a little acclimation hike, it's one of the cheapest resupply locations.

Top
#37513 - 06/16/14 09:41 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: zorse]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: zorse
9 days of food in a bearvault? Is this really doable?

At 1.25-1.5 lbs per day, 9 days is 12-14 lbs of food. Doable, with careful food selection and lots of compression force. 10 lbs = 7 days is more realistic. The claim of 10 kg (22 lbs) of food in a bear vault must be a world record. A BV500 full of water is about 23.5 lbs. Or are we talking about different models and sizes? Get that straight. If you're renting a Garcia bear canister, than it's even smaller than a bear vault.
Originally Posted By: zorse

It's also hard to gauge how quickly we will be able to get through the second half of the trip...the people we are going with are quite a bit slower than us so I am trying to imagine worst case scenario.
So why add anything beyond the 110 miles from MTR after your last resupply? The $65 fee can be split by 2 people, so it's really $32.50 per person, with no boat ride fee. If you really want to resupply at VVR, then get bigger canisters for 2 more days food, resupply again along the way, or hike faster.

I think you need to do more homework. You should click on those links I posted above (and links by others too), order the best guide book on Amazon. Combine that knowledge together with a better assessment of the your group's capabilities to make the best plan you can - with options. Rank your priorities - what's most important, is it saving money, finishing as fast as possible, getting everyone across the finish line, etc. What if some people can't make it? What will define a successful trip of a lifetime, because that's what it should be, a trip of a lifetime, especially if you're travel so far to do this. You should be able to send your resupply food as soon as you get here rather than from the UK. Planning is everything at this point, and information comes from homework. You'll probably need to adapt your plan along the way, which also requires knowledge, which comes from homework.


Edited by SierraNevada (06/16/14 10:08 PM)

Top
#37521 - 06/16/14 11:26 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: SierraNevada]
britonwhit(ney) Offline


Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 76
Loc: UK
I think he's coming from Canada which should be a lot easier than the UK from a customs perspective.

10kg is definitely doable but you're right, requires a lot of squashing. We got 10kg each into 2 bearvaults for 180 miles of PCT through the Sierra from Kennedy Meadows to VVR. Despite this our daily calorie deficit was greater than a normal calorie intake. Pretty much everything in the can would sink in water (e.g. spaghetti, instant mash, couscous), and it was squashed very hard. I think the following year, for Mammoth to WP we got about 8-9kg in each can.

At the end of all the packing, if you can't get another kg of rice, M&Ms and skittles (poured loose) into all the gaps I'd be amazed, but very few people seem to do this.

My test pack of a can last weekend got 6kg/13.2lb in without any aggressive squashing (just careful tessellation), nor letting the air out of the packets, nor pouring in loose granular items.

Packing a bear canister was my intro to packing a bear can and worked for me.

Top
#37524 - 06/16/14 11:58 PM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: SierraNevada]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Of all the places to resupply, Edison Lake (VVR aka Vermillion Valley Resort) makes the least sense. It's a long 5-6 mile hike off the JMT, or a $20 ferry ride (in August the lake/reservoir will be quite low, so longer hike to the ferry, too.) Lots of people like the camaraderie and atmosphere at VVR, but you will be in a group, so you won't really be lonesome. I think I've heard many hikers will spend $100 there with the great meals and good beer -- just depends if that is what you want.

It makes better sense to resupply at Reds Meadow. There is even a shuttle bus right from RM out to Mammoth (30-40 min. ride?) so you could go out and buy supplies there. (Incidentally, it's a good place to park your car, too, since YARTS shuttles Mammoth to Yosemite, and ESTA shuttles from Lone Pine to Mammoth.) I'm not sure what the store at RM has, but you might just buy supplies there.

Tuolumne Meadows: there is a store there as well. Not sure what hikers have to say about selection and variety, but buying supplies there is an option, too.

So you see, Krishna's resupply spots make sense. It would be up to you to decide whether to run out over Kearsarge Pass to try to pick up more supplies in Independence -- that would burn a full day, maybe even an overnight. You might consider that as an option, and decide once you get there, based on the progress and speed of everyone in your group.

As for mailing yourself supplies, the U.S. Postal Service has flat rate boxes you can mail from anywhere in the U.S. to anywhere in the U.S. 12x12x6 (Large Box) is $16.

Top
#37528 - 06/17/14 07:09 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
The places you can resupply:

Tuolumne Meadows Post Office
Reds Meadow Resort
Mammoth Lakes Post office (detour, hassle unless you need to buy gear at a store or other reason to go to town)
VVR (detour)
Mono Hot Springs Post Office (big detour, best done hitch-hiking)
MTR
Parcher's Resort (detour)
Kearsarge Pass (detour)

If you skip all those past VVR, you will pay the price on Bear Ridge grin

I've done Whitney Portal to VVR on a single Bearikade Expedition, 10 days, no problem other than killer weight on the way up to Trail Crest. Taught me the lesson to resupply as often as possible. And if I don't mail anything to MTR for example, I will still stop there and grab some food from the hiker barrels. Calories for the taking, at least go there and eat what you can. It's a tiny detour. Charge your camera, email family, hit the trail again.
_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
#37529 - 06/17/14 07:31 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: britonwhit(ney)]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1137
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: britonwhit(ney)
We got 10kg each into 2 bearvaults for 180 miles of PCT through the Sierra from Kennedy Meadows to VVR.

My test pack of a can last weekend got 6kg/13.2lb in without any aggressive squashing (just careful tessellation), nor letting the air out of the packets, nor pouring in loose granular items.

Just to confirm, you are talking about a BV500 bear vault, about 650 cubic inches (although it claims to be 700 cubic inches).

I've read Tom's article on this before - a must read and some very useful tips, but leaning into each layer with a glass roller tends to make mush out of everything. The most he claims to get is 18 lbs, so your 22 lbs must be a world record if you're talking about a BV500. That's truly amazing.


Edited by SierraNevada (06/17/14 07:43 AM)

Top
#37531 - 06/17/14 08:32 AM Re: JMT - Food Logistics [Re: SierraNevada]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1015
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
ok, let's take it to the nth degree of loading and minimalism.

I wonder what a Bear Vault full of Tang would weigh?

those approx 2000 Cal/lb and its Vitamin C would take you a long way, that and a few mineral and other vitamin supplements, and burning your own fat & protein.

I could do the math, but.. a default breakfast for me on the trail is a liter of water + 3 Fig Newtons while packing up, then a liter of strong Tang to sip on the trail.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >