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  1. #1
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    thru hiking the john muir trail

    ill be thru hikng the jmt this june and i wanted to know if i will be able to sleep in a hammock the whole way or will have to use my tent

  2. #2
    Have you read The Thousand Mile Summer by Colin Fletcher? That should give you a good idea of the terrain and vegetation. IIRC, the southern portion was mostly desert, without that many trees. However, it's been about thirty years since I read the book.

    I believe that Fletcher had some supplies and equipment sent to him via general delivery at points along the trail. You might consider shifting from tent to hammock in that manner, picking up the hammock and returning the tent courtesy of the USPS.

  3. #3
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    The JMT is above treeline in many places, so you will lose 'some' freedom of being able to stop whenever you feel like it... Plan ahead somewhat to camp 'low' when in the trees, hiking up & over a pass the next day and back down into the trees... Many have used a hammock/tarp the length of the JMT before you... Going in June, however, make sure you have sufficient bottom insulation for your hammock - though camping 'low' in the trees, you are still at considerable elevation and temps usually get down into the upper 20s and even into the teens at times... Enjoy the journey!

    Happy trails!!!
    Jim (PITA)

  4. #4
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    Carry a ground tarp and suitable tarp and insulation for both types and you'll be fine. Make sure you have a bear canister - can't remember if it's required now (I think it is).

  5. #5
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    thanks guys
    ill being doing it unsupported so ill have use the hammok the whole way. i have a kelty lightyear 20 bag with a tr pad and im looking at uq so i think ill stay warm.
    why would i want a tent from what i seen in pics and heard there is breath taking views, i just cant wait to see um from my hammock

  6. #6
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    There aren't trees on top of the mountains where the best views are...so no place to hang a hammock!

    You can send your extra gear to the Post Office via General Delivery and they'll hold it there for 30 days. You can even forward it on to the next post office for free if you don't open it...so you could start with a tarp/tent and ground pad, and swap out for your hammock gear at the post office when you're ready. No need for someone else to support your hike for that. Then just mail it back to your house when you no longer need it. Search the internet for "bounce box" for more info on how to do that.

    If I were hiking the JMT, I'd have at least a torso pad (which I take on all my hikes now anyway) in case I saw a view or an alpine lake with no hanging spots that I just HAD to camp at. It's a different world out there than the forested mountains of the East coast and even most of the Rockies. Different kind of beauty, and I'd be tempted to go to ground a couple times. I wouldn't tell you guys about it but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

    Gotta have the right tool for the trip. I haven't camped on the ground in several years, but I'd be prepared to if I were hiking the JMT. Hammocks are supposed to help enjoy the wilderness, not constrain us by limiting what we experience.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
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    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  7. #7
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    my friend who will be joing will be bringing a tent so problem solved
    the lakes look amazing and peaceful i think i might just go to the ground if the bugs aren't too much of a problem. im doing around 20 miles a day so i cant hang out anywhere too long. iwas only able to get two weeks off work

  8. #8
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    I hung at 10,000 feet - the trees can be spindly and too flexible but you can manage as long as the wind doesn't kick up too much.

    The JMT is indeed alpine for some stretches but there is plenty below treeline. Instead of an underquilt take a pad or air mattress - the NeoAir worked for my JMT section last year. In June you will want the bugnet on the ground as well so plan on using the hammock net for a bug bivy. Take a heavy duty contractor bag for use as a ground cloth. Any tarp suitable for hammocking can be used on the ground - I used a flying diamond pitch with my MacCat. A trekking pole or two is very helpful in this....

    Be prepared - after the Whitney summit you will either have a long hike out to the portal, or a night on rock at trail camp - pitching a tarp in rocks takes a little forethought and maybe some practice.

  9. #9
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    ill be bringing a pad with me, how many days did you spend on the trail?

  10. #10
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    I was out for about a week. We were loafing between Yosemite and Reds Meadow, fishing and chasing bears away from the canisters. We're going to do a longer segment this year.

    You will probably benefit from reading some of the trail journals of JMT hikers at trailjournals.com.

    You'll need a bear can big enough to get you over that last hundred miles without resupply. Rent one from Wild Ideas (Bearikade) - they are lightest for the volume and will mail it to you a few days before your trip. You could also buy one and resell it for almost as much as you pay - everyone routinely hiking the Sierras looks for bargains on those things.

    Your resupplies will need to be planned and you can mail yourself food/hygiene items, and buy fuel, at Vermillion Resort, Muir Trail Ranch, Reds Meadow, Tuolumne Meadows. There is a fee for them holding your package. Fuel can be expensive at the resorts.

    Bear Rider above is thinking of the PCT. There is no desert on the JMT, it's only just over 200 miles of the high Central Sierra Nevada.

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