View Poll Results: Can the John Muir Trail be camped solely with a hammock?

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  • Are you nuts? You've got to be kidding!

    0 0%
  • Are you nuts? Of course you can!

    3 50.00%
  • Are you nuts? Look at all the survivors who tried

    1 16.67%
  • I am nuts too, I plan to try it real soon.

    2 33.33%
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  1. #11
    Mule's Avatar
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    Talking Look at a comment from backpacer forum

    I did the entire JMT solo North to South in August of 07. Did it in 23 days. Two days to were to re-supply and one day lay over at Charlotte Lake. Going to do it again in August of 08, but South to North this time. Would like some company this time. If any one wants some first hand info feel free to email kayakcowboy@verizon.net
    Michael

    The above thread can be found in the thread "John Muir Trail" under 'finding hiking partners.' I introduced the question on a post about how hard it would be to hammock camp the whole trip and I have recieved such positive answers. the above is one of them. I am so encouraged!
    Mule
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  2. #12
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skskinner View Post
    I did the entire JMT solo North to South in August of 07. Did it in 23 days. Two days to were to re-supply and one day lay over at Charlotte Lake. Going to do it again in August of 08, but South to North this time. Would like some company this time. If any one wants some first hand info feel free to email kayakcowboy@verizon.net
    Michael

    The above thread can be found in the thread "John Muir Trail" under 'finding hiking partners.' I introduced the question on a post about how hard it would be to hammock camp the whole trip and I have recieved such positive answers. the above is one of them. I am so encouraged!
    Mule
    I used a Hennessey Hammock on the JMT in '05. I hung from rocks on two occasions, used it as a bivy (no trees or rocks) twice, and slung between trees the other nights. To sling on rock, I carry two climbers nuts and two climbers carabiners.

    My experience is not that it is difficult to find a place to hang the hammock, but rather it is hard to keep warm in the hammock once above 9K feet, which is often on the JMT. That high, plan on carrying an extra thermal pad to keep your backside warm. Having said that, it is truly the best sleep out there, but can get chilly, even in night temps as high as low 40s. One night, at a lower elevation, I slung from trees but over wet soggy ground from an all day rain and hail storm. My partners all sloshed around to find some dry spots -- usually not level -- to pitch tents. I hung above it all and slept like a baby.

    This above quote is actually the quote I meant to show on this forum. The responses I have so far on the 'can the JMT be hammock camped' has been so encouraging. If I get to do it this year I will definitely be HOMOCK CAMPING. Hurray!
    Mule
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  3. #13
    slowhike's Avatar
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    that quote is good news.
    it's obvious that this fella had not learned to take hammocking to the level it is now as far as light weight, cold weather hammocking.
    you have a real advantage over him w/ the advances that have been made & the information available here.
    you will do just fine... not only sleep soft, but warm too.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #14
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    that quote is good news.
    it's obvious that this fella had not learned to take hammocking to the level it is now as far as light weight, cold weather hammocking.
    you have a real advantage over him w/ the advances that have been made & the information available here.
    you will do just fine... not only sleep soft, but warm too.
    I agree Slowhike, I have no problem with the teens and probably would have no problem with the single digits either. It is a matter of moving your insulation to where you need it, and almost everything we carrry of any bulk is in fact insulation. I am very encouraged about the JMT now. I was not looking forward to tent or bivy nights on any camp-out. Mule
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    One reason it's harder to stay warm above 9k' is just acclimation. The air is a lot thinner so your body doesn't work as well (less oxygen pumping around in your blood), and it's a lot drier so hydration is tougher. That makes it feel colder than it really is, if you're used to camping at lower elevations.
    “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

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  6. #16
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    One reason it's harder to stay warm above 9k' is just acclimation. The air is a lot thinner so your body doesn't work as well (less oxygen pumping around in your blood), and it's a lot drier so hydration is tougher. That makes it feel colder than it really is, if you're used to camping at lower elevations.
    Thanks, Just Jeff. I am somewhat familiar with high altitude air. One good thing is that starting at Yosemite and moving South gives you plenty of time to acclimate and get rid of some muscle soreness as the passes get higher. Don't get me wrong, at age 61, I know I am going to be challenge greatly on this hike even though I would be taking the full three plus weeks. I did Whitney when I was Twenty years of age and took two days up and one down and even then it kicked my @$$. Mule
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  7. #17

    Hanging Without Trees

    Great thread! I'm hoping to hammock the JMT one of these years, but it won't be this year. I am not a climber and I'm not all that familiar with the various types of hardware one might use to hang from rock. Anyone got any pix of setups or advice on what types of hardware to carry?

  8. #18
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kraft View Post
    Great thread! I'm hoping to hammock the JMT one of these years, but it won't be this year. I am not a climber and I'm not all that familiar with the various types of hardware one might use to hang from rock. Anyone got any pix of setups or advice on what types of hardware to carry?
    Welcome to the forum. That kind of hanging is not very popular around here. Kinda risky IMO. Here is a thread that talks about it http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...=climbing+cams
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  9. #19
    I used an Hennesey A-Sym on a 14day JMT a couple of years ago. Went last week of August/first week of September.

    Finding trees to hang from wasn't that big of a problem but I was really cold and took to sleeping on the ground to stay warm - Amazing what a good insulator the ground is. I'm thinking of trying it again if I can find a better insulating system than my blue foam pads and windshield reflector.

    If you do it, just make sure you have the ability to sleep on the ground too.

  10. #20
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    You can hike the JMT using a hammock. If you can be comfortable sleeping on the ground, I recommend that you sleep on the ground instead of using a hammock.
    The JMT goes up and down, over a pass and back down to a drainage, up into the treeless tundra and then back down into the trees, up and away from the bugs and above the bears and then back down to where it's a little warmer and more damp with bugs and bears. With a hammock you are limited to the lower areas. You have to plan so that you will end your day near the trees.
    The weather is usually clear with occasional afternoon thundershowers and an infrequent storm system that moves through. A lightweight tent such as from Tarptent is popular. I prefer to carry a tarp that I almost never have to set up and cowboy camp. The vegetation is sparse so you can camp almost anywhere. At the lower elevations, especially in a meadow, there is often condensation that will quickly dry out if you lay out your sleepingbag in the midday sun. And there will also be the bugs that I deal with by sleeping wearing a long nylon top and bottom with a headnet if necessary.
    The best place to sleep is at some middle elevation where you avoid the condensation and bugs below and avoid the colder air above.
    If you can spare the day I strongly recommend climbing Split Mtn just south of Mather Pass. Camp by the lake just east of the trail. Early in the morning go either way around the lake, the climb up to the saddle has been done by horses, and then you have an easy climb up what is like a ramp to the peak to the south. It is over 14,000' and in the middle of the highest peaks in the Sierras, and it overlooks Owens Valley 10,000' below and White Mtn across the valley which is the third highest peak in California. More spectacular than Whitney.
    I hope you enjoy a beautiful hike, with or without a hammock.

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