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  1. #1
    Member Hangman's Avatar
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    John Muir Trail w/Hammock

    I'm heading out west to hike the JMT in Aug. I was wondering if anyone here hiked it using there hammock. I am hiking with 2 other guys who are using their Hubba's. Not sure if I want to sleep on the ground but don't want it to be too much of a bother for the other 2 guys if there isn't enough trees around. If there is a forum already on this point me there....Thanks

  2. #2
    mountain_man_mike's Avatar
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    I saw a post last week about a thru hike on the JMT and there were several comments about it. You will be able to hang almost all of the JMT and depending on your skills in hanging from rocks maybe even more will be hangable (is that even a real word?). You may want to consider a hammock system that will allow you to hang, yet flexible enough to accommodate a few uncomfortable nights on the ground. A tarp that can be used for both and a sleeping pad may help ease the pain, along with an additional half pint of your favorite nightime "muscle relaxer".

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Here's a thread started by stonefree about thru-hiking the JMT: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=16297 Wish I was going with you!
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  4. #4
    eagleJ's Avatar
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    Hangman I've been section hiking the JMT the last 3 years. The 1st year we hiked Cottonwood Lakes to Onion Valley although I tented all campsites we stayed had trees suitable for hanging. The 2nd year we hiked Evolution Valley again I tented but it was the same, the areas we camped were suitable for hanging. Last August I hiked Red's Meadows to Yosemite Valley with my WBBB and had no trouble finding spots. If you do a little planning you should be fine. There was one day we had to hike a little farther to camp than we planned but it was because of tenting conditions not hanging problems. PS I'll be back out there this year with my hammock.
    Last edited by eagleJ; 02-14-2011 at 15:06. Reason: Added PS

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Well, considering you should hike high and sleep low as a matter of course, you shouldn't have a problem. (Altitude sickness is probably the most dangerous thing on that trail. Plus you don't want to camp on high ridges or wide open alpine basins anyway - lightening does strike year round.) I hike in the Sierra every month, all year, and I've done sections of the JMT over the past few years. I did the southern part that ends on Whitney and kicked myself the whole way - I figured since we wouldn't be below 10,000 feet most of the trip I would take a pad and tarp. I could have hung every night. Plenty of trees.

    Just make sure you take some nice long straps. Some of the pines are going to be as big as redwoods. If you have a walking stick or trekking pole it will help you get the strap around the tree, either as a way of guiding it through branches or as a way of shoving the strap higher on the trunk.

  6. #6
    mountain_man_mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    I've done sections of the JMT over the past few years. I did the southern part that ends on Whitney and kicked myself the whole way - I figured since we wouldn't be below 10,000 feet most of the trip I would take a pad and tarp. I could have hung every night. Plenty of trees.

    Just make sure you take some nice long straps. Some of the pines are going to be as big as redwoods. If you have a walking stick or trekking pole it will help you get the strap around the tree, either as a way of guiding it through branches or as a way of shoving the strap higher on the trunk.
    +1 to the long straps as the trees can get some real girth to them... and Lori I am so jealous! I could only find boulders at Guitar Lake, but then again that section (the pain from it that is) was the one that got me hanging. It seems like the lightning prefers the early afternoon. I still haven't found the express elevator.
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    Happy Trails to one and all.
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    Another Really cool JC Penny Puffer instructional- https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...141#post953141

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_man_mike View Post
    +1 to the long straps as the trees can get some real girth to them... and Lori I am so jealous! I could only find boulders at Guitar Lake, but then again that section (the pain from it that is) was the one that got me hanging. It seems like the lightning prefers the early afternoon. I still haven't found the express elevator.
    That trip, we didn't stay at Guitar Lake. We had planned six days on trail, five for doing Onion -> Horseshoe Meadow, with a side day hike to Whitney from the west. Did not feel like descending the "urine trail" to the Portal. Well, we got to Crabtree and talked to the ranger - he said temps were supposed to plummet that night, to 30 degrees below what forecasts had said for the area before we left and my hiking buddy had frozen her maracas the previous night at only 30F, and in addition to that the wind was picking up and ranger said it would be pretty hairy up on the trail.

    So we hiked on. Did 60 miles in four days, my GPS told me we had 12,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain - Kearsarge pass at 12k, Forester at 13 and change (it's 1,000 feet shy of Whitney), Guyot at 10k and finally New Army Pass descending into Cottonwood Lakes and out to Horsehoe - each day we were doing 3,000 - 5,000 feet of gain and losing it again. We piled on miles so we could get below 10,000 feet at Rock Creek and build a fire. My friend was hiking with all her clothes on it was so cold!

    I could have hammocked easily above 10,000 feet along the way - that area has such minimal plant life but there are miles and miles of pine trees. Trying to remember if they were foxtail, I think they were. Huge.

    The last day, we reached the car. It was 40F and dropping, at dusk. All the car campers standing around at the parking lot just stared at us - it felt so warm! We were peeling off layers and boiling water for sponge baths in the first restroom we'd seen for miles and miles...

  8. #8
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    My usual MO for trips that include high elevation stretches of more than 15 miles, by the way, is to take pads instead of an underquilt, and tarp on the ground using trekking poles. A Blackbird in the stuff sack makes a fine pillow.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sarae's Avatar
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    Good to know. I'm doing a section of the JMT in August, too, from North Lake to South Lake. Hoping to hang at every camp.
    In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir

  10. #10
    Member Hangman's Avatar
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    I'm using my HH set up that I thru hiked the AT with. What would you suggest for strap lenght on the JMT? Or combnnation of staps ect.

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