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. #21
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garraty View Post
    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.
    Thanks for the excellent advice. I think what I am going to do is take my Claytor Hammock and a Mac Cat fly, use the hammock as a bivy unless I happen to be close to some trees and not worry about hanging unless it is convenient. That way I won't inconvenience the others in the group. I have a great system for staying warm in a hammock, so thats not a problem.
    Question (off the subject a bit)
    Rules say one must pack out toilet paper, not burn, not bury. I read also that Rangers may check to see if you are using this method as well as bear containers. Is this true? Comments?
    Mule
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
    Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  2. #22
    Senior Member
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    Olympic Penninsula, WA
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    I worked as a bc ranger one year in Sequoia NP and mostly worked at around 10K and occ + --- it could get surprisingly freaking cold at night ... est <20* at times.

    Hanging should work 100% in WA, 98% in OR and pretty well in all but S CA ... prolly have to go to ground a few times there.
    Last edited by riverkeeper; 03-16-2008 at 00:36.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

  3. #23
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverkeeper View Post
    I worked as a bc ranger one year in Sequoia NP and mostly worked at around 10K and occ + --- it could get surprisingly freaking cold at night ... est <20* at times.

    Hanging should work 100% in WA, 98% in OR and pretty well in all but S CA ... prolly have to go to ground a few times there.
    Thank you, Do you know the what the real world of disposing human waste is like on the JMT? Mule
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
    Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  4. #24
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    Cambridge, MA
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    >Do you know the what the real world of disposing human waste is like on the JMT?

    The JMT is 211 miles long plus the 10 miles to get off Whitney. The 10 miles down from Whitney and the similar distance near the other end at Yosemite Valley have a lot of people. On the rest of the trail it is easy to get away from people.
    All you do is walk away from the trail until you are out of sight, dig a hole, and go to the bathroom. If you use toilet paper then you should carry the paper out because if you leave it there it takes a long time to decompose and it will be exposed by animals. Burning the paper has unfortunately caused major fires. There are other alternatives such as leaves or water that you have with you.
    You get dirty in the wilderness. It is important to keep certain parts of your body reasonably clean. Proper hygiene is important to prevent illness. In general, however, you learn to tolerate a level of cleanliness that is different than what is normally expected in "civilization".
    If you want further information, the book "How to **** in the Woods" may be helpful. For additional information on the JMT try pcta dot org or the PCT-L mail list run from backcountry dot net.

  5. #25
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garraty View Post
    >Do you know the what the real world of disposing human waste is like on the JMT?

    The JMT is 211 miles long plus the 10 miles to get off Whitney. The 10 miles down from Whitney and the similar distance near the other end at Yosemite Valley have a lot of people. On the rest of the trail it is easy to get away from people.
    All you do is walk away from the trail until you are out of sight, dig a hole, and go to the bathroom. If you use toilet paper then you should carry the paper out because if you leave it there it takes a long time to decompose and it will be exposed by animals. Burning the paper has unfortunately caused major fires. There are other alternatives such as leaves or water that you have with you.
    You get dirty in the wilderness. It is important to keep certain parts of your body reasonably clean. Proper hygiene is important to prevent illness. In general, however, you learn to tolerate a level of cleanliness that is different than what is normally expected in "civilization".
    If you want further information, the book "How to **** in the Woods" may be helpful. For additional information on the JMT try pcta dot org or the PCT-L mail list run from backcountry dot net.
    Thanks, I have no problem *******g in the woods and burning and then burying the stuff in a cathole. Thanks for the information. I also have read how to **** in the woods years ago. With all the rules and regulations involved, I think I am going to do just a part of the trail and use the water thing you mentioned. I appreciate the help. Mule
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
    Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  6. #26
    New Member
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    Dec 2008
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    Ventura,CA
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    Hennesy expedition
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    Mylar spaceblanket
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    Go for it! Many ground campers take only a tarp and often in good weather don't put up the tarp. August and early September are the best times to avoid bugs but not all of them. To avoid bugs stay away from water by hanging on a ridge or hillside that is dry and it will be warmer also. Great website for pictures of most of the JMT by hammock hikers.
    jmthiker.com Go to site #8 John Muir Trail 2003 trip day 1-27. Starts day 4 so just see previous to look at all pictures. Lots of trees and some hammock pictures. Mickey

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