|Planning out food allocation|
food in our packs. We made use of the fact we were in Tuolumne the day before we started, and left a cache of food in the bear bins at the Cathedral trailhead. This saved us about eight pounds of weight on our back for almost all of the first day. We also knew we’d be eating at The Grille in Tuolumne and The Mule House Cafe in Red’s Meadow, so we made sure to nix packing those meals. Packing this exactly means you have very little wiggle room for error though.
We each mailed 13 pounds of food to Muir Ranch, enough for the last 4.5 days. We both cut out some food and left it in the communal food bins at the ranch. When we finished the trail I only had about a few goos, some granola bars and an emergency dinner left – I packed almost the exact amount of food I needed to finish the trip. This is both good and bad, depending on how conservative you like to be.
I packed around 2700 calories for myself for a day. At the end of each day I ate almost all of my allotted food, and would force myself to take in the calories even when I wasn’t hungry, but this was rare. For me, the key to eating enough is to bring food I like, which doesn’t always include the healthiest of foods.
Many people don’t bother with sports drinks but I couldn’t get by without them. They provide a large dose of my salt and calories, and sometimes protein and caffeine. At the end of every day I downed a bottle of recovery drink, which is nothing more than a quick source of carbs and a bit of protein for weary muscles, but also with glutamine and magnesium. Another aspect I love with brining different sports drink powders is the variety of flavors, everything from your usual fruit punch to coffee and strawberry vanilla. Certain drink mixes, like Perpetuum or hot chocolate mix, have a chalky base to them, which settles my stomach and breaks the monotony of sweet clear drinks. Being able to alternate between water and sports drinks keeps your palette from getting bored, encourages you to drink and keeps you better hydrated.
We stopped to filter water three times every day – first thing in the morning, at lunch, and every night. We each drank about five to six liters a day, that’s for drinking and cooking. We chose to use the MSR HyperFlow pump filter, it’s our favorite of the pump filters. We were close to bringing a Steripen, but if you’re using a bladder as your main water containment you don’t save much time sterilizing your water as you walk away. Plus, due to the Rim Fire much of the water sources were hazy from ash, which made up happy we brought a filter which would remove silt, instead of a purifier or pill which would not. The drawback to these micro fiber pumps is keeping them flowing smoothly. Our pump stiffened up significantly from the dirtied water, and by the end of the trip was nearly impossible to pump, even with frequent backflushing.
I brought an 86 ounce capacity for water – a 2 liter water bladder, and a 22 ounce sports bottle for sports drinks. There are many water sources along the JMT, I rarely had all of my containers full. Despite the plentiful water supplies, we did run into some tight spots due to low water conditions that year. Twice we anticipated refilling at a water source marked on our map, only to find it entirely dry. So, despite the plentiful water and trip reports of people carrying only 1 liter of liquid at a time, you still have to be cautious.
Food weight: five days of food, 12lbs
Water capacity: 86oz (2.5L) or 5.5lbs fully topped off
· Dried cranberries & fruit leathers
· Sour cream & onion bunny crackers
· Zone Bar, Larabar, Kind bar
· Pistachios with salt
· Sour Patch Kids
· Sun Chips
· Shot blox
· Caffeinated goo
· Pop Tarts
· Pastries, small muffin or scone
· Tortilla with Nutella or almond butter
· Lipton Soup Mix
· Smoked salmon fish packet
· Freeze dried dinner
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