Thursday, July 17, 2014

1000 Calorie Granola

Going stoveless was an easy decision for me to make for the John Muir Trail. I don't have to carry a stove, fuel, or a cook pot. I'm not even carrying a cup or bowl.

Cleanup consists of putting any wrappers or Ziploc bags into my bear canister. It's very efficient for someone looking to hike all day. Plus I don't have to worry about any fire regulations.

Most people ask what kinds of food I packed. I have a nutrition spread sheet under the JMT tab with many of the options I will be taking with me.

For breakfast every other day I will be eating granola. I used different varieties and flavors of granola, mostly the Bear Naked brand. The recipe is as follows:

1 cup granola 560 calories
1/4 cup full fat powdered milk (Peak or Nido) 160 calories
3 tbsp crushed walnuts 160 calories
2 tbsp flax seeds 70 calories

Optional: add in dried fruit.

Place all ingredients in a Ziploc.  Once on the trail, add water until you reach your desired consistency.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Trail Food: Dehdrated Apples and Kiwi

When I'm on the trail, I love fruit. Buying dehydrated fruits can get really expensive. Thankfully it's really easy to make your own!

Choose and cut your apples. I used organic gala apples. I left the skin on some while I peeled the others. I wanted to try out both. I think I prefer them with the skins on (and it saves a step!)

Soak your apples a citrus juice to pretreat them (helps to prevent them from turning brown). You can put them in lemon, lime or pineapple juice and water. I used pineapple juice. It is a 1:4 ratio .

Optional: sprinkle your apples with cinnamon. I also added a little bit of coconut sugar.

Many recipes will recommend using a "fruit leather" sheet or tray in your dehydrator. Just cut out a piece of parchment paper. It prevents your trays from getting sticky and is cheaper and more convenient to buy than special trays. Make sure to leave space between the apples slices when you lay them on the parchment paper.

Set your dehydrator to 135 degrees. I read that it can take up to 12 hours (it really depends on the thickness) but mine were thin and done around 6 hours.

Kiwis go through practically the same process, but you can skip the pretreatment. If you have never tried dehydrated kiwi, you're missing out!

Peel the skin off your kiwi. Cut them into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch slices

Place on your parchment paper (leave some room in between) and set your dehydrator to 135 degrees. I put mine in with my apples. Check on them after 6 hours. You can tell they are done when they are bendable and a little chewy. They will not become crisp like banana chips.

Friday, July 11, 2014

John Muir Trail Gear


Here it is! Just about everything I will be bringing on my 16 day JMT thru hike is pictured here. Below are the labels for all items. If you have any questions, ask in the comments section!

1 BearVault 500                          
2 Western Mountaineering Summerlite                         
3 Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis
4 Klymit Inertia X-Lite
5 Samsung Galaxy S3*
6 Sunglasses
7 Bushnell SolarWrap Mini*
8 Rite in the Rain notebook & mechanical pencil
9 Plastic water bottle*
10 Dried baby wipes
11 Watch
12 Platypus Hoser with Sawyer Mini filter 
13 Ditty bag*
14 GoPro Hero3+ with headstrap
15 Outdoor Research Helios sun hat
16 Gossamer Gear Mariposa
17 Harrison JMT map set 
18 Buff bandana
19 Columbia Omni Heat midweight baselayer
20 Eastern Mountain Sports Techwick UV shirt
21 Icebreaker GT Run Rush Merino Tee
22 Backcountry Hadron down jacket
23 Tasc Performance Intensity sports bra 
24 Eastern Mountain Sports rain jacket
25 Smartwool Maybell skirt
26 Icebreaker Everyday Merino long underwear
27 Assorted bags*
28 Salomon Speedcross 3
29 Iniji socks (2)
30 Dirty Girl Gaiters

Not shown:
Gossamer Gear LT4S trekking poles and Polycryo groundcloth- on their way! The other camera I will be using is not pictured as well. Just a Samsung P&S.

You also won't see a stove, fuel canisters, cups, bowls, etc because I'm going stoveless! You heard that right. After seeing the fire restrictions throughout the park, I decided to ditch the stove. I don't want the weight or unreliability of a canister (not knowing how much fuel it will use at high altitude) to affect my hike. I'm pretty excited for the food I'm bringing!

*Additional notes

5- will be using Guthook's JMT App version 2.0

7- I have heard mixed reviews about the solarwrap. I also purchased a RavPower external battery charger as a backup. I will be testing the solarwrap more when I get to California (staying for 

8 days before my hike) and will send the external battery charger home if I won't need it.
9- Plastic bottle will be used for morning shakes

13- Ditty bag includes items such as my first aid "kit", mini swiss army knife, bug spray, sunblock, headlamp, extra GoPro batteries, and memory cards.

27- bags: 1 for clothing not worn, 1 mesh bag for food during the day, and 1 ziplock for dirty items such as used wetwipes.

What a BV500 looks like with (almost) 8 days of food. Just need to repackage my last couple dinners. Still have some room :)

Close up of the clothing (and bags)

My base weight is 11.6 pounds including the BV500! Baseweight is everything except for consumables (I only included food and water in that category) and items worn at all times. Without a bear canister I'd be looking at just over 9 pounds. Darn bears! :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thoreau Falls the Long Way (Via the Hancocks)

Not too long ago I said I was going to hike the New England Hundred Highest peaks. Then I took a look at my own four seasons 4K list. I finished my Spring list on North Twin a couple weeks ago and have decided to put the NEHH list to the side. I'm determined to finish up all my 4000 footers in each season this year. I'm closing in on each season and by the end of winter I will (hopefully) complete four rounds of the 4Ks since May 2011! 

I arrived at the Hancock parking area at the hairpin turn on the Kanc to a surprising amount of cars for a Tuesday. I knew it was going to be hot. Even in the mountains, I was looking at 90+ degrees.


The trails leading up to the Hancocks are filled with water crossings. I tried to keep track, but eventually lost count. 
It seemed the trails were especially muddy. I do enjoy these sections. At times you hop from one rock to another, step on a sinking log, and quickly make your way to the next viable foot placement to avoid getting sucked into the mud. Sometimes I win, but sometimes  my luck runs out.

Before the Hancock Loop Trail it is such easy hiking. The trail is completely flat, mostly free of rocks, easy to follow, and there's plenty of water.
This section may be confusing. Cross the water and don't go over the blowdown.

Remember I said the trail was a little mucky? What usually accompanies swampy trails in July are bugs. At this point I was being swarmed! I had quickly applied bugspray at the trailhead but I was in dire need of more. I could feel ten or more of them each time I swatted in front of my face. 

Once on solid ground I took my pack off a covered myself in bug spray. It helped prevent the mosquitoes but it seemed the no-see-ums were aiming for my eyes! I had countless bugs in my eyes and even under my eyelids. Thankfully as I hiked further up I saw fewer bugs.

With 90 degree temps, I was pretty happy with my EMS Techwick Endurance shirt. All the water crossings were so nice. I dipped my Buff in and put it around my neck. It's the little things that make the hike!
Sometimes a dip in the mud is inevitable. Waterproof boots would not help in this situation. These bad boys dried in a little over an hour.

 Hancock loop junction. I decided to head up South Peak first.

After going up the steeps, I was happy to reach the summit.

South Hancock viewpoint

Looking at North Hancock from the South Hancock viewpoint

Arrow Slide

North Hancock viewpoint

After reaching the Hancocks I realized I would be done a lot earlier than I wanted to be. I looked on my map and decided to hike to Thoreau Falls. It was further out than it seemed, but totally worth it!

After a hike down the Ceder Brook Trail, I took the Wilderness Trail.

Major storm damage was seen along the trail. At one point the trail crossed over where that huge hole is!

This blowdown has some issues. I'm surprised I didn't see anything on one of its spears. 

This is definitely one of the coolest bridges I've been on. Between its location, slanted boards, and weight limit sign, this was a bonus experience to my hike.

I've been seeing a ton of Lady Slippers lately! I probably saw 15 or more just on this hike.

On my hike I had only seen one solo hiker until I reached a group of boys. They were all wearing white polo shirts, khaki pants, and matching backpacks. I said hello and continued hiking. I then approached another group dressed the same. I asked what group they were and they said they were from a Catholic Seminary but were on break. They lied to me telling me how "close" Thoreau Falls were and then blessed me... they were an interesting bunch.

 Thoreau Falls is quite beautiful and definitely a great destination!

Once I got to Ethan Pond Trail I had 5.3 miles until I reached the road. My goal was to make it in under two hours. I hiked quickly only stopping at the Ethan Pond Shelter intersection for a snack break. As I was just about done with my hike I ran into Andrew who has read my posts. He's doing the Colorado Trail in a week. Good luck!

Hike Stats:
23.6 miles
5400 feet elevation gain
My hike time: 8 1/2 hours total (with breaks)