Sunday, October 18, 2015

JMT Food

I bought so much trail food and gave most of it away!

Here is what I did eat:

Freeze dried berries and apples from Target

Trader Joe's Buffalo Jerky

Gu - Peanut Butter was my favorite. I never got tired of it.

Patagonia Inca berry bars - liked the tart flavor


I am a coffee drinker yet I didn't want anything to do w/ coffee on the trail :(

It didn't take long to get tired of oatmeal.

My Patagonia Tsampa soup just took too damn long to cook. I started soaking it in my Ziploc bowl so that it was soft by evening. I was so tired at night I didn't want to deal with cooking and cleaning my dishes so I sent everything home. I do love my Jet Boil though. For little weekend trips with my kids into the Laurel Highlands we really enjoy making oatmeal and Tsampa soup.

JMT Training

I run 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. Once I had run my final half for the year I started to train to backpack w a 30 lbs pack. I would load my pack up the night before and then set out at 4:30a for an hour or two around my neighborhood. We have a lot of hills. My goal was to go up and down the biggest ones. I wore my new Ahnu hiking boots to test them out as well as all of the clothes I planned to wear on the trip. You never know what's going to bug you when you have your pack on, i.e. A sports bra that rubs or shorts that ride up. 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday I took group power and group active classes at the gym. They are great! Tuesday and Thursday's I took an abs class. Carrying 30 lbs on your back requires a strong core. 

On weekends I would go for a 20 mile hike w a day pack to test out food and endurance. I knew that I lost my appetite due to exertion on previous backpacking trips so I wanted to see what my body would crave. I don't drink soda but my body craved it! I knew it was the sodium that my body wanted. Soda is full of it. That's what makes it so sweet. I started looking for electrolyte drinks. I bought a lot of them but didn't like any of the flavors so my first mistake... I didn't take a sports drink. 

I tried trail shoes instead of boots since that's what everyone online was talking about. I am so happy in the end that I took my boots. I am on my third pair of Ahnu Montara hiking boots. I love them. They were perfect for me. I didn't get blisters. My feet were happy. 


Three weeks before my trip I went out every morning at 5a with my pack on. 15 days straight. For an hour or two. I wanted to see what my body would tell me. I still went to Group Power classes at the gym and evening walks w a friend. I really wanted to be fit for this hike.

Read the John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail

Also used John Muir Trail Map-Pack: Shaded Relief Topo Maps (Tom Harrison Maps)

The only book you need on the trail is the John Muir Trail Pocket Atlas


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Muir Ranch

I was so lucky to get a tent cabin at MTR. I had a nice big bed w a colorful wool blanket. There was also a single bed on the side. I used the blanket from the single bed for added warmth on my bed and then set out all of my gear on the single. It was warm and bright so I put my sleeping bag and tent on my little deck to air out.

After an hour in a hot spring and a lot of lemonade I took a nap. My trail clothes were stinky and the washer in use so I took a hot shower and washed my trail clothes too. I had clean clothes in my resupply bucket but again I really liked my patagonia shorts so I washed them in the shower. They were dry by morning. 

MTR was amazing. I ate so well. Met a lot of cool people. Was able to send some emails. Charged my phone, Fitbit, phone charger, and battery charger. 

I sent a box of gear home: jet boil, toothpaste, clothes I didn't need, extra tent stakes I wasn't using, and snow peak cup and spork. I also sent a lot of postcards to friends. 

JMT Notes 2

I was able to wash my clothes at Red's Meadow. I had clean clothes and a towel in my resupply bucket. My husband brought me a bag of toiletries. We had a hikers cabin for the night. I took a long, hot shower, washed my hair a few times as well as shaved my legs, pits, and clipped my nails. It's amazing how good I felt after a few days of not showering. 
At our hiker cabin there was a clothing line where I aired out my sleeping bag and tent. Even though I had a clean set of clothes for the next leg of my hike, I liked the clothes I had been wearing so I washed them for the next leg. 

I think I drank 4 bottles of Coke the first hour I was at Red's. I craved the sweet sodium filled beverage. 


JMT Notes

I cannot even explain how much I hated Cliff bars by the time I got to Muir Ranch.

When I opened my resupply bucket I immediately put all of my Cliff bars in the give away bucket. Because I had lost my appetite I also sent home my Jet Boil, Snowpeak cup and spork. I gave away my Ziploc bowl and lid as well as my oatmeal and any other meals that required cooking. I kept the buffalo jerky, Patagonia bars (I liked the tart flavor), and the freeze dried fruit. My taste buds seemed to crave that tart/tangy flavor.

I wish I had sent Gu in this resupply but I did not know yet that I liked it. I learned I liked Gu and that it worked for me on the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. Thankfully I had purchased several peanut butter Gu at the Sacramento REI before leaving for Yosemite.

Muir Ranch has unlimited lemonade for guests. I wish I had filled my platypus with this sweet treat before leaving there. The next day I craved it like crazy.

I am now drinking Hammer Nutrition Heed in lemon lime before workouts and Hammer Recoverite in orange vanilla for post workout. My next long hike will include Hammer Perpetuem.

I met a sweet couple who turned me onto these products. After a few days on the trail I stopped stuffing my tent in the bag it came in. In fact, I gave it to my husband at Red's along with a few other things I wasn't using.

Here is how my day would go:

Wake at 4:30 a.m.
Put on Oofos and pee
Get bear canister
Pull out body wipes. Use one to wash face, hands, underarms, private parts. Place in Ziploc trash bag Put on sunscreen and bug spray Pull out snacks for the day.
Put a few Gu and Patagonia bars in front belt pockets of backpack
Put on Trail shorts, sports bra, tank, long sleeve, run cap, socks and boots
Pack up camp: Stuff sleeping bag, Stuff Sack for clothes: roll my bedtime clothes up and put in stuff sack
Because it's so early much of my gear would be a bit damp
I would have a gu and water as I start hiking
When the sun was up and I have hiked over a pass I would stop somewhere to let my tent and sleeping bag dry out in the sun, refill my water, and eat a snack
Sometimes I would also let my boots and socks dry out while my feet soak in a cold stream
Take pictures.
Write a bit in my journal

I would hike 18-24 miles a day
Find a good camp spot
Take off boots and put on Oofos (ahhhh!)
Set up Tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, pillow
Change into fleece pants, comfortable T, synthetic down jacket, and beanie (Once I took my pack off I would get cold. Putting on comfortable, soft, clothing always felt so good)
Set trail clothes on top of tent to dry/air out.
When it was time to go to sleep I brought my trail clothes inside. After a few days I started putting them in my sleeping bag so that they were warm in the morning.
Fill backpack platypus with filtered water for the next day.
Place back in backpack so that I don't have to think about it in the morning when it's still dark
Write in journal about the day
Charge phone and Fitbit

After a rainy night my tent was so wet yet I still had to pack it. I separated my wet tent from the rest of my gear with my rain jacket.

I did get some hale over one pass. When the sun did come out I took my tent out and had it tied to the back of my pack to dry. When I came to a big boulder baking in the sun I set all my wet gear out to dry. Everything dried very quickly.

I used Outdoor Research stuff sacks.
I had one for electronics: iPhone charger, fitbit charger, cords Loksak for map, journal, permit. I always kept this in front pocket of my pack Small loksak for ID, cash, and credit card. This little "wallet" was also in my big loksak that had the map and permit. Medium locksak for iPhone (kept in pocket) Large locksak for toiletries

JMT Supply List

I thru hiked the John Muir Trail in 13 days. I started on July 22 and ended on August 3rd. I only experienced a few days of rain. I did send stuff home which is noted below.

1. One man Tent
REI Quarter Dome and Footprint
I loved my tent. Small, light, plenty of room, easy to set up, and (I felt) affordable
I set up my tent several times before leaving on my trip. I figured out how to do it when it was raining as well. All of my gear fit perfectly inside. I could basically set this baby up with my eyes closed before I even hit the trail. I also figured out how many tent stakes I needed.
When it rained, I figured out quickly to not stake my tent but to really pull the rain fly wide and then make a little dam with rocks and sticks around the tent... Also, use a stick to dig a little moat around your tent. A guy I met at Little Yosemite showed me this trick :)

2. Sleep System
REI Joule Down Bag I am in love with this sleeping bag!
Sea to Summit Pillow Totally worth it!! Do not inflate all the way if you like a softer feel
Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad Love this pad! Folds easily, small, light
Sea to Summit e-vent compression dry sack  makes your sleeping bag really small for easy packing
I wish I had brought my sleeping bag liner for added warmth and to keep my bag clean

4. Backpack
Gregory Jade 60 Liter
I love my backpack. It's so comfortable. I purchased my bag 5 years ago at REI on clearance. I have the light green one (the one in the link is navy).
REI Ducks Cover
It comes with a little bag but also can fold into itself. I didn't use the bag it comes with. I got annoyed with people counting ounces ... if you are one of those ounce counters here is a good place where you can ditch a few ;)

5. Trekking poles
Black diamond trail pro
Used my poles the entire time! At one point the left one kept coming unlocked so I put tenacious tape on it. A ranger said if a bear comes into camp whack it on the butt with my poles... not sure I would have the cajones to do that or not... did sleep with my poles next to the door just in case.

6. Footwear
Ahnu Montara hiking boot I am on my third pair. I love these boots
Silk Liner
Women's Thorlo hiking sock I love these socks!
There is a trend to wear trail running shoes on the trail. I like boots and I really needed them. I didn't see many trail shoes on the trail either. I saw a lot of Merrell and Keen boots. Wear what you want. I didn't have any blisters. I love my boots and socks. I had extra socks with me but didn't wear them so I sent my dirty socks home at Muir Ranch.

Oofos recovery sandals for camp shoes - super light weight and really helped after a day on my feet. Seriously! These sandals saved me!

7. Trail Clothes
Patagonia Nine Trail Shorts
Sports bra
Columbia Omni freeze tank
Colombia omni shield long sleeve w thumb holes (great for protecting hands from the sun)
Running cap
I wore my favorite running hat. I purchased a Bug Away Outdoor Research Sun Hat but it rubbed against the back of my pack which was super annoying. Glad I tried it out before taking it.
wool beanie for night and cold mornings
Fleece pants and comfy T-shirt for evening
I found a used synthetic down Patagonia jacket w/ hood on ebay for $20. This is my new favorite jacket/coat. I have a Golite down jacket I love so much. Since Golite went out of business I didn't want to take it on the trail and ruin it. Silly, I know. But I really love my Golite down. The synthetic nano puff Patagonia was so awesome on the trail
Rain jacket (wore once)
Sunglasses
Fitbit - I loved seeing my steps add up!

8. Poop Kit
The Deuce of Spades
Hand sanitizer
Camp TP
Ziploc bag w/ a little bit of baking soda for used toilet paper

9. Drinking Water System
Platypus 3.0 Liter I read a lot of blogs that said there's plenty of water on the trail that you don't need to carry so much water. Well, if you want to stop every time you see a stream to fill your water bottle, go ahead. I don't like stopping to slowly filter water. I passed a lot of people who had to do this. Once I am in my hiking groove I don't like to stop.
Sawyer mini water filter (takes forever. Next time I take my other water filter)
Platypus collapsible water bottle filled this from water source (stream or lake) then attached Sawyer mini to filter water into Jet Boil and platypus. I kept it folded in a side pocket with sawyer mini and flush thing. I really hate the Sawyer mini. I don't care how light it is. It takes forever to use even after you flush it.

10. Bear canister
(next time I solo hike I'll get the smaller one). I did stuff this sucker with anything and everything I could. It takes up a lot of space

11. Camp Kitchen
Jet Boil & small gas can
Small Ziploc bowl with lid
snowpeak spork (I sent my dishes and stove home when I was at Muir Ranch. I had lost my appetite. I was happy with jerky, Gu, inca bars, and freeze dried fruit). I really needed an electrolyte drink. Now that I am home I am drinking Hammer Nutrition Heed and Recoverite for marathon training. For longer days I will use Perpetuem

12. Extras
Tenacious tape
Swiss Army Pocket Knife w scissors (I didn't think I would need this. The first night a squirrel ate a hole in my tent!)
Pen and notepad - I recorded my day's hike every night. I wish I had a book.
Stamps for postcards (didn't need these... they have stamps at Red's and Muir Ranch)
Loksaks for maps, toiletries, and iPhone
Outdoor Research stuff sacks for organizing gear
Goal Zero recharchable batteries I used this to recharge my Fitbit. I recharged it at Red's and Muir Ranch.
iPhone 6 - kept my phone in airplane mode. There really isn't any service on the trail. Just a few spots (right before and after Red's, one little spot on Mt. Whitney, and Whitney Portal). Great camera. Kept it in a loksak. My trail shorts had perfect pockets for my iPhone.
iPhone 6 mophie phone charger - recharged the Mophie at Red's and Muir Ranch. Worked great! It's heavy so I only pulled it out at night to recharge my iPhone. Otherwise it stayed in the OR stuff sack
Headlamp I hiked during a full moon so I didn't need my headlamp. In fact, I ended up losing it somewhere along the way. Bummer because I really liked my lamp and they no longer make it. Oh well.
John Muir Trail Pocket Atlas

13. Toiletries
Sunscreen
 Lip Balm
 Ben's bug spray
 toothbrush
 body wipes (start with your face and go from there), travel size unscented deodorant (all the blogs say don't take it. I used deodorant the night before we left and at my Red's resupply where my husband had an overnight bag for me. I did not have deodorant at Muir Ranch and wish I did. Next time I keep this with me.)
Small camp towel

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Morning Shake

Tart Cherry juice, fresh power greens, Greek yogurt, fresh ginger, frozen pineapple and blueberries, and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 14

Sorry I have been lazy. I also have cheated a bit. I had a major hormonal break out on my chin. I used a tinted zit cream when I went to work but no other time. I also used a organic, natural mascara in brown on my upper eye lashes for work. Otherwise I have been naked.
The photo here is of me post 10K race. I ran the Martha's 10K in mt Lebanon in 50:34. I was 40 seconds slower than last year. This year I decided to have fun. No music. Just smile. And i have to say that it was my best race

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 6

Sorry I missed a day. I have a bad cough. I have been coughing all night. I took a rest day yesterday. I went for a long walk then to work where I met interesting people doing interesting things.

Today was parent teacher conferences. My kids are fucking awesome. Aidan can't stop reading. He is doing so much better in school. I am really prod. Audrey is confident and independent. She is writing a report on elk and wants to be a male historic figure (details to come) for her wax museum project.

I am posting a pic of my naked face and hair that the teachers and other parents got to see :)

Today I wasn't able to run. Coughing all night left me exhausted. I'm going to do a long run tomorrow so today is another rest day. It's finally sunny and kind of warm (55 degrees). I'll take it! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 4

Barre at 6a followed by one hour hilly run. Home for the day. Sunny and cold.

It's amazing how much more free time I have since I am not worrying about hair, nails, and makeup. And I am noticing things I like about my natural skin and hair :)

Done with my morning workout

I went to the 6:15a barre workout. The room was full of new women. I have been doing it for nearly two weeks. Natalie, the instructor, changed up the routine a but which was nice. Just when I was getting the hang of it I had to figure out new moves. My legs were super sore from running so I concentrated on upper body, and, and stretching. I didn't kill myself not the leg portion and I told myself no feeling guilty.
I noticed a lot of women with no makeup and a few with makeup. At first I was judgy. I thought, yikes girl you need some concealer. then I reset my mind and noticed how lovely that woman's eyes are and she had awesome bouncy hair. I reminded myself that I had a big zit covered in honey on my chin. Plus, I have always thought my eyes are invisible without eyeliner. Anyway, I concentrated on breathing, clearing my mind of negativity and opinions, and feel I good right now.
I had a protein shake and water for breakfast.
I took a nice hot shower. i have coconut oil on my face.
We will see how the day goes.......


Day 3

Easy to go wo makeup today. I went to pure barre at 6a, got kids to school, ran 4.75 miles, and stopped into Trader joes for fruit, veggies, and green tea. Tonight Andrew and I are taking a belay course at The Climbing Wall.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Women wear a lot of make up

I am starting to notice that women wear a lot of make up. And it doesn't always look good. Sometimes it's just too much. Sometimes it looks messy.

I admit that last night I put a little tinted acne cream on that big zit. It was red and kept coming to a head. The cream helped to treat and cover zit. :)

I think a little mascara could have helped my eyes. Every time I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror I thought, boy do I look tired. Maybe some sunshine would do the trick. It's been so gray

About Me

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I am an identical twin. I am married with three children currently residing in PA. From California. Attended three high schools in three states and seven colleges in three states in seven years. I have a degree in photography and journalism