1. geekgirl
    geekgirl October 7, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Awesome post…as always!

  2. Darryl
    Darryl October 7, 2014 at 4:09 am

    You wrote: I think I’ve just added several years to my hiking life.
    >> Darryl says: I like that, and I agree.

    Something I’ve realized recently (I’m not sure how it fits into the context of the topic) is that the slower one walks, the more water must be carried (consumed?. This obviously increases the load if water must be carried because there is no source available in the area.

    I’m interested in comments abut this.



  3. Diane
    Diane October 7, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Great article, Ray! Congrats on the overall weight loss (pack and body weight), that must feel awesome. Wishing you many more healthy years of hiking. See you back home soon!

  4. Bob Bailey
    Bob Bailey October 7, 2014 at 4:43 am

    I did a couple of 3 day hikes with my brother-in-law in Yosemite in September, an out & back to Glen Aulin & a loop via Vogelsang. After killing myself last year in the Grand Canyon with a base weight of over 25 lbs, I worked hard to lighten up (sounds like a good name for a book) and got my base weight down to 17 lbs, including tent for 2 & cook gear. What a difference!

    Going light was the best thing I ever did. I know it has added years to my hiking.

  5. Jack
    Jack October 7, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I’m a firm believer in lightweight backpacking. But I would argue the slower you hike (up to a point) the more you see. The faster I hike the more time I spend staring at the trail planning the next step. When I hike slowly I have more time to enjoy the scenery.

  6. Carolee
    Carolee October 7, 2014 at 5:41 am

    I completely understand losing the excess body weight helps, but doesn’t hitting the JMT a few pounds up give you more to burn off when calories can be pretty limited by trail food and the substantial “calorie burn” of hiking so much??

  7. Ken
    Ken October 7, 2014 at 5:48 am

    “I was hiking about a third faster than I had last year,.nearly four miles per hour On moderate to strenuous uphill stretches I easily doubled my speed”

    Wow, Ray, 8 miles an hour!! 😉

  8. Russell Reinertson
    Russell Reinertson October 7, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Thanks for the post. I too started my JMT-thru this year weighing 240, and hauling a 60# pack. By the end of the hike I had lost 15# of fat, and had dealt with knee pain every day. While I had a blast on my hike, and wouldn’t hesitate to use all the same gear again, I keep wondering how nice it would be to only have a 25# pack. In the future, I plan to lose both some gear and body weight for my adventures. Surprisingly, it’s losing the gear weight I am having difficulty with. My whole life, I’ve been a pack mule, thinking nothing of taking a 40# pack even on a day hike. That mentality of having everything I need for any eventuality is what I need to work on most…..along with my ice cream addiction. Thanks for the motivation every week!

  9. Arla Hile
    Arla Hile October 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Way to go, Ray! Keep it up! I see many more happy hiking years for you!

  10. gary pullings
    gary pullings October 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for the great site and info that you keep passing along. this is the best site i have found on the jmt to date.

  11. Mike
    Mike October 8, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Ray — Congrats on your weight loss. I have a similar experience (225 pounds down to 190 pounds) and pack weight (for 7 days) dropped from 54 pounds to 38 pounds. You are right on that the hiking does not get easier, but I can sure go longer and recover faster. Great Blog.

  12. Andy
    Andy October 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    As a bigger person… (ok fat!) I find the issues to do with weight are felt in lots of areas. You sweat more, so need to drink more. More risk of chaffing. You are not as supple, so things are just harder (getting in and out of a tent, collecting water from streams). Then of course you are simply slower.

  13. Jim Webb
    Jim Webb October 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Great job. Don’t look now, your performance management training from your flight training is showing. Thanks for the great info.

  14. Training for Your John Muir Trail Hike
    Training for Your John Muir Trail Hike January 4, 2016 at 8:07 am

    […] a few pounds off last year (you can read a little more about the difference that made in my hiking, here). There is no cheaper way to hike lighter than to be […]

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