[pct-l] Prepared vs Hoping for the Best...UL vs Heavy Trucker

Reinhold Metzger reinholdmetzger at cox.net
Sun Mar 1 09:20:10 CST 2015

Say Brick,
That is a neat pack for "HEAVY  TRUCKERS".
To bad they don't make'm bigger so folks can get more stuff in...he,he,he.

You don't, however, need a pack like that to be  "PREPARED".
If you look at the 2 links in Deem's  3-19-2007 post below, you will see 
my packs on my  "JMT Unsupported"  speed hikes were nothing like that.
I went "UL" to the extreme but fully prepared for anything, that I 
Mother Nature might throw at me.
My pack, with everything in it for the 212 miles from Whitney to Happy
Isles, Yosemite Valley, including the pack, tent, sleeping bag, ground pad,
cold weather gear, rain gear, emergency kit, first aid kit, flash light, 
compass, crystal iodine for water purification, stove, tooth brush & tooth
past, etc., etc., etc.,... and yes even a pooper scooper, weight only 
9.5 lb
without food & water.....22 lb with food and water.
Of course, I had to deny myself most creature comforts and go with only
the essentials and compact & UL gear and pack very tight, cut the tooth
brush in half, cut the pooper scooper to half its size, make my own tent,
pack, etc,. etc.

The point I am trying to make is that you can be "PREPARED" and still be
"UL"....you don't have to be a  "HEAVY TRUCKER"  to be "PREPARED".
Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a "HEAVY TRUCKER" if you
want comfort and can handle the load.
At the same token, there is nothing wrong with being "UL" if you are
willing to forsake some comfort.
What is wrong is when, in the quest for "UL", safety or "PREPAREDNESS"
is compromised.

I hike on both sides of the fence...."HEAVY TRUCKER" when I hike with
my wife or the Scouts and "UL", sometimes to the extreme, without my
wife or the Scouts, so I understand both sides of the arguments.

Something to consider:....2-3 lb extra in your pack won't kill you.
                                              2-3 lb missing in your 
pack could kill you.
If you have to compromise to achieve your desired pack weight,
compromise on creature comforts or food not on "PREPAREDNESS".
Being uncomfortable a day or two is not a big deal, neither is loosing
a pound or two, might even be good for you,...besides you will gain it
right back in your next trail town.
Having to abandon your PCT adventure or evacuation by Search and
Rescue "IS" a "BIG" deal.

Like Ground Pounder Bill says...."BE  PREPARED".

JMT Reinhold
Your  "PREPARED"....."UL"......"HEAVY TRUCKER"  trail companion.

Brick wrote:....you need a pack like this.

  [pct-l] JMT Unsupported Speed Record?

*Deems*losthiker at 
/Mon Mar 19 18:40:52 CDT 2007/

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Reinhold holds the current unsupported JMT Backpacker record. The definition
of "unsupported" means carrying all your gear and food from the beginning to
the end, accepting nothing, no reloads, no caches, and not even a token
offer of a handful of gorp or berry picking along the way. Of course this
requires a certain level of honor, to hold the record, and to abide by the
rules. Not only has Reinhold set the record,  by doing it his way, he has
set the rules for which this unsupported record is decided. You can carry
50lbs or no pounds, just accept no help or food from anyone, except a cheer,
a greeting, and a salute along the way. The JMT is defined as Happy Isle to
the Summit of Mt Whitney. Reinhold has chosen as his starting point as Mt
Whitney, but starting at Yosemite is ok, but I don't know where the official
end of the JMT is in Yosemite. Reinhold starts at the click of midnight each
time. His current record set in 2004 (at the age of 62) stands at 5days,
7hours, 15minutes and he welcomes anyone to enjoy the John Muir Trail at any
pace they choose.  He knows that another hiker will carry the record soon;
but if someone wants the record, he is both the judge, and their greatest

This is  when I first met him near Lake Wanda in 2005, during one of his
record improvement attempts. I was hiking the JMT, and it took me
17days..which is my personal record.

I have seen a number of posts periodically that have discussed the
unsupported speed records for a JMT thru-hike on this list.  I have been
considering this recently and would like to do some preliminary
investigation and planning.  Can anyone provide some information on the

What is the official record?

What does unsupported mean?  Can I use a food drop or re-supply (either at
Muir TR or Reds Meadow)  or do I need to pack all food from start to finish?

If I start from the south, do I start at the summit of Mt. Whitney or
Whitney Portal?  I presume this would be the summit but I wanted to check to
be certain.

How does one certify the start and end time?

Are there any official "rules" for such a stunt?  I know Reinhold has held
the record several times, but I have never seen any official rules of any

Really just exploring this at this point so any info the trail community
would be willing to share would be appreciated.



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