Final John Muir Trail Packing List

It’s no secret that it’s been a weird year for weather. In fact, just two weekends ago we were in Colorado and got snow! Just a few weeks ago we were checking the snowpack report for the Eastern Sierra’s and found that it was 180%+ higher than average.

Baker Lake, Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

Baker Lake, Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

With the snow hanging around later in the year that we initially planned for, we’ve been making adjustments to our packing list in preparation for the unique conditions that we’re likely going to encounter on the John Muir Trail. Luckily, in the last two weeks, we’ve had some really warm weather, and from the sound of it, things are melting off quickly up there. 

Baker Lake, Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

Baker Lake, Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

The other day while dropping off our food resupplies in Reds Meadow, CA we talked with a few PCT hikers who had just come through most of the section of trail that we will be hiking and they said that there are still large sections of snow that are no longer refreezing at night thus making for long (sometimes 18+ mile) sections of tricky snow crossings. They also said that the water crossings are pretty intense with the increased snowmelt. 

Now that things are finally starting to melt off the mosquitos are starting to come out in droves. This quite possibly is the part of this hike that I’m most nervous about. Nothing will ruin a good view like some hungry mosquitos that are aggressively trying to make a meal out of you. Because of this, Owen and I are starting to think that we will strive to camp at higher elevations, and closer to snow coverage, that we originally planned. 

 
Bristlecone Pine, Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

Bristlecone Pine, Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

 

Alright, enough chit chat, let’s get into our FINAL packing list now that we are closer to time and have a better idea of the trail conditions:

THE GEAR LIST

(per person unless otherwise noted)

Clothes:

Camping in White Sands NM, New Mexico, This is the tent that we will be using on the trail

Camping in White Sands NM, New Mexico, This is the tent that we will be using on the trail

Camping & Gear:

  • 1 x Notebook/Journal and Pen (Group)

  • 1 x 1 Gallon Ziplock Bag - for carrying out all trash

Camping in White Sands NM, New Mexico, This is the tent that we will be using on the trail

Camping in White Sands NM, New Mexico, This is the tent that we will be using on the trail

Hygiene & Medical Supplies:

 
Owen with out packed Hyperlite Packs

Owen with out packed Hyperlite Packs

 

Cameras & Electronics:

Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

Great Basin NP, Nevada while on a training hike in the snow

Now that I’m seeing this full list written out it’s actually kind of a scary amount of stuff to be carrying on our backs! However, a lot of this stuff is shared between the group. So that is what I’m going to cling to! 

Yesterday (July 7th, 2019), we dropped Luna off at the cat hostel, yes I said hostel, where she will be staying until the 28th of July. Today, Owen’s mom, Sissy, who is joining us on the trail is flying in Mid-Morning. We will pick her up and head straight to the Lone Pine, CA area where we will do all of our final packing. Tuesday morning, the 9th we will get picked up via shuttle to go to Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite where we will need to pick up our bear cans, drop off our first food resupply, and then hitchhike into the valley. We will stay the night in the backpacker staging campground, and then the next morning, July 10th, we start our grand adventure! We can’t wait to share the journey with you guys when we return!

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Well, this is the last blog post that I’m writing before we head out on the trail. I know I didn’t get a chance to dive into food, but it’s a huge can of worms to open! I will write about it when we return from the trail and go into detail about how it either did or didn’t work out for us. While we’re gone we have other things scheduled to go live, here on our blog, to give you all some reading material when we’re gone! 

Until next time!

MAK