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.
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.
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.
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)
1 x Long Sleeve SPF Shirt - Columbia Omni-Shade LS
2 x Sports Bras (MAK) - Lululemon Free To Be Bra (already own)
1 x Brimmed Hat - We will be using old hand me down hats
1 x Bedrock Sandals
Camping & Gear:
1 x Backpack - Hyperlite 2400 Windrider
1 x Fanny Pack - Patagonia Lightweight Travel Mini Hip Pack (MAK only)
1 x Sleeping Bag - Sierra Design Backcountry Quilt
1 x Sleeping Pad - Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol
1 x Air Pillow - Trekology Ultralight Pillow
1 x Big Agnes Waterproof Tech Bag - 1 for each person for anything that we want to be 100% sure it won’t get wet
1 x Head Lamp - Petzl TIKKINA
1 x Kahtoola MICROspikes each
1 x Remote Canister Stove - MSR Wind Pro II (Group)
4 x Fuel Canisters (Group)
2 x Lighter (group)
1 x Eating Multi Tool - Reform Life Titanium tool
1 x Mug - GSI Outdoors Backpacker Mug
1 x Evernew Titanium Non-Stick 1.9 liter (group)
2 x Sawyer Squeeze (group)
1 x Bottle of Chlorine Dioxide (group)
2 x 1L Water Bladders - Platypus 1L
1 x Sunglasses - We both have Zeal Optics Sunglasses
1 x Gaiters - Dirty Girl Gaiters
1 x Hiking Poles - Black Diamond Alpine Trekking Poles
1 x Map - National Geo JMT Tear & Water Proof Map (Group)
1 x Swiss Army Multi-Tool (Group)
1 x Notebook/Journal and Pen (Group)
1 x 1 Gallon Ziplock Bag - for carrying out all trash
Hygiene & Medical Supplies:
1 x Toothbrush with Handle Cut Off - MamaP Bamboo Toothbrush
1 x Mini Bronners - 2 oz. Peppermint (Group)
1 x Sunscreen (group) - Think Sport, reef safe(Group)
1 x Roll of TP
1 x Light Weight Spade (group)
1 x Pee Bandana (MAK & Sissy only)
3 x Bottles of Tissue Glue (Group)
1 x Tube of Lidocaine (Group)
1 x Tweezers (Group)
1 x Pack of Mole Skin (Group)
1 x Pack of Bandaids (Group)
1 x tube of Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Group)
1 x Zorch CBD Oil (Group)
32 x Allergy Pills (Group)
12 x 800mg Ibprophin Pills (Group)
1 x Stasher Pocket - For loose pills listed above (Group)
Cameras & Electronics:
1 x Sony A6300 - Owen will be carrying this camera
6 x Camera Batteries
2 x Anker Power Pack - For charging batteries, cell phones, watch (which should run for at least 10 days on a charge when tracking our progress, and the Garmin InReach
1 x Nikon FE - MAK will be carrying this camera
16 x Rolls of Porta 400 - Favorite film of all time
1 x Garmin InReach Mini (Group)
1 x Digital Watch with Compass - SUUNTO Ambit3 Peak Watch (Group)
1 x Cellphones… duh
8 x Audio Books - weigh nothing, not sure if I will actually want to listen to them but figured why not?!
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!
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!