Hey guys! This is sadly the final installment of our John Muir Trail gear guide! Things will go back to their usual speed here on the blog, but we’d love to hear if there are any topics that you’re interesting in us covering in the future.
In this video we cover all of the “extra” items that we carried such as cameras, tracking devise, hygiene items and more! After the video the blog post covers the cliff notes and links to the specific items.
Swiss Army Multi-Tool:
Carried the Swiss Army MultiTool in my fanny pack to keep it handy for cutting up pepperoni, opening our bear cans, and picking crud out from underneath my fingernails
Had a tool for just about everything we needed and then some
Suunto Ambit Peak 3:
debated between a Garmin and Suunto but ended up getting the Suunto Ambit for its incredible battery life
An invaluable piece of gear to have with us on the trail
Easy to use and track our progress daily
Tracks our distance, elevation, our location via GPS, calories burned, ascent, descent as well as recommended recovery times
Watch also has a compass, barometer, and lists the time of sunrise and sunsets!
While tracking us all day every day the watch only needed to be charged two times in the entire 15 days we were on trail!
My only complaint about it is how big it is!
I love it so much I’ve never taken it off
Garmin InReach Mini:
The Garmin InReach Mini is a winner!
Depending on your settings the battery will last for a long time, it only needed a single charge for our entire 15 days on trail
We didn't use it for tracking distance since MAK had a watch for that so we had our track set to update every hour
The InReach update on a map that our friends and family could keep an eye on.
Used it to send a preset message every night after we finished hiking and coordinates to our location
We could also send custom messages. For those, we paired the device with our phone and typed out the message using the Earthmate app.
National Geographic JMT Map:
We carried the National Geographic JMT map and loved it
We never felt like we needed a digital map, actually really liked being so disconnected from technology
The map is waterproof and tear-resistant which was great because we put it through the wringer
The map shows elevation, river fords, campsites, and resupplies
It even mentions when there are long stretches without water so that you don’t end up running out
We rent bear cans THESE BEAR CANS from Yosemite since it was only $5 per week. Total cost for our trip was $10
mailed them back for about $8
We did not like them at all because they were heavy, only fit about 4 days worth of food, and hard to strap to our packs
We started off with them strapped to the outside of our packs but whenever they got a little off-centered they would slide out
Once MAK’s slid off into a creek which made us nervous when hiking along ledges that our cans would fall off and we’d never see them again (or our food)
In the future we will purchase our own, and they will be a Large BearVault
MAK carried her Nikon FE and 16 rolls of Portra 400 film
One roll for each day we had planned on the trail
Heavy but loved having film from the trail
All film was developed through the Darkroom
Neither set up was “ultralight” but photography is important to us so the weight was worthwhile
The A6300 also served as our video camera throughout the trail for our video logs
Overall we were happy with our setups
MAK brought the 50mm for her Nikon and we did wish that we had a wider lens that would be better for shooting landscapes
We carryed four batteries for the A6300 and we should have only brought two because when one died we’d just charged it at night
We brought 2 Anker 20,000 mAh battery packs
They have way more juice than we expected and were completely blown away by how much we liked these
Because the battery power was so good we could have just brought one
At the end of the hike both still had 75% of their battery life still. Granted, nothing we had was using a ton of power
We got this specific model of the Anker because it had “Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0”
They recharges in “just” six hours, which I thought would have been nice when we stopped for resupplies and didn’t want to wait around for things to charge, but we never needed to recharge them
Mama P toothbrush: sustainably made of Bamboo, proceeds go to amazing causes, we cut them in half to save on space and weight
Tom’s of Maine: travel-size tube, we ended up needing two for all 15 days
Stasher bag: Used it to store all of our hygiene products to protect them from spills and try to use less plastic! These things are the best!
Mini Stasher: With Ibuprofen and allergy pills
Mini Bronners: for taking birdbaths and washing our faces
Body Glide for Her: great for areas that might get chafed. We also would rub it on our faces and legs before bed because we started to get really dry skin from all the cold water crossings. We bought the “for her” version because of the extra moisturising properties in that formula
Think Sport: Our favorite sunscreen for everything and it’s reef safe. We nearly used an entire tube in the 15 days
The Deuce Trowel: for digging a hole for your wilder poo
Roll of TP & natural fiber baby wipes: we found we preferred the wet wipes. Next time we will carry more wet wipes and less TP
Pee Bandana: this is something that I’ve heard a lot of through hiking ladies use to wipe with after peeing instead of TP. The sun’s hard UV’s of being outside all day is sanitizing and I would also rinse mine out every few days in a creek or stream
Pack of Mole Skin and bandaids: We definitely used this stuff!
Alcohol sterilizing wipes
Tube of Antibiotic Ointment: We used these on bug bites and a few scrapes and cuts along the way
Sawyer Bug Spray:
The mosquitoes were really bad for us so we carried a few types of bug spray
Sawyer Picaridin bug spray was far more effective than everything else we had
We avoided deet because we don’t like how toxic it is
We found the best mosquito protection is with layering clothes and a net for our heads
Zorch CBD Oil:
Carried Zorch CBD oil for combating inflammation
We had the Mint Dream flavor and it was the best tasting CBD oil we’ve ever tasted
Great for helping us get a restful night of sleep and be ready to tackle whatever the trail had for us the following day
Well, that’s it everyone! Thank you so much for following along on this journey of hiking and gear with us! It was a lot of fun to put together!
NOTE: Some of the links provided in this blog post are affiliate links. If you end up purchasing some of these pieces of gear we get a very small portion of the sales. Thank you all as always for supporting us and our life on the road, it gives us the opportunity to share so extensively with you all! - MAK & Owen