John Muir Trail Gear Guide Video: Extras

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: 

  • 10.29 oz

  • 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

Suunto Ambit Peak 3

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

Garmin InReach Mini

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. 

Nat Geo JMT Map

Nat Geo JMT Map

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

Owen with our rented bear cans

Owen with our rented bear cans


Bear Cans:

  • 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 loading film into her 35mm Nikon FE

MAK loading film into her 35mm Nikon FE


  • 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

  • Owen carried our Sony A6300 and two lenses. The 16-35 F4 and the 55 F1.8 

  • 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

Battery Pack:

  • 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

Owen and MAK rinsing off after a long day on trail

Owen and MAK rinsing off after a long day on trail

Film photos

Film photos


  • 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!

  • Tiny Comb

  • 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

Mama P Toothbrushes, Swiss Army Multi Tool, and Stasher bag filled with our toiletries

Mama P Toothbrushes, Swiss Army Multi Tool, and Stasher bag filled with our toiletries


First Aid:

  • Pack of Mole Skin and bandaids: We definitely used this stuff!

  • Alcohol sterilizing wipes

  • BandAids

  • Tube of Antibiotic Ointment: We used these on bug bites and a few scrapes and cuts along the way

  • Immodium

  • Medical Tape

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

Zorch CBD Oil

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!

Love, MAK

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