John Muir Trail Gear Guide Video: Food

In this installment of our JMT gear guide we dive into our food and resupplies while on the John Muir Trail. Below you will find the video as well as our cliff notes summarizing the specific food items and resupply locations!

Ps: Sorry we’ve been bombarding you guys lately with all of these posts! We just wanted to be sure that everything rolled out together videos/supplementary blog posts for the JMT since a lot of people have requested the info!

BreakfAst:

  • We wanted to be fast in the morning so we didn’t bring meals that require cooking

  • Typically would eat while on trail because we enjoyed those quiet morning hours when we had the trail to ourselves

  • This tactic didn’t require that we carry nearly as much fuel on the trail

  • We eat ProBar Meal Bars of different flavors for breakfast every morning

  • MAK & Sissy had a hard time with how sweet some of the flavors were

  • The SuperFood Slam was everyone’s favorite

  • Future hikes we will mix up our breakfast bars to be sure we have some variety (ie. Epic Bars)

Lunch (which is really snacks):

  • We had 5 - 250 calorie snacks a day instead of lunch (learned from Andrew Skurka’s book)

  • We liked the technique because we could eat on the go and never felt weighed down by a big meal

  • We aimed to have snacks each day that was sweet, salty, and savory so we could mix it up

  • Favorite snacks are as follows:

    • Roasted Salted Almonds: These were a great texture and provided a lot of energy. The salty-ness was nice to balance out a lot of the sweet snacks. 

    • Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels: Amazing. So so good. 

    • Yogurt Covered Pretzels: A nice balance of sweet and salty, but really they were sweeter. Still tasty and nice to have with some coffee when we took breaks in the afternoon. 

    • Pepperoni: This was probably the biggest hit for us. It was delicious and provided tons of energy. We looked forward to this one every day. 

    • Trail Mix: We had many varieties throughout the trail. My favorite was one from Planters that had several different dried fruits mixed with nuts and seeds.  

  • Next time we might sub the yogurt covered pretzels for some dried fruit such as mangoes, apricots or something like that

Dinner:

  • We mostly eat dehydrated backpacker meals from Backpacker Pantry and Mountain House

  • Loved these because all you do is add water directly to the package and you’re good to go and there is no cleanup

  • We also had one night of Annie’s Mac and Cheese and a pack of Idahoan instant mashed potatoes

  • Didn’t like the cleanup especially when the bugs were bad

  • Check out Gear Guide Part 1 for our cooking set up

  • Initially planned for us each of us eating a whole backpacker meal for dinner which is two servings.

  • It was too much food so we switched to splitting the meals, this was a much more appropriate amount of food and was less weight to carry

  • some of the meals had fewer calories than we were hoping for so we would add mashed potatoes to it for a little more sustenance

  • Favorite Mountain House meals were the Breakfast Skillet and Chicken Fajita Bowl

  • Favorite Backpacker Pantry meals were the Pad Thai and Three Sisters Stew

  • In the future, we will repackage the backpacker meals so that they take up less space which is great for cramming into the bear cans

Dessert:

  • Dessert really means candy

  • Head a candy bar every night for a little extra calories

  • Favorites were Snicker, Mounds, and Twix. 

  • Did feel like we actually needed dessert

  • In the future, we’d opt to go with bars of dark chocolate and just have a portion of the bar each night. Plus, maybe it’s healthier???

Resupply:

We did three resupplies: One at Tuolumne, one at Red’s Meadow, and one at Muir Trail Ranch.


TUOLUMNE MEADOWS: 

  • Typically you can send resupplies to the post office in Tuolumne Meadows but it was still closed when we started. Alternatively, you can drop a resupply at the wilderness station in Tuolumne in one of the many bear boxes.

  • Put your name on it, your expected pickup date, and remember which box you put it in.

  • Totally free!

  • We picked this up on day 2.

  • Nice to not carry 5 days of food during our climb out of Yosemite (6,000 FT)

    RED’S MEADOW:

  • Red’s Meadow is at mile 60 and was our second resupply

  • We picked it up on the morning of day 5

  • There is a store where you can pick up extra things you might have forgotten or you couldn’t ship, like fuel cans

  • There’s also a nice (but expensive) cafe where you can get some real food

  • Shower and laundry facilities (for us last chance to do these things)

  • If you want to mail a resupply to Red’s Meadow check out their website for more information.

  • They charge $3 per day to hold packages for you. Since we were in the area we dropped our resupply off in person to save money on postage. 

    MUIR TRAIL RANCH:

  • Muir Trail Ranch was our final resupply on the JMT.

  • MTR is right around the halfway point of the trail and is the last convenient resupply.

  • That means you’re hauling food for half the trail from there, which also means heavy packs. We picked up our resupply Day 8 and it had 8 days worth of food!

  • MTR is pretty no frills. You pick up your resupply and you leave.

  • They do offer you the ability to send things home if you’ve got extras and they have a small store with a few items.

  • MTR recommends sending your resupply at least 3 weeks prior to your expected arrival as it is a remote location that requires them to pick up the packages themselves from the post office. Their fee is $85 which is pretty steep, but their location is mighty convenient. 

    If we’d do it again:

  • We’d still resupply in Tuolumne and Red’s Meadow

  • We’d would use Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) rather than Muir Trail Ranch

  • VVR is cheaper and you can buy beer there!

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Alright my friends! That covers our food and resupplies for the JMT. Next week we will be releasing the “extras” installment of this series which coveres everything that didn’t fall into gear, clothes, or food easily! Have a great rest of your week, and if you read all the way to this part, you’re a champion!

<3 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