John Muir Trail Gear Guide Video: The Gear

Hey guys! We spent so much time doing research on our gear for the JMT, so we figured it would be helpful if we put together a video detailing our gear list, why we brought it, and our thoughts on it post trail! This is part one of a four part series covering gear, clothes, food, and accessories! Here the Part 1 video:

The video is long but there is so much detail to each piece, but below is the cliff notes! Each piece of gear is linked (the title of each item is the link) as well as has quick bullet points covering features and our thoughts on each the pieces of gear mentioned in this video:

 
Hyperlite 2400 Windrider, in 35mm film

Hyperlite 2400 Windrider, in 35mm film

 
  • Massive exterior storage

  • hydration bladder pocket

  • accessory straps for storing clothing on the outside

  • comfortable from day one

  • 1.87 lbs

  • incredibly durable

  • water proof Dyneema construction

  • comfortable, adjustable waist-belt with pockets

  • not overly structured

Owen with his REI fanny pack

Owen with his REI fanny pack

MAK with her Patagonia mini fanny pack

MAK with her Patagonia mini fanny pack

Patagonia Lightweight Travel Mini Hip Pack:

Owen’s REI Fanny Pack | MAK’s Mini Fanny Pack

  • 3.5 oz

  • easy-access storage for my phone, chapstick, multitool, and a snack

  • small, never in the way

  • easily adjustable

  • comfortable to wear all day

 
Tech bag is located on the top of our pack

Tech bag is located on the top of our pack

 

Big Agnes Waterproof Tech Bag:

*provided by the fine folks at Big Agnes*

  • 2.08 oz

  • waterproof

  • great additional barrier between water and our dry goods

  • held our extra clothing, charging cords, Anchor battery bank, camera gear such as my film and batteries

  • slept with it under my pillow for extra volume

Sissy in her Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt

Sissy in her Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt

  • slot to hold the bag to your face

  • keeps you comfortable as you move around at night

  • pockets for your hands

  • great for those who move in their sleep or like to sleep with your knees bent

  • packs down to a small

  • 1 lb 9 oz

  • Favorite “sleeping bag” we’ve ever had

  • warm 20 degree rating

  • part blanket part sleeping bag

  • made of 800 Fill Power Fluro-carbon free DriDown & ripstop nylon

  • the top is completely open like a blanket

Big Agnes Compression Sack Small/Medium:

*provided by the fine folks at Big Agnes*

  • 1.5oz

  • compresses the backcountry quilts down smaller than the ones the come with

  • easy to use

  • freed up tons of space in our packs

Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol at camp, 35 mm film

Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol at camp, 35 mm film

Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol:

  • 14 oz at full size

  • customizable length

  • warm and quiet to sleep on

  • no way to get punctured

  • doubles as a seat or a yoga mat in the backcountry

  • no set up or inflation required

Big Agnes AXL Air Pillow:

*provided by the fine folks at Big Agnes*

  • 1.6oz

  • packs to be the size of a granola bar

  • easy to inflate and deflate

  • comfortable and soft on the skin

  • perfect when paired with a little something extra to prop my head up a little higher

Our little homes (Big Agnes Fly Creek Tents) at Thousand Island Lake

Our little homes (Big Agnes Fly Creek Tents) at Thousand Island Lake

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2:

*Owen & I used the UL2 | Sissy used the UL1*

  • 2lbs 5 ozs

  • held up after years of use

  • packs small

  • takes us 1 min 44 seconds to set up

  • breathable without the rainfly

  • rainfly for dew or bad weather

  • , and takes just a few moments to set up! We prefer to sleep with the rainfly off because the mesh top keeps bugs out but lets the beautiful night sky in. In times of bad weather or heavy dews, we sleep with the fly on and always stay nice and dry. The rainfly is also great at giving you an extra layer of insulation if the nights are expected to be cold! Our love for this tent is concreted after now having done a longer trail with it in addition to our many single overnight trips with it!

MAK sitting back during siesta, 35mm film

MAK sitting back during siesta, 35mm film

MSR Wind Pro II & Fuel:

  • 6.6 oz. stove | 8 oz. fuel 

  • wind resistant remote canister stove

  • simple to use, easy to set up

  • efficient on fuel consumption

  • perfect for preparing food/water for three

  • comes with two different varieties and sizes of windscreens

  • used just over 8 oz of fuel for coffee and dinner prep every day for 15 days

Evernew Titanium Non-Stick 1.9 liter:

  • 9.8 oz

  • nonestick

  • 1.9 liters of water capacity

  • easy to clean

  • large enough to allow all three of us to eat at the same time

  • MSR Windpro perfectly fit inside the pot

MSR Hand-Held Igniter:

  • .5 oz.

  • Easy & flameless

  • super tiny

Sea to Summit Alpha Spork:

  • .5 oz.

  • long time favorite spork

  • it moves food to your mouth with great ergonomic design according to Owen

  • longer handle version might be better served for backpacker meals

 
MAK enjoying coffee during siesta

MAK enjoying coffee during siesta

 

GSI Outdoors Backpacker Mug:

  • 3.5 oz

  • well insulated

  • cup insert is also a measuring cups

  • easy to clean

  • loved this little cup for our siestas

Owen filling our water bottles with the Sawyer Squeeze, 35mm film

Owen filling our water bottles with the Sawyer Squeeze, 35mm film

Sawyer Squeeze:

*provided by the fine folks at Sawyer Products*

  • 3.2 ounces

  • crazy fast and easy to fill our water bladders

  • light weight for the entire system

  • glad we got two of the full size filters for the volume of water that we were drinking and filtering

  • the accessory bladders were good to have with us because we needed to pack extra water through a few sections of trail

  • had one o-ring fail on us but the other filter was more than capable of taking care of us the rest of the trail

Platypus 1L:

  • 1.2 oz empty each

  • light and easy to store in the outside pockets of our packs

  • got different designs so one could be dedicated to electrolytes or vitamin Nuun tablets

  • perfect for fast filling

  • really happy we decided on these instead of a hydration bladder with a hose

Microspikes in 35mm film

Microspikes in 35mm film

Kahtoola MICROspikes:

  • 1.1 lbs

  • best in icier conditions of morning and night when crossing snow

  • easy to put on

  • made us feel like Spiderman when we had them on

  • durable

  • didn’t need them as much as we thought due to slushy mid-day conditions, but perfect when the conditions were right

Zeal Optics Sunglasses: 

  • most designs are really light weight

  • comfortable when worn all day

  • great lens colors and really durable

  • when conditions are snowy like this year, will likely shoot for a darker lens next time

  • snow blindness and eye fatigue requires eye protection on trail

Dirty Girl Gaiters:

  • .5 oz

  • velcro didn’t stick to the shoes well and were worn off in about a day

  • only wore them one day

  • pointless when shoes were wet all day every day as it was

MAK heading up a pass with the help of her trekking poles

MAK heading up a pass with the help of her trekking poles

Black Diamond Alpine Trekking Poles:

  • 1lb

  • fast and easy to set up

  • comfortable in the hands

  • take pressure off of your back when climbing

  • adding the arms to the hiking process took a load off the rest of the body

  • perfect for helping stay stable in steep and unpredictable terrain

PETZL TIKKINA Headlamp:

  • 2.9 oz

  • 150 lumens

  • long time favorite headlamps

  • simple, low profile

  • long battery life 220 hours on low

  • easily adjustable

  • necessary for early mornings packing up and alpine starts

Sunrise Meadow, 35mm film pano

Sunrise Meadow, 35mm film pano

Alright my friends! That covers the gear we carried. Next week we will be releasing the clothing installment of this series. Have a great 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