John Muir Trail Gear List

What I carried on my John Muir Trail trip (Base Weight about 22 lbs):

Home and bed:

    • Backpack: REI Flash 62 (read my review here)
    • Tent (w/no stuff sack): REI QuarterDome 1 – Love it! (replaced tent stakes with MSR Carbon Core Stake Kit  – .8 oz for 4 and sturdier)
    • Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress  3/4 length – would definitely get a better one next time.
    • Sleeping Bag (w/ no stuff sack): Sierra Designs Zissou 12 700 fill down 12 degree bag (12 degree survival, 24 degree comfort) – barely warm enough on 28 degree nights
    • Ground Cloth and another piece to sit on in camp – 2 pieces 3m (3.2 Yards) of Tyvek cut to size (shaved about 5oz off the weight of a normal ground cloth)
    • Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight inflatable pillow (this was my second one, the first busted the first night out on a previous trip, I took it back and got a new one, this one lasted the 26 days but busted on a trip 3 weeks after the JMT)


  • Stove: Pocket Rocket (worked great, no problems at all)
  • Cooking:  GSI Outdoors  Pinnacle Soloist Cookset
  • Eating: Sea to Summit Alpine Light spoon – long
  • Cleaning: 1″ square of a sponge  and a piece of bandanna for easy clean up
  • Cutting: Swiss Army knife (the small one with a screwdriver, nothing fancy)
  •  Other: Tiny Tupperware container (maybe 4 oz) with lid for making and carrying powdered hummus in the morning for lunch


  • Camelback bladder with inline gravity feed platypus filter (a bit heavy but I love that it’s easy-access while I hike and the filtering is automatic)
  • 32 oz. Wide-mouth Nalgene – I like to carry something I can easily fill for cooking. I also like to have Nuun infused water during the day and don’t want to use those tabs in my bladder
  • Iodine and Nuun tabs – Potable Aqua Iodine, the Nuun tabs make the water taste good. Note: I very rarely treat my water (most of my drinking water runs through the Camelback/Platypus anyway) . I use these when getting water from highly populated lakes and other questionable water sources.


  • Hiking boots: Saloman GTX hiking boots
  • Inserts: Superfeet  inserts (I had some pain on the bottoms of my feet and a little plantar fasciitis, these helped)
  • Socks:  2 pair Wright Socks double layer Merino wool (one to sleep in, one to hike in)



  • 1 Pair REI hiking pants with roll up legs
  • 1 White Sierra short sleeve button up shirt polyester/cotton blend
  • 1 cami to wear underneath hiking shirt (no bra)
  • 1 Tank top
  • 1 pair Patagonia hiking shorts
  • 2 Pairs of Ex Officio underwear


  • Rain pants – some cheapos I bought at Kmart
  • Rain jacket – NorthFace Gortex
  • Down Jacket – NorthFace Ultra-light
  • Beanie (polyester)
  • Gloves (polyester)

Sleeping (base layer):

  • Merino Wool medium weight long johns
  • Columbia long sleeved polyester shirt
  • Camp shoes – cheap fake crocs


  • Phone/charger: Samsung Galaxy S5 (with my kindle books on it and the Guthook app). NOTE: on the really cold nights the batteries drained to a point it wouldn’t charge with the solar charger. Had to wait til I got home and got original charger to plug in.  Sleep with your electronics to keep them warm!
  • Solar Charger: Suntactics solar charger (loved it)- See below for link
  • Camera/charger: Nikon Coolpix 16 megapixel 12x zoom camera
  • Safety GPS tracker: SPOT – love it!
  • Headlamp: Energizer (cheap and probably too heavy, but it works great!)

 Toilet and hygiene:

  • Toilet – Lightweight stuff sack (from tent) to keep everything separate and make it easy to find and separate from food.
    • MSR Ground Hog Tent stake  (as my trowel)
    •  Gallon Ziploc with TP and unscented wipes and empty Ziploc with a big X on it for used tp
    • unscented anti-bacterial wipes and/or antibacterial gel (switched up in resupply buckets)
  • Toothbrush and baking soda (instead of toothpaste for better LNT) with some peppermint essential oil beads for minty fresh breath!
  • Paper shower wipes (unscented, from  cut them in half and used one per day
  • .25 Coconut oil for moisturizer (not before bed because of the smell)
  • .25 oz of zinc oxide sunscreen
  • Daily vitamins
  • .25 oz. of Dr. Bronners Peppermint soap for laundry and bathing (AWAY from water sources!!! #LNT)

First Aid (for me and my gear): 

  • Duct Tape (wrapped around trekking pole)
  • Brush-on superglue
  • Medical tape – a small roll maybe 10′ and I used it all
  • Gauze- probably about 10′ of 3″ gauze (and I used it all)
  • Neosporin and antiseptic  packets (about 3 of each)
  • Pain relief- excedrin, allergy, benadryl, ibuprofen and migraine medication
  • dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • 4 waterproof matches
  • tiny bic lighter
  • tiny travel sew kit with scissors, thread, and needle, safety pin
  • Clear mini hair ties (these are awesome)
  • Put it all inside a small mesh bag from the dollar store


  • Trekking Poles – REI Traverse Power Lock – cheapos but I’ve had them for a while and they’re great!
  • Bandanas: 2 (wore one on my head and used one to bathe)
  • Bear Can – BV500
  • Maps: John Harrison
  • Reading glasses – 2 pair because I can’t read maps without them!
  • Cheap sunglasses that I rarely wore
  • Suunto Compass
  • Moleskine Journal and 2 pens
  • Trash compactor bag to keep my sleeping bag, tent and sleeping clothes in. (also packed one in my 2nd resupply bucket in case of damage).



Links to the gear listed above:

BearVault BV500 Bear Proof Container Bear Vault