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)



  • 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 NalgeneI 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)




Sleeping (base layer):


  • 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)
  • 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 (took out of packaging and put in ziploc only what I needed) 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): 


  • 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)
  • 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 (Moleskine is more durable and holds up to weather better than regular paper, IMO)
  • 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).