John Muir Trail Hike

5 tips for a successful

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Pack light!

You'll be carrying that backpack for a loooong time. Use lightweight backpacking strategies to save your knees and shoulders so you can enjoy the JMT's gorgeous scenery, pain-free.


Bring a bear canister

Bear cans are required on the John Muir Trail, so you'll want to choose the right one and learn how to use it (how to somehow stuff ALL that food inside it).


Consider hiking poles

Even if you don't normally hike with poles, you might want them for the John Muir Trail. They'll take the edge off climbs, provide balance on rocky terrain, and give your arms something to do for 3 weeks.


Gear up for cold nights

Even in summer, it gets chilly up at 9,000 feet, and you'll be spending some quality time up there as you hike the JMT. Make sure your sleep system and clothes can keep you safe - if not totally cozy - down to 30 F and below.


Plan resupplies carefully

The southern half of the trail has no on-trail resupply options, so you'll need to estimate your pace carefully and know exactly how much food to send (or make arrangements to hike out or have food packed in).