Liz “Snorkel” Thomas’ John Muir Trail Thru-Hiking Packing List

Small pack on a high altitude trail

I’m about to head out on the 211-mile long John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It involves a long haul without resupply for more than 100 miles through high, exposed alpine peaks going as far in attitude as 13,100 feet. As usual, I’m not letting the isolation fool me into carrying more weight than I need. Going ultra-lite is about having items in my pack serve multiple uses.

The gear at a glance.

Here’s a quick run down of what is on by back:

Pack and packing materials

Food and hydration:

  • 2-L Platypus hoser (hydration is key to being a happy camper)
  • Sawyer Point One filter plus hose connector
  • Foster’s can pot with soda can windscreen and tin foil “lid”
  • Trail Designs Gram Cracker stove
  • Esbit Tabs (fuel)
  • Bare Boxer bear canister
  • Titanium spork


  • Patagonia down sweater and Houdini windshirt
  • Fleece Balaklava
  • Darn Tough Vermont sleeping socks and Gloves (gloves can be potholders)
  • Long sleeve shirt and tights
  • Cuben fiber rain gear
  • 3 pairs of Darn Tough Vermont run/bike ¼ length mesh socks


Other stuff

  • Maps and guidebook
  • Sharpie (mark my stuff with it but also can keep a journal) with Leukotape around it (a medical tape I use instead of moleskin for blisters)
  • Gossamer Gear hiking poles (can also hold up my shelter)
  • First aid kit (Pain killers, anti-diarrhea, anti-histamine, vitamins, anti-itch)
  • Lighter and small matchbook
  • Safety pin (pokes holes into blisters)
  • Bug spray/sunscreen/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste

One thought on “Liz “Snorkel” Thomas’ John Muir Trail Thru-Hiking Packing List

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