Pre-hike planning 2018-05-12T08:32:25-04:00

Planning my JMT hike (my planning process in Winter/Spring 2016)

In February, I got a permit to hike the JMT in July from Glacier Point (I actually got a permit that someone had canceled… I never was able to get a permit through the normal lottery although I applied every day). I feel incredibly lucky to get a permit to start the hike in Yosemite, considering that hundreds of people are turned down each day in the permit lottery. I intended to hike the JMT last year, but had no idea that getting a permit would be so difficult. I applied for weeks, but didn’t get a permit. At the time, I didn’t really know much about going NOBO (had I known more about it, I probably would have tried it), so I ended up hiking in Sequoia National Park instead (glad I went, it was such a beautiful place). I’m very glad that all of last year’s JMT-planning can be put to good use this summer, and I can’t wait to finally go on this much-anticipated hike.


My plan:

  • Transportation: I will fly into Fresno and take the YARTS bus to Yosemite, and will exit the trail at Whitney Portal. From Lone Pine, I will take the ESTA bus to Reno and fly home.
  • Night before hike: I will spend two nights before my hike at Yosemite so that I can look around.
  • Resupply strategy: I plan to mail food to Red’s Meadow and MTR. I don’t think resupplying at Tuolumne will be necessary for my trip (though I’m sure I’ll eat there!), and I will not be stopping at VVR.
  • Itinerary/Pace: I plan to finish the trail in 17 days.
  • Gear: I’ve pretty much settled on what gear I want to bring (my gear list), thought there are still a few items I’m thinking about. I also plan to re-weigh everything and make sure my base weight is acceptable, and will treat my clothes with permethrin before hitting the trail.
  • Training: I don’t plan to do anything special to train for this trip. I will just continue to hike in my local area as usual. I may practice using a compass though, as I rarely use one (although a compass is probably not necessary on the JMT, I may need one if I have to exit the trail early on an unfamiliar trail, or if I get turned around during moments spent off the trail).
  • Reading: I will continue looking at JMT blogs to get tips and information from those who have completed the trail.

New purchases for my JMT hike

Brooks Cascadia 11

After much consideration, I decided to buy Brooks Cascadia 11 trail runners for my JMT hike. I really loved my Brooks Cascadia 9 trail runners (which are no longer available), so I wanted to stick with something familiar. I haven’t tested them out yet, but the toe box feels smaller (so, I’d recommend going up half a size at least).


Brooks Cascadia 11 2

Brooks Cascadia 11



Big Sky Insulite Cozy Food Pouch

I plan to repackage Mountain House and other freeze dried meals into ziplock bags, so I decided to buy this pouch which will help my food retain heat while re-hydrating and will prevent me from burning my hands while eating. It’s a luxury item, but at least it’s light (under 2 oz.)!


Big Sky Food Cozy



PossumDown Gloves

I was looking for a pair of gloves that are both warm and lightweight, and these seem to meet both requirements. I haven’t had the chance to test their warmth, but they fit well and seem like they will get the job done. I also plan to wear sandwich gloves over them when it is raining (I may buy some rain mitts, but they’re so expensive… I’m still thinking about it). I plan to test that out at home first to see if that will realistically work or not.


possumdown gloves



Zpacks Passport Zip Pouch

I will use this waterproof pouch to hold my passport (will go back to Korea right after this trip), money, and perhaps my phone.


zpacks pouch



Zpacks Rain Kilt

I have a pair of rain pants, but they often make me overheated. I decided a rain kilt would be better for the JMT, so I recently purchased this from Zpacks. I got the smaller size and it’s a little bigger than I expected, but still fits well. I haven’t tested it out yet, but it seems like it will work well for me.


zpacks kilt



National Geographic John Muir Trail Map

I bought the Tom Harrison map set last year, but decided the National Geographic map would be more useful because it shows the elevation profile of the trail.


JMT maps



Zpacks Tent Door Hooks

I have a Zpacks Triplex tent which has the older carabiner type door closure. I decided to get the new type of door closure offered by Zpacks which seems more convenient.


zpacks door closure



Delorme Inreach SE

I recently bought this when it was on sale at REI. As a solo hiker, I like that I will be able to have two-way communication in case of an emergency.






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