Pre-Hike

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The Hassle-Free JMT Permit Application - Image

The Hassle-free JMT Permit Application

Let's face it, planning for a long-distance hiking adventure can be daunting; there are a LOT of details to take into consideration. Before you can begin any overnight excursion out on the John Muir Trail (JMT), you will need to acquire a permit. This post offers a hassle-free step-by-step guide for obtaining a permit to hike one of the most iconic trails in the United States. As long as you have an open mind to hiking a non-traditional route (although it is becoming more and more desirable these days), then you can easily obtain your permit within a matter of hours...no waiting and no rejections.

Backpacking the John Muir Trail (JMT). A hiker traverses snow approaching Glen Pass

What I’ve Learned While Backpacking the John Muir Trail

Every single time I venture out into the wilderness, I learn something new. I believe there's always something to be learned from every experience, whether I've done it for the first time or done it a thousand times. In this article, I share some anecdotes, lessons learned, and a few entertaining bits of information that may be helpful to you on your next backpacking adventure.

Oh my. I may die. 

Disclaimer: I don’t really think I’m going to die. Although, the conditions and terrain are dangerous, I believe that the use of skills and common sense will see us through the hike safely (it’s just going to be as scary as hell). I knew hiking the John Muir Trail (JMT) would be difficult. I attempted the hike in 2015 and never even made it from our southerly entry point on the Pacific Crest Trail to the JMT. We had to...

The remaining of the food for the entire trip is prepped and needs to be distributed for mail drops.

The JMT – I have to carry how much food?

Prepping to hike the John Muir Trail (JMT) can be daunting, there are so many things to take into consideration: permits, which direction to hike, transportation and logistics, gear and equipment, and elevation. The final thing that needs to be considered, but probably will consume the most time and is the most labor-intensive part of the planning process (in my opinion, other than training), is the food. Unlike the Appalachian Trail (AT) and most of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), resupply...

I’ve fallen and I…

Hiking is a treacherous business. I haven’t even loaded up with a full pack yet and I’ve just about killed myself…ok, maybe not killed myself, but surely embarrassed myself. It all started before I even began my hike. I was taking a quick 5 mile hike, which is the pretty standard ‘let me at least get a couple miles in today’ hike. I had to pee. I should have relieved myself before hitting the trail, but I usually finish in 1.5 hours...

It begins…

We all hear the stories of obstacles that will be encountered as you hike the AT. Who would have thought that the first obstacle encountered would happen before we even set out to hike! Due to freak storms that have rolled in throughout TN, NC, and GA, there is unheard of amounts of snow on the ground. Oh my God! There’s about 4 inches of snow on the ground! It’s snowmageddon! Now to us who live on the Northeastern part...

Like planning a wedding

Someone equated my preparation of this thru-hike to planning a wedding. I never actually thought about it, but she was spot on. However, unlike getting married, stuff can go wrong. Not ‘the flowers didn’t show up’ wrong, mortally wrong. We are not going to think about that though. We are going to have happy, fuzzy thoughts and all will be well. I don’t remember the exact day I decided to do a thru-hike, but it was in the spring of...

Wish I could do that

When I tell people about my upcoming adventure, many say “I wish I had the time to do that” or “I wish I could just take off and do something like that”. There will never come a point in your life when you will not have responsibilities and alsohave a bunch of disposable income to take on a six-month endeavor.  To take on something such as this, you will have to make sacrifices to make it happen.  As I hear...

Ultralight bullcrap – A rant

In preparing for this hike, I’ve purchased I don’t know how many dollars in equipment. I’ve cut out gear, re-added it, and cut it out again. I’ve reconfigured my pack like a thousand times already and as I’ve mentioned before, all this prep is driving me mad! There’s so much concentration on getting your pack weight down. A a lot off the buzz in all the Facebook groups geared towards thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is around how much everyone’s pack...

How to Mentally Prepare for a Thru-Hike

In preparation for my Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike, I’ve been reading books, blogs, and Facebook posts as well as speaking to those who have actually successfully completed a thru-hike. Although hiking approximately 2,180 miles is a feat that requires physical strength and stamina, there’s a seriously underestimated mental component to successfully completing a thru-hike. In the beginning, the experience will be exhilarating, exciting, and a great wonderful thing. However, as the miles add up and the weeks wear on, aggravation, discomfort,...