Planning a thru-hike on the John Muir Trail (or any other long-distance trail) can be overwhelming, it can take months of planning, and keeping track of details can be frustrating. There are so many different books, articles, and apps to reference that finding one comprehensive tool to plan your trek seems elusive, but from my own experience, I believe it all comes down to personal preference and how you choose to keep information organized.
I’ve written a couple of other blog posts related to what is involved in planning for a backpacking adventure of this magnitude, including ‘The JMT – I have to carry how much food?‘ In this particular post, I included some screenshots to a workbook I was using for selecting my on-trail menu. Since then, I’ve received multiple requests asking if I would provide a copy of my workbook to help others with their planning.
A couple of notes regarding the workbook:
- It is a COMPREHENSIVE planning tool that includes worksheets for itineraries, logistics, resupplies, costs, food selection lists, food ordering lists, food schedules, and gear lists. Remember I spoke about planning being overwhelming? Well, this workbook is the epitome of that word, I apologize if looking at it gives you a migraine. People asked, and I provided.
- It is an Excel workbook that contains formulas, vLookups, and pivot tables. If you are unfamiliar with any of these, using this workbook can be cumbersome and perhaps impossible to understand. Again, I apologize. People asked, and I provided.
- In addition to the first row in every sheet, I’ve added comments in various cells on many of the worksheets. Be sure that you have comment viewing turned on in Excel.
Here are some other posts you might find helpful:
- The Hassle-Free JMT Permit Application
- What I’ve Learned While Backpacking the John Muir Trail
- Why Hike the John Muir Trail