JMT backpacking gear list

Gossamer Gear Gorilla Backpack at Forrester Pass

This was my backpacking gear list for the John Muir Trail in the summer. This 211 mile trail in California winds through the Sierra Nevada, crossing over 13 000 and 14 000 foot passes. Although the valleys were warm, nights can be close to freezing, especially at higher elevations. This list includes the awkward but necessary "bear canister" required by the parks that the trail passes through. Water is plentiful even in the summer meaning that you can get by with 2 litres in your pack, especially if you drink an extra litre at your water sources. If you feel cold as a rule, you may want a warmer insulating layer than the merino layer that I took.

Category Gear Selection Weight (oz) Details
Packing Gossamer Gear Gorilla 26
Trash Compactor Bag 2.2 I only used this for my sleeping pad and sleep bag. My clothes were in a waterproof stuff sack and my food was in my bear canister.
Bear Vault BV500 41 This beast is an unfortunate necessity. There are more expensive and lighter weight options out there.
Sea to Summit Ultra sil 5l 1 This 5l stuff sack fit all my packed clothes for the trip.
Sleeping Therm-a-rest Antares 31 This quilt style bag is rated for 20 degrees (the new one is rated for 15).
Therm-a-rest neoair All season 19 This is not a light pad, but with the long miles it helped my recovery for the next day. Next time I'd probably go with something lighter like a small Neoair xlite.
Shelter Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 36 Despite a river running under my tent, I stayed dry in this free standing shelter. The hiker whose trekking pole shelter fell down has since bought a UL 1.
Packed Clothing Montane Minimus 8 This UL rain jacket performed swimmingly, although I did accidentally rip off the velcro cuff on the trip.
White Sierra Trabagon Rain Pants 6 I used these twice on the trail, once to keep warm in the AM and once when coming down off of Muir Pass in a squal.
Terramar Merino half zip 7 This insulation layer was all I needed 90% of the time. Only one morning had me wearing all of my layers (including rain gear) to keep warm.
Terramar TXO Body Sensor Boxers 3 These offer great breathability, which is an essential when spending a day hiking in the Sierras.
Point 6 3
Terramar Smartsilk base layer pants 6 I wore the matching top most days while hiking. These were great for sleep wear. I can't speak highly enough of this now out of production base layer.
Coghlan's Bug Net 1 I never bother with bug spray. I'd rather opt for gloves, a jacket and mosquito netting.
Hydration Platypus 1L soft bottle 0.8
Platyreserve 0.8 L 0.8 My other platy developed a leak and this was all they sold at Tuolomne Meadows.
Aqua Mira Drops 2 I burned through 90% of these drops in my two week trip.
Cooking Olicamp XTS 6.7 This 1l anodized pot is extremely efficient due to its heat exchanger.
Olicamp Vector 3
Fold-a-cup 0.8
Light my Fire spork 0.5
mini bic lighter 0.5
Hand Sanitizer 1
Small Essentials Leatherman Squirt PS4 2.2 In addition to the standard file, punch, screwdriver and can opener, this tool has a knife, pliers and scissors.
First Aid / Survival Kit 5
Leukotape 2 In my opinion, Leukotape outperforms duct tape and is much more versatile. The only downside is that it is not impermeable.
Tenkara Fishing Rod & gear 16 I brought rice for a few meals and added several trout to my menu.
Pelican VP3 visor light 1 I brought spare batteries for this, but never needed them.
Compass 1
Spot Messenger 6
Trowel 3
TP (brawny sheets) 2
Dr. Bronners Soap/Toothpaste 1
Toothbrush 1
Mapset 4
Total base weight (oz) (not including worn items or consumables) 250.5
Total base weight (lb) 15.7

This is the gear list that Trail Ambassador Paul Osborn used when he hiked the John Muir Trail.