My John Muir Trail training plan

The idea of training for the John Muir Trail (JMT) was a pretty daunting task. How does someone living at sea level in central London prepare for a trail with a starting elevation greater than the highest point in the U.K.? And it wasn’t just the physical aspect that I’d need to prepare for; I’d…

My John Muir Trail gear list

I was really happy with my gear choices overall. However, as I didn’t have a huge amount of experience, was going solo and hadn’t hiked in the region before, I definitely erred on the side of caution and started with a very heavy bag. I learnt – and ditched – a lot along the way,…

Going solo: hiking the John Muir Trail alone

I was on a high of confidence, joy and a little disbelief in the days after completing a solo thru hike of the John Muir Trail (JMT). Just over 6 weeks later, the strength of the feeling has faded somewhat, although it returns as a warm tingle in my belly and a smile whenever I…

How to plan a John Muir Trail thru hike

This post is based on my experience of preparing for the John Muir Trail over about 6 – 9 months. I found it a little overwhelming at first, but once I got going it was really exciting. Six months + out Keen as I was to dive in, I had a few things to consider….

My first solo hike

It took me a while to realise that I was an outdoor enthusiast. I have always loved travel, but my adventures in the outdoors were infrequent and usually happened as part of a longer trip to a far flung destination. I have done some amazing treks in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Peru, and Sri Lanka…

Lady reasons

About half way through my hike, on the long slog down to Muir Trail Ranch, I met two older guys. One was from the states, the other from the U.K. and as often happened on the trail, we got talking. After the initial introductory questions, they began to express their surprise at the amount of women…

The West Highland Way (U.K.)

The West Highland Way is 96 miles (145km) long, running from Milngavie north of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. I decided to give it a go as it looked beautiful and I have a bit of a soft spot for Scotland, having been at university in Edinburgh. I also felt bad about…

The Cumbria Way (U.K.)

The Cumbria Way is a 70 mile trail that runs from the south to the north of the Lake District National Park. It’s a pretty unknown route; I had never heard of it prior to my online search for a multi-day hike in the U.K. and none of the people that I met along the…

My John Muir Trail fails

I am a member of a number of Facebook groups about the John Muir Trail and I really enjoy reading about other people’s experiences. One of the things that I’ve seen people commenting about recently, is feeling bad or slightly ashamed at having not had a ‘successful’ hike. This could be to do with a…

John Muir Trail resupply planning

Before you began your resupply planning, it’s useful to understand how long you will spend on the trail, what you will eat each day and what non-food supplies you will need, including fuel. This will allow you to decide how many days you need to account for and what supplies you will need, between the…

What should I eat on the John Muir Trail?

I have read varying figures about how many calories you burn backpacking the JMT – anywhere between 2,500 and 6,000 per day. Another popular rule of thumb is to have 1.5-2 lb of food per day, per person. This general guidance is useful in terms of imagining what your final pack weight might be, or as…

My 19 day John Muir Trail itinerary

I began my JMT thru- hike with a basic itinerary, based on the expectation that I’d take around 23 days to complete the trail; 20 days walking, one day for Half Dome and probably two rest days. I included only my resupply points, the breakdown of mileage between them and my anticipated end date. I…