Food shopping for a long-distance hike on the John Muir Trail is one of the most difficult parts of planning. What to buy? How much? How to avoid meals that require a bunch of cleanup? In an earlier post, I shared some of my favorite food items from the trip, but in order to make it even easier for you, in this post I share my complete John Muir Trail food shopping list with quantities.
This food packing list was for 2 people with average hunger levels. I didn’t calculate calories consumed vs calories burned. That seemed like way too much work. Instead, I tried to pick foods that were high calories for their weight. Then, I planned out how many meals and snacks I thought we would need each day and made piles for each day of the trip. I also chose pre-made food, as opposed to dehydrating my own.
For more info on my planning strategy, make sure to check out my John Muir Trail Resupply Guide. It’s got some cool tables to help you plan your resupply boxes, as well as info on all the places you can mail yourself food.
Our breakfasts and lunches were pretty straight forward. For dinners, we usually split a 2-person Mountain House meal, along with something else, like a pack or two of ramen, cous cous, or mashed potatoes, depending on how hungry we were. In addition, on top of the items in my John Muir Trail food shopping list, we were gifted some food in Tuolumne Meadows by some folks who overpacked. This included some Snickers bars and a few other snacks.
Overall I’d say we were mostly satisfied, but we were never really too full after our meals. We probably could’ve eaten more, but this was all that we could fit in our Bearikade Weekender bear canisters, even after repackaging all of the Mountain House meals in ziplock bags.
The stores I bought food at were Trader Joe’s, Amazon.com, and the regular grocery store. Here I break it down so you can walk into each store with a succinct list, shop, swap anything out you don’t like, and be done with it. And even better, many of these items can be bought right online (hello Amazon Prime!), saving you multiple trips to multiple stores.
A final note…when shopping for your John Muir Trail food, you need to assess your appetite, realize you are going to be much hungrier out there than you are at home, consider the size of your bear canister, and plan accordingly. This was my JMT food list, which is intended to help you plan, but it may not be the perfect list for you.
John Muir Trail Food Shopping List
— Amazon —
— Trader Joe’s —
— Regular Grocery Store —
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