John Muir Trail Food Shopping List

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John Muir Trail Food Shopping List

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.

** Read More: John Muir Trail Resupply Planning Guide **

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-resupply-buckets

— Amazon —

2 packs of Ova Easy Egg Crystals

4 Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy

Probar Meal Bars

20 Luna Bars (Lemon Zest / Smores ) – 20 bars

34 Kind Bars (Almond Coconut / Dark chocolate & Peanut Butter / Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew)

6 Bobo’s Oat Bars

10 Justin’s Almond Butter

32 packs of Honey Stingers (Pomegranate / Limeade / Grapefruit)

4 Clif Shot Blocks (Cran-Razz)

11 Packs of Spicy Pepper Tanka Bites

10 packs of Sesame Snaps

26 foil pouches of Starkist Tuna Creations

22 Mountain House Dinners (2 servings packs) (Favorites: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce / Sweet & Sour Pork / Beef Stroganoff / Chili Mac)

11 Packs of Chicken Ramen

4 boxes of Near East Instant Cous Cous

4 Backpackers Pantry Mocha Mousse Pie

4 Backpackers Pantry Creme Brûlée

Maxim Gold Korean Instant Coffee – THE BEST INSTANT COFFEE

16 Apple Cider Packets

— Trader Joe’s —

15 packs of Multigrain Triple Berry Oatmeal

1 pack of Cherry Pomegranate Pop Tarts

2 packs of Tart Montgomery Cherries

1 pack of dried Just Mangos

3 packs of Dried Apricots

3 packs of Dried Apples

2 packs of Dried Coconut Sticks

1 pack of Dried Cranberries

2 Sticks of Chianti Red Wine Artisan Salami

2 Sticks of Pinot Grigio White Wine Artisan Salami

4 packs of Omega Trek Mix

1 pack of Candied Walnuts

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

— Regular Grocery Store —

4 packs of Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes

 44 Mission Burrito-Sized Flour Tortillas

Sour Patch Kids

Gummy Bears

Mustard/Condiments

Nutella

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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Any purchases you make help to support this blog at no added cost to you. I only recommend products that I stand behind, and if you ever have any questions about any of the products featured on my site, please email me. Thanks! Kristen

There are 22 comments on this post.

About the author

Hi! I'm Kristen....blogger, hiker, sunset-watcher, and dance floor shredder. I feel most alive in the outdoors and created this website to help you enjoy the best that the West has to offer.

22 Comments on “John Muir Trail Food Shopping List

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  1. Thanks for the list! I have a couple of questions…

    1.) the Ova Easy eggs..I love them but were you actually cooking them up or adding them something else? (thinking about cleanup here) I remember someone thinking they were freeze dried ‘cooked’ eggs and adding them to polenta before adding the hot water and she thought they were fine…just curious.

      I added mine to the instant mashed potatoes. Cleanup was definitely the downside of these ;(

    Hi Kristen. My husband and I are doing the JMT in early September, thanks for all your great tips. Did you come back from your JMT trip with a lot of extra food you didn’t eat?

    Regi

    Hello,

    Did you carry the bear canisters in the trail ? Or put the food on your backpack?

    Thanks,

    MLL

    I like the idea of the Spot Gen 3. However, I live on the edge of the Trinity Alps Wilderness and hike alone, so I’m looking for something where I can actually send a message if I am in trouble and I am frequently (80% of the time) alone. Our ranch is 120 acres on the edge of the wilderness with no cell phone service. I stay away from established trails and, instead hike old logging roads, etc. (I DON”T make my own trail). Next August I will be turning 70 and I am hoping to thru hike the JMT, where a better GPS/communication device may be more in order. Any suggestions are welcome regarding Spot type gear and just suggestions in general are welcome.

      Check out the Delorme InReach. I haven’t used one but I hear they are good.

    Hi, thanks for putting up your site tons of great info!!!! did you eat a 2 serving meal yourself or did you split with b rad?

      We usually split 1 MH and one other thing like some ramen or cous cous. A hungry hiker could definitely eat a whole one though

    Kristen – your blog has been invaluable as my friend and I plan our JMT hike for summer 2017. Thank you so much for providing such a wonderful resource!

    Hiho from Germany,

    I stumbled over your blog during one of the boring lunch times at work. In early september my climbimg-buddy an I are going to hike the JMT, at least we’ll try… 🙂
    Your blog is inspiring and helpful…

    …especially these days when one is on edge wheter all things will come together well.

    Keep up blogging and thank you,

    Grüße, Christoph

    Thanks so much for all your entries, they’re soo helpful! I was just curious, the food list is all the food that you bought for all your resupplies right? Also what kind of stove do you use? Thanks again, your blog is indispensable.

    I am58 years old and starting serious hiking again. I did the JMT backwards from Kennedy meadows when I was 19. 22 days . Food then Beef jerky, gorp, dried fruit nuts oatmeal, payday bars powdered egs BABYFOOD 9Powdered veggies actually a high point of the day. We starved we had the time of our lives, we had crap equipment but left KM mid august..no bugs low water easy hiking after a few days. resupplied ONCE Lake Edison. to do this again I would never want to suffer like that, you list is fantastic modern equipment fantastic.
    Bear canisters I have used in the San Gabriels I LOVE THEM, nothing like watching mama bear teach the cubs how to get to your food!.
    thanks for the list keep it up.

    Hi! I love your blog it’s been a great help to my friends and I as we are planning our JMT trip for this summer. Though I do have a question about your summer sausage did you mail some in your resupply boxes? About how did the sausage keep on the trail?

      I got the sausage from Trader Joe’s that didn’t need to be refrigerated and I did ship it in my resupply boxes without any issues.

    Thanks for all the info! It’s been so great with helping with my JMT planning for this year! I do have one question though.

    I found that the #10 can of mountain house meals were cheaper than the individual packaged items and was planning on just repackaging them anyway. Did you find that there was any degradation of the quality after just hanging out in zip locks for about a month between shipping to resupply and actually using them?

    Thanks!!

      There was no issue with quality. I just got the individuals because I wanted more variety, but that would have definitely been a cheaper way to go. Have fun out there!

    I am 77 years old japanese 7/30 to 8/22 thur hike JMT, Anxiously to difficult to find trail Since This winter lots of snow in yosemite valley .

      Iwao, that is great to hear you will be thru-hiking the JMT. The trail is very well marked and by that time there should be numerous thru-hikers out there so don’t be too anxious!

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