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Re: What it was like hiking the John Muir Trail in 1954

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What it was like hiking the John Muir Trail in 1954
August 13, 2014 04:15PM
Pika's 2008
John Muir Trail Journal
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I hiked the John Muir Trail solo in 1954. My pack was a war surplus German Army rucksack. For shelter and rain-gear, I used a WW-II GI poncho with part of another poncho for a ground cloth. I cooked over wood fires using a tin can with a wire bail. My sleeping bag was the liner from a war surplus Army Arctic bag. I carried an aluminum, one-quart Army canteen for my water. I slept on the clothes that I wasn't wearing. My pants were cotton Army surplus field pants with a good pair of long john bottoms if it got cold. I also had a fairly lightweight wool shirt and a nice thick sweater that my mother knitted and a poplin pullover ski parka. I wore high top Keds tennis shoes and surplus socks. I had a Navy wool watch cap and woolen Army mittens. I carried a Boy Scout knife and a supply of strike-anywhere wooden matches and a bottle of Oil of Citronella as mosquito repellent. That, together with a pack full of rice, dried milk, dried eggs, pemmican, macaroni, spaghetti, chocolate, peanuts and raisins was about it. I did carry a small fly rod and an assortment of flies to supplement the rather Spartan diet. I got hungry, cold and wet on the trip; I was on half-rations for the last third of the hike. My pack then, without water and food, weighed about 15 pounds, the clothes I wore were about another 5 pounds.

I have just completed a repeat of the John Muir Trail; 54 years after the first through hike. My pack for this trip weighed just over 16 pounds and the clothes I wore weighed about three pounds. This time I resupplied several times rather than carry all my food with me from the start. I was a lot more comfortable on this trip but I'm not sure I had any more fun.

avatar Re: What it was like hiking the John Muir Trail in 1954
August 14, 2014 12:36AM
Nice read! Thanks for posting the link.
Re: What it was like hiking the John Muir Trail in 1954
August 14, 2014 10:37AM
Thanks for sharing, that was interesting. My reaction was that it sounds like not much has fundamentally changed about the wilderness experience in 60 years.
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