Here’s What It Takes to Hike the John Muir Trail

  A survey of backpackers’ tactics on the 220-mile high-country route offers insights on what works and what doesn’t.

A new paper in the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine takes a look at this. Over the last few years, a retired San Francisco lawyer has run an annual online survey of people who hike the John Muir Trail, a famous route through the Sierra Nevadas that typically takes about three weeks to complete.

In 2014, 771 people filled out the survey, all of whom planned a trip of at least five days along the trail—a pretty reasonable sample from the total of roughly 3,500 permits issued that year. A group of researchers at the University of California San Francisco Fresno analyzed the data to look for patterns and insights.

Some basic data: 30 of the hikers had to leave the trail earlier than planned. Four required emergency evacuations, three by helicopter: one person with stress fractures in both feet, one who had a serious fall, and one who had a severe stomach bug and couldn’t keep any fluids down.

Overall, the top health problems reported were blisters (57 percent), sleep problems (57 percent), pack strap pain (46 percent), knee/ankle pain (44 percent), and back/hip pain (43 percent). Another 37 percent reported altitude sickness.

Learn more here…

 

Similar Posts: