Packing List For The John Muir Trail

Don't let your gear weigh you down-Camino de Santiago Photo credit: Brien Crothers Don't let your gear weigh you down-Camino de Santiago Photo credit: Brien Crothers

When it comes to a gear or packing list, I’ve become a minimalist. Most of what I know I learned from a British friend of mine who has an extensive adventure travel résumé. I’ve also learned from other friends and through my own trial and error from many years of backpacking, mountain climbing, foot racing, mountain biking, and even horseback riding.
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How to Train for the John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, central California 
Photo credit: Miguel Vieira, Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 The John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, central California Photo credit: Miguel Vieira, Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

The Allure of the Trail

Any serious thru-hiker will have the John Muir Trail on his or her bucket list. In a few short weeks I will begin hiking the 215-mile long trail for the first time. I am looking forward to my latest trip (of a lifetime) as I finish the last few weeks of my conditioning schedule. I want to share some thoughts on how to prepare for the John Muir Trail.

High Country Along the John Muir Trail Photo credit: Ken Lund, Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

High Country Along the John Muir Trail
Photo credit: Ken Lund, Creative Commons CC By 2.0

Also known as the JMT, the John Muir Trail is considered to be a serious trekking endeavor. The trail’s website states that it “is the premier hiking trail in the United States. The trail starts in America’s treasure, Yosemite National Park, and continues 215 miles through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and ends at the highest peak in continental United States, Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft.” Due to the length and terrain, this particular trail is not to be taken lightly. (more…)

How to Properly Train for Your World Travel Adventures

Some of the world’s great sights (such as the ancient Mayan city of Coba on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico) include a fair amount of walking Some of the world’s great sights (such as the ancient Mayan city of Coba on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico) include a fair amount of walking

Last week, in my latest installment on preparing for world travel, I encouraged you to check with your physician or, at a minimum, do a very honest self-assessment before starting a conditioning schedule to meet your adventure dreams. This week, I’d like to discuss progressive training, a method of gradually conditioning your body, to meet the demands of your travel destination. I will also provide you with a generic training plan. In future posts, I will discuss specific goals like hiking the John Muir Trail in California and the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Though specific, the training methods for these locations can be modified to meet your needs. (more…)

Ready, Set, Go!

Photograph: Alamy Photograph: Alamy

BUT FIRST—  

Last week I introduced a new series on preparing for your world travel adventures. In that post, I invited you to step out of your comfort zone, broaden your horizons beyond your usual athletic activities, and allow me to be your guide as you embark on traveling the world. I also told you about some of the great once-in-a-lifetime trips that have inspired my lifelong love of travel.

Depending on how your health may, or may not, align with your travel dreams and adventure plans, before you head out the door to aggressively train in the nearest hills, let’s discuss preliminaries (yes, boring stuff, I know!). Some of the first steps to preparing for your adventure are getting a medical assessment from your doctor and then beginning a gradual training program.   (more…)

Awaken Your Travel Bug

Back in high school—oh, so many years ago—a friend of mine gave me a travel article his father had written about a trip to Hong Kong. Looking back, I realized that one article was the seed of my love of adventure and world travel, and it reinforced my own upbringing in which my father always wondered what was over the next rise.

A few of my earlier journals

A few of my earlier journals

WHAT INSPIRES TRAVEL? (more…)

Announcing SU CAMINO… in Hardcopy

Su Camino Cover for FB ad-SHORT

The paper edition of Su Camino… is now available on Amazon.com.

Su Camino… 20 Days – 785 Kilometers – Camino de Santiago

A WHIMSICAL MIX OF PILGRIM RESOURCES

AND CAMINO MUSINGS

There are several options to obtain Su Camino… at Amazon.com:

  • Kindle Edition, $3.49
  • FREE to subscribers of Kindle Unlimited
  • Paper Edition, $7.95, £5.95, or €6.95
  • (FREE Shipping with Prime subscription)

All feedback graciously encouraged and appreciated.

An introspective global journey to awareness and self-discovery catalyzed by 20 summer days walking the Camino de Santiago, Su Camino… is one American baby boomer’s travelogue come preparation handbook full of Camino anecdotes and advice for the contemporary walker of “The Way.”

Steeped in world travels to the far corners of the world over the last two decades, Su Camino… is a layered mélange of travelogue, full of anecdotes from the trail; musings on my own journey of the spirit, and preparation handbook with great resources for any pilgrim, thru-hiker, or adventurer.

Wherever we may roam, there is adventure, there is spirit, and there is discovery.

All feedback graciously encouraged and appreciated.

A Perfect Day (a prep series precursor)

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It was a perfect day for a 50k. Up with the 5:00 a.m. alarm for a cup of tea and a bowl of oatmeal. Then a warm shower loosening muscles still wishing this was all a joke. (I’m never up at o’dark thirty anymore.) Kathey was up early to drive me to the race start then off to watch grandkids play lacrosse in the rain before returning in time to see me at the finish (ultra-running isn’t (more…)

Oh So Many Things

Front cover, Su Camino... Front cover, Su Camino...

Since returning from Spain last summer and sitting down to write about that experience, the one point of that resulting book people repeatedly take away is, “You guys walked 500 miles in 20 days!” We did the Camino Frances in 20 days, due to time constraints, and more as an athletic Camino than a pilgrimage. I too, just like walking and have a good pace, from years of experience.

However, WHEN I do another Camino, I will explore more, stick my head—and the rest of me—into churches more often, I will go to Samos, I’ll venture into museums, and go off the beaten path, go to that village not on the Camino to experience real rural Spain, away from the pilgrim crowds and supporting infrastructure.

Oh, so many things to see, so many roses to smell, so much cafe con leche to drink, so many people to chat with and enjoy their company. Enjoy your Camino, wherever it may lead.

A short excerpt from the book, Su Camino… “I’ve never felt so peaceful in mind, body and spirit as during my time on the Camino de Santiago. Oh sure, there were times when cursed at by a Spanish driver (a pretty senorita) for walking on the wrong side of her village street. Or, when navigating a narrow passage as a large transport truck bore down on the same space at the same time. And that seemingly relentless summer heat. Those temperatures would not have been so bad, I suppose, but our pace, our effort, our daily distance and hours on the trail, all compounded as a foundation of that persistent beast. However, never in my waking hours have I felt so at peace for such a long period of time as when in northern Spain, walking the Camino with my travel buddy Karla and hundreds of others—all friends, I didn’t know.”

 

When the Cat’s Away—the Weeds Grow

Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography Photo credit: Reg Garcia Photography

Our moving to the Mayan Riviera for a portion of last winter was an experiment, one that included many questions: What would it cost? how long could we comfortably stay away from home? how badly would we miss all our friends and close relatives back home? where were the best tacos in town? were there decent (more…)