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Tips and advice for gear and training to hike the John Muir Trail in July.



I have a permit to hike the trail and need to get outfitted with a backpack, hiking boots and train until my start date.  I have not hiked since the pandemic, I am a 62 year old female living in LA.

How can I get the proper equipment now to train?  Any trail suggestions in LA area?

This is a dream of mine, and if the JM Trail is open,  I would really like to go.

Thank you,



5 Replies

@Kar Welcome to the community!

Thanks for reaching out! What an awesome adventure!

We're sure there are some members of our community who can give you some good advice on local trails to train on in your area. We'll tag them below and see if we can tap into their knowledge and experience. Additionally, we encourage you to check out and maybe start a thread on the Los Angeles Area board.

In terms of your gear, because you need a couple different items that require fit expertise, we recommend doing a virtual outfitting session with one of our product experts. It is a free service we offer and you can sign up for a time that works with your schedule here

@REI-EricP @hikermor @AshleyMay @kgawley59 @REI-CourtneyR @HikingMema @cdever @mepurcell I know not all of ya'll are from the LA area but I was hoping you might have some ideas of some good training hikes for Karen. Thanks for all your input!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Kar Trail hiking is definitely a good way to go, but almost any aerobic activity will get you ready for the trail - hiking, running, cycling are all good and will get your pulse rate up.  when you start your trip, tke it relatively easy for the first three or four days.  I believe you will get used to the routine and you can lengthen your mileage.

Hope the trail is open and best wishes!!


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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Are the trails open for hiking in LA? I live in Ventura County and some of our trails are still blocked off.



I wanted to connect you with a couple of other threads on the topic of the JMT and Mount Whitney:

When you find out any information about when the JMT will open again, I am sure that @Rerun would love to know!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@Kar I am not familiar with LA Trails, but here is what I would do to start training.  I would find a topographic map of the John Muir Trail and look at the elevation change and slope of the trail.  Then I would find topographic maps of trails in the LA area with similar elevation changes and slope and hike those.