If you want to hike the Wonderland Trail, it pays to do your homework. There were a number of resources we used help us plan, prepare, and successfully hike the Wonderland Trail.
First up is the wonderful book Hiking the Wonderland Trail by Tami Asars. I used the paperback version as I was researching the trail and planning our trip. Derek had the Kindle version, so he was able to reference a downloaded copy on his iPhone. Tami has hiked the Wonderland Trail many times, and this was the best book I found covering the Wonderland Trail.
I always bring a paper map. National Geographic’s Wonderland Trail Map was an invaluable reference that I carried with me on the trail. Even though the Wonderland Trail is pretty well marked, it’s useful to have a reference to quickly identify geographic features, water sources, and side trails.
This map is printed on durable, water-resistant paper and is organized in pages, rather than a fold-out map. Each two-page spread includes an elevation profile for the section shown.
Guthook Guides app with the Wonderland Trail data. The app is free and available for iOS and Android, but you’ll pay for the trail data. It is super-cool because the data is downloaded to your phone, and uses your phone’s GPS data to locate you. You’ll know in a snap exactly how far it is to your camp, or the nearest water source.
I’ve heard of Guthook Guides since they first came out for the PCT years ago, but this trip was the first time I actually used it. I’m hooked.
For emergencies (we thankfully had none), weather reports, and communication with our families back home, the Garmin InReach Mini is highly recommended.
I have an older model that I’ve used for several years, but when it comes time to replace it, I’ll get the Mini. You use your smartphone as the primary interface for typing messages (which is preferred anyway) and you can send and receive text messages with your family. If there were an emergency, you can also alert Search and Rescue (SAR).
Keeping my iPhone and Apple Watch charged? I used an Anker PowerCore Charger. Yes, I wore my Apple Watch and used my iPhone extensively on this trip. I tracked our route, took photos and more.
I tried using a solar panel on the John Muir Trail, but over time, I’ve found that a portable battery like this is much more effective and reliable.
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David Earley says
Jeff, can you recommend a lightweight backpack for 10-20 mile day hikes? I searched your site, but couldn’t find anything specific. I hike with my dog in the hills. We carry a lot of snacks and water. I don’t know if they make anything which provides airflow between the back and pack, but that would be ideal. My laptop backpack is worn out and I’d like something more specific for hiking. Just moderately challenging trails in the hills right now. Mountains are several hundred miles away, but I’d like to get to that point soon. Thanks.