Chris Martin is Sierra Trading Post's videotographer, and as part of that work, he's taking on an incredible challenge. He'll be filming an epic backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail. He and Sierra Trading Post blogger Andy Hawbaker, join bloggers Adam Nutting and Paul Osborn and vlogger John Charlson on Sunday, July 14. The social media duo was asked to join this trek through the Sierra Nevada mountain range of Central California months ago. On the trip, they'll pass through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. They estimate spending about 10 days traversing the 212-mile trail and averaging about 17 miles of hiking every day.
Have you ever done a trip like this before? If so, where? When? How long was that trek?
I've never done a trip quite like the John Muir trail. The longest trip I've done prior to this is a four-day backpacking trip in the Medicine Bow Mountain Range of Southern Wyoming.
How have you prepared for this journey? (How many miles have you hiked? Have any of those miles included a loaded pack?)
I've hiked too many miles to count! Almost all of the miles have included a loaded pack that has averaged about 15 pounds. I'd estimate I've hiked about 400 miles since I first started thinking about joining this trip.
Aside from hiking, what else have you done to prepare your mind and body for this trip?
I've gone snowshoeing and done quite a bit of trail running. I've also been experimenting with different meals and continue to do research on the trail. During all of my training trips, I've been finding more efficient ways of getting all the video I want from the trail. Packing a pack for a two-week trip is not the easiest task, and doing it with video equipment is hard. A lot of thought has gone into what video equipment I absolutely need and want to get the best content possible, and what I can leave behind.
Can you tell me a little about your work with this trail crew? How did you meet them?
The crew we're going with is incredible. I had the pleasure of meeting John in Boise, Idaho, for a quick interview, but I have come to know the others through brief tweets, group emails and shared planning documents. The group has incredible knowledge and experience in the outdoors — each in their own rights - and I'm looking forward to getting to know all of them a lot better.
What's the thing you're most looking forward to on this trip?
I'm definitely looking forward to summiting Mount Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States at 14,505 feet. It'll be fun to see the world from up that high, and be able to list it as one of my life achievements. Getting to the top of Mount Whitney is cool thing on its own, but it symbolizes much more.
What's the thing you're most nervous about today?
I'm nervous about the altitude. The whole trail is very high, and there's a lot of elevation gain. During our training trip up Mount Lady Washington, I felt the altitude more than I care to admit.
To some people, a trip like this sounds like a huge undertaking, and I know you've experienced some anxiety about this trip. That's natural, of course. How have you kept yourself motivated?
The group we're going with has been a huge motivation. They keep asking questions and sharing their personal achievements and training tips. That's the great part about meeting these guys on social media. We're pretty aware of what they're up to in order to get in shape, and they know what we've been doing.
What kind of video can we look forward to during and after your trip?
The John Muir trail is often described as one of the most beautiful backpacking trails in the U.S. With each of my videos during the trip, I hope to capture the beauty and put the viewer on the trail. I'll be creating a trip documentary showcasing our experience and the beauty of the trail. Rumor has it that we'll be eating fresh sushi on the trail, and I'll definitely want to share that experience. I'll also be making videos about the other meals. Viewers will get a sneak peak of those meals with a meal prep video and a packing video before we leave for the trailhead. We'll also be keeping everyone up to date with quick video clips from the trail if the connectivity allows it. I hope to introduce you to all of the members of the crew with video interviews on the trail, which I'll release shortly after we get back.
Wow! That's a lot of yummy content to look forward to, Chris. Good luck! We can't wait for the updates!
To learn more about Chris check out his personal YouTube channel. Learn more about this trip here: John Muir Trail 2013 or follow the updates here: JMT Page.
Chris Martin #JMT2013 Hiker
By Juliette Rule
June 15, 2013
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