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Planning Your Pack Supported Trekking Trip
Pack Supported Trekking Questions
The best training for hiking is… hiking! So, get outside and enjoy some local trails (preferably with elevation gain and loss). Also, think about striking a balance between cardio and strength training. Cycling, running, and swimming are fantastic. Gym workouts focusing on your leg muscles are great, as is training on stadium bleachers for those in flat areas. Daily stretching with Pilates or Yoga is also wonderful training when used in conjunction with the above. Our trips have a range of challenge levels, so you’ll want to develop a training plan that best suits the nature of your trip. Our office is happy to provide training tips and recommendations specific to your trip!
SYMG is happy to outfit you with the following high-quality gear free of charge at your request:
- Backpack (Deuter)
- Sleeping Bag (Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Kelty, etc.)
- Sleeping Pad (Thermarest)
- Tent (Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Kelty, etc.)
- Trekking Poles (Leki)
If you prefer to bring your own backpack, tent, sleeping bag and pad, you are welcome to for fit and familiarity. SYMG will also provide all group gear needed for multi-day departures including:
- Water Filters
- Group Shelter
- Emergency GPS device
- Group Bathroom Kit (trowel & toilet paper)
- Bear Cans (backpacking) or Bear Proof Panniers (Horsepacking)
- Camp Stools (Horsepacking only)
When you register for one of our trips, we will send you a full pre-trip package that includes a gear and clothing list specific to your trip.
Pack supported trips are unique in that they provide a remote wilderness experience without having to carry a heavy backpack. These trips allow people who aren’t able to carry more than 10-15 lbs on their back (or simply prefer not to) to still enjoy the solitude and beauty of the Sierra Nevada backcountry. The mules carrying your gear will not be traveling with the group during the day but will be at camp with all equipment and belongings when you arrive. Alternatively, backpacking trips involve each person carrying all their own equipment as well as a full bear can of food and group gear (from about 30-40lbs depending on the trip). Both pack supported trips and backpacking are incredible experiences and have their special characteristics. Need help deciding which type of trip is right for you? Contact our office staff, we’re here to help!
We take pride in our efforts as a full-service outfitter. As our guest, you are only responsible for setting up and taking down your tent, packing your personal gear, and filtering your water. Of course, our guides are always available to assist. Other camp chores such as cooking, cleaning, hauling water, packing up/down of camp, etc are left to the guides, leaving you to relax and enjoy the backcountry.
In your daypack, you’ll want to have water for the day (about 2-3 liters), raingear (a must in the Sierra), sunscreen, a warm insulating layer, sunglasses/hat, blister/first aid care, and a camera (optional). Keep in mind that you won’t have access to your belongings on the mules until you arrive at camp for the evening, so make sure you have what you need for the day. Everything else can be packed with the mules! Each person is allowed to bring 15-20 lbs (exact weight varies per trip) of personal items to be carried by the pack stock (more details will be outlined in your specific trip packet).
The High Sierra lakes and streams we travel in are notable for the fishing opportunities! High Sierra Lakes hold fish in the 6-15′ range typically. Brook (mostly) and Rainbow Trout are commonly caught but its also possible to catch German Brown and Golden Trout depending on your location. We typically recommend the practice of catch and release. If keeping fish, we recommend keeping fish over 12′ and the Brooks only. You’ll be responsible for cleaning your own fish and will need to discuss with your guide a plan for cooking and eating them. Each person will also need a CA Dept of fish and game fishing license which you can pre-purchase online.
As far as fly fishing gear. We recommend bringing a 3-7 piece, 4-6 weight rod for the lakes and streams of the Sierra. Hard cases for pack trips mandatory. Recommended fly patterns are:
- Dry: Elk Hair Caddis, size 14, 16, 18. Adams, size 16, 18, 20. Royal Wulffs and Royal Coachmans, size 14, 16, 18. Stimulators, sz 10-12-14
- Nymphs: Hare’s Ear, size 14, 16. Pheasant Tail, size 16, 18, Wooley Buggers sz 8-12, Stone Flies sz. 8-12, Princes sz 10-12-14
- In Fall add terrestrials: Ants, hoppers, beetles
- 4x-6x tippets
If you use spinning rods, telescoping are best for packing. Small (1-2 lbs test is best). Lures should be barbless and single if possible, although treble hooks aren’t mandatory.
- Recommended lures are: Small Mepps, Rooster Tales, etc. Mepps Trouter Kit Plain: Little Wolf Silver, #1 Thunder Bug May Fly-Gold, #0 Agilia Long Silver, #1 Black Fury Fourescent, #1 XD Silver Body/Silver Blade, #1 Agilia Gold Undressed
More Ways to Experience Yosemite & the High Sierra
Guided Backpacking Trips
At SYMG we specialize in planning and executing incredible Yosemite and High Sierra Backpacking Adventures. From three day Half Dome Trips to expedition-style John Muir Trail Adventures, we can do it all, and have since 1991. Our professional guides are renowned for their amazing backcountry cuisine and add color to the experience through natural and cultural history interpretation. In addition to the trips listed below that anyone may join, we can also organize private departures of any of our trips, or even create a custom trip just for you.Browse Backpacking Trips
Since 1991 we've been offering Guided Yosemite Climbing in the southern Yosemite high country. All of our day trips are privately arranged and your personal guide will cater the days to your own personal interests and abilities. From easy top-roping for the family to challenging multi-pitch trad and sport routes, we can do it all. And if you're looking to expand your own skill set, consider our Rock Climbing Instruction courses: the rock climbing skills day and rock climbing camps.Browse Guided Rock Climbing Trips
Yosemite Hiking Tours
Since 1991 we've been offering Yosemite Hiking Adventures throughout the park. All of our day trips are privately arranged and your personal guide will cater the days to your own personal interests and abilities. Choose an interpretive day focusing on natural and cultural history walks to famous landmarks, or set out for a more challenging hiking day on one of Yosemite's long trails.Browse Yosemite Guided Hiking Trips
Guided Yosemite Camping Weekends
Join SYMG for Yosemite camping adventures focusing on hiking and rock climbing. Our professional guides cater the trips to your own personal interests and abilities, making these adventures a great choice for anyone. In addition the dates advertised, we can create custom trips for you based on your own preferences and timeframe. Great scenery, amazing food, well-provisioned camps, and fabulous guides make for an unforgettable experience.Browse Yosemite Camping Trips
Guided Patagonia Hiking Trips
Born from the travels of our renowned guiding staff, SYMG's International Adventure & Hiking Trips are have offered something distinctive for our travelers since 1991, while earning us the reputation as one of the "Best Outfitters on Earth".