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Cole Mountain (Only Members who attended the Backpacking 101 Class on 2/2)

***This trip is only available to the members who attended the Backpacking 101 on February 2, 2013. If you attended the class, and did not sign up initially, please contact me and I will add you.
The Trip: This trip will be an opportunity for the members who attended the backpacking 101 event to test their newly acquired gear and to implement some of the skills taught during the class. Your organizers will be available to provide assistance and allow for a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Plan:
Day 1 (Friday): We will use our usual carpooling points with the Virginia Beach one being at 6pm and the Newport News one being at 7 pm. Once we are loaded we will drive to Everyday Cafe in Charlottesville for something to eat and to pick up any last minute supplies. We will then proceed to the trailhead. We will be camping fairly close to our vehicles. There is an old orchard near the parking area that will provide some excellent tent spots.
Day 2 (Saturday): After breakfast we will break camp and proceed up the Old Hotel trail where we will set up camp for Saturday night's stay. We will then have opportunities to hang bear bags and go over land navigation and fire starting. We will practice orienting a map and compass, find terrain features using a map, and determining an azimuth (or bearing). Depending on how much time we have, and whether the group is up for it, we may "slack pack" up to Mount Pleasant.
Day 3 (Sunday): We will break camp fairly early so that we can get home at a decent hour. We will hike up to Cole Mountain (sometimes called Cold Mountain) in the morning, packs on. We will pick up the AT and take it back out to the parking lot while enjoying the views Cole Mountain has to offer (almost 6 miles).
What To Bring: Nothing is provided for you. You are responsible for all gear and food you need for the weekend. If you have questions on what to bring feel free to email me. If you do not have the needed gear contact me. Between the organizers we may have something that you can use. If you have a compass bring it, but if not we can share. The weather may still be cold in the evening, so plan accordingly. Since we will be setting up in the dark Friday night you will need a headlamp.
Water: You do need to bring water. There is a small stream near our campsite, however, I have no way of knowing if it will be a viable water source that time of the year. You will need to filter/purify your water.
Weather: We go regardless of weather. Check the weather for Oronoco, VA
Dogs: No dogs on this one. Sorry.
Carpool: Carpools are always organized in advance, you will receive an email a week in advance to help us organize rides. Please keep an eye out for this email.
Questions: Send me an email or post your question below.

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  • llancasters

    Wish I'd been able to make it up the mountain!

    March 30, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      or carpool

      1 · April 4, 2013

    • Paul H.

      The Outback made it up OK, but I could see where someone could have a problem with that hill, it was a bit slick.

      April 4, 2013

  • Phil

    We moved the campsite to the Cow Camp Shelter and it was GREAT! Wide open, flowing stream, and it caught the afternoon sunshine; picnic table and multiple fire rings, plenty of deadfall, could have easily put up 20+ tents!. We hiked over Cold Mtn bald on the way up - FANTASTIC, really got us fired up. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits when we got to the shelter area.

    April 4, 2013

  • Paul

    This was a fun trip. Nice to meet some new members and fun to learn from each other.

    April 4, 2013

  • Phil

    Great group! Last winter hike of 2013 (hopefully)!!

    April 3, 2013

  • Paul H.

    I just finished packing my new Arcteryx Altra 65 Pack. 1. It seems too empty. 2. It seems too light. 3. It seems too comfortable. I added Scotch to bring up the weight/volume. I hope I have not forgotten anything. Maybe I should add some Burbon to help bring the weight up.

    1 · March 28, 2013

    • Phil

      that would indeed be excellent!

      March 28, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      i have a 10 lb dumbbell I can bring if you want to borrow it

      March 29, 2013

  • Lance-Alexander

    I apologize every one.. I been fighting the flu all week. and a bad head cold all week. Ive tried to fight through it but am not going to make this one

    March 29, 2013

  • Paul H.

    If no one needs me for a ride, I will have my tent up at about 8PM at Hog Camp. I will get the spot near the road if it is not already taken, if it is occupied, I will be by the tree with the swing in it. 9:00 PM is past my bed time.

    1 · March 27, 2013

    • Phil

      we'll try to be quite, maybe take off our shoes...

      1 · March 27, 2013

    • Paul

      You want to pitch an extra tent too?:-) :-)

      March 27, 2013

  • Phil

    at our campsite, weather.gov is forecasting fri 41/29 sat 45/31 sun 48

    March 25, 2013

    • llancasters

      Can I get some sort of directions or address (i know there aren't any street addresses up there) but something I can Mapquest or GPS? I plan on following but just in case there is a separation somehow.

      March 27, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      Larry, you can click on the location in bold above to get a map of the exact location or go to hikingupward.com and look up Cold Mountain to get more details.

      March 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey guys,
    So I am all set to go, my friend helped me pack and let me borrow some of his stuff... but now turns out family are spending Easter with me, thanks to free (but very short notice) military plane ride. I'm so sorry I'll miss out on this; I was really looking forward to finally start going on trips after the 101 class. Do I need to wait for the next 101 trip so I can start going on more trips with the group? Can I tag along in one of your future "easy" trips? I promise to learn things as quickly as I can.

    March 27, 2013

    • llancasters

      :(

      March 27, 2013

    • Paul

      Bummer... but family is what it is... Keep your eyes open for another trip. I am sure you can talk with the organizer for suggestions.

      March 27, 2013

  • James S.

    Hey Jewelyn

    The weather looks to be good. Maybe 50 s during the day which is great hiking temps. And it could get a little chilly at night. One important factor will be your gear, clothing, tent sleeping bag as to whether or not you are comfortable. So to make this short, send me or Phil a list of the things you might need and I can help you out. I have extra sleeping bags, stoves, tents and ground pads so you can make your trip enjoyable. Let us know ASAP.

    Biscuit/jimmy

    March 26, 2013

  • Jeff

    Hi, sorry for waiting to the last minute, but it looks like work will not let me make it this weekend. I did really want to go, and hope to join in a future trip.

    1 · March 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello all,

    I have been debating whether I go or not since it's been very busy at work, but I think this would actually help me get away from work mode. What concerns me now is the weather. I understand this group goes regardless. I told myself to just tough it out so I don't miss future trips 'cause I didnt go to this one. Plus my work schedule is very odd and unpredictable, glad that this trip somehow worked out with my schedule. But, I need to be honest, I don't do well in this cold weather (lived mostly in the West Coast and tropical countries). What do you guys suggest to a complete newbie? Shoud I go, should I not? Honestly :)

    I have most of the stuff (I think) that I need, I just need to get even more warmer clothes now with this crazy weather we have (it's snowing outside as I'm typing this!).

    If you guys think I'll do just fine, then I'll go. Will be carpooling with Larry (thanks Larry!). If this might be a bit too much, would there be another 101 trip soon? Please?:)

    March 24, 2013

    • Paul

      I am also bringing an extra stove for teaching. You can enjoy hot coffee or meals with us if you don't have stove!

      March 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for the reassurance!!! I've been looking forward to this and I really don't want to miss this trip. So... yea, I will be joining you guys :)

      March 26, 2013

  • Paul

    The weekend forecast for Buena Vista is looking good. Even allowing for the mountains temp effect I think we can hope for a great early spring camp!

    1 · March 25, 2013

  • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

    I recently order a bivy sack, and ended up receiving 2 because the first one had a few small holes in it. I'll bring them both and if someone wants to claim one to use to add extra warmth to their sleeping bag. I haven't used them yet, but they are fairly large enough to cover most sleeping bags and add some extra cover from the elements.

    March 25, 2013

  • Phil

    One more time: Seems like quite a few didn't get the email or see the below:

    car pooling arrangements: We have a lot of people going, so please email me or make a comment on; 1 - Are you driving or are you a rider?, and if you are a driver, can people ride with you?, and how many passengers can you take - WITH BACKPACKS. 2- Which pick up point will you use, VA Beach or Newport News, or possibly somewhere else, like the Richmond pick up point.

    Believe it or not, transportation arrangements are the hardest part of organizing these trips, so if I don't hear from a person after a few days, I'll assume that you have your own arrangements, and know how to get to the trail head

    thanks much.

    March 23, 2013

    • Paul

      I have can carry 2 from Va Beach. But not returning on Sunday.

      March 24, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      Paul I'll meet you at the VB carpool, since I'm joining on the extension hike

      March 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I too will not be able to make it. I was hoping it would be postponed. Maybe next time?

    March 24, 2013

  • karen f.

    i will not be able to make it. It is Easter weekend and i have to be at home for Easter.

    March 24, 2013

  • Beast

    Unfortunately I will not be able to attend. Work schedule is ever changing and have to travel outside of area. Hope you all have fun!

    March 23, 2013

  • Phil

    Hey Everybody, I'm Phil, one of the organizers and am helping out for this trip. [masked],[masked]

    We have several very experienced backpackers attending; Donnie (organizer & host), Paul W, Jimmy S, and Mark. Karen F. also has lots of BP'ing experience.

    Let's start with car pooling arrangements: We have a lot of people going, so please email me or make a comment on; 1 - Are you driving or are you a rider?, and if you are a driver, can people ride with you?, and how many passengers can you take - WITH BACKPACKS. 2- Which pick up point will you use, VA Beach or Newport News, or possibly somewhere else, like the Richmond pick up point.

    Believe it or not, transportation arrangements are the hardest part of organizing these trips, so if I don't hear from a person after a few days, I'll assume that you have your own arrangements.

    March 18, 2013

    • llancasters

      At this point, Jewelyn and Larry are riding together, Tracy Hand will not be going. Phil, call or text me if you need; Larry[masked]

      March 23, 2013

    • llancasters

      no, i have not gotten any email from you bout carpooling.

      March 23, 2013

  • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

    well, I hope you don't change it, but I'm not a beginner! maybe it will suddenly warm up by next weekend. It would be setting a bad example to change the plan because of the weather. and the meetup does say we go regardless of weather.

    March 22, 2013

    • Paul H.

      If you are looking at the weather for Buena Vista, remember it is at an average elevation of 880', Cole mountain is at 3,800'. Drop 3 degrees for every 1000' of elevation change and you need to drop 9 degrees of any temp given for Buena Vista. This is a beginners hike, In another year, if their beginning is positive, they will be on the winter hikes. Just my opinion, YMMV.

      March 22, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      nah, looking at afton, since i think it's at higher elevation, but really it's irrelevant so far out. what is in the forecast is not likely to be the same a week away, could be worse or better or the same, never know

      March 22, 2013

  • Phil

    Hey everybody, I'm just back hiking Wednesday-Thursday McAfee Knob to Tinker Cliffs with Meghan(Sherpa) and 2 time AT thru hiker David, as Meghan prepares to leave next week for her thru hike; But it was absolutely FREEZING with wind-chills in the teens or single digits; my point is it was definitely a WINTER hike and I think our dates are probably going to be very cold, 20's at night; and I think a BP101 first trip should be when it is warm; so I think we should move the dates to May or June...thoughts?

    March 22, 2013

    • Paul

      I suspect some people have borrowed gear or otherwise planned for this time slot. I would be happy to continue or delay as the group decides.

      March 22, 2013

  • Donnie

    There's been some questions about maps and navigation so I'll answer here for everyone's benefit. If you have a compass please bring it, if not, you can purchase a good starter "baseplate" compass for around $10 at most sporting goods dept or stores...or I can share mine. I will also bring maps for those who don't bring their own, but bring 'em if ya got 'em. If time permits we can do a short navigation exercise off trail to help you understand how to use the map and compass together and seperate. We will also discuss different types of equipment and resources available for wilderness navigation and orienteering. Please email me if you have any questions.

    March 22, 2013

  • Phil

    Another tip: at breakfast, if re-hydrating cereal or oatmeal, you can mix your boiling water and cereal in a zip-lock bag to eliminate needing to clean you pot.

    March 18, 2013

  • Lance-Alexander

    Are we allowed to bring a guest as long as we go over every thing we learned in the class with them and prepare accordingly.

    February 24, 2013

    • Phil

      sure, the more the merrier

      March 19, 2013

  • Phil

    Another thing to think about; We're arriving in the dark, please bring a flashlight or preferably a headlamp, this will be invaluable while putting up your tent! A headlamp is much easier than trying to hold a flashlight in your mouth! It also helps when you get in your tent and start sorting out you sleeping bag and pad and warm cloths, etc etc.

    March 18, 2013

  • Rodney

    Sorry guys! I have to step out of this trip. My in-laws are coming to Virginia for Easter weekend. Hope to see you on the trail at a later date!

    March 18, 2013

  • Phil

    Next up; Going on your first trip with OCB is kind of weird to say the least, especially that first meeting in a parking lot and getting a car with strangers! Yikes, I was kind of freaked out my first trip, but everyone was extremely nice and made me feel very welcome. It seems taking that first step is the hardest..(ha! no pun intended!)

    Ok, now to weather: Looking ahead at the weather it looks like 30's at night, so we need very good bags and pads to stay warm. You need your pack and boots, tent, bag, pad, stove, fuel, pot, stove, cup, jacket, hat, gloves, I recommend some long johns, etc etc etc, ad infinitum... Reminder, there are several packing lists in the files section of the OCB website.

    I am bringing instant oatmeal and grits for breakfast, and some knorr sides, pasta and a chicken for dinner, easy to cook,only requires 7 min of boiling, and very economical.

    Ok, that's about it for now! Please let me know about those carpool arrangements

    Thanks!

    Phil

    March 18, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      you can save fuel by just bringing the knorr side to a boil, then let it sit for 10 minutes, instead of boiling for 7 minutes

      March 18, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      I'm bringing precooked hot potatoes, to eat cold. bites like an apple, but tastes like a potato!

      March 18, 2013

  • Sarah A.

    I'm with Amy - will there be another backpacking 101 soon? I would really like to join in on these hikes! Thanks :)

    February 26, 2013

    • Rodney

      We'll have another BP 101 Class...not sure when we'll add it to the schedule, yet. Probably in May with an early June trip.

      March 2, 2013

  • Paul

    Does anyone have any interest in adding a few days of hiking south on the AT after this group camp? I would like to do a segment for 3-5 days.

    1 · February 17, 2013

    • Paul

      Cool. Looking at maps now...

      1 · February 22, 2013

    • Paul

      It looks like we have at least three for a "hike extension". Anyone else?

      February 27, 2013

  • craig s.

    I would love to join in if there are any openings left ? Let me know .Thanks Craig

    February 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Do you think there will be another backpacking 101 in the near future? I really would like to get into backpacking/camping but do not have the experience...thanks :)

    February 24, 2013

  • Paul

    Today, Wed. Feb 20, REI has as their "deal of the day" the Osprey Women's Ariel 55 pack for half price. This is worth looking at for any of you that are needing a good all purpose backpack capable of long trips or weekends.

    February 20, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      avoid the used underwear

      1 · February 20, 2013

    • Rodney

      Bad experience, Mark?

      February 24, 2013

  • karen f.

    I want to say that people are putting too much thought into gear that is best...Start with what you have.. synthetic clothing look at the old stuff you already have. You don't have to make a fashion statement, it just has to be functional. Work out clothing, tights, basketball shorts, nylon shirts. Get a backpack from Walmart for cheap it will work. I have backpacked many miles with one before i ventured out to get a osprey. focus more on comfortable shoes, if that is tennis shoes so be it, I had boots and tennys with me on a 70 mile trip and the tennys were wore more than the boots and i was comfortable. For a stove if you don't have the money buy some esbits couple bucks and done. I spent my money on a bag coz I don't like to be cold so I made sure no matter what I would be warm. Even for a tent if it is not going to be a very cold time of year get one of those cheapies that doesnt weight alot at again Walmart, been there done that. Rain gear is important, check the weather.

    2 · February 20, 2013

    • Paul

      Good advice, but sometimes when I am stuck at work all I can do related to hiking is plan and text about gear. At least it keeps my mind focused away from work!

      1 · February 22, 2013

    • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

      sound like you have an addiction, Paul. Back to work!

      1 · February 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So I went to see if I can rent out some things from Outdoor Recs on Langley base, and they have the basics: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, etc. Do you guys think it's fine to just rent the the generic kind for now and I'll eventually figure out what will work for me? I just don't want to spend money right away for bigger things, when I know I still have to buy many other things, especially clothing. Not only that I traveled lightly, I mostly just have stuff for sunny, mild-weather.

    February 15, 2013

    • llancasters

      Jewely, I heard that REI rents some camp equip. here is the site, scroll down to Va. http://www.rei.com/st...­

      February 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you guys for all the tips! It's still is a bit overwhelming but I'm getting my stuff together slowly but surely :)

      February 20, 2013

  • Phil

    ALL - backpacking starts to become a bit challenging as you load up and start to walk away from the cars. Added to that is Saturday's camping site is extremely beautiful but has NO WATER, so you need to think that through. I'm only going to carry enough for breakfast 2-3 liters, then hike back down to the cars or spring to get more water for Saturday night and Sunday morning. Call or email me for packing/sleeping/cooking (what ever questions) [masked]. [masked],[masked]-2724. You can find past pictures of this area in past hikes (also Tar jacket Ridge trips use the same Friday night camp)

    February 17, 2013

  • Tom H

    Sorry, all, looks like I am going to be helping somebody move. Have a great time on the trip. I am collecting good karma instead of good hiking memories that weeked.

    February 16, 2013

  • Beast

    I will not be able to attend. My job had other plans for me.

    February 12, 2013

    • Beast

      My job changed mind, please add me back if possible. I would like to attend.

      February 12, 2013

  • karen f.

    Tracy i have stuff you can borrow if you dont find it else where. just call me [masked]

    February 11, 2013

    • Tracy H.

      Thank you, Karen!! I will call you as it gets a little closer. I so appreciate it.

      February 11, 2013

  • Rodney

    I have one small women's pack (my wife's pack) if some one needs it and a men's medium pack that some one can borrow. I also have an extra tent, a couple stoves and a couple sleeping pads.

    February 11, 2013

  • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

    I have 2 extra packs (sizes/fit vary, good enough for a weekend), 2 extra sleeping bags (compressibility varies), and an extra tarp/hiking pole (if you want to go with that shelter option), 1 extra sleeping pad. I have 1 extra tent also, but you will need to supply about 6 tent stakes (also with the tarp option), recommend MSR red titanium stakes available at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports. If you need something of these let me know in advance, because I won't bring it unless!

    February 11, 2013

  • Tracy H.

    I will hopefully have shoes, socks, clothes, and a sleeping bag by that time, hopefully more essentials that I learn are "must haves." The rest, if anybody has any extras, would be great to borrow for this first trip.

    February 10, 2013

  • James S.

    Rodney
    Sounds like some will need to barrow some gear. Let me know what. I have a lot of extra stuff.sleeping bags, stoves, tents, ground pads and a pack if anyone is interested. Let me know.

    February 9, 2013

    • llancasters

      I need tent, stove, ground pad. I got sleep bag and bkpk and small essentials.

      February 10, 2013

  • Rodney

    As we get closer to trip day, make sure you keep us updated on what you'll need. We got y'all's back. ;)

    February 8, 2013

  • Tracy H.

    I am in same boat as Jewelyn - have nothing for the trip so am starting from scratch, so I will obviously have to buy the essentials and if there are extras of things to borrow, that would be great. And I will continue to get more stuff until I have it all, just has to be one step at a time. And like you, Jewelyn, I hate shopping as well, lol.

    1 · February 8, 2013

  • karen f.

    I have many of those if anyone needs one

    February 8, 2013

  • Mark U! ՟՜ ҉ ☺.

    cheap blue pad at WalMart now has straps! for easy rolling!

    February 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My work schedule for March finally got out and excited to know I'm off that weekend and can actually go. Unless something unforeseen comes up, I am sure to go on this trip. So... I'm basically starting from almost nothing; I traveled very lightly when I moved here in Hampton Roads last year. I will start gathering the things you guys talked about in the class. Any other suggestions and tips are more than welcomed, even possibly things that anybody would like to loan/rent out to me?? :) Looking forward to seeing you guys again soon!

    February 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I definitely will, and thank you! I really don't like shopping, period... so, trying to look for something I don't really know what to look for will be a bit of a challenge, we'll see :)

      February 7, 2013

    • Paul

      Lots of good deals right now on the usual websites. Look at REI outlet, golite moosejaw. I would suggest not buying anything commonly shared to start with. Stoves, cook kits, water filters are easy to double team.

      February 7, 2013

  • Alexis N.

    I look forward to a trip soon but am already committed to something else this weekend.

    February 2, 2013

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