Beginner Backpacking Trip at Minister Creek, PA Planning Session/Gear Discussion

***Again, I had to change the date due to a conflict with the establishment, so this meeting has to get pushed back for 2 weeks. I'm really sorry if this is an inconvenience to anyone. Everything else remains the same.***

Hello Wanderers,

So, there appears to have been a lot of new Wanderers that have joined, so I wanted to see if any newbies are truly interested in getting another beginner trip together. My definition of a beginner is as follows:

1) You have never backpacked before;

2) You haven't backpacked in a number of years, or;

3) You have backpacked, but have another someone whom you want to introduce to backpacking and think this would be a good place to start.

Here are the basic details. We will meet at Jammy Buggers (my default establishment of choice) on Tuesday, July 15th at 7 pm. All Wanderers are welcome, but this is really open to the new members who are interested in a beginner backpacking trip. Specifically, the purpose of the meeting is to choose a date for a trip, as well as to discuss the types of gear you'll need in the backcountry. Plan on spending an hour or two having some great food and drinks. 

I'll be bringing examples of gear to the meeting so you can see different types of various gear (hopefully before you make any purchases) and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Those that need to borrow gear, NO PROBLEM, I'd be more than happy to let you borrow something or let you piggy back off of me for this trip. Don't let a lack of something prevent you from joining this trip, JUST CONTACT ME! I'll be more than happy to figure something out.

The actual beginner trip will take place at the same place as my last one, which is Minister Creek, PA. I feel it is a perfect beginner trail for those who haven't yet backpacked before. Once the date is decided upon by the group, I will limit RSVP's to only those Wanderers who are new to backpacking at the onset, to give you a chance to get onto a trip. Probably a couple of weeks prior, if for whatever reason, there are open spots, then I will open RSVP's up to the rest of the MeetUp Group. The beginner trip will be limited to 10 - 12 Wanderers, so keep that in mind. It won't be as large as my last trip.

So, what do you say? Would you like to learn about gear and vote on a date to set your next adventure? The trip will be from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. Friday night will be an optional car camp, but I strongly suggest if you haven't camped before to attend. The hike you sign up for will begin on a Saturday morning at 11 am and will finish sometime early on Sunday. Afterwards, as will all of my hikes, we will have a post hike celebration meal somewhere.

All of this will be decided at the planning session, so I truly hope you can make it. If you can't, but REALLY want a beginner trip, then e-mail me, and I will let you know what will be voted on, so you can let me know what you prefer. If I don't have at least 10 Wanderers interested, then I may have to cancel this meeting, which will happen 1 week prior if enough don't sign up. I need to be fair to the establishment and their staff...

Those experienced Wanderers are more than welcome to come too! Please, share your experiences with the group and with backpacking in general to everyone. In the past, these events have turned out to be not only a lot of fun, but very informative as well, so ALL are welcome!

Parking can get tight there. There is parking on the street (it's metered), parking on side streets (you may have to walk a bit to get there), and parking behind the building(s)(there is a CVS next door with ample parking in the rear). That being said, try to arrive early to find a parking spot. That's the only complaint I have about this venue, other than that, IT'S GREAT!

Hope to see you at the meeting or on the trail!

Bill Watson
[masked] (cell)

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  • carl h.

    I am new to hiking and missed the planning meetup. I have done abit of camping and have most of that type of gear. still gonna need a backpack. I also would probability could use a ride to PA. I'm a cyclist and have camped in Cooks forest PA.but sent my gear with a driver. Carl Howe @ [masked]

    July 20, 2014

  • Erica

    I may not make it tonight...I have been awake since yesterday morning due to work so if I can stay awake a few more hours I'll be there but I might crash.

    July 15, 2014

    • Erica

      Sorry, I couldn't hold out any longer. I really wanted to be there...I have checked out a couple of books from the library so hopefully that will at least be informative.

      July 16, 2014

    • Darwin M.

      The internet is your friend Erica. Also be sure to check out some of the documents in the files section above (under MORE). Bill, Tom and Mike have put a ton of useful info on there.

      2 · July 16, 2014

  • Darwin M.

    Love the enthusiasm of our new Wanderers! Please join us at the August 2nd Gear Session and the August 9th Monthly Wander!

    3 · July 16, 2014

  • Kathy W.

    Great meeting. There is allot of time and effort put forth that goes into an event and William and his team did an excellent job. Thank you for sharing and being so accommodating: )

    3 · July 16, 2014

  • James J.

    Informative session!

    1 · July 16, 2014

  • William A. W.

    Thanks for all that attended. Tom, Darwin, Chris and I all had a great time. I hope everyone learned something and I hope to eventually see all of you on the trail soon, hopefully on my beginner trip!


    1 · July 15, 2014

  • Kathy W.

    I'm going to be about 10 minutes late

    July 15, 2014

  • Barbara

    Delayed with work and currently south west if Akron ... Don't know that I'll catch up to meeting. Sorry for late response. Barb

    July 15, 2014

  • Christine

    I am headed out of town and needing to prepare a bit more. Thought I would be more organized and able to are this eve. I look forward to attending in the future!

    July 15, 2014

  • cindy

    So sorry can't make it. A friend needs my help. But I have backpacked before and have some equipment. Just need the details and date of the trip. Thank you

    July 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This looks like a GREAT adventure, but unfortunately I will not be able to attend the planning session or the trip. Many thanks, however, for offering your expertise and help!

    July 15, 2014

  • William A. W.

    WOW! Far busier than I ever anticipated. Here I thought that I'd be lucky to get 10 or 12 people! In any event, I will be there with gear, maps, and a copy of the 10 essentials. I also have some more experienced Wanderers (besides my brother Tom) joining me to help answer questions. Tomorrow should be a fun night. I suggest getting a burger from there, they are the BEST in town! Try to get there early to find parking though...

    1 · July 14, 2014

    • Mason

      All of them have rsvp already

      July 15, 2014

    • William A. W.

      Mason, got your message. Ok, all good.

      July 15, 2014

  • Petra

    Bill, I will not be joining you for dinner. Sorry, I've a championship baseball to go to at 6pm. I'll be coming, just late. See you then.

    July 14, 2014

  • William A. W.

    Before I go on my little excursion this weekend, it just hit me that since most of you joining me on this meeting are new, I would suggest you take a gander at my Min_Gear_Needed checklist, which is located under the files section of this MeetUp group. You can download it and I suggest you take a moment to read it or print it as what I have in their, except for food, is what you'll need on this beginner trip. Let me know if you have questions (which I'll get to when I get back).

    July 9, 2014

  • William A. W.

    Hello New Wanderers! You may have read that going forward through The Hopeless Wanderers, we will be having some specific type gear sessions. I HIGHLY suggest you take advantage of them. That being said, for this meeting, it will be more of a general overview. I will in fact have LOTS of examples with me, but it will not focus on any particular topic. In fact, with the gear and with the trip, the meeting will be more focused on YOUR QUESTIONS. So please, there is no such thing as a dumb question, please feel free to ask what's on your mind. In the past, some have taken notes. I don't want this to be like a college lecture class, so don't feel that's necessary, but also feel free to do so. I'm really looking to meeting everyone. I'll be gone on the trail this week, so if someone posts a question, I may not get to it until I return.

    July 6, 2014

  • William A. W.

    OK, I have to be honest here, but this guy taking this kind of gear for an overnight trip is a bit ridiculous. That being said, the basics that he outlines are in fact true. Forget the stupid gear he's bringing, but focus on "how he is packing his pack," and I think you'll learn something.

    1 · June 18, 2014

  • Barbara

    I think this is a GREAT idea. I definitely want to join in. However, I may have to go to Missouri at that time. Won't know until the last minute, so don't schedule around me. Really, really hope I can attend.

    1 · June 16, 2014

    • William A. W.

      I hope you can too, but I'm sure I'll be running another beginner trip/planning/gear session in the future, so no worries...

      June 17, 2014

  • Christine

    Thanks for scheduling another newbie event! Count me in!

    1 · June 17, 2014

  • Nick!

    Build it and they will come ;)

    3 · June 17, 2014

  • William A. W.

    Backpacking Basics by The Outdoor Gear Review:

    Not bad, worth a gander...Not geared to the ultralight backpacker though...

    June 16, 2014

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