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Streaming and backpacking (beginning)

From: Mike
Sent on: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 8:23 PM



1) The forecast is in and we are in for some beautiful weather! On Saturday (March 9), the snow will have melted and the sun will be shining (probably). That’s when we’ll do a circuit hike of 15 or 21 miles (you choose) along two of the prettiest Maryland suburban-DC stream valleys—Northwest Branch and Sligo Creek. The hike will take you over natural (muddy in places) and paved surfaces, and even includes some rock scrambling and sandy beaches (OK, small ones), all with gentle elevation changes. The short version of the hike is almost difficult (3.5 blisters) and the long version is difficult (4.7 blisters). (Even shorter versions are available with cab fare.)


We’ll meet (8:30 AM) at the parking lot of Wheaton Regional Park’s Ice Arena ( Let me know if you need a ride from a nearby Metro station. Bring food and drink; short hikers may also buy food on the way. After the first 7 miles or so, you’ll proceed at your own pace and you may stop (or not) anytime to eat. Although open to all, this hike is part of a series of training hikes leading up to the One Day Hike—100 or 50 km along the C&O Canal-on April 27, 2013.


Pix from last year’s hike:



2) Also coming up is a beginning backpacking series that includes two early evening Sunday classes, and a two-night, beginner backpacking trip.


- Class 1: Gear & Food, March 17, 2013, 5-8 PM

- Class 2: Planning a B/P Trip, Sunday, April 7, 2013, 5-8 PM

- Trip to Shenandoah National Park, May 10-12, 2013


Class 1 covers basic gear (backpack, tent, sleeping bags & pads, boots, clothing, etc) and cooking & water gear (stoves, water filters) & food basics. We'll provide tips on fitting, buying, usage, and packing light, and hands-on demonstrations. We’ll have gear on-hand (bring yours too) to show you different features and demonstrate hands-on techniques. We will send you home with a gear-list to plan your next trip!


Class 2  teaches how to plan a trip, including trip selection, route planning and use of maps/GPS; Leave No Trace basics; water planning (purification options & need); first-aid kits; and emergency planning. You’ll have the opportunity to do some interactive map reading.

The two-night backpacking trip to Shenandoah National Park is designed for beginners to practice planning and technical skills, test out gear, build strength, and gain confidence, without detracting from the enjoyment of nature. We’ll spend the first night at a park campground, and the second night in the backcountry. The route involves moderate distances and elevation changes. Some gear may be shared.


Leaders: Liz Guertin ([address removed]) & me.


Pix from our last two beginner backpack:


Fine print: Attendance for classes and trip is limited and requires registration. (Contact Liz to register.) Participants must be 16 or older. Each class costs $25 for expenses; trip cost, to cover campsites and other expenses, is nominal. Payment may be made by check or PayPal in advance to confirm your spot. You may register for either or both classes. Although open to all, students of the classes will be given priority for the trip. Classes will be held in the Bethesda Club Room, White Flint Station Condos, 11800 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, MD, conveniently located one block from a Metro station and with free street parking. Offer valid only until events occur. Void where prohibited.



Pix form our last hike (Rocky Gap) and dinner:


OK, that’s enough for now. Enjoy the snow tomorrow. See you soon.



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