What we're about

Good day!

Below is the original message from our group's founder.

Within you can find his "heart" and the reason we exist.

"For years I was a solo backpacker who frequently ventured solo into less frequented areas. A scare while doing so made me realize how vulnerable a solo hiker off trail is. I concluded that for safety and companionship particularly where any portion of the route is off established trails, I would prefer to hike with other backpackers. So I started this meetup, the Bay Area Very Small Group Backpackers ("BAVSGB"), in order to meet like-minded backpacking partners. Hiking with others also provides the environment to share about equipment and the hike location/route/geology/wildlife etc., preferably at breaks and in camp in order to maintain silence on the trail.

For this meetup group's purpose, the ideal backpacking group is up to four backpackers. Some destinations of interest are the High Sierra, Lost Coast, Henry Coe SP, Ventana/Los Padres, and Australia/New Zealand.
Group members are encouraged to organize their own trips. If wanted, the group organizers will provide suggestions for trips, including repeats of previous trips.

During the trip to Half Dome, Anna made the observation that  hiking with experienced independent backpackers is very simple and is a lot of fun: travel and camp are simplified and the process of navigation decision making was simple because we all thought alike. This is not to say that we can't have fun with novice backpackers in the group - things will just work a little differently, and the novices will have learning opportunities.

Why small groups on trips? Since part of enjoying where I am hiking is hearing the sounds (or lack of them) where I am, small groups are quiet, hopefully saving extraneous chit chat for breaks and camp. Also small groups have a lower environmental impact and are self-organizing on the trail.

Trips that I organize will usually start Thursday and be two nights long. Leaving Thursday gets us out to the trailhead before the Friday crowds, and coming back Saturday avoids the Sunday traffic heading back home.
Those who organize their own trips of course can define a schedule that works for them. If I announce a trip starting Thursday and you would go if it started Friday/Saturday let me know - a shift to accommodate you may be workable.

While most of our trips will be backpacking trips, from time to time we may have a non-backpacking trip that includes some car camping and some significant hiking/exploring in a location of interest.

In addition to experienced backpackers, some group members are novice backpackers, who are welcome! However, some novices may require assistance on a trip. Since such assistance may impact the overall group's experience of the trip, at the trip leader's discretion, the number of novice backpackers on a trip may be limited.

I am allergic to cigarette smoke, so if I drive no smoking in the vehicle is permitted. If you are a smoker please let the other BAVSBGers know at the time they RSVP.

A note about liability. I have seen complex disclaimers on some meetup groups. Instead of a complex disclaimer, let's just understand that you are responsible for you - no other member of the group including myself and the trip leader is responsible for you and your actions. If you aren't comfortable with anything associated with the meetup it is up to you to take action to remove that discomfort and to let the group know you are taking that action - don't be shy about doing so. Further, backpacking entails risk - stuff happens and even on trips on well-traveled trails in easy terrain, injuries can occur. If you aren't sure about a trip's risks, discuss it with its organizer before RSVP'ing; it is understood that if you RSVP to a trip that you understand what is involved in the trip, that you agree to be responsible for yourself while on the trip, and that you absolve this meetup group's organizers and all trip organizers of any liability for any injury of any sort that you incur while participating in the trip (such participation begins when you meet another member of this group is who going on the trip, and ends when you are alone after the trip).”

And what about me?

As the new Organizer of the Bay Area Very Small Group Backpackers, my late-life goal is to backpack every western (lower-48) National Park.

So far, I’ve backpacked twenty-six of the thirty-six western National Parks. By the end of Summer 2022, this number will be, if all goes well, thirty-four of the National Parks.

To date, I've designed and led fifteen trips on Meetup. And, as I move toward accomplishing my goal, as I endeavor to grow and improve BAVSGB, I plan to include BAVSGB Members, if possible, on every trip in the future.

I led a beautifully exhilarating 12-day trip to Zion, Capital Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands in October 2021.

I just led an extraordinary trip to White Sands, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns, and Big Bend in March/April.

And I hope to complete all but the Grand Canyon and White Sands (this will include, in sequence, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Wind Cave, Badlands, Teddy Roosevelt, Glacier, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic) by the fall of 2022.

My goal is deliver to you an experience full of wonder and grandeur and soul-quieting peace.

I want you to walk along a quiet, life-affirming pathway and awaken each morning in a place so beautiful and so exemplary of place that you are awash with the understanding that you are an essential part of it all.

And I want you to experience the grandeur and beauty and quiet peace that comes from being wrapped within America’s most beautiful places.

And what about us?

1) We want to deliver easy-to-join, easy-to-schedule, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

We want to take you to extraordinary places.

And we want you to awaken each morning as you journey with us in a place so site-specific that you can be nowhere else on the planet.

2) We want you to know where you were going before you are going.

We deliver detailed, day-by-day, moment-by-moment itineraries that seek to include every trail and trailhead, every campsite and campground, every daily activity and event, as well as every alternative and back-up plan, every trip-related website and contact data, and as many maps and brochures as possible so that you (AND your friends and families) will know precisely each day’s progress.

In short, you will know exactly where you are going before you go and as you go.

3) We want you to know how much it will cost before you pay.

We deliver an easy-to-understand statement of anticipated fees and expenses up front so there are no “surprises” after you RSVP.

And we make paying for your experience easy to complete.

4) We want to bring to you one-of-a-kind experiences, regardless of your experience level.

If you are a beginner or if you are new(er) to backpacking and wish to begin a life pathway of wilderness experiences, we are here to help.
We can help you select the right gear and equipment. We can help you sequence your journeys so you can gain experience and add confidence. Then, on the trail, we can help you develop the right skills so you can add backpacking to your life’s joys.

If you are experienced, come join us as we do our “thing." Come enjoy the fullness of a several-night or several-park backpacking ONLY trip or be with us as we backpack-tour our parks.

You are our core. You are why we exist.

If you are very experienced, a seasoned backpacker, we especially want you to head out on a journey with us.

You are the deep heart of our effort and the deep strength of our core.
We not only wish that you participate on our backpack-touring journeys, we encourage you to design and deliver your own trip with us!

Speak with us about becoming an Event Organizer, about how you may earn your Wilderness Backpacking Certification, about how you lead wilderness journeys, about how you can help us grow and grow with us.

We have dreams!

Help us grow.

5) We want everyone who is able to participate to participate.

We want you to feel and to BE fully accepted.

We do not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability (subject to your ability to perform safely and sufficiently on a trip), political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law.

And we affirmatively prohibit any behavior that exhibits discrimination of any kind.

If you are physically and emotionally able to participate, we welcome you to join us.

6) We want to keep you safe.

We are a social media-based, backpacking and backpack-touring Meetup group that will require our Leadership Council and our Event Organizers to carry a Wilderness First Aid certification by the Spring of 2023.

7) We want to keep you COVID-safe.

In this “Age of COVID,” we require that every participant fully affirm that they are fully vaccinated and/or they are not currently infected with COVID.
And we will strive to implement the latest science-based BAVSGB and other governmental authority best practices, recommendations, and guidance.

So why choose to be a Member of BAVSGB?

Because backpacking, car-camping, hiking, touring, and simply sleeping beneath the starry canopy has dramatically changed our lives.

Perhaps it's your time for you to fall in love with the outdoors.

We want to help.

Join us.

Let’s grow together.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY (Revised 3/6/22)

By joining this Meetup group, you certify that you have read, understand, agree to, and will comply with all Member rules hyperlinked and written below (until further notice, the "Bay Area Very Small Group Backpackers" Rules and Regulations):

https://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Very-Small-Group-Backpackers/pages/32495759/BAVSGB_Member_Rules_and_Regulations/

DISCLAIMER

Bay Area Very Small Group Backpackers ("BAVSGB") is not a company, but a co-op of friends who share the same passion of adventure trekking together. BAVSGB does not certify the qualifications of the Event Organizers or any of our Members who lead or participate in these events. We may, however, solicit the services of professionals on many of our Events.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Some BAVSGB activities ("Events") posted on this website will be more physically demanding than others. Only you, the Participant, know how much you can handle - so make very sure you have read the complete trip description and are fully aware of the the physical requirements before you sign up (or you might be putting yourself and others into a dangerous situation). Should you have questions about the physical requirements of the trip, please contact the Event Organizer. By signing up and participating in any BAVSGB Event, you represent that you are qualified, in good health, and in proper physical condition to participate in the Event. If you are at all unsure of your physical abilities for an Event, you agree to not participate. Periodically, we may ask you for a full disclosure, in advance of attending an Event, of any medical condition, physical disability, or physical ailment/injury resulting in limitations of the feet, toes, back, spine, hips, knees, shoulders, neck, joints, etc., that may hinder your ability to complete an Event or that may become inflamed/re-injured during the normal, anticipated physical "wear and tear" of the Event."

ACCEPTANCE OF RISK

As a Participant in any BAVSGB Event you, the Participant, acknowledge that the nature of the Event is adventurous and may involve a significant amount of personal risk. By attending any BAVSGB Event, you acknowledge the inherent dangers of participating in the Event and hereby voluntarily assume the responsibility of all such risk which may result in personal injury, permanent disability, illness, and death. Therefore, by attending any BAVSGB Event, you voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to yourself (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind, that you may experience or incur in connection with your attendance at any BAVSGB Event. By attending any BAVSGB Event, you hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless the BAVSGB, its Organizers, Members, volunteers, and program participants, of and from all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto. You understand and agree that this release includes any claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of the Organizers, Members, volunteers, and program participants, and do hereby release the CBC, its Organizers, Members, volunteers, and program participants, from all claims and causes of action arising from any damages, financial loss or injuries or death resulting from these inherent dangers before, during, or after attending any BAVSGB Event.

COVID-19

The novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is highly contagious, has a high mortality rate when compared to other respiratory illnesses, and is believed to spread primarily from person-to-person contact. As a result, federal, state, and local governments, as well as, federal and state health agencies have strongly recommended that individuals are vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and that social distancing practices be implemented and enforced. Additionally, many businesses have implemented preventative measures to seek the reduction of the spread of COVID-19; however, no government nor business can guarantee that you will not become infected with COVID-19. Further, attending any Meetup could increase your risk of contracting COVID-19.

THEREFORE, WE REQUIRE EVERYONE ATTENDING A BAVSGB EVENT BE FULLY VACCINATED WITH BOOSTER(S) AND PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF THOSE VACCINATIONS BEFORE ATTENDING THE EVENT.

COVID-19 ACCEPTANCE OF RISK

By attending any BAVSGB Event, you acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that you may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 while attending the Event and you acknowledge and assume the responsibility that such exposure or infection by COVID-19 may result in illness, permanent disability, personal injury, and death. You understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at any Event may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of yourself and others, including, but not limited to, the Organizers, Members, volunteers, and program participants of such BAVSGB Event.

You voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to yourself (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind, that you may experience or incur in connection with your attendance at any Event. Therefore, by attending any Event, you hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless the BAVSGB, its Organizers, Members, volunteers, and program participants, of and from all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto. You understand and agree that this release includes any claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of the Organizers, Members, volunteers, and program participants, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after attending any BAVSGB Event.

Additionally, to protect others, you attest that:

- You have not been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- You are not experiencing any symptom of COVID-19 illness, such as cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, or a loss of smell or taste.
- To the best of your knowledge, you have not been exposed to or been in contact with someone afflicted with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
- You have not traveled internationally or to a highly impacted area within the United States within the last 14 days.
- You shall follow any and all governmental Orders, laws, ordinances, and guidelines pertaining directly to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, as well as any and all individual COVID-19-related preventative practices set by any Meetup.

COPYRIGHT

This document may not be copied or duplicated in whole or part by any means without express prior agreement in writing from Michelle Renée Mozell. Any disclosure, copying, distribution, reproduction, transmission, or use of the contents without authorization is strictly prohibited.

Copyright 2022  Michelle Renée Mozell  All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming events (3)

Women's Backpack Beautiful Rae Lakes

Needs a location

## Details

Gorgeous scenery! It is 40 miles, 7,600 gain. First day to upper Bubbs Creek. Second Day to Charlette Lake. Third Day over Glenn Pass to Rae Lakes. Camp there 2 nights. Fifth Day to Woods Crossing. Sixth day hike out. Rae Lakes Trail - California | AllTrails. Classic backpack, one of the most beautiful in the Sierras. Must be in great shape and experience in long backpacking. I have a permit. Very slow, picture-taking pace. Please call me on my cell before RSVPing. My cell number is[masked].

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND:

  1. Participation in this trip affirms you have read, understood, and agreed to the Legal Disclaimer and Release of Liability on Meetup’s California Backpacking Club's website (see: https://www.meetup.com/CBC-California-Backpacking-Club/pages/CBC_Member_Rules_and_Regulations/)
  2. Attendees will need to bring all required gear and food. Route over Glen Pass will probably involve some amount of snow travel.
  3. This is considered a strenuous trip based of distance, elevation and terrain. Backpacking experience and good physical condition is required. Because this is an early season trip and there may be issues with snow and a river crossing, please only RSVP if you are comfortable with this.
  4. Kathi Simonsen reserves the sole and unilateral right to modify the trip itinerary as she deems necessary due to weather, illness, injury, inability to secure permits, or any other unforeseen incident.
  5. You must be in good shape with backpacking experience.
  6. Although CBC welcomes everyone to participate, please bear in mind that this is a woman-oriented backpacking trip.
  7. You know with certainty that you are able participate fully and successfully, both physically and emotionally, with the physical demands of the Event. By signing up and participating in any Event posted by CBC, you represent that you are qualified, in good health, and in proper physical condition to participate in the Event. If you are at all unsure of your physical abilities for an Event, you specifically agree to NOT participate.
  8. Remember that CBC is full vaccination only. This means to participate in an event you will have to be both fully vaccinated with your booster and fully protected by that vaccination, i.e., to participate you must be at least ten days past your full vaccination. Therefore, CBC requires everyone (you and your guests) attending a CBC event (including this event) be fully vaccinated with booster(s) and provide evidence of those vaccinations before attending the event.

COVID-19 safety measures
COVID-19 vaccination required
The event host is instituting the above safety measures for this event. Meetup is not responsible for ensuring, and will not independently verify, that these precautions are followed.

Columbia Sportswear (Mountain Hardwear) Employee Store Access

Needs a location

Great news, BAVSGB!

Once again, we, the Bay Area Very Small Group Backpackers, now have exclusive access to the Columbia Sportswear (Mountain Hardware) Employee Store in Richmond, CA from June 10th - July 4th!

This means you (as a BAVSGB Member) and up to FOUR guests may purchase their "current season products" from their "family of brands – Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, SOREL and prAna" – at up to "50% off retail pricing.”

BUT PLEASE NOTE: I will be on a thirty-day backpacking trip starting June 20th, so there is no guarantee that I will be able to get you a personalized Invitation after that point. Nevertheless, I CAN send you your "Invitation," signed by me, once I have access to the internet.

AND PLEASE KNOW: YOU MUST SEND ME YOUR EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER, AND NAME via email or text:[masked]/ [masked]. Simply RSVP'ing WILL NOT GET YOU AN INVITATION!

PLEASE NOTE, TOO: THIS NOTICE is simply the SECOND NOTICE for the
FULL THREE-AND-A HALF WEEK EVENT (Meetup does not allow Events covering more than two weeks).

So, once you have received an Invitation back from me, you can go once ANYTIME during the ENTIRE EVENT.

How can you do so?

WHAT TO BRING TO ACCESS THE STORE:

  1. The Columbia Sportswear (Mountain Hardware) Employee Store "Invitation" SIGNED BY MICHELLE MOZELL (printed or shown on mobile phone): simply contact me with your contact info and I will send you the signed "Invitation" via email or text.
  2. Work/organization ID (business/membership card, badge, pay-stub, signature of work email, uniform, merged email from organization, etc.), i.e., open your phone to our BAVSGB webpage and show that you are a Member of BAVSGB.
  3. Personal photo ID.

Please remember:

  1. This invite is valid for YOU, plus FOUR guests (but you must be present).
  2. This invite grants store access only (the offer not valid online).

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND:

  1. PARTICIPATION IN THIS MEETUP AFFIRMS THAT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTOOD, AND AGREED TO THE FULL LEGAL DISCLAIMER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY on Meetup’s Bay Area Very Small Group Backpackers' website (see: https://www.meetup.com/Bay-Area-Very-Small-Group-Backpackers/pages/32495759/BAVSGB_Member_Rules_and_Regulations/
  2. You are responsible to get to the store and back on your own. NO transportation is provided.
  3. Michelle Mozell reserves the sole and unilateral right to modify or cancel the event at any time.
  4. PLEASE NOTE: I will be on a thirty-day backpacking trip starting June 20th, so there is no guarantee that I will be able to get you a personalized Invitation after that point. Nevertheless, I CAN send you your "Invitation," signed by me, once I have access to the internet. This Invitation is valid for any date from June 10th to July 4th.
  5. PLEASE KNOW: YOU MUST SEND ME YOUR EMAIL, PHONE NUMBER, AND NAME via email or text:[masked]/ [masked]. Simply RSVP'ing WILL NOT GET YOU AN INVITATION!
  6. Remember that BAVSGB is VACCINATED PARTICIPATION ONLY. This means to participate in an Event you will have to be BOTH FULLY VACCINATED WITH YOUR BOOSTER and FULLY PROTECTED by that vaccination, i.e., to participate you must be at least ten days past your full vaccination.

Please remember that here at BAVSGB we have always prided ourselves with the quality and safety of our Events, especially now in the present "Age of COVID."

After a call to the Richmond Columbia Sportswear on June 1st, I was informed that MASKS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED FOR FULLY VACCINATED CUSTOMERS; HOWEVER, THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Therefore, please check with the store before visiting to determine their current COVID guidelines and requirements.

Mineral King, Little Five Lakes, and Big Five Lakes Loop

Needs a location

$100.00

  1. This is a physically challenging trip. It is 4 days and 28 miles, 9,500 ft vertical with two passes over 11,500 ft. You must be an experienced backpacker to join. Anyone joining must be able to keep up an average pace of at least 2 miles/hour on a flat/low gradiant trail (very high altitude and steep climbs excluded).
  2. There are currently 3 available spots on the trip.
  3. EMAIL ME FIRST - [masked] to coordinate a call to discuss the trip in detail.
  4. COST: $100/person. $90 will be refunded if you complete the trip. A refund will be provided if the trip is cancelled due to smoke.
  5. Joining does not guarantee participation, payment does (after phone conversation).
  6. Participation in this trip affirms you have read, understood, and agreed to the Disclaimer and Release of Liability on Meetup’s California Backpacking Club's website at: https://www.meetup.com/CBC-California-Backpacking-Club/pages/12043742/CBC_Member_Rules_and_Regulations/
  7. NO food or supplies provided. Bring sufficient food, equipment & supplies.
  8. The trip starts at the Timber Gap trailhead in Mineral Kings at 10AM. Consider staying at a local campsite the night before.
  9. You are responsible for your own transportation. Carpooling may be an option but not guaranteed.
  10. I (Daniel Shefer) reserve the sole/unilateral right to modify the trip itinerary as I deem necessary at any time. Smoke may cancel.
  11. Remember that CBC is VACCINATED PARTICIPATION ONLY. This means to participate in an Event you will have to be BOTH FULLY VACCINATED WITH YOUR BOOSTER and FULLY PROTECTED by that vaccination, i.e., to participate you must be at least ten days past your full vaccination. THEREFORE, CBC REQUIRES EVERYONE (=YOU) ATTENDING A CBC EVENT (INCLUDING THIS EVENT) BE FULLY VACCINATED WITH BOOSTER(S) AND PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF THOSE VACCINATIONS BEFORE ATTENDING THE EVENT.
  12. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.

Past events (95)

Photos (685)