What we're about

People ask me all the time, "Chris, how can I be more like you? You are so grounded and confident, and never seem to care when we get lost or stuck in a hailstorm."

The outdoors are a religion, and attending church regularly means sleeping in the woods under the 100 billion stars in the upper half of the Milky Way; it means taking a life-changing trip down a river over multiple days, and joining a formal, white table-clothed dinner in the woods with the people you now know better than your own family.

Spring smell-memories, summer swimming hole swimming, and mid-Autumn leaves yellowing and oranging--make me how I am. Winter is the time to hibernate.

Camping, specifically, is the focus of the group. We do the traditional hiking backpacking, car camping where you don't have to exert your "bad back", paddle camping where we pack our tents in kayaks and canoes and travel down calm and whitewater rivers, and hit happy hours hard. We've done everything from 21-mile hikes through muskegs, to single-digit temperature car camping to watch the lunar eclipse.

The capstone trip each year is a 45-mile paddle camping excursion down the scenic Upper James River, over four days in early August.

2020 is year four of the group, and now that I'm finally free, it will be the best and most hijinks-filled.

...Oh yeah, this isn't a super wholesome group at all, and you'll never feel like you're on a cub scouts trip.

About half of the members have never actually camped in the backwoods, yet I have gear and guidance to lend. The age range is about 70% 20's and 30's, and the rest all the way up to their 70's. The key is to not be a dolt or stuffy.

Although we practice strict leave no trace, respect wildlife, etc., during our trips into the woods--we are specifically NOT the type who bring it way too far and do things like put their camp poos in Ziploc freezer bags to hike out, or who get pissy when somebody steps in a stream "because of the water bugs!" We all need to resist the trend wherein experienced backpackers try to project hyper-picky and overboard rulesets on how to act outdoors. Backpacking needs to remain a welcoming activity.

Send me your questions! We want new people!!!

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