What we're about

*** Given COVID-19, DC UL Backpacking will be suspending trips through the end of March and then making bi-weekly decisions about trips in April and May. ***

DC UL Backpacking hosts an average of 80 backpacking events each year, specializing in high-mileage, lightweight backpacking trips throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Our membership structure helps backpackers gain or enhance their outdoor skills. In general, our trips are quite challenging but you’ll find a wealth of experienced backpackers who are eager to share advice. Visit our website (www.dculbackpacking.com) to learn more about our group and our membership and trip ranks, and to read our FAQs.

Our goal: To cultivate a community of independent outdoors men and women who want nothing more than to have a fulfilling backcountry experience–to wake early, to walk far, and to travel light.

Join us. We look forward to meeting you!

When applying to join our group, make sure to fill out our questionnaire fully. We also require that your profile photo is of yourself. If you have any questions prior to joining, please email organizer[at]dculbackpacking.com

Upcoming events (5)

VMO: Memorial Day: STS (84 miles): CCW: Social Distancing Version


So, this is the ninth iteration of my Pennsylvania Memorial leg stretcher. With the pandemic on, we're going to be taking some steps to ensure that we do it responsibly. For those who are interested here is the list of the trails we've done: 2012 STS; 2013 STS; 2014 Loyalsock; 2015 Donut Hole; 2016 MST Final Section; 2017 STS (I only did half that year); 2018 North Country Trail; 2019 Bakers Trail; and 2020 STS. Obviously, the STS figures in a little too frequently, but it's a good trail and it's a loop, which is what we need this year. We're going to change things up some from the splits and the campsites I've used before. So, Thursday, 5/21, we'll drive up to the Cherry Springs Fire Tower (https://goo.gl/maps/UDxXh7raSaqZfqjp7) along PA 44. This is essentially Mile 14 on the trail. Ample parking. From there we'll hike north (or CCW) on the STS 7 miles for Thursday. That takes us into Lymans Run (Mile 7). This is a big campsite we've used before, but we'll be approaching from the other side--plenty of room for social distancing. Friday, we hike around the northern side of the STS to either Wild Boy Ford (Mile 69) or Stoney Run (mile 67), so 21 or 23 miles. Saturday, we continue south through the Hammersley to reach Cross Fork and Deb's in the afternoon (Mile 50). After gorging ourselves on unhealthy food and Yuengling, if Deb's is open, we'll hike on to the campsites around Miles 45 to 43--we may have to spread out some. These are the campsite the DNT trail crew used in 2015, where we hatched the (unnecessary) plan to locate Blue Blazes (roughly 22 miles). Sunday, we round the SE side of the trail and march north, past Ole Bull to camp at the big, beautiful sites at Short Run, Mile 20 (roughly 24 miles). That leaves us an easy morning to reach the cars, just 6 miles. So, that nets us splits a bit like[masked], or thereabouts. We can fudge some, perhaps. I know I recommended the Cramer book, but I find I greatly prefer the maps in the Chuck Dillon book. I have the 2013 version, but Jen ordered a more recent edition. My short write up in my backpacking book was pretty helpful, too. I will get GPS coordinates for all the sites I mention. Thursday, we'll just plan to meet at Lymans Run at dusk. No need to meet anywhere else. We take our social responsibilities seriously. Governor Wolf has put Potter County in the category of counties where gatherings of up to 25 are permissible. Trails are open and dispersed camping is fine, though established campsites are closed. To date, it doesn't look like Deb's can re-open. (1) Minimize car pooling. Ride with your quarantine unit or alone. No Metro meet ups for this trip. Minimize contact with others on the drive, at gas stations or what-have-you. (2) Once we reach the TH, well, DC UL's style fits well with social distancing. 6' or more apart. No sharing of food or whisky. Dispersed camping. I've planned either for large sites or areas where there are a few small sites. We have a few hammockers. (3) Bring some sanitation items with you. More hand sanitizer, masks, etc. (4) Do be ready for ticks. A separate issue. (5) If we do any restaurant meals on the trip or on the way home, we'll follow the current best advice of the Governor of Pennsylvania. Your VMO credentials should be in good order for this one. I can take 10. There is no DC UL-organized carpooling. That's the gist. I hope this cool weather means we'll have a cool Memorial Day weekend. MM / U-Turn /[masked]

Virtual Happy Hour

Needs a location

We had a good turn out and fun time last week, so let's keep this going! If all this 'social distancing' and stay-at-home orders has you missing your favorite people in the world, AKA your fellow DC UL'ers, fix that by joining in for a virtual club happy hour! Set yourself up on Discord (https://discordapp.com) and join us on the DC UL server (https://discord.gg/GPrRTy6) in #general (text channel) or Bonfire (voice channel). If there's too much conversation going on in General, feel free to head over to one of the smaller side voice channels (Campfire / Vista / Shelter) to have a less busy side conversation. Discord has a browser interface and apps for desktop and mobile, so there's plenty of ways to connect.

ONLINE (self-paced) Wilderness First Aid course available NOW through MAY 31st!

In your own home, at your own leisure: now you can learn a ton in the online portion of Disaster + Travel + Wilderness First Aid! Here is a sneak peek of the course: https://www.solowfa.com/online-sample.htm This "Blended Learning" format has two parts: Part 1) COURSE TOPICS VIDEOS & SELF-GUIDED PRACTICE portion almost exactly as MEDIC SOLO always presents it. Our instructors just finished recording topic presentations in the latest of disaster and wilderness medical science. Intermixed at several points we guide you to practice various skills. >>> Testimonials: • "Fantastic online program." • "The quality of teaching and the personality of each instructor was ABSOLUTELY STELLAR. There is a lot more to learning than just the textbook curriculum, especially with medical situations." • "It was much less stressful having the opportunity to be taught on my own schedule rather than having two intensive days." • Much appreciation for the ability to click "pause" to take notes and write down questions (which MEDIC will answer), and ability to rewind and replay demonstrations, explanations, etc. -- can't do that in a live class. Part 2) A 3-year credit to attend any in-person open-enrollment MEDIC SOLO dtWFA course, to solidify your skills and graduate with SOLO WFA certification. INFO and REGISTRATION / TO GET STARTED: www.solowfa.com/register-SOLO-disaster-wilderness-first-aid-course.htm Fee: Our usual in-person course is $220, which is $55 per person less than what another national school charges for their shorter less-in-depth course. You get a 3-year credit for our usual rate, plus the online learn-now bonus for FREE. ~ ~ ~ Let's all please do our part to maintain social distancing, and do what we can to prevent problems and treat injured people, so as to reduce demands on hospitals. Exercise outdoors, where allowed, is great to boost your immune system; however we've found many people on trails are not respecting social distancing when passing by. If you decide to go out, when you see someone you'll pass by, please proactively step off trail at least 6 feet. Try to leave no trace as best you can, stepping only on durable surfaces like bare rock when possible. Thanks! Now is a time when your dtWFA skills may be needed most. • Hospital beds are filling up and we need to reduce their demand. If with dtWFA skills you treat someone and they no longer need to go to the hospital, fantastic and so helpful in many ways. • Our federal government is supporting outdoor exercise by waiving entrance fees to the National Parks that are open. Some parks are seeing their highest-ever mid-week daytime visits. More people are outdoor adventuring and most don't have the skills you signed up to learn, and may be in need especially as more first-timers go explore the outdoors. • Hopefully the following will never happen: fewer EMTs staffing ambulances and thus a call to 911 for medical assistance is less responsive, or outbreaks occur within hospitals and those entire facilities end up being quarantined and unavailable ... leaving it up to dtWFA-trained folks to provide care. Thank you everyone, for all that you do to strengthen our communities, making disaster and wilderness areas safer for all.

DC UL Basics: Ask Us Anything

Online event

We explored the origins and tales of DC UL in our last DC UL Basics session. Now it's time for you to ask us anything! - What's with the trip ranks? - How do I "go" in the woods? - What's your favorite piece of gear? - How do you deal with, well, chafing? Post your questions below or on social media. We'll do our best to answer them all -- and we may even pull in some audience members to help us out! So join us for another DC UL Basics chat.

Past events (794)

Virtual Happy Hour

Needs a location

Photos (34,869)