What we're about

*** Read our COVID-19 guidelines here: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/ . ***

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 (4+)

LM: Old Loggers Path (27 mi)

Needs a location

A three-day weekend provides a perfect opportunity to head to Pennsylvania and explore the lovely Old Loggers Path. This 27-mile loop winds through the northwestern corner of Loyalsock State Forest, delivering stream and valley views.

It's a long drive for a short (by DC UL standards) trail, but it is one that is well worth exploring.

The plan: Saturday a.m., we'll meet at Grosvenor and make our way north. The route looks a bit like this ( https://goo.gl/maps/d4oF2oKGuB3JrXKJ6). Anticipate splits of 7/15/5 (ish). We'll start at the beginning of the loop in Masten and then most likely camp along Rock Run. Sunday, we'll make our way along the trail and to the fabulous shelter at Sprout Point Vista as our destination for Sunday night (note this is a dry site).

Monday, we'll make our way back to the cars and start the drive south. Keep your fingers crossed that Bullfrog Brewery will be open for a celebratory post-hike meal--if not, we'll look for an option in the Selinsgrove area.

DCULers have maps! A good (and free) one can be found here: http://elibrary.dcnr.pa.gov/GetDocument?docId=3234925&DocName=OLP. You can also purchase the excellent Purple Lizard map here: https://www.purplelizard.com/collections/maps/products/loyalsock-worlds-end-pa

Applicants will need to send in a gear list by June 17 -- send me or Michael any questions about what you should include.

The Fine Print
- Total round trip distance is roughly 500 miles, so per DC UL recommended guidelines of about $0.10 per mile, expect to chip in about $50 to your driver if you're catching a ride.
- Dues: Members and above, don't forget to pay your annual dues. You can see if you need to pay dues by seeing if the current year is listed next to your name in your DC UL profile. Applicants do not need to pay dues for their first trip. To pay your dues via PayPal, use this link: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/DCULKaran/15 ($10 annual dues plus a $5 suggested donation to City Kids Wilderness Project.)
- By RSVPing for this trip, you acknowledge that you’ve read our COVID-19 guidelines (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/) and that you agree to DC UL's liability waiver terms. (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver)

VMO: Adirondacks week

Needs a location

Steve and I are planning on heading up to the ADK to finish up my list of 46er summits. This trip will be a mix of backpacking, day hiking, car and back-country camping.

The peaks I have left are:
* Tabletop / Phelps
* Street / Nye
* Rocky
* Seymour

Hopefully, we'll do a victory lap at the end assuming we knock all of those out.

The dates are tentative as we'll push it back by up to a week if the weather isn't cooperative. There's no sense in heading up there to just get rained on the entire week.

We'll carpool from DC. Most likely Steve will be driving. We can also meet other people up there if they want to just join for a segment.

I've set the group size on Meetup low so as to put people on the waitlist first. I think that this is clearer for people than marking it IO.

DCUL's COVID-19 policy: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/ Realistically, at this point you should be vaccinated for COVID.

By RSVPing, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).

MO: Intro to Packrafting (30 miles)

Needs a location

This is shamelessly copied from Savage and my previous trip with some updates. The most important fact is if you don't have a Kokopelli or Alpaca style raft (or a way to beg, borrow steal one), you cannot come on this trip. I will be attempting to borrow the rafts I know other DCULers have if they are not signed up for the trip, so feel free to RSVP while we source rafts.

Water levels dictate everything, so if levels are too low or suicidally high we will punt to a to another waterway. This has included driving as far as Pine Creek in PA.

The broad outline: Walk most of our miles on Sat, then camp out on a small site on the Habron Gap trail. Sun, we walk down to the Shenandoah, inflate our rafts, then hit the water. Sunscreen and full coverage clothing is your friend. Sunburns on the water are easy to come by.

Route Map: http://files.meetup.com/1502009/MT%20-%20Shenandoah%20Packraft%20Loop.pdf

The details:

We'll meet at the Bentonville boat ramp at 10am. You will lose cell phone service as you head south from Front Royal.

We'll park then head north along the blue blazed TT (starting with a bit of road walking), then hang a left on the oranged blazed Massanutten Trail. We'll walk the 11-ish miles to Habron Gap, hang another left, walk a quarter mile more then camp at an established site. This entire section is dry, dry, dry, including camp. There is water nearby, but plan on hiking further than you want downhill to access it (~.5mi).

Sunday morning, we'll make the easy downhill 2 mile cruise to Page Valley Road. Roughly a .25 mile or so from the road we'll cross our one and only water source. We'll fill up there (you don't want to drink the Shenandoah), then head to the boat ramp to deploy our inflatable flotilla.

It'll be a 17 mile float back to the 613 bridge, where I'll be standing American Gladiator style ready to knock over anyone who tries to paddle past the takeout.

What you'll need:

Packraft, Paddle, and PFD
Optional: Helmet, dry bags, dry jacket, paddling gloves.

The Klymit Flat Water Dingy is NOT acceptable for this trip; it is way too slow, even when powered by a strong paddler. Beg, borrow or steal for a real packraft.

The only real challenge should be Compton Rapids (Class II). This time of year the rest of the Shenandoah will be practically flat water. You will be scraping over rocks however. Likewise there is little need for a helmet, except possibly at Compton Rapids.

There is a possibility of renting packrafts--I will not be organizing it. You can get it done on your own, but forming a group to rent may produce cost savings. (https://www.packraftingadventures.com/rentals) rents packrafts and is semi local. Rentals can easily fall through or be expensive. I have two packrafts, Savage has several as well. He may be feeling generous or may be willing to rent them. Let me know if you don't have a packraft, and I'll try and find you one.

If you do wish to purchase, Alpacka is the gold standard. But there are other makers like Feathercraft and Kokopelli. Packrafting isn't a cheap investment.

Final notes: Expect roughly a 2.5-3 mph pace on the water. We won't see much (if any) white water as the goal is to keep this beginner friendly. We will be paddling all day, so you will need some upper body stamina. Of course you can also stop and rest and enjoy the float!

Video from a previous trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhugQ4o087w (Shoutout Luis!)

DC UL COVID-19 Guidelines:

· Stay home if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, if you have been in close contact with anyone who has displayed such symptoms, or otherwise believe that you might have been exposed.

· We will follow state and local rules/recommendations and check for updates continually.

More information on the club's COVID-19 policy: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/

*By Participating in this or any DCUL activity, you agree and abide by our Liability Waiver (https://dculbackpacking.wordpress.com/about/liability-waiver/)
and Terms of Use (https://dculbackpacking.wordpress.com/about/terms-of-use/).

LM: North Massanutten - 18 miles (Signal Knob, Meneka Peak, Mudhole Gap)

ROUTE: A classic DCUL low-mileage (LM) loop -- intended especially for Applicants -- in the northern part of the Massanutten Mountain area of the George Washington National Forest.

We will start at the Signal Knob parking lot (Signal Knob Trailhead, 11263-, 11621 Fort Valley Rd, Fort Valley, VA 2265 https://goo.gl/maps/cW4muNCNCduhHcVV6) and start hiking at 9:30 AM. Saturday will provide a tough climb to Meneka Peak and glorious views from Signal Knob, and will have us camping at Mudhole Gap - covering about 12 miles. On Sunday, we will have 6 miles back to the cars.

APPLICANTS: I will need a detailed gear list from Applicants by Tuesday July 5 at 5 PM. Ensure you have direct messages enabled on your MeetUp profile, in case we need to discuss gear, experience level, etc. Feel free to message me directly if you have any questions. If you need to borrow specific gear, feel free to post a comment on the message board.

MAPS: DCULers always have maps! Here are a few map resources:

Recommended Map: PATC Map G ( http://www.patc.net/ItemDetail?iProductCode=PA230&Category=AH )

"Live" GPX Route on CalTopo to download to a GPS-enabled app: https://caltopo.com/m/M9QG

Printable PDF version of Caltopo route: https://caltopo.com/p/4C4D

If you use a GPS-enabled mapping app like Gaia or AllTrails, I strongly encourage copying the CalTopo route.

Since this is an LM trip oriented for Applicants, we will regroup at each major trail intersection. All DCULers are expected, however, to be able to follow a route without help. If you are new to reading maps, please ask any DCUL member for help learning.

COVID-19 AND LIABILITY: All participants must be fully vaccinated. Bring a mask in case we cannot maintain distance from others (such as to render first aid) but masks are not required for hiking. More information on the club's COVID-19 policy: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/
By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).

DOGS: I plan to bring my dog, so all participants must be comfortable with dogs. Please message me if you have any concerns. If you would also like to bring a dog, please message me first.

CARPOOL: Meet at the Vienna Metro Station North side parking lot at 8:00. Please let me know if you plan to meet at the carpool location or at the trailhead. The suggested carpool reimbursement is $13/rider.

DUES: Members and above, don't forget to pay your annual dues if you haven't yet. You can check to see if you need to pay dues by seeing if the current year is listed next to your name in your DC UL profile. Applicants do not need to pay dues for their first trip with the group. To pay your dues via PayPal, use this link: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/DCULKaran/15 ($10 annual dues plus a $5 suggested donation to City Kids Wilderness Project.)


Past events (953)

Photos (36,419)