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: Seneca Creek (~23 miles) (Spruce Knob, Seneca Falls)

Needs a location

I love heading to WV in the summer in hopes of escaping from the DC heat. This trip will offer vistas, waterfalls, beautiful meadows and great campsites! Come, join me! If you are a new member of the group, this could be a great trip to get to know us better! Note - I will be setting aside a few spots for applicants.

We will gather at the Vienna parking lot at 5 pm and drive to the Spruce Knob parking lot (https://bit.ly/39ypVrS). We will hike in ~0.5 miles using our headlamps and setup camp. On Saturday and Sunday, we will cover ~14 miles and ~9 miles respectively. Here is our itinerary on Caltopo: https://caltopo.com/m/CBN9 . After finishing on Sunday - we can make a quick trip to Spruce Knob - the highest point in WV!!

I can take 10 people on this trip.

DC ULers always bring maps. Below are some resources you can use:

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

By RSVPing for this trip, you acknowledge that you’ve read our COVID-19 guidelines and that you agree to DC UL's liability waiver terms. (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver)

VMO: I WANNA ROCK! ROCK! (Devil’s Path—Catskills, NY) (~22 miles)

Needs a location

As I hiked the “Death March” a couple weeks ago I had a lot of time to think—what do I want to do with my hike? The combination of Massanutten’s never ending rocks, and Twisted Sister’s rock anthem playing in my earbuds, inspired a response—I wanna rock! I’m not talking about the annoying little rocks on Massanutten; I’m seeking an Old Rag-style rock scramble—but one that goes on and on.

It is time to hike Devil’s Path! Michael Martin (Uturn) writes in his book: “If you are looking for bragging rights . . . the Devil’s Path will not disappoint. [It is] often cited as one of the toughest trails in the east, or even the lower 48 . . .” https://www.amazon.com/AMCs-Best-Backpacking-Mid-Atlantic-Multiday/dp/193402886X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3SBH8II2GUU14&keywords=Michael+Martin+backpacking&qid=1651353726&sprefix=michael+martin+backpacking+%2Caps%2C121&sr=8-1

Who wants to rock with me? (I’ll limit the group to 10 and will cancel the trip if there are insufficient drivers).

If you pick this trip be confident in your fitness level. The splits are 2 miles / 12 miles / 8.5 miles—but with 9,000 ft in elevation gain in the form of frequent rock scrambles. Think of this as a never ending Stair Master.

We will meet Friday night at 6 PM at the Grosvenor Metro and carpool to the West trailhead: Spruceton Road Trailhead
https://goo.gl/maps/s7L2FHWYLvwC92JU7, leave a couple cars, then drive to the East trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/cBJTHD9YfijCau5b9. Once at the trailhead, we will hike (in the dark, of course) up to Devil’s Kitchen Lean-to/Overlook Shelter for an after midnight nap. (If enough of us can leave DC early, we may adjust the start time).

Saturday, we will hike/climb a never ending ladder to Devil’s Acre Lean-to. (Note: This is past Devil’s Tombstone Campground—don’t stop there!) This will be a challenging day, but if I’m feeling it I may bag the peak of nearby Hunter Mountain after setting up camp. Sunday, we will finish the hike, reverse the shuttle, grab a late lunch, and drive home.

DCULers have maps!

  • GPX: https://caltopo.com/m/6PE1 (I didn’t draft this; I found it on CalTopo)
  • Paper: https://www.amazon.com/Catskill-Trails-Map-Forest-Preserve/dp/1944450084/ref=asc_df_1944450084/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=316966985685&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1213286129088869644&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008128&hvtargid=pla-612938205528&psc=1
  • Paper: https://www.amazon.com/Catskill-National-Geographic-Trails-Illustrated/dp/1566955882/ref=pd_lpo_1?pd_rd_i=1566955882&psc=1
  • More info on the Devil’s Path Trail: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Path_(hiking_trail)

-----------------THE IMPORTANT WARNINGS-------------------
This is a super strenuous hike. It is also very dangerous—extremely steep ascents and descents. Pass on this one if you are not in shape or risk averse.

This trip is VMO (Veteran Members Only). For more details on trip rankings, please refer to this:


As per our carpool policy, riders should plan to pay drivers $0.10/mile. This is a long, long drive—over 6 hours each way. If you catch a carpool expect to pay the driver $75 for the roundtrip.

Oh, and I’m just a co-participant on this trip, not a guide or an expert. I’ve been hiking with DCUL since 2017 but have no special training, such as organizational, medical, or navigational. I’ve never hiked this trail, so we are learning this together. If you sign up and can’t come, please let me know—don’t ghost. You are officially on the trip if you both RSVP on Meetup and meet me at the Metro. Otherwise, you are doing your own trip until you make physical contact with me and I recognize you as a participant. I’m open to questions.

By RSVPing for this trip, you acknowledge that you’ve read our COVID-19 guidelines and that you agree to DC UL's liability waiver terms. (https://dculbackpacking.com/about/liability-waiver)

Please note the COVID-19 club policies:

  • All participants should clearly and honestly communicate any concerns they have regarding their potential exposure. 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.

For more on DC UL’s COVID-19 policy, click this link: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/

ONLINE (self-paced) Wilderness First Aid available ALL DAYS NOW until June 30th

Link visible for attendees

In your own home, at your own leisure (anytime -- not just the date of this event): now you can learn a ton in the online portion of Disaster + Travel + Wilderness First Aid! COURSE TOPICS VIDEOS are almost exactly as MEDIC SOLO always presents them with the latest on disaster and wilderness medical science. Intermixed at several points we guide you to practice various skills.

Choose one of two ways to learn:
A) On-line only- view our 7-hour course at home, do the self-guided practice and receive a certificate of completion. Fee: $105.
This option, more INFO and REGISTRATION / TO GET STARTED: www.solowfa.com/online-course.htm
B) Blended learning-view our 7-hour course at home NOW, and receive a 3-year credit to attend one of our in-person dtWFA classes in order to practice skills learned with one of our seasoned instructors. Upon the successful completion of the in-person class, you will receive a 2-year SOLO WFA certification. Fee: $230.
This option, more INFO and REGISTRATION / TO GET STARTED: www.solowfa.com/blended-learning.htm

Sneak peek at the course:

• "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.
• Full transparency, all feedback surveys, unfiltered: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18qcXYJt-CUoLW0hqLtFRmGv7H858iflrq7fguSk6zfM/edit?usp=sharing

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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.
• Some parks are seeing their highest-ever mid-week daytime visits. More people are outdoor adventuring and most don't have the skills you're considering learning, 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.

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)


Past events (951)

LM: Southern SNP AT-Moormans River Loop

Needs a location

Photos (36,402)