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: White Rock Cliffs (~19 miles)

Vienna Metro (North Parking Lot)

Join us on this two-night trip to White Rock Cliffs! I ran this trip clockwise last year, so I figured it was time to try the reverse!

We will drive over and park our cars on Waites Run Road: https://goo.gl/maps/pxHoTF8aNXnWsdQA7

splits are 2.5/10/4

On Friday night, anyone who wants to carpool can meet at Vienna/Fairfax North parking lot. We will hope to start hiking at 6:30pm, so everyone should be at the trailhead by then. We will head south on the Tuscarora Trail, following the creek uphill to our campsite at the foot of Halfmoon mountian. From camp, there is a 1.3 mile side trail that leads to the top of the mountian. This could be a great place to watch the sunset if we have time and energy left for the climb. The next morning, we will climb towards white rock cliffs, where we can eat lunch. Then, we will get water in the next valley before climbing up the opposite ridge to our campsite shelter. The shelter is a dry camp. The next day we will do the 4 miles all the way back to the cars. On our way out we may satisfy that hiker hunger by stopping for breakfast/lunch at a resturaunt!

I will give preference to having at least 4 applicants on this trip. Sign up for the waitlist and I'll move you in. Applicants, you must send me a gear list.

We will monitor the weather, but expect 50s at night and high 70s during the day!
DCULers have maps! The map for this route is PATC Tuscarora Trail Map F: https://www.patc.net/PATC/Our_Store/Tuscarora_Trail.aspx
Here's a plot of the route on Caltopo: https://caltopo.com/m/VD5R6 Questions? Let me know!

DCUL's COVID-19 policy: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/
By RSVPing, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).
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.)

Disaster+Travel+Wilderness First Aid (In-Person) Certification Class

Hands-on learn how to save life & limb, when mired in the wilderness of an urban disaster zone, travel or rural area far from hospital, or natural area miles from an access point, during the critical minutes or hours before ambulance arrival. Blend of classroom instruction and hands-on problem-solving rescue scenario practice. Come away with actual do-it-yourself care-giving skill and confidence, and 2-year SOLO certification. Counts as WFR Recertification, too. No prerequisites.


WHO: Open to the general public, adults & teens with solid attention spans. Know your loved ones are safe wherever they are.

WHY: Mired in a disaster zone, travel or rural area far from a hospital, or natural area miles from an access point ... accidents, destructive weather, and terrorism happen, and all-too-often members of a group are not capable of dealing with the emergency. This leads to improper care of the patient, and endangers the entire group. Many recreational accidents are preventable, and improper care of trauma can compound even simple injuries. Very few first aid programs actually address the issues of providing emergency care in a setting where 911 is overwhelmed or not immediately reachable. In this course, classroom instruction and Q&A are interwoven with practical work and problem-solving exercises. Hands-on experience - a most powerful learning tool - during scenarios comprise ~50% of class.

TIMING: This is a 2-day class, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am -7pm each day.

Fee: $245 (note: another organization in the region charges $350! You save $105)

LM: Trout Run Valley (27 miles)

Vienna Metro North Bay, Park & Ride

## Details

June is new member month! Look forward to seeing LM trips to get assimilated into the club.

This is a classic DCUL trip with some great views and moderate elevation gain over 27 miles.
Meet Saturday, 1/7, at Vienna, rationalize cars, drive out to Wolf Gap, then start the loop south bound, over Tibbett Knob. We'll aim to camp at Halfmoon Run, where we'll have a merry campground and likely chocolate, etc. Sunday, we'll wake early, complete the loop with Big Schloss, return to the cars and the warmth, visit a pub, and head home.
Splits like 15/12.
I'll want to see gear lists from people doing this, unless I know you and have done trips with DCUL before. I'll prioritize new members for this trip.
The Fine Print:
You are required to bring maps on DC UL trips: PATC Map F. I'll provide a CalTopo line, too.
By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to these guidelines and to DC UL's waiver liability terms (https://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/)
COVID-19 policy: https://dculbackpacking.com/about/covid-19-guidelines/
Dues: Members and above, don't forget to pay your annual dues. You can check 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.)

Carpool: As per our carpool policy, riders should pay drivers $0.10/mile.

VMO: Damnation Time! Rockytop Rerun w/Milkshakes!

Vienna Metro North Bay, Park & Ride

Ok, here me out. I love this loop in Shenandoah, and I have the urge to do it again. It has a lot of elevation gain (Almost 11,000 ft!), exposed ridge walks, a campsite near a lovely stream, and of course, blackberry milkshakes (Last time the wayside store was closed :/)!

What's the kicker on this loop? Oh yeah, it gets pretty hot in Shenandoah around this time. Now, we aren't in July or August (the hottest months for the park), but it will still get relatively warm. Additionally the splits are roughly 1/18/19 over three days. In reality this trip will be more of a two day trip with 20/20mile splits. So yeah... there's that.

Here are the details:
We will meet at the Vienna Metro (north side) at 7:00 p.m. to carpool and caravan to the trailhead. It will be a late night. Keep your headlamps charged. The trailhead is located near: https://goo.gl/maps/mtMt5xHFjHekwBTt8
We'll park in the lot south of Blackrock Gap and hike north on the Appalachian Trial a little less than a mile to Blackrock Hut to quietly set up for the night. It will be a bit less than 1 mile for the night.

Saturday morning, we’ll wake at 5:30 to begin hiking at 6:30 north on the AT to Jones Run Trail. We will reconnect to the AT, taking a detour loop down to the Loft Mountain Wayside for milkshakes. We’ll take the opposite detour trail back to the AT and continue north to Ivy Creek Overlook. We’ll walk north on Skyline Drive for a short distance to Brown Mountain Trail. We’ll turn left onto the Big Run Portal Trail and camp near the junction along the bank of Big Run. It should be ~18 miles for the day.

Sunday morning we’ll wake again at 5:30 to begin hiking at 6:30 north on the Big Run Portal Trail to Rockytop Trail (we will clog on Rockytop to the song Rockytop) to the Austin Mountain Trail down to Madison Run. We’ll then head back up on the Furnace Mountain Trail to Trayfoot Mountain Trail to Paine Run Trail. This will lead us back to the cars at Blackrock Gap. It should be ~19 miles for the day.

We will have a nice meal somewhere and ice cream will be involved. This is one of my favorite loops as it provides a lot of great things that make a good trail while also being relatively close to DC.

DCULers have maps!
The National Geo SNP or PATC Map #11 are for sale at: https://snpbooks.org/shop/maps/patc-11-south-district-map/ or rei.com

Gaia route: https://www.gaiagps.com/map/?loc=11.2/-78.7834/38.2522&pubLink=oklsh9vWEpjexyr01Bofi1cg&folderId=8342c9ad-7cfb-4806-b678-5704e7c3fdf8

Be confident in your fitness level if you choose to come on this trip. Back-to-back 20 milers is tough. 11,000 feet of elevation gain is tough. In mid-June it could be hot or cold; wet or dry. It is umbrella season! I've ranked this trip at VMO due to the splits and potential high temps. There are bailout points on this loop fortunately. Please reach out to me if you're a member and are up for the challenge of this trip. We can talk about it!

Carpools! We need them. Expect to pay your driver $0.10 per mile!

Oh, and I’m just a co-participant on this trip, not a guide or an expert. I’ve been hiking with DCUL since 2021 but have no special training, such as organizational, medical, or navigational.

David O gets credit for the title of this trip! Here is the trip report from two years ago:

Past events (1,009)

VMO: Memorial Day: MST, Section 7 (120 KM or 75 Miles)

Needs a location