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Gear Swap 2014

Empty your gear closet -- or fill it up. It’s time for the Annual Gear Swap and Showcase! We're happy to be co-hosting this event with the Mid-Atlantic Backpackers.

We've reserved a group campsite at Elizabeth Furnace for the weekend. Located a short distance from Front Royal, the campsite sits near the start of the Signal Knob trail. If you are joining us to camp, please pay $10 at the event towards the site. 

Start perfecting your chili recipes. Saturday night will feature a chili cook-off. The winner will get bragging rights and eternal fame.

This year, we’re adding a showcase where members will display some of their gear so you can see them (somewhat) in action. DC UL members also will be available to review your pack and suggest simple tweaks to help you lighten your load.

And we’re asking you to give a little this year. We’re pleased to be working with the City Kids Wilderness Project, a group that offers kids the opportunity to explore the outdoors. To support their work, consider donating an older tent or sleeping bag. If not gear, then DC UL is collecting donations toward an REI gift card so they can purchase the gear they need.

We’re accepting donations from now until the gear swap. You can contribute via this page or by giving cash or a check to any organizer throughout Feburary and March. We appreciate your support of this wonderful group.


*** AGENDA FOR THE WEEKEND***

FRIDAY NIGHT

• Show up, set up your tent, and relax.

SATURDAY

•  Morning Hike to Buzzard Rock. Leave at 9 a.m.

• Morning Footwork Skill Session

• Gear Swap and Showcase from 2 - 5 p.m.

• Pre-dinner Skill Sessions - Event ideas and how to lead a trip

• Chili cook-off starting at 6 p.m.

SUNDAY

• Enjoy your new gear!

One last note about the campsite -- there is no running water so plan to bring water with you or to bring a way to treat the water from Passage Creek.

Directions from 66: Take Exit 6 (Front Royal) off I-66. Take SR 340/522 South for 1.3 miles until you come to a stoplight. Turn right onto VA 55 west and continue for 5 miles to the small community of Waterlick. Turn left onto SR 678 and the entrance to the Elizabeth Furnace Group Campground will be on your left in about 3.5 miles.



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  • A former member
    A former member

    It was nice meeting so many great people! Sorry I could have stayed longer but this was my first chance to get out and do some hiking with school and everything. Hope to see everyone on the trail!

    Wolf

    1 · April 7, 2014

  • Darwin

    We were thinking to meet you guys after the day hike but sincerely...the bed win the call.

    2 · April 7, 2014

    • Mignote

      Hey Darwin I think I have your shirt from the MT. I will bring I to the Tuscarora section 5 if I don't see you before then

      April 7, 2014

  • Hollis

    @Michael (and anyone else interested)... The camera clip I had (along with Will and Miles) is from Peak Design: https://peakdesignltd.com/

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • JDH

    The greatest 'Gear Swap Trade Show' for hikers seeking the ultra-light lifestyle with a chili contest and bonfire as the grand finale! It was a pleasure meeting everyone from the DC area.

    2 · April 7, 2014

  • Jen

    Thanks to everyone for contributing to a great weekend. I'm still full from all the chili and hush puppies! But in all seriousness, it was wonderful to see all the assembled gear and people investigating various options. Here's to future adventures!

    5 · April 7, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Thanks, everyone for the great weekend. With the gear swap and the death march done, I feel that spring has really, finally started.

    Last year, we had the idea that the gear swap was a thing we wanted to do. This year, we really figured out what it was all about. It was so cool to see all of the different shelters and packs laid out--almost none of them available retail. And it was so much fun to see everyone picking through them.

    A great weekend, and fantastic company!

    6 · April 7, 2014

  • Steve M.

    A little too much good food, plenty of good company, and lots of good gear. Had a great time and especially loved the learning and sharing aspects of the event. Thanks!

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • patricia z.

    a great time with friends from prior meet-ups and some great new friends. The bonfires and the chili and the brownies and the hush puppies and the gin n tonics AND the pancakes this AM were all incredible. And I almost forgot to mention the hike; it was gorgeous! Thanks to Michael and Jen for really going way way "beyond the call" to make this so wonderful.

    3 · April 6, 2014

  • Mignote

    This was such an awesome event. I had a great time. I Learned a lot. Thank you so much for the gear display and explanation. I know you guys put a lot of effort into it. Thank you all for the great company, great food and good times.

    5 · April 6, 2014

  • stephanie

    I absolutely loved this event, so good to be able to spend time with folks and taste all those amazing chilis, cornbread and hush puppies!

    5 · April 6, 2014

  • Joffrey P.

    A good time, and we even had lovely weather this year!

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Brian

    Good times with a lot of wonderful folks. There were so many people there I didn't even get to meet everyone, which is rare for a DC UL event! Hope to catch those I missed sometime in the future.

    It was awesome to have so much gear on display. Thanks everyone for making the event a success and to contributing to such a great time!

    7 · April 6, 2014

  • Neal

    Enjoyed meeting all of you and hope to see you on the trails in the near future. Thank you very much for inviting me to this excellent event.

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Dan

    Had a great time!

    April 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a wonderful time guys, and gals! Sorry, I couldn't say goodbye to everyone this AM. Safe travels, and look forward to seeing everyone on the trail again!
    PS, the casting of the chili vote was tuff! Thats a testament to the wonderful chili's offered, thank-you!!

    1 · April 6, 2014

    • Will

      It was a tough decision to be sure. I ate way to much trying to decide.

      4 · April 6, 2014

  • Will

    Great times with old faces and new! - I enjoyed checking out so many different shelters. Picked up some new ideas. My face is a bit burned from the raging inferno. But that's just the price you gotta pay to make smores sometimes.

    3 · April 6, 2014

  • Dan

    Had a great time meeting everyone! Hope I can join you for something soon.

    2 · April 6, 2014

  • Hollis

    Fabulous Saturday. Thanks for the hike, the gear demos, and the chili!

    3 · April 6, 2014

  • Gary S

    Great time on Saturday. Lots of excellent shelters, good company, stories, and food. The City Kids are getting a great start this season...

    3 · April 6, 2014

  • Michael M.

    OK, who here is bringing chili for the contest? My Texas-style chili is definitely in.

    1 · April 1, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      My 'chili' is really more of a spicy stew. Tasty, though, and vegan!

      April 4, 2014

    • KingsleyC

      working on my turkey chili...will see!

      April 4, 2014

  • Joffrey P.

    Steve! I owe you beer! Going to pick some up on my way out, methinks... I'll see if they have anything particularly potent for you.

    1 · April 4, 2014

  • Dan

    Who wants to laugh at me while I try to hang my new hammock and tarp for the first time? Free admission!

    3 · April 4, 2014

    • Will

      Not gonna lie, it takes a while to dial in your 'hang'! Happy to help out with tips!

      April 4, 2014

    • Dan

      I figured as much! Thanks in advance!

      April 4, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Headed out! See you guys over the weekend.

    April 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, need to work Saturday

    April 4, 2014

  • JDH

    Are DC UL Backpacking t-shirts going to be available for purchase at Gear Swap 2014? Also, I would like to crawl into a bivy for the first time ever. REI never sets them up for display; guess they prefer to sell tents.

    April 2, 2014

    • Dan

      You're efficient! Now I just have to remember to pack it!

      April 3, 2014

    • Dan

      I packed it. It's actually a "Regular/Wide"­, not "Long/Wide". Added the Specs to my spreadsheet. It's very roomy inside. I'm a big guy and I have lots of room.

      1 · April 4, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Chili is a-simmerin'

    1 · April 4, 2014

  • KingsleyC

    I am likely to be coming in Sat. My daughter is likely to join, but not sure if she wants to hike yet. either way, i will be at the gear swap.

    April 3, 2014

    • JDH

      Cristina and I will be arriving Saturday afternoon before 2:00pm.

      1 · April 4, 2014

  • Reid

    Sorry to back out at the last minute. I have been under the weather the last 2 days and look doubtful. Enjoy the great weather.

    April 4, 2014

  • upasana

    I need to work on Saturday:-( So........not coming. I will return Doug's Map G next time or can plan something out.

    April 3, 2014

  • Michael M.

    http://www.weather.com/weather/5-day/USVA0298

    Weather is looking pretty good.

    1 · April 2, 2014

    • Mignote

      Hmmm the last time I remember sunny day forecast turned into sleet and rain. I'd say be prepared for the worst.

      April 3, 2014

    • MikeVW

      Uh-oh, sounds like there might be a new Eeyore in the crowd :).

      2 · April 3, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Does anybody need a ride?

    April 3, 2014

    • Joffrey P.

      I'll be at Vienna North at 7:30pm tomorrow, and have space for two more.

      April 3, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Just a quick, friendly reminder that if you hold the rank of member or higher, and you've not yet paid your dues for 2014, you should do so before this event. Soon, Covergirl will be Treasurer, and you don't want her coming after you.

    April 3, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Everyone ... Unlike last year, I'm having a tough time finding someone to deliver a half cord of wood. The Front Royal folks are saying that everyone is out of wood after the long winter.

    There should be plenty of wood on the ground. However, if you would, you might pull into Front Royal on the way out and try to buy a small bundle. If everyone did that, we should have plenty.

    Do try to buy the wood locally, however. One is not supposed to transport wood within Virginia.

    Where is our "expert on getting wood quickly" when we need him? ;)

    April 2, 2014

    • Neal

      There should be plenty lying around, I'll bring a saw

      April 2, 2014

  • Dan

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqgiwgCaHyshdEw3cTIyV2JNR3FmcHFHX0FzZEJ6V1E&usp=sharing

    Here's a link to the list of gear I'm bringing to sell/swap/trade. Most prices are negotiable. Also willing to consider some trades.

    2 · April 2, 2014

    • Dan

      No, it doesn't. Just the Plain Jane tarp. No beak, no screen.

      April 2, 2014

    • Jeremy L.

      No worries on the beak. I think it will work fine with out it. I will see you Saturday.

      1 · April 2, 2014

  • KingsleyC

    looking forward to check out some light gear.

    March 31, 2014

    • MikeVW

      I'll likely be coming in for the afternoon; happy to bring the tent along to demo

      April 2, 2014

    • KingsleyC

      Wild Oasis is on my list!

      April 2, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Check that. I do have a 1/2 cord of wood for us, being delivered. I will be at the site at 5pm Friday.

    2 · April 2, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Smells like a conflagaration.

      1 · April 2, 2014

    • Will

      Challenge accepted!

      1 · April 2, 2014

  • upasana

    I need a ride

    April 2, 2014

  • Hollis

    If anyone wants to set up a quilt and sleeping pad system for me to try out, I would appreciate it. I've tried to pretend with my sleeping bag, but just don't think I'm getting the real feel.

    April 1, 2014

    • Hollis

      I can bring my pad with me to see how it works. Thanks!

      April 2, 2014

    • Dan

      No problemo!

      April 2, 2014

  • Brian

    The Gossamer Gear Demo Duffel will be on hand for the weekend, so if you've been eyeing up a lighter pack but waiting until you've seen one in person, there will be multiple sizes of the different models on hand. If you decide to buy one based on what you try on, there will be a discount (one that's even a bit better than our standard meetup discount!) available.

    1 · March 25, 2014

    • Michael M.

      I have a GG Murmur and a MLD Exodus. Both are great in their way, and great for weekend trips, or longer trips with frequent re-supplies. I've used the Exodus up to 84 miles without re-supply. But I have issues if I fill it up entirely (it feels like a shapeless sock on my back), or if I have to carry a lot of consumables (the 14 day re-supply in Iceland comes to mind). So I have that ULA Epic. It's heavy by UL standards, but the weather proofing on it is bullet-proof and I've carried loads up to the mid-50s in it (again, 14 days of food, 6L of water). That said, I really like carrying the lighter packs. ;) The Exodus has been my standard pack for several years now.

      April 1, 2014

    • Will

      I have definitely love my Burn! It's gotten plenty of use in the year I've had it. The Sufferfest just really highlighted that it's a bit to small for my frame, at least when loaded to the gills. I'm sure it will continue to get action. But you know, I'm a hopeless gear tinkerer and never satisfied :)

      April 1, 2014

  • Matt S.

    I will have a variety of gear available for swap/sale including an REI Quarter Dome tent with footprint (1 person, can be pitched pretty light w/ just the poles, fly, and footprint) and a Marmot Alpinist bivy. Most of it is not particularly UL but solid gear nevertheless. I will be donating a portion of any sales to DC UL and City Kids Wilderness Project.

    April 1, 2014

    • Michael M.

      The donation can go to City Kids. That would be very generous.

      April 1, 2014

  • patricia z.

    I'm starting from scratch with my interest in UL. Want to gear up for 2 weeks hiking the rocky spine of Corsica. So coming to this event to learn from you all and actually see and try some stuff. Getting ready!

    March 31, 2014

  • Michael M.

    Yay, Unicorn Dust!

    1 · March 31, 2014

  • Dan

    Bringing a MH Lightpath 2 to donate. Looking forward to meeting the DC ULers and my fellow GGTAs!

    1 · March 31, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Dan, I look forward to meeting you, too.

      1 · March 31, 2014

  • Ali

    Are dogs allowed at the campground?

    March 31, 2014

  • JD

    Jen - I'm unable to attend but have a MH Waypoint 2 tent I'd like to donate. Since this event is a week before the Cold Mt event I won't be seeing you before the Gear Swap. I'd like to mail the tent to you if you feel it would be of interest to members. I used it a dozen times in Yosemite. It has no holes or defects of which I'm aware. It's cozy and comfortable but heavier than these aging bones want to carry. It's not ultra-light but at 3-lbs, it's roomy and well built. Never any condensation (but NorCal doesn't get much). If available it goes for $175. Should you get anything for it, please donate it to DC UL.

    March 26, 2014

    • Michael M.

      Thanks, JD!

      March 31, 2014

    • Jen

      Thanks, JD! I got it -- it was waiting for me when I got back from Massanutten.

      1 · March 31, 2014

  • JDH

    I was introduced to the UL lifestyle back in October 2012 by JD on an AT trek from Stecoah Gap to Fontana Dam. Having purchased the majority of my backpacking gear at REI I must admit that I was not overly impressed with an UL backpack that resembled a pillow case or small duffel bag made from what appeared to be the same material as laundry bags frequently used by Miami residents when patronizing the laundromat in South Florida. But than again my beautiful Gregory backpack weighs 5 lbs empty!

    So I have been converted, especially since my recovery time between strenuous successive hikes has increased in my 6th decade of life and I must out of necessity lighten my load.

    Since I'll be hiking the Rock Castle Gorge Trail at Rocky Knob Recreation Area the same weekend as the Gear Swap 2014 I will not be able to participate this time. When is the next one? Since I have nothing to swap except heavy bomb proof REI gear (to quote JD) is one allowed to purchase with cash or must one barter?

    February 26, 2014

    • JDH

      Will one be allowed to make a purchase using a credit card or is cash preferred?

      March 29, 2014

    • Michael M.

      I doubt people will have a way of taking credit cards.

      March 31, 2014

  • Michael M.

    http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/USVA0298 ... Weather is actually looking pretty good. After the snow storm on top of Signal Knob, yesterday, it's about time.

    1 · March 31, 2014

  • JD

    Jen - Sorry I'll miss this weekend's opportunity to talk about your new duties as a GG Trail Ambassador.

    March 28, 2014

  • MikeVW

    Probably will come out for the day Saturday to donate some gear and spend time at the bonfire.

    March 11, 2014

    • MikeVW

      I am, but they're going to the wilderness city kids project that Michael mentioned. Not sure if they'll be able to put them to use, but they're still serviceable!

      March 19, 2014

    • upasana

      Ok, I already ordered tent:-)

      March 20, 2014

38 went

  • Jen
    Veteran Plus Member (3!) (B-I) (Shuttle) (WFA) ('17), Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Cristina
    Applicant
  • KingsleyC
    Veteran Member ('16)
  • Ryan L. +1
    Applicant
  • Hans +1
    Veteran Plus Member (2)
  • Annie
    Veteran Member (2)
  • Larke W.
    Member
  • Neal +1
    Applicant
  • Matt S.
    Veteran Plus Member (2)(!) (Prius) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • Sebas
    Applicant
  • Miles
    Veteran Plus Member (2!) (MIMA) (WFR), Assistant Organizer
  • Jeremy L. +1
    Applicant
  • Alison
    Veteran Plus Member (3) (Pretty Good Cover Girl) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • JDH
    Applicant (WFA)
  • Michael M.
    Veteran Plus Member (3-2!@ - 46er) (B-VI) (WFA) (U-Turn) ('17), Organizer
  • Steve M.
    Veteran Member (2-2!) ('15)
  • patricia z.
    VETERAN MEMBER (15), Assistant Organizer
  • Mignote
    Veteran Plus Member (3-2!-@) (Mimi) (Pringle) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • stephanie
    Veteran Member (Hawk Eye), Assistant Organizer
  • Joffrey P.
    Veteran Plus Member (Beast Mode) (4-2!@) (B-VI) ('17), Assistant Organizer
  • Brian
    Veteran Plus Member (3!) (B~~~) ('17), Co-Organizer
  • Dan
    Veteran
  • Hollis
    Member (Torch)
  • Will +1
    Veteran Plus Member (4!@) (Savage) (WFA) ('17), Co-Organizer
  • Ali
    Veteran Member ('16)
  • Kevin S.
    Veteran Plus Member (C&C) ('16), Assistant Organizer
  • MikeVW
    Veteran Plus Member (2) (Eeyore) ('17), Assistant Organizer
  • Seth
    Applicant
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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