Russ E.Russ E.

Russ E.

Member, Veteran Member (2!@) ('19)


Washington, DC

Joined group

Apr 3, 2017


I'm a trail runner looking to gain more backpack camping experience

Describe your backpacking experience and background, please include longest mileage in a day (with pack) and coldest nights out.

My backpacking experience is limited, though I have done a lot of trail running in Shenandoah and Massanutten over the past fifteen years. The past couple of months, I have done four one night overnight backpacking trips and a two night overnight trip. I am trying to learn how to become more proficient in backpack camping for multi day hikes. My longest day with a full pack is thirteen miles and the coldest temps have been around the high twenties.

Describe your most recent outdoor adventure. When was it? How did you set it up? Did the weather cooperate? How did it go?

This past weekend, I hiked on the AT from Daleville, VA to the Wilson Creek shelter - 13 miles. The next morning, we hiked out three miles to our car and came home. The weather was quite nice during the day and it got down to around the upper 30's the next morning. The trip actually went fine, but I had planned to stay out for many more days by myself. Instead I bailed when I arrived back at my friend's car. I bailed because I feel like too much of a novice with the backpack camping.

The Big Three: what specific gear (not just brands) do you use for your three-season shelter system, sleep system, and backpack? (It's okay if it isn't ultralight!)

For shelter, I have an REI QuarterDome 2p tent, though I have just purchased a new Nemo Hornet 1p tent that I have yet to test out. For sleep system, I have an REI Igneo (regular) sleeping bag, with a silk liner, goose down socks, SeaToSummit Aeros Pillow Ultra Light, and a RidgeRest SoLite sleeping pad. For backpack, I have an Osprey Kestrel 48 that I have been using for backpack camping. I also have an Osprey Kestrel 32 that I have used on numerous trekking trips but I've thought it was too small for backpack camping.

Help us understand your reason for joining DC UL Backpacking, including your goals for lightening your load and quickening your backpacking pace.

I realized I need more experience with backpack camping than what I currently have. That is why I would like to join this group, in the hopes that I can learn from others who are experienced. I do spend a lot of time out in the mountains on the trails, doing some reasonably long distances trail running, but I have only generally been out for the day's run, not for overnight camping and I want to get comfortable being able to do that.

How did you learn about our group? (I'm trying to improve our visibility, so I'm curious.)

One of your members - Andrew Fritzche - signed my guest book entry on He is attempting his thru hike of the AT right now. I read his journal and he mentioned your group as a group that he went out and practiced some overnight backpacking with.