What we're about

Our goal is to help you explore on foot the abundance of wonderful natural places North Carolina has to offer. If you're a beginner, we'll make sure that you never hike alone (unless you want to!). We'll also teach you how to become an intrepid hiker capable of exploring wherever (the rugged Linville Gorge Wilderness, for instance) and whenever (at night!). We're aided in our efforts to get out and explore by Great Outdoor Provision Co., which provides us space for clinics and meetings, and covers the monthly fee for our Meetup site.

Upcoming events (5+)

GetBackpacking! Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock/Citico Creek Wilderness

Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness


Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock and the adjoining Citico Creek Wilderness in Tennessee were no-brainers for inclusion as designated Wilderness Areas because so little has changed in the region since Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto came through the area in the early 1500s. Too rugged even for timbering, the rugged area retains its primitive feel amid its old growth forests. We will plan to arrive Thursday around 1 p.m. and hike 4.4 miles up to Naked Ground and establish our base camp for the weekend. From there the plan calls for: * Friday. With daypack, an 11.6-mile loop down to Slickrock Creek. We'll follow Slickrock Creek downstream to Wildcat Falls, then retreat briefly and return via Hangover Lead. * Saturday. With daypack, we'll do a roughly 10-mile hike into Tennessee, into the Citico Creek Wilderness. * Sunday. Break camp, return via the Haoe Lead and Jenkins Meadow trails, about 6 miles. Included in this trip: * eguide, including detailed information on our route (including maps, elevation profiles and distances) as well as information about this roughly 33,000-acre wilderness. * Trip planning meeting on Monday, July 15. Additional information on this upon payment. * Suggesting training regimen for the physical challenges of this rugged area. Cost: $135 Note: If you were on the rain-shortened version of this trip last fall, you will receive a 20 percent discount on this trip.

GetHiking! Evening Wander on the MST at Falls Lake

Hickory Hill Boat Ramp

This week we bridge the gap between weekends with a hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake. From the Hickory Hill Boat Ramp, we'll hike out 2 miles, then hike back. This is a more mellow stretch of the MST: relatively flat with fewer rocks and tree roots to deal with. Ideal for an Evening Wander.

GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking

Morrow Mountain State Park


We launched our GetBackpacking! program in 2014; since then, we've graduated more than 225 new backpackers. Here's the plan for our Summer session: * Gear Get-together. We meet at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for a quick get-to-know-you session, then spend about an hour learning about the basic gear: backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and pads, cook stoves. We will also do a pack loading demonstration, working on fit and what goes where. 2 hours. * Training Day. In full gear, we will meet at Morrow Mountain State Park for a day-long training session that will go over: Evaluating a campsite, setting up camp, breaking camp, meal preparation (including the various food and cooking options on the trail). Expect to hike about 5 miles in full pack, during which we will work on hiking technique (including the use of trekking poles), ensuring a good pack fit, adjusting your pack during the hike to make sure it continues to fit, and more. We will spend 5 to 6 hours on this session. * Graduation hike. Three-day, two-night trip to South Mountains State Park (http://ncparks.gov/south-mountains-state-park), a great place for your first trip. * Fee. Cost of the program is $155. Upon signing up, you will be invoiced. In addition to instruction and the guided graduation hike, you'll receive: • 20 percent discount on one piece of hiking/backpacking gear at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for the duration of the session. • Info packet, including gear lists, tips sheets, and 10 great places to backpack in North Carolina once you've graduated. • eguide outlining the program and covering what you'll learn. • Loaner gear. We have a limited number of backpacks and tents available on a first-requested, first-awarded basis, at no extra charge.' Dates: • Gear Get-together: Tuesday, July 9, 6-8 p.m., Great Outdoor Provision Co., Park Road Shopping Center, Charlotte. • Training Day: Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Morrow Mountain State Park • Graduation trip: Friday afternoon thru Sunday, July 26-28, South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs. A NOTE ABOUT REGISTERING: The growing popularity of our hikes, trips and classes has lead us to the following registration policy. Immediately upon signing up on Meetup, we will send you an invoice. Within two weeks, you may either: + Pay the entire amount, which is eligible for a full refund if you cancel seven days or more before the event, or; + Pay a $50 non-refundable deposit. The balance will be due two weeks before the event. If you do not pay by the two-week deadline, you will be moved to the bottom of the waitlist. If you choose neither option within two weeks, your name will be moved to the bottom of the waitlist, in which case you may not make the trip roster. ANOTHER NOTE: Minimum age for the program is 13, ages 13 through 17 must be in the program with an adult (we define adult generously as anyone 18 or older). YET ANOTHER NOTE: If you'd like to take the program with a friend, a spouse, your youngster, it's best if they sign up individually. However, if they'd rather not do the Meetup thing, let me know and we can sign them up without becoming entangled in The System.

GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods

Few's Ford


Love the trail but uncertain about your wayfinding skills? This three-hour session goes over basic map and compass skills, then hits the trail to offer key tips on how to follow and stay on the trail, how to find it again if you stray, and how to explore off trail. We’ll start with a 30-minute map-and-compass introduction, then use that map and compass — and some Daniel Boone skills — to find our way in the woods. We’ll also do some off-trail exploring, with the goal of purposefully venturing off trail, then figuring out how to rejoin the trail. Our goal is to make you confident hiking alone or taking a novice friend on the trail — and a little bit off! Course fee of $45 (kids 17 and under accompanied by an adult are free) includes a customized map and use of a compass. A PayPal invoice will be sent upon signup. Course is limited to seven adult participants.

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