Fall rolls around and, dang!, you realize you’ve all but shot your vacation. And here it is, the best time to be backpacking. What is a backpacker to do? Take a Weekend Quick Escape, with GetBackpacking!
This fall, we’re introducing a new series of quick trips aimed at folks who’ve burned through their vacation time, but are soooo eager to get out and enjoy fall backpacking.
Here’s the deal:
* We leave at 5 p.m. Friday, so you shouldn’t have to take time off from work.
* We drive to a trailhead that’s no more than two and a half hours away.
* We hike to a campsite that’s not too far in: from a half mile to less than 3. * We’ll be to camp no later than 8 p.m.
* We set up camp (yes, in the dark; it’s a good skill to have).
* Saturday, we have the entire day to do hike. We’ll hike in day packs, returning to our basecamp at day’s end. Our hikes will be from 10 to 15 miles.
* Sunday, we may do one more short hike before heading home. You’ll be home mid- to late afternoon.
It’s the perfect option for backpackers who thought they didn’t have time to plan a fall backpack trip, let alone take one.
Our December trip: the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness of the Uwharrie National Forest. Here’s how the weekend will unfold:
Friday: We’ll leave the Triangle at 5 p.m., carpooling from I-40 and NC 86 in Chapel Hill. We’ll arrive at the Tot Hill trailhead west of Asheboro at 6:30 p.m. and hike in the 2.9 miles to Camp 3.
Saturday: In day packs, we’ll enjoy the 10-mile Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Loop, possibly taking a side excursion or two along the way. It’s the one time of year we can get good views from the ridge lines in this Designated Wilderness Area on the northern tip of the Uwharrie National Forest.
Sunday: We’ll pack up and hike about 3.5 miles back to the trailhead. If it’s an especially clear day, we may drive to the nearby Joe Moffitt Trailhead and hike 0.8 miles on the Uwharrie Trail to Little Long Mountain for the best view in the Uwharrie range.
Includes: The trip itself, camping/permit, eguide for the trip detailing all hikes (including a custom map and elevation profile), tips on what to bring and how to dress, information on the terrain we’ll be exploring. We’ll also have a Trip Planning meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Chapel Hill to over the hike and give tips on how to be ready for a quick Friday escape, hiking and setting up camp at night, unique challenges this trip may present, and more.
Hike is limited to 10 participants.