What we're about

This Meetup is for fellow backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts to meet and greet while engaging in day hikes, backpacking trips and outdoor adventures with other people in your town. Talk about locations, equipment, recipes, etc., and find people to take trips with. Trips will range from beginner to advanced to accommodate all levels of backpackers/hikers/adventurers and to encourage those who wish to grow with the sport. There is always new gear to discuss, dream about and oogle over so come on down and join in the discussion around the campfire!

We do a wide variety of trips but specialize in unique trips to very special places. Many of our trips have been copied by numerous other meetup groups such as White Oak Canyon in Winter when the Falls are Frozen, Sunrise from Old Rag, Dolly Sods (we replaced all the trail signs) and work with the National Forest Service in maintaining Dolly Sods, Roaring Plains, Seneca Creek, North Fork Mountain Wilderness/Backcountry areas and get use of a cabin or camp for our work trips that make for a fabulous weekend trip! Adventure trips such as Bridge Day (whitewater rafting and hiking on 2 of the finest river gorges in the country), or our Cross Country Ski trips just to name a few you may have seen. So why not join the group that blazes its own trail rather than copies others? From our toughest day hike series across the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Shenadoah or our Presi Traverse the hard way, easy adventure hikes such as Rickett's Glen (best waterfall hike in the Mid-Atlantic), we go from fun to as much as you can handle....and then some! Speaking of fun, Patricia enjoys doing canoe/kayak trips such as Assateague National Seashore, or Jon's Laurel Highlands Trail or Trail Days (biggest hiking festival in the U.S. along with a hike to Mt. Rogers), or Roan Mountain (best Bald trip in the East), and West Rim Trail by Steve, or Pete going backpacking wherever, whenever and as far as he can, just to name a few examples. Yep, we still do the classics, such as Old Rag and other Shenandoah National Park Circuits or local AT hikes, why not since they are close? But like to range from the Smokies to Maine and will even go out West including Alaska or anywhere we can get to! So you will find lots of great outdoor adventures here with some of the best people you will find anywhere...smart, tough, fun-loving, yet safe (we all look out for and help one another). If you need to learn, we will share our knowledge, but hey, hope to learn something from you as well, which is part of the beauty of the group, we are always learning and growing! So you will find lots of good, clean, healthy outdoor fun here, with some of the best people you will run across, all different and unique, but supportive and united in our love of fun, healthy outdoor adventures, so welcome and please join us for an adventure soon and when ready, give back which is all we are doing!

Upcoming events (5+)

Backpacking 101 and Gear Swap...3 Hikes Weekend!

Wolf Gap National Recreation Area


This is a 3-for-1 weekend on the mountain! Let's meet at Wolf Gap Campground on Friday night to camp out (with great dutch oven cooking..mmm) then go enjoy 2 great hikes on Saturday, Big Schloss and then Tibbet Knob. If the weather is good, we will do a sunrise and/or sunset hike as well. Backpacking and setting up camp at Big Schloss on Saturday to enjoy sunset/sunrise for those interested is also available as well, so something for everyone! You will learn to camp, backpack, hike and find out why our group enjoys the outdoors together so much! There are great views where we roam, and the camping at Wolf Gap Campground is free! This year, we will have backpacking vendors display some of their wares and do some skill building workshops as well such as map and compass use, fire building, etc. We will leave on Sunday morning and go to Strickler Knob (across the Shenandoah Valley) to enjoy a strenuous hike to another gorgeous view, then compare notes on which view we enjoy the best at an optional post hike meal nearby on the way home! Lastly, since we will be car camping or backpacking close to DC, bring your gear for a Gear Swap. Please use the Comments to post what you may bring or what you are looking for. I am charging $5 to cover chainsaw, and other basic equipment costs to pull this popular event off. Food cost will be additional and will be determined by number of attendees, thanks everyone and look forward to another great event with everyone! Strickler Knob info is here: http://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/StricklerKnob/ Big Schloss is here: http://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/BigSchloss/ and Tibbet Knob is here: http://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/TibbetKnob/ Please print off a copy of each map and trail description and bring it with you in a zip lock bag. So there you go, 3 of the best local hikes and views in our area, close to home and 2 good days and nights of exercise and fun...what more could you look in an end of summer trip?! For those of you wanting to learn more about camping and backpacking, here is your chance with options that make sense for your level as you can beg off once you get tired. This trip was immensely popular last year so sign up early! So let's go have some fun...locally before it cools off too much, so come out and get our bodies and outdoor equipment ready for Fall! Finally here is the menu with participants paying their share (budget about $20-25 for group meals/drinks): Cattle Drive Menu for Saturday Breakfast and Dinner: Main Vittles (we will choose among): Roundup BBQ Ribs, Cattle Drive Chili, Chuck wagon/Burrito Casserole) Sidekicks & Soppers: Cast Iron Cornbread, Cowboy potatoes, Tortilla chips and Salsa Cowboy Sweets: Denver Chocolate Pudding Cake, Down Home Peach Cobbler or Side Saddle Cherry Cobbler (smaller 10" DO). If leftovers on fruit cobblers, we can have with breakfast. Chuck Wagon Sunrise Pancakes, bacon/sausage & Jim's Cinnamon Pecan Ring Brew: Water, Cowboy Coffee and Tea; Margaritas & Sangria (extra charge for these). For a discussion of gear and list of equipment click here: Jim's Backpacking 101: http://www.meetup.com/dc-backpackers/files/ http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/boy_scout_gear_list.html and a gear list here: http://www.backpacking-guide.com/backpacking-checklist.html DIRECTIONS FROM CENTREVILLE, VA HERE: Take Interstate 66 West 42 miles to Interstate 81 South and take it 17 miles South. Leave Interstate 81 at Exit 283, Woodstock, VA 42 (south of Front Royal and North of Edinburg.) Head West on VA 42 South, toward Columbia Furnace. 5.2 miles down VA 42, passing the large gray unmarked turkey processing plant on the left, and a store/gas station on the right, go Right on Union Church Rd., (following the sign towards Wolf Gap and towards St. Luke, on VA 768 to VA 623). Bear Left and go downhill at the church, onto Back Rd. (VA 623 only about half a mile). At the bottom of the hill, just before the bridge, go Right on Wolf Gap Rd. (VA 675). After 2.6 miles, just after a trash dropoff point on your right, turn right to stay on VA 675, Wolf Gap Road. Follow it about 2 miles UP the mountain. This is a narrow, winding section of the road and extra caution is advised. At the high point of the pass, just before you arrive in West Virginia, enter Wolf Gap Recreation Area on your right. I will have some campsites held and also a large group site across the road to the left. GPS COORDINATES: Latitude :[masked] Longitude : [masked] So let's saddle up for our annual great Backpacking 101 up on the mountain close to town!

Backpacking the NC/TN AT: Hot Springs to Sams Gap (45 miles)

Location visible to members


This will be an early spring, two night backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. Weather this time of year could bring warm sunny days or brutal ice storms. Come prepared for either one and anything in between. I’m going down part way the day before and camping in Virginia. I’ll be heading out I-70, through Harpers Ferry and down to Jennings Creek to do a six mile section on the AT. I will camp there and continue to the meeting point the next day. Anyone wishing to carpool with me would need to meet me along that path as I will not be going anywhere near DC or I-66 this time. We will meet at the parking area at Sams Gap, leave vehicles and shuttle down to Hot Springs, NC. We will hike northbound on the AT. Meeting Location: AT Sams Gap Pisgah National Forest, 4460 Flag Pond Rd, Mars Hill, TN[masked]https://goo.gl/maps/7KoNQqLnejM2 Itinerary: Saturday (11 Miles): Hike from Hot Springs to the Spring Mountain Shelter. We’ll have a couple of big climbs and several smaller ones. Very few flat areas. Sunday (16 Miles): Spring Mountain to Jerry Cabin Shelter. This day will include a 2500’ climb up after a 1300’ descent, and will include some rocky and strenuous sections. If we still have it in us we could extend this day another seven miles to the Flint Mountain Shelter. If drivers decide to do that, and passengers opt not to, they will need to end their hike the next day at Devil Fork Gap/NC 212 (9 Miles). Monday (18 Miles): Jerry Cabin Shelter to Sams Gap. There will be a 1500’ climb this day, regardless of the previous night’s campsite and more ups and downs to the end. Water looks to be plentiful every day and there aren’t any campsites listed in the guide in between shelters. This will be a strenuous trip, possibly made more so by weather. Participants should come with all necessary gear, clothing, and food for three days. Be sure you have your own water filter/purification equipment and know that filters can freeze in cold temperatures. Microspikes may also be needed. Everyone hikes at their own pace. Participants should have their own map and be comfortable hiking alone, in the dark, or both. Carpooling fees: Please secure your ride by posting your comments and coordinate among yourselves. Making friends & sharing cost. * If you can offer a ride: From where and how many you can take. *If you need a ride: From where or carpool location. * Carpool ride is NOT a free ride: The round trip from Centerville is about 800 miles. Please pay your driver(s) a minimum of 10 cents per mile. Washington Backpackers Liability Terms By RSVPing or being part of this trip, you agree to liability terms mentioned below: http://files.meetup.com/317560/Washington%20Backpackers%20Liabilit.pdf

Training Hike #7- 3 Ridges and The Priest Plus Half Presi Training!

Crabtree Falls Campground


Training Hike #7 is rugged and beautiful (like most of the people in the group ;-)) with camping on Friday and Saturday nights at a local campground with hot showers. We will do a figure 8 loop through the 2 most rugged areas around, 3 Ridges on one side of the Tye River and The Priest on the other and will finish off at another hidden gem so you are amply rewarded for your efforts! Campground location is here: http://crabtreefallscampground.com/ with more details to follow, including a Half Presi training hike option, but wanted to get this one posted so you can plan for it! Please do not sign up for this event (and especially the Full) if you have not done previous training hikes of this distance with WB in the recent past. The Full Training hike will be 31.5 miles and 9500' elevation gain, so this is our last and premiere training hike this year, or our expression Neal coined of "Spy Rock or Bust! For the Half Presi Training Hike (approx. 14 miles and 4500' elevation gain), we will start up the AT from VA Hwy 56 (Crabtree Falls Hwy) to The Priest Mtn over to Spy Rock (if time allows), backtrack to Forest Road 263, and then down Crabtree Falls trail to our campsite. (This will involve some car shuttles.) Or the Half+ may do 3 Ridges again, their choice! Full 1. Jim Dinner as usual afterwards at Devil's Backbone Brewery: http://dbbrewingcompany.com/ This is a repeat of our February Training Hike, but the distance gets longer and tougher so you are ready for our first "Toughest Hike in the East" a few weeks after this event! So come on out so you don't let the "Devil" have his way with you on Devil's Path! ------- Minimum Carpooling fees is $30/pp----- Please secure your ride by posting your comments and coordinate among yourselves. Making friends & sharing cost. *Carpool ride is NOT a free ride: Please pay your driver(s) min $30/pp. The round trip without adding round trip to the restaurant/car shuttling is about 300 miles from Centreville. *If you can offer a ride: From where and how many you can take. *If you need a ride: From where or carpool location. ------- Liability Waiver ------- You agree with the Washington Backpackers Meetup group liability waiver terms by signing up to this event: http://files.meetup.com/317560/Washington%20Backpackers%20Liabilit.pdf ------- Update 3/30 ------- To clarify the trip format, the official plan is to arrive at Crabtree falls campground Friday evening, hike Saturday, and camp again into Sunday morning, then drive back at our leisure. However camping is optional, you may choose to only camp one of these nights or none at all depending on how you feel about the drive, however due to the great price we get for the campground you have to pay your share of the campsite for both nights or about $30, which is less than one night at most other campgrounds, especially with hot showers! FYI - The campground is about 15 minutes away from the trail-head. For the people doing the full hike, we will be leaving camp at 4:00 AM which should get us on the trail by around 4:15 AM. The Full hike ends back at the campground and not the trail-head so there will be some car shuttling involved. Everyone please bring a headlamp, even if you aren't camping, it's an important safety precaution when hiking!

Monthly Meeting and Happy Hour

Location visible to members

Love outdoor adventures like we do? Well this is your chance to get together and talk about about new and old trips, great new event ideas, who will organize what trip/adventure, gear and anything else we can think of! If people wish, we will conduct a Hiking. So let's get together and add some of that dynamic WB excitement to our weeknights....in town for a change. GB (Gordon Biersch Brewery) has a great selection of fresh brewed beer on tap and selection of wonderful wine and drinks, so let's get together and enjoy the live baseball atmosphere right across the street! Restaurant: Gordon Biersch Brewery Website: http://www.gordonbiersch.com/ (http://www.yelp.com/biz_redir?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gordonbiersch.com%2Flocations%2Fnavy-yard%2Flargeparties&src_bizid=poslw9_kmoypQTKl9rCRUg&cachebuster=1408637590&s=dfa2bc70323e0d086692ee9bb1f0e39ee56d84c96320d463ffa3b96d905400a9)) Location: 100 M St SE, Washington, DC 20003 b/t S New Jersey Ave & S 1st St Nearest metro: Navy Yard. Telephone: (202)[masked] Review: http://www.yelp.com/biz/gordon-biersch-washington-2 Food photos (click) (http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/gordon-biersch-washington-2?select=IhLKlABdBAT761GiofvNUQ#IhLKlABdBAT761GiofvNUQ)

Past events (1,071)

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