Past Meetup

First-Timer Backpacking Trip (for strong hikers)

This Meetup is past

9 people went

Price: $1.00 /per person
Location image of event venue


If you want to make the transition from car camping or day-hiking to backpacking this is the trip for you! This trip is for those who have never backpacked before, but are strong hikers.

RSVPs for this event will open on Wednesday, Feb 19th at 10am. This is to give people a chance to assess their skills and their gear (needs) before signing up. If you have any questions about the trip, your experience, or gear, please don't hesitate to email me through my profile page (

Total mileage will be about 13 miles. We will be hiking about 9 miles with over 2500 feet of elevation gain on Saturday, so this is not for beginner hikers. First-time backpackers will get priority and others permitted as space allows. By RSVPing and/or attending this trip, you agree to the liability waiver (

We are headed to Duncan Knob Hollow ( (you MUST bring this map).

Why Duncan Knob Hollow? Because it is not too far, has lots of campsite options, great views, and lots of water.

Weather Forecast (


6pm - Meet at Vienna Metro (NORTH) Kiss-N-Ride Lot.

6:15pm - Drive to trailhead along this route (,+Oakton,+VA&daddr=38.72821,+-78.51698&hl=en&sll=38.728108,-78.516884&sspn=0.019318,0.042272&geocode=FUxAUQIdffNk-yFQcWlGtThclynpVnGs8Uu2iTFQcWlGtThclw%3BFRLyTgIdDO1R-w&oq=vienna&mra=ls&t=m&z=10).

8pm - Arrive at the trailhead and hike into first campsite (100 yards). We have the option of hiking to another campsite 0.7 miles in if people don't mind hiking a bit further in the dark.


9am - Hit the trail. We will do at least 8.7 miles today (plus a trip to Duncan Knob ~1 mile). There is 2500 feet of elevation gain today, so this is not an easy hike. We will take it slow and enjoy the scenery, making sure to stop along the way for lunch.

2 or 3pm - Set up camp, search for firewood, and relax.


9am - Hit the trail. It is 3.1 miles back to the cars.

12pm - Post hike meal at Cristina's Cafe ( in Strasburg, VA taking this route (,+-78.51698&daddr=38.9167435,-78.473398+to:Cristina%27s+Cafe,+219+West+King+Street,+Strasburg,+VA+22657&hl=en&sll=38.859303,-78.460324&sspn=0.30851,0.676346&geocode=FRLyTgIdDO1R-w%3BFYfSUQIdSpdS-yk36_voqrq1iTFdcXsNiFUBoA%3BFazvUgIdZENU-yk3EIi2tb61iTFNxWkJ_A4mrg&gl=us&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=11&via=1&t=m&z=11) - it's on the way home. I recommend bringing some extra shoes to change into when we get back to the cars because this trail is often pretty soggy and could be muddy.

REQUIRED GEAR for this trip:


Shelter (or find someone to share with)

Sleeping bag (appropriate for the temps, this is still a chilly time of year)

Sleeping pad

Map (DO NOT show up w/o a map!)

Headlamp (+extra batteries)

Water bottle/bladder


Bag, carabiner, and 50-75 feet rope to hang food in at night

Personal toiletries/meds

RECOMMENDED GEAR for this trip:



Water treatment (I will have a couple methods you can try before you buy)

Extra insulation/clothes

Rain gear (weather depending)


Here are the 10 items that are generally considered essential for any trip (from REI website):

Updated Ten Essential "Systems"

Navigation (map and compass)

Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)

Insulation (extra clothing)

Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)

First-aid supplies

Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)

Repair kit and tools

Nutrition (extra food)

Hydration (extra water)

Emergency shelter