backpacking

Spring opens a world of backpack opportunities

Spring is one of our four favorite seasons to backpack because:

  • Temperatures are moving up — no worrying about whether your 20-degree bag will cut it on a 19-degree night
  • Daylight is increasing — no 14-hour nights in your sleeping bag
  • The world is coming to life — no explanation needed

Thus, it’s no surprise that spring is one of our busiest times on the trail. Here’s what we’ve got going on into June. For more information and to sign up, see the links below.

Learn to backpack

We have two options for folks who aren’t backpackers — but want to be.

GetBackpacking! Overnight Sampler

Saturday-Sunday, March 9-10

Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5

You like the idea of backpacking, but aren’t sure it’s for you, so you’d like to take a test drive before committing the time and resources. With our Overnight Sampler, we provide the backpacking-specific gear (including food), and you provide yourself. This will be a one-night trip with a two-mile hike in and out. You’ll get a feel for carrying a pack, for cooking in the wild, and for sleeping in a tent in a primitive setting. 

GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking

April 13, 26-28

You know you want to backpack, and you know you want to do it right. In this course, we start with a two-hour gear session. We progress to a five-hour, in-field training session, including hiking about 4 miles in full pack, scouting and setting up camp, and cooking. Then we have a three-day, two-night “graduation” weekend at South Mountains State Park.

Trips

March

GetBackpacking! Women Only Backpacking Trip to the Uwharrie Mountains (I & II)

Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24

Saturday-Sunday, March 30-31

Our first planned trip filled so quickly that we decided to offer a second. This is a great first-trip-of-the-year opportunity: two days and one night, with 12 miles of hiking on the Dutchman Creek loop on the southern end of the Uwharrie National Forest west of Troy. The 5.5-mile hike in will leave plenty of time to set up camp, enjoy a campfire and catch up with folks you haven’t seen since last backpacking season. 

April

GetBackpacking! on the AT: Carvers Gap to US 19E

Friday-Sunday, April 5-7

Welcome to the most scenic stretch of trail in North Carolina (and Tennessee). From Carver’s Gap, the Appalachian Trail passes over Round and Jane balds (with a possible side trip to a third, Grassy Ridge), offering sweeping views of the mountains in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. There’s some intimate high-ridge hiking (the mountain ash should be coming into bloom), then more balds: Little Hump and Hump mountains. We should also be on the cusp of the spring wildflower season at this elevation. This trip covers 14 miles, and while it trends downhill, there are some good, though generally short climbs. Ah, but the views.

GetBackpacking! South Mountains Base Camp with Day Hikes

Friday-Sunday, April 12-14

You love the idea of backpacking, of escaping deep into the woods and not having to call it a day when day turns to night. What you aren’t crazy about is carrying 30 pounds on your back the whole time. That won’t happen with this trip to South Mountains State Park. Our plan is to backpack 3.8 miles to the Jacob’s Branch backcountry site, put up our tents for the weekend, then explore the park Saturday with daypacks. Linking together several trails, we’ll hike about 10 miles on a tour exposing us to South Mountains’ varied terrain. On Sunday, we pack up and hike out, with an optional 2-mile out-and-back to the 80-foot High Shoals Falls.

May

GetBackpacking! Intro to Linville Gorge

Friday-Sunday, May 17-19

Linville Gorge is a destination near the top of every Southeast backpacker’s list. This trip offers an introduction to the gorge that lets you savor its awesome beauty and sample the ruggedness for which it’s known. Friday, we hike in to Camp Shortoff from the Wolf Pit Trailhead, about 1.7 miles. We set up basecamp, then, with daypacks to keep us nimble, we’ll day hike into the gorge and all its wild, rugged beauty. It’s a good opportunity to scout the gorge before committing to it in full pack.

GetBackpacking! Intermediate Skills: Going Solo (at Wilson Creek)

Friday-Sunday, May 31-June 2 

You’ve been backpacking for a while and you love the group experience, but part of the reason you got into backpacking was for the solitude. Yet you wonder: Do I have what it takes to be out alone, overnight? This class lets you find out in a safe setting with a leader nearby. Plus, it’s a great chance to discover the Wilson Creek area at the base of Grandfather Mountain.

Happy trails,

Joe

Learn to backpack

Learn more, sign up

Instruction

GetBackpacking! Overnight Sampler

March 9-10 session: Learn more and sign up here.

May  4-5 session: Learn more and sign up here.

GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking!

Learn more and sign up here.

Trips

March

South Mountains Graduation

Slots go to the first three people to email me, at joe@getgoingnc.com.

GetBackpacking! Women Only Backpacking Trip to the Uwharrie Mountains (I & II)

Learn more and sign up here.

April

GetBackpacking! on the AT: Carvers Gap to US 19E

Learn more and sign up here.

GetBackpacking! South Mountains Base Camp with Day Hikes

Learn more and sign up here.

May

GetBackpacking! Intro to Linville Gorge

Learn more and sign up here.

GetBackpacking! Intermediate Skills: Going Solo (at Wilson Creek)

Learn more and sign up here.

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