Category Archives: Backpacking

Learn about a thru-hike, then take one yourself

Scott Hicks, Bill Downey Jr. and Bonner Ballinger got the idea to backpack the Foothills Trail in early 2015. Same goal: thru-hike the 77-mile trail straddling the North Carolina / South Carolina line in 7 days. Different motives — and approaches.

Bill viewed the hike as a physical challenge, as a way to structure his hiking and give him a goal to train for. Scott saw the hike as a prelude to a longer hike, most likely the 211-mile John Muir Trail in California. It was a chance to tackle the logistical challenges of a long hike. And Bonner? Bonner is more of a “because it’s there” guy — no underlying motive needed. read more

When it comes to gear, buyer beware

This pack is killing me! The wimpy hip belt is bearing no weight, putting it all on my shoulders. In less than a mile, my shoulders are getting rubbed raw. 

Fortunately, this wasn’t my pack.

“This is what you get for buying a $70 backpack,” I yelled back to Ray, who had surrendered his pack to me so that I could experience its shortcomings first-hand. read more

Turn your adventure dream into reality

Adventure goals
Julie Steiner atop Kilimanjarong, backpacking

What do we love most about what we do with the GetHiking! program?

Help people fulfill their dreams.

Using the skills developed through the GetHiking! GetBackpacking! and GetOriented! programs, folks accomplish any number of goals.

For instance, ascending one of the revered Seven Summits. read more

Escape with us into the Outdoors in 2018

Hiking is a gateway activity. You start with a hike along Umstead’s Sycamore Creek after a rain, maybe hike the Little Mountain Falls Trail at Virginia’s Fairy Stone State Park on a cloudless winter day. Before you know it, the notion of spending a day or more on the trail has a keen appeal. You’re hooked by the lure of outdoor escapes. read more