Tag Archives: backpacking

Looking for company? Hook up with Meetup

A Charlotte Meetup group at Hanging Rock State Park.

Here’s an exchange I find myself having surprisingly often.
Other Person: I’ve been trying to find a local hiking [slash-paddling-slash-cycling-slash-climbing-slash-other-favorite-activity-here] club but haven’t had any luck. Are there any?
Me: Have you tried Meetup?
OP: Meetup?
Yes, even today, after 12 years, 14.1 million members, 131,119 Meetup groups and 2.65 million monthly RSVPS (members indicating they plan to attend a Meetup activity) there are still people out there unfamiliar with Meetup.com. In short: Meetup is how people gather to play in the internet age. You want to go on a group hike in Charlotte, you join Outdoor Club South: Charlotte. You want to go kayaking in the Carolinas? Simply join Simply Kayaking. You want to do just about anything and you live in the Triangle? Become one of the 5,392 members of the Triangle Hiking & Outdoors Group: they’ve got 20 events currently scheduled and odds are at least one will tickle your adventure fancy.
Finding a group is easy. Go to Meetup.com, click “Find a Meetup Group,” click on your interest and how far you’re willing to drive, and options will appear. If they don’t, if there’s not a group that does what you want to do, start one.
To give you an idea of what’s out there, here’s a list of the 17 Meetup groups I belong to. Click, see what they do, where they go and who they are. Like what they’re about? Click one more time and become a member.
It’s that easy. read more

90 Second Escape: Fast-forward into winter

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more

What do you mean you can’t? Sure you can

This could be you. Really!

Even before the talk began I realized I had a live one on the line.

I was at the King Public Library Tuesday evening for a presentation on backpacking, a presentation  tied to my book, “Backpacking North Carolina.” On the surface, the book is a guide to 43 places to backpack in the state. But it’s true intent is to debunk the backpacking stereotype: of an arduous pursuit best left to survivalists and folks with a high threshold for discomfort. read more

Goals: Taking stock at midpoint

Looking rather relaxed for someone who has just over four months to achieve eight of 10 goals.

While most of you are staring down Day 3 of your 2012 New Year’s resolutions, I find myself with less than five months to go on my annual birthday resolutions. Make that “first” annual birthday resolutions: When I turned 55 last May 11 I got to Googling and discovered that 55 is a somewhat pivital year for a male. Among other things, our muscles and organs begin to atrophy; we shrink, on average, 0.4 inches a year; we dehydrate more easily; our joints stiffen … . Suffice it to say that on May 11 of last year I didn’t feel I could wait seven months to set some goals, so I set 10 immediately.  All with a theme of 55. read more

Dig it: 300-continuous miles of Mountains-to-Sea Trail

I cringed when I picked up the July Outside magazineand saw that it had the Mountains-to-Sea Trail listed under “Best Through-Hikes You’ve Never Heard Of.” No mention was made of the fact that the roughly 1,000-mile MST is only a little over half done, meaning that roughly 500 miles of this best-trail-you’ve-never-heard-of actually is on pavement, often competing with cars. Not exactly the escape most of us seek when we hit the trail. read more