So, you’ve been enjoying your walks in the woods and maybe you’re wondering what it might be like to stay a bit longer—overnight, even.
We can help you.
Ever since I wrote Backpacking North Carolina in 2011, I’ve been on a mission to dispel the myths of backpacking. Like the idea that you have to sleep on the cold, hard ground, eat beans out of a can, and hike 20 miles a day with 60-pound pack on your back.
Sometimes we listen to the tales of others for inspiration, sometimes for same flat-out vicarious living.
Thursday evening, you’ll get both at Peak Panel: a Night of Stories at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Four North Carolina climbers will share their individual stories of conquering four of the world’s most captivating peaks: Everest, Denali, Rainier and Patagonia.
Years ago, I was in the market for a mountain bike. I went to the old Spin Cycle in Cary, picked out a bike, asked if I could take it for a test ride. Sure, they said. Plenty of residential streets behind the store: knock yourself out.
Trouble was, it was a mountain bike; riding it on asphalt wouldn’t give me much of a feel for how it handled rocky, rooty trail. Fortunately, I knew of some of the later weaving between the former. I returned a half hour later with a dirt covered bike — which I wound up buying.
The point: for a big-ticket item that’s performance-based, buying it sight-untested is silly. Yet we do it all the time with our outdoor gear. With kayaks, for instance.
The good news?
With a boat, that needn’t necessarily be the case. Great Outdoor Provision Co. sponsors boat demo days in its main markets in North Carolina and Virginia where you’re welcome to come and compare and contrast a variety of boats.
Intrigued? Learn more about demoing a kayak at this blog we wrote in partnership with Great Outdoor Provision.
The following is a post, tweaked and updated, that originally ran a year ago, on the Great Outdoor Provision Co. blog. It heralds the start of our fourth season of GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking clinics.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve watched a remarkable thing happen to about 80 people.
They’ve became backpackers.
On the way to their initial goal of extending their day on the trail into night, they found much more. They dispelled irrational fears. They learned to be be self-reliant. They escaped the electronic world and they discovered that carrying your world on your back is not a burden but a blessing.
In 2013, we launched the GetHiking! program, initially in the Triangle, later in Charlotte and the Triad. The goal: to introduce more people hiking by: a) assuring newcomers they wouldn’t get left behind; and, b) showing folks great trails locally and throughout North Carolina.
I had a hunch there were a lot of hikers-in-waiting out there and I was correct: today, the three hiking groups and a corporate wellness affiliate have about 3,000 members.