Fall is our favorite time of year to go backpacking: temperatures are cooling, the forest is alit in color, the air is dry, the chance of rain is greatly diminished. It’s a great time to be on the trail — and to stay on the trail.
That’s one of the many joys of backpacking: once you’re on the trail, you don’t have to leave. Stay a night, or two or three.read more
You learn a lot while backpacking, especially about yourself. I’m pretty sure the nine backpackers I spent this past weekend with in Linville Gorge know a lot more about themselves today than they did before our trip.
The weekend trip was an Intermediate Skills trip, meaning participants needed some backcountry experience, though not necessarily in a wilderness. It was targeted to people eager to expand their skills and push their comfort level. And that they did.read more
That’s the story of summer, the 13-week run between Memorial Day and Labor Day when we pack in most of our adventures for the year. So we set out to pick some destinations that seem most worthy of summer fun. Here are a few places we’re headed this summer, and why:read more
“We’ve only done five miles?” one of the backpackers asked with a mix of disbelief and despair.
“Yes,” I said, “but they’re likely the hardest five miles you’ve ever done.” Until tomorrow. I kept that last part to myself.
Our nine-person GetBackpacking! group had started that morning at 9 from our campsite atop Shortoff Mountain on the east rim of Linville Gorge. We followed the MST on a steep descent to the Linville River, crossed a 60-yard-wide stretch of water, then made the long descent back up the rugged west rim. Challenging, but nothing like the rollercoaster Leadmine Trail we would take back down to the river. By the time we saw water again, it was 5 o’clock and our legs were done. We took the first suitable campsite.read more