90 Second Escape: Backpacking the AT in Virginia

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 or slide show 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.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: Backpacking the AT in Virginia

One of my favorite adventures — perhaps the favorite — is winter backpacking. True, the nights are long (12 hours in a sleeping bag isn’t that bad, provided it’s rated to zero), the days cold, and heaven forbid a cold rain should move in. But the quiet alone makes the inconvenience worth it.

The slightest breeze activates the sleeping forest. Stand still and you can hear leaves rustle on a ridge a half mile off, a twig snap in the valley below. When the wind dies, silence. The absence of leaves exposes a hardwood forest that has no secrets come winter.

And those long, cold nights? How many times do you get up in the morning wishing you only had another 10 minutes?

Here’s a quick escape to get you in the mood for a winter backcountry excursion. If you’re interested in learning more, subscribe to our free GetBackpacking! enewsletter: the November edition will feature tips on winter backpacking as well as a poll: we’ll present five options for a January trip, you vote on which one you prefer. Sign up for the enewsletter by emailing joe@getgoingnc.com.

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