Here’s the deal:
* We leave at 5 p.m. Friday, so you shouldn’t have to take time off from work.
* We drive to a trailhead that’s no more than two and a half hours away.
* We hike to a campsite that’s anywhere from a half mile to less than 3. (We’ll be to camp no later than 8 p.m.).
* We set up camp (yes, in the dark; it’s a good skill to have, and easier to learn in a group).
* Saturday, we have the entire day to hike. We’ll hike in day packs, returning to our basecamp at day’s end. Our Saturday hikes will be from 10 to 15 miles.
* Sunday, we do one more short hike before heading home. You’ll be home mid to late afternoon.It’s the perfect option for backpackers who thought they didn’t have time to plan a fall backpack trip, let alone take one. Our December trip: the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness of the Uwharrie National Forest. Here’s how the weekend will unfold:
Saturday, Dec. 11: In day packs, we’ll enjoy the 10-mile Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Loop, possibly taking a side excursion or two along the way. It’s the one time of year we can get good views from the ridge lines in this Designated Wilderness Area on the northern tip of the Uwharrie National Forest.
Sunday, Dec. 12: We’ll pack up and hike about 3.5 miles back to the trailhead. If it’s an especially clear day, we will drive to the nearby Joe Moffitt Trailhead and hike 0.8 miles on the Uwharrie Trail to Little Long Mountain for the best view in the Uwharrie range.
Includes: Camping, eguide for the trip detailing all hikes (including a custom map and elevation profile), tips on what to bring and how to dress, information on the terrain we’ll be exploring. We’ll also have a Zoom Trip Planning meeting on Monday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. to go over the hike and give tips on how to be ready for a quick Friday escape, hiking and setting up camp at night, unique challenges this trip may present, and more.
Not a backpacker? Not a problem. With our Backpacking for Non-Backpackers you can embrace the best of backpacking — camping in a remote backcountry location — minus the burden of lugging 40 pounds the entire time.
We set you up with the key backpacking gear you likely don’t have, carry it a short distance to basecamp, then we help you set up and show you how to use your equipment. Included in the program:
- Osprey backpack. We have high-quality packs that will fit most hikers comfortably and will hold all the gear you’ll need for the weekend.
- Backpacking tent. If you’ve got a tent, great. But if you need one that’s a little lighter, more compact and will leave room in your pack for more gear (including a “luxury” item or two), we can help you out.
- Sleeping pad. A sleeping pad insulates you from the ground (providing a little more heat) and gives you a soft, more cush night of sleep.
- Sleep sack. Again, if you have a sleeping bag, great. If n.ot, we will provide one
- Stove and cooking kit. We provide a lightweight gas canister stove, the gas canister, a pot, a cup, and an all-purpose eating utensil.
eguide. The Monday before our weekend trip we will send you an eguide covering:
- Weekend agenda, from meeting time and place, to a brief daily breakdown of our hikes, to maps and route descriptions for each day of the trip.
- What you need to bring. A full list of what you’ll need to bring. You likely have the basic hiking gear; we’ll provide a list of what to bring, including general hiking gear you bring on most trips plus any gear specific to this trip.
- Food recommendations. You can eat well in the backcountry but you have to be smart about it (mainly so your entire pack isn’t filled with food). We’ll go over good breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
Zoom planning meeting. The Monday before our trip we will conduct a Zoom planning meeting. We will go over the trip, covering many of the items in the eguide. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions about what to expect, and how to pack and prepare for the trip
Fitting, packing. At the trailhead we will fit you with the pack best suited for you and help you pack it (weight distributions is key — even if you’re only hiking a short distance).
Cooking. We’ll help you figure out how to work your stove, cook your food and clean up afterward.