Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Three Ridges Hike, Beech Grove Road, Roseland, VA, USA
As the title suggests, I love Backpacking. I have a continuous footpath on the Appalachian Trail from I-66 to about 6 miles north of Harper’s Ferry, and I want to keep that distance growing. When I joined Outdoors club, I was a little disappointed at the number of Backpacking trips available, so I decided to plan my own trip and share my love of Backpacking with you all.
Beginners to Backpacking are welcome, but I am hesitant to promote it as beginner friendly, because this is going to be a HARD hike. I find that the hardest trips are most exciting, rewarding, and memorable. Here is the map from alltrails.com (https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/virginia/three-ridges-trail?ref=sidebar-static-map).
Day 1: I plan to be on the trail by 9 am, which starts at the AT parking lot on Blue Ridge Pkwy. After about 1.5 miles south, the trail splits and I intend to head right to stay on the AT. After another 7.2 miles, the other half of the loop trail reconnects to the AT, but I want to keep going on the AT for another 2-2.5 miles until we reach Crabtree Falls Pkwy. The main reason I’m doing this is to be able to start at Crabtree Falls next trip and maintain a continuous footpath. Total about 11 miles.
Day 2: We start wherever we camped and hike north on the AT until we reach the place where the Mau-Har trail splits off. We’ll take that trail to complete the loop on the map and then finish off with the 1.5 mile section on the AT from Day 1. Total about 7-8 miles.
Gear List (Most of this gear should be available to members to borrow from the Gear Rooms):
-Backpack (not your school backpack)
-tent (or hammock if you prefer that and know how to use it)
-sleeping bag and mat
-good sturdy Hiking Boots
-trekking poles (helpful, but not required)
-water (2-4 L). I’m bringing my water filter, so we can fill up on the way, but the only water source I see on the map is the Tye River at the very end. That means you need to carry enough each day to last the whole day.
-food you’re assigned to bring (see below)
– trail snacks (if desired). If you need suggestions, my favorites are granola, beef jerky, Jolly Ranchers, and trail mix (with M&Ms).
-any stoves, dishes, or utensils required for your meal
-one complete change of clothes, preferably in a waterproof bag, so that you can sleep in something warm and dry, even if you fall in a creek.
-something to keep your head warm, like a beanie, wool hat, etc., because it might get cold and it is so nice to sleep with a comfy hat on.
-synthetic or wool layers. When Cotton gets wet, it stays wet, gets heavy, and makes you cold, so try to avoid cotton as much as possible. Don’t expect to be wearing too many layers while hiking, but when we stop to camp, it will be to your benefit to have an extra shirt or two to throw on.
-trowel and Toilet paper
-toothbrush (if desired)
-Something to entertain the group, like a small musical instrument or deck of cards.
-Wilderness survival supplies like first aid kit, pocket knife, rope, fire starters, compass, signal mirrors etc. (don’t worry too much about these, but if you already have something, you might as well bring it along)
Clothing (this is exactly what I intend to pack and wear, adjust to what you have on hand):
What I’m wearing
-1 pair of wool socks
-Cargo shorts (I know cotton is not good, but It’s really hard and expensive to go all synthetic. I also love the pockets to store snacks)
What I’m packing to be readily available in case I need it
-nice red wool hat
-Synthetic long sleeve skiing shirt
-Blue lightweight Gerry down jacket
What I’m packing in a sealed ziplok bag (this is what I want to sleep in and so staying warm and dry is a must)
-1 pair of wool socks (I will keep wearing these for Sunday as well)
-1 synthetic T-shirt (the one I’ve been wearing all day gets hung up outside the tent to dry out from all the sweat)
-1 pair of long underwear pants
-1 warm cotton long sleeve shirt (I don’t intend to exercise in this, just sleep, so wet cotton shouldn’t be too much of a problem)
Food: My plan for food is to have one or two people responsible for each meal. I think it is much easier to plan and prepare 1 meal for 5-6 people, rather than 5 separate meals for yourself. It also allows you to focus your time and energy on one thing. I want to have an in person meeting sometime before the hike to plan this out in detail and assign specific meals to people (maybe Tues 10/8/19, 9PM, in the courtyard outside of Newcomb, 3rd floor. If this doesn’t work for you, please text me so we can figure something out). As a challenge, try to make the best meal you can while keeping the entire cost of the meal under $10. Also, if you’re new to backpacking, we can discuss packing tips and general advice at this meeting as well.
Drivers: The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest prohibits groups larger than 10 camping in the backcountry, so I can only accept 1 additional driver. If you sign up as a driver, you will get priority off the waitlist and your gas will be reimbursed plus a 50% tip (Make sure to arrive with a full tank of gas).
Please arrive having already consumed a full Liter of water and eaten a breakfast high in Protein (like eggs, peanut butter, dairy, nuts, beans, etc.) and lower in Carbs (bread, cereal, noodles, sugary treats). Protein keeps you going longer, whereas Carbs give you an energy boost followed quickly by an energy slump, which makes you tired and hungry.