I’ll be heading down to the George Washington National Forest tomorrow to attend the DC UL Meetup‘s annual Gear Swap. I’ve been an “Applicant” member of this group for some time, but scheduling just never allows me to hike with them. My online interactions with them have always been great, so I’m looking forward to meeting them face-to-face, especially their Organizer, Michael Martin. I’m also excited to meet some of my fellow Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassadors: Jen Adach and Brian Horst, who are both extremely active in DC UL.
The group will be camping out this weekend, but I am only able to attend for the day on Saturday. I hope to join one of the morning hikes, and then roam the campsite like a giant nerd and examine everyone’s gear. Members will have a chance to showcase their kits, which I imagine will stir much debate about the finer points of Ultralight Backpacking. There will also be demo gear on hand from a few manufacturers (including Gossamer Gear), some skills lessons, a chili cook-off, and a swap meet. I hope to sell a bit of my own gear while I’m there. I’ve also gathered some intelligence stating that there will be a fire so hot that it will melt steel at 1000 paces. I’m also going to put on a 1-man hiking-themed comedy show entitled “Angry Man Hangs Hammock for the First Time”.
If you are an active ultra lighter or a curious newbie in the Mid-Atlantic, I definitely suggest checking out DC UL. They won’t steer you wrong.