Brian Horst

Brian Horst
Brian Horst

Brian got his start in the outdoors through attending summer camp every year as a child and then later as a staffer, where he slept outside under clear plastic tarps and did backpacking trips with generic external frame packs. In 1997, Brian thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with the typical 50 pound backpack. A year later, and after not having done any other backpacking worth mentioning since finishing the AT, he attempted to thru-hike the Long Trail with the same heavy pack and at the same thru-hiker pace he had been keeping the year before, and promptly blew out his knees.

Realizing he needed to lighten things up if he wanted to keep doing these kind of big trips without constantly being on the trail, he began lightening his load and was able to successfully complete the Long Trail in 1999. For the next decade, as he went out on trips with backpackers from local backpacking groups, his pack was regularly the lightest among the group. Eventually he started doing trips with the DC UL Backpacking Meet-up, where suddenly his pack was among the heaviest.

Since then, Brian has again lightened things up even more. He’s taken an active role as Co-organizer of the DC UL Backpacking Meet-up, where he regularly gets out several weekends a month and leads trips with a focus on growing the local ultralight backpacking community.

Home: Wheaton, Maryland

Age: 41

Outdoor Organization Involvement: Co-Organizer, DC UL Backpacking Meetup

Favorite Training Grounds: As much as I like big impressive mountains, having grown up in Pennsylvania, the rounded forested mountains and ridges of the Appalachians are what feels like home. I’m a sucker for the Allegheny Plateau. I enjoyed the Allegheny Front Trail so much that I had to hike it in each of the four seasons over the past year.

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