After my old hiking partner decided to hang up her hiking boots I was looking for someone to hike with and I found the Appalachian Mountain Club. After day hiking for a year or so with the club, I decided to take a Intro to backpacking seminar and I’ve been backpacking ever since.
I think I started out like most people with a pack that was no more than 20% of my body weight but soon realized that just because they say you can carry that much doesn’t mean you want to. Let’s face it, hiking all day with a lighter pack is much more comfortable and less taxing on my small frame. I am a self admitted gear junkie! I’m constantly tweaking my kit to get lighter and more efficient. I am not an ultralighter but definitely fit into the lightweight category.
After doing many AMC club trips, I was asked to become a backpacking leader for my chapter. The trail is where I love to be so I’m out as much as my schedule will allow. In fact, last year I led the most backpacking trips for the NY/NJ chapter.
Most of my backpacking is in the Hudson Valley, Catskills and Adirondacks.
Three years ago, I started backpacking in the winter and absolutely love it. I have logged many miles with my snowshoes and crampons all around the Catskills and the Adirondacks. In 2013, I successfully completed the ADK Winter Mountaineering School Program. Since then I’ve been leading winter backpacks for my chapter in the Catskills and Adirondacks. This year I hope to do a week long backpack in Baxter State Park in Maine.
Light weight in winter conditions takes on a new meaning but I try to go as light as I can without compromising safety. I’ve been fairly successful at this and each year I try to upgrade to lighter high functioning winter gear.
For longer backpacking goals I have decided to start section hiking the Appalachian Trail. So far I have completed Maryland and will be finishing Massachusetts and Connecticut before the year is out. I have also planned to start doing some longer distance solo treks like the Northville Placid Trail, the John Muir Trail and the Long Trail.
Home: Valley Stream, New York
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Backpacking Leader for the NY/NJ Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club
Favorite Training Grounds: Hudson Valley, Catskills and Adirondacks