Backpacking the Appalachian Trail

An Overview

The Appalachian Trail follows the rocky spine of the Appalachia Mountains for over 2,000 miles from Maine to Georgia. Host to approximately 3 million hikers each year, the AT provides both fun and challenging routes for its visitors.  This trip will follow this local section of the AT, seven to ten miles a day, through pine forests, mountain laurel lowlands, and jagged mountain tops, which provide wonderful views.  Experience the adventure of long distance hiking while exploring the trails that converge on historic Harpers Ferry, WV.  This picturesque Civil War town lays at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. 

This trip is self-contained. Students will camp in tents, cook their own food on camp stoves, and practice backcountry hygiene (no access to bathroom facilities).

Itinerary

May 19th--Arrive at BWI airport and be picked up by Gettysburg College transportation. Arrive on campus and check into your residence hall. Meet and greet your GRAB facilitators, have dinner, sort gear and get some sleep.

May 20th--Finalize the sorting of gear and food, and then head for the trail. The drive to the trailhead is about 30 minutes. Plan to backpack a few miles on this day.

May 12-23--The bulk of the backpacking experience.

May 24th--Arrive in Harper's Ferry in the morning, and then return to Gettysburg in the afternoon. Take showers, tour the Battlefield and enjoy a BBQ dinner. Afterwards, enjoy dessert in downtown and possible take a ghost tour.

May 25th--Depart for BWI in the morning and return to Utah.


GRAB Staff Facilitators

Mike Mosho '14

Kaitlin Wingard '15

Equipment Checklist

Backpacking checklist

Answers to questions:

Will backpacks be provided?
Yes, we provide backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and headlamps should you require any of these items. In addition, we provide all the cooking supplies, tents, tarps, and even a trowel. 

Are there restrooms on the trail?
There are outhouses on the trail located near each shelter. There is no running water in the outhouses. 

Do we have showers?
Only if it rains. 

How cold will it be at night?
Low to mid 40's in the mountains. 

Are there a lot of bugs?
Depends on your definition of "a lot."

How much down time will we have?
The days will move at a pace decided upon by the group--but know, you will get time to yourself each day should you need it. 

What's for dinner?
We will talk in late April about menus. But we do a nice job of creating interesting and well balanced meals, and we base this on the needs of the group.