DC UL Backpacking is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019. As part of the celebration, we’ll be featuring conversations with group members throughout July and August.
Marika (Blizzard) has attended 60 trips with DC UL.
You’ve been with DC UL for a while. What brought you to DC UL? And what keeps you coming back?
I have always wanted to learn how to backpack but it’s not really something my family and friends do, so I wasn’t sure where to start. I met Michael on a Capital Hiking Club trip and he told be about DC UL and suggested some reading. It took me a few months to feel ready, but I was hooked after my first trip. I always enjoy the mix of camaraderie, challenge and solitude when I’m backpacking with DC UL.
What’s been your favorite trip so far?
Within driving distance, I have a soft spot for the Trout Run Valley circumnavigation. Our trip through Death Valley was also a major highlight for me. I loved hiking in the desert.
What do you like best about DC UL?
I like the variety of hikes and hanging out with a great group of people. Especially if there is a campfire involved.
What advice do you have for newcomers to DC UL?
Don’t worry if you don’t have the right gear to be ultralight. You don’t need it to start. I had zero gear when I first joined and members kindly loaned me items and gave me feedback on what kind of gear I should get.
Where do you hope to go in the future with DC UL?
I have never hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains and would love to do a DC UL trip there.
Photo credits: Marika.