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.
Kylie (Faceplant) has been on over 90 trips with DC UL. Among her favorite pieces of gear? Her Purple Rain skirt, her ULA Circuit backpack, and her Yama Mountain Gear pogies.
You’ve been with DC UL for a while. What brought you to DC UL? And what keeps you coming back?
I joined DC UL shortly after thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I was looking for a group of backpackers who had a similar style in terms of the pace and distances I liked to hike. I found that in DC UL but what keeps me coming back are the people I’ve met and become friends with.
What’s been your favorite trip so far?
Two of my favorite DC UL trips were the Great Range Traverse in the Adirondacks. The first was done as a backpacking route and the other was a base-camp style trip. Both were challenging but enjoyable thanks to the nice weather and good company. I grew up hiking in the Adirondacks so it’s always special to go back.
What do you like best about DC UL?
I like the variety of trips that the group offers. One weekend I can spend hours hanging out in camp on a low mileage (LM) trip and the next I can hike from dawn to dusk on a veteran-members only* (VMO) trip.
What advice do you have for newcomers to DC UL?
Don’t let gear get in your way. If you are missing a few items, DC UL members are happy to loan out extra gear. If your gear is heavy but you can carry it, bring that. There’s no judgement.
Where do you hope to go in the future with DC UL?
Lots of places! There are a few trails I’d like to do in Pennsylvania. I also hope to lead a DC UL trip to Peru in the coming years.
*Veteran members earn their status by hiking a 20-mile day.
Photo credits: Karan G.