May 2021 Newsletter

June is New Members/Applicants Month

June should be an exciting month!

We’ve got low mileage trips scheduled for every weekend in June, as well as bikepacking and packrafting treks. If you’re new to DC UL, hop on one of our low mileage (LM) trips or join the waitlist if it’s full. You’ll have a chance to break in your gear and get some experience under your belt.

Shop our store!

20% off everything from May 13-16 and 25-28!

Member Recipe: Moroccan Chicken Couscous

Many thanks to Mark R. for sharing his favorite recipe for Moroccan Chicken Couscous.

He notes that it is also good cold in hot weather.


  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots or dates chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds or cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 packet olive oil (0.38 oz single-serve packet)
  • 7 oz pack chicken (or freeze-dried chicken)

In camp, add 1 cup hot or cold water to rehydrate.


We have so many naturalists among our backpackers. Consider trying the iNaturalist app on your smartphone (free) to identify plants and animals.

(Photo: Jonathan)

Update to the COVID Guidelines

Find updates to our COVID guidelines here. The biggest change is that trip leaders can now set a carpool at their discretion.

(Photo: Unsplash Fusion Medical Animation)

Trip Report of May

You can’t find a more beautiful trip report than this one from our May trip to Mary’s Rock, the Pinnacle, and Hazel Country.

(Photo: Heavy D)

May Stats

  • 6 trips
  • 237 miles
  • 40 backpackers on the trail
  • 15 new applicants/members

How Do Member Rankings Work?

If you’ve seen MO, VMO, and other abbreviations on our Meetup events, you might be confused. DC UL has a membership structure that allows advanced backpackers to get out on more intense trips and provides a path for new backpackers to build up skills for more difficult trips.

  • Applicant – people new to the group are given the rank of Applicant and can attend Low Mileage (LM) trips
  • Member – demonstrated basic backpacking proficiencies and can attend Members Only (MO) trips
  • Veteran Member – completed a trip that includes the equivalent of a 20-mile day done while demonstrating advanced proficiencies and eligible to join Veteran Members Only (VMO) trips
  • Veteran Member Plus – completed a multi-day trip with at least 3 consecutive nights and averaging 15 miles daily and eligible to join Veteran Member Plus Only (VMO+) trips

Read more about our membership structure.

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Contribute to Our Newsletter!

Would you like to share a favorite recipe, tip, trip, or piece of gear? Send your contributions to Carrie (Gig) at

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