New Year, New Letter

As we start 2023, we are 1,645 members strong!

We took 61 trips in 2022, along with a number of social events throughout the year.

Backpackers joined us on the trails 432 times for fellowship, gear talk, and hiking.

Our members hail from all over, not just DC. Here’s where Meetup tells us you are from!

Joshua Tree and the Mojave National Preserve Trip, January 2023

What happens when our talented photographers take a trip together? Well, we get a lot of wonderful photos, that’s what! Photo credits to Russ Evans, Peter Silverman, and Andrew Lydon for these beauties.

Tips for Winter Backpacking

The Mid-Atlantic area hasn’t gotten a lot of snowfall yet, but maybe you’ve seen some in the mountains? It never hurts to be prepared during winter.

It’s important to give yourself lots of insurance against wetness and cold. Incorporating some of the gear below will help you stay safe, dry and warm.

Photo credit: Robert N. from 2022’s Whitegrass Social

Here are some of our best tips for successful winter backpacking:

Base Layers

If it’s going to be very cold, it’s smart to invest in some base layers. These are usually wool, silk, bamboo, or even synthetic, and will keep you that extra degree of warm that you’ll need for more extreme temperatures.

Extra Dry Layers

You never know what you might run into. It’s a good idea to have a couple of extra layers for added warmth or in case one of your layers fails from dampness. Extra socks especially!

Down Booties

You want to be comfortable at camp, right? Make sure you’ve got down booties for your camp time.

Warmer Sleeping Pad

You may want to switch out your summer sleeping pad with something that will provide more warmth and comfort.

Are you new to choosing a sleeping pad for winter? Remember that the higher the R-Value, the more insulation it will provide.


Make sure you have the capability to start a fire in case you really need to. It can provide you with warmth, dryness, and even visibility if you need to be located.

Waterproof Shoes or Boots

Waterproof shoes or boots can be a real lifesaver and help you avoid cold, wet feet!

Crampons, Spikes, or Snowshoes

If you encounter ice or deep snow, having traction devices or snowshoes will be incredibly handy in helping you navigate difficult terrain.


If you’re expecting deep snow or stream or river crossings, insure against wet, frozen feet with this extra layer of protection.

Rain Gear

Your goal is to stay dry and warm. A final layer of rain gear is always a must have!

Do you have an idea for a newsletter? Can you contribute a backpacking tip or recipe? Email us at

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