Trip Dates: August 3 - 6, 2019
Class II | Back Country Camping
4 days, 3 Nights
The Appalachian Trail, known to hikers as the AT or the “Green Tunnel,” is a 2,184 mile hiking path spanning the Appalachian Range from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Join Hammock Momma and AdventurHER Travel on an unforgettable long weekend where we’ll section hike the AT from Massie Gap to Damascus, AKA Trail Town, USA. Be challenged and empowered by this trek through the Blue Ridge Mountains made for the adventurer who wants an introduction to multi-night backpacking and a taste of thru-hiking the AT. We’ll be backpacking through mountain balds, dense forests, creek crossings, wild blueberry bushes, herds of wild ponies, and bagging 4 of Virginia’s 7 highest peaks — all at a pace perfect for those new to multi-day backpacking trips. Learn skills like trip planning, back country navigation & survival, wild animal management, campsite selection, leave no trace ethics & back country best practices, and more.
AdventurHER Travel is here to get more women outside, adventuring. Hammock Momma is founded on the idea that the outdoors are for everyone, dedicated to bringing you custom gear that gets you outside and fits your adventure. Together, we’re bringing you a special trip to launch Hammock Momma’s new gear line. When you join this trip, you’ll get a complimentary special edition Hammock Momma hammock, as well as other great gear — including an ultralight, waterproof day pack to use on the trip.
Every AdventurHER trip is led by a professional local guide and a Dedicated Adventure Manager (our DAM girls) from AdventurHER.
Activity Level: Class II; No previous backpacking skills are required, but we will be hiking 6 - 10 hours a day over occasionally rough terrain, gaining and losing elevation, and carrying 30 - 35 pound packs in all weather. We highly recommend taking long (5 - 10 mile) day hikes under weight before this trip!
Lodging: trail shelters, hammock, or shared 2-person tent — your choice, all are included!
Included Meals: All meals!
Reserve your spot now!
Our trips are kept small and personal. Make sure to secure your spot with a deposit.
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We’ll meet in Damascus, known as Trail Town USA and home to the Trail Days festival, where this little town sees upwards of 20,000 hikers every May, to celebrate thru-hikers on the AT. We’ll go over gear, picking up any last minute supplies from Mt. Roger’s Outfitters. Shuttling to the trailhead at Massie Gap, we hit the trail for our first stint to Thomas Knob Shelter, where we’ll make camp and then don day packs for our first and highest peak: Mt. Rogers. If we’re going to see wild ponies, this is our most likely day to see them — we’ll have plenty of time to observe and take photos! With a quarter moon and the beginning of the Perseid meteor shower, if we’re given clear skies, we may even be treated to a show of shooting stars.
Day 1 mileage: 4.5 miles
Day 1 elevation gain approx. 850’
Waking up to the soothing sounds of the forest, eating a hearty trail breakfast, and breaking camp early, we begin our longest hiking day for the whole trip. We’ll summit Balsam Mountain, Whitetop Mountain, and Buzzard Rock all in one day for a total of 12 miles. We’ll make camp at Lost Mountain Shelter, where you have a choice of sleeping in the shelter or camping (tent or hammock) depending on how full the shelter is when we arrive. After a full day hiking, dinner is going to taste great and you are bound to sleep very well!
Day 2 mileage: 12 miles
Day 2 elevation gain approx. 930’, elevation loss approx. 3140’
We’re afforded a slightly later break from camp on day three before we start out on the days hike, affording us many opportunities to splash into the area’s numerous and beautiful cascading creeks as we wind our way to Saunder’s Shelter for the night. At times, we will overlap with the Virginia Creeper Trail, a national recreational trail running from Abington to Whitetop Mountain, named for the old Virginia Creeper train whose railway became the trail!
Day 3 mileage: 6.5 miles
Day 3 elevation gain approx. 1120’, elevation loss approx. 1045’
On our last day on the trail, we’ll break camp and begin our 8.5 miles into town. Rolling into Damascus dirty, sweaty, and happy, we’ll celebrate our successful backpacking trip the bona fide “hiker trash" way: by eating as much as we possibly can at one of the local hiker stop restaurants in Trail Town!
Day 4 mileage: 8.5 miles
Day 4 elevation gain approx. 930’, elevation loss approx. 2270’
We expect to be hiking into Damascus early to mid-afternoon and celebrating with a late lunch in town. Though anything can happen on the trail, we can reasonably expect to be done with the trip by 5 pm. Please plan your departure accordingly. There are many accommodations options for those who elect to stay in Damascus Tuesday night (not covered in the cost of the trip).
THIS TRIP INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
Professional instruction & guiding
Shuttle to the trail head
Group cooking & water filtration gear
Group first aid kit
All meals from dinner Saturday to lunch in Damascus on Tuesday
Accommodation in AT shelters, tents, or hammocks
Full support from your DAM Girl before, during, & after the trip
Local certified guides with CPR, First Aid, and/or Wilderness First Aid certifications
Hammock Momma hammock
AdventurHER swag, including an ultralight, waterproof daypack
Travel to and from Damascus, VA
Long-term parking is available at Mt. Rogers Outfitters for $5 per day per vehicle
Optional additional night/s in Damascus
A deposit of $250 will reserve a spot on this trip. This is fully refundable minus a processing fee for the first 7 business days, whereupon it becomes non-refundable. The balance for the trip will be due 6/22/2019.
Tent** or Hammock***
Sleeping Bag (30 - 40 degrees)*
Backpacking pack & rain cover*
Tarp (if hammock camping)*
Headlamp with fresh batteries*
Weather appropriate synthetic or wool layers
Hiking socks (wool recommended)
Personal bathroom kit: toilet paper or Kula cloth, odor eliminating bags, personal wipes, hand sanitizer
Personal mess kit: bowl/plate, cup, utensils
Sun block and lip balm
Water bottles or hydration system equaling 3L
Electrolyte drink mixes
Bug net (if hammock camping)
Small multitool or pocket knife
*items available to borrow from AdventurHER Travel at no extra cost
**nights 2 and 3 may have the option of either a primitive shelter or tent/hammock camping. If you’d like to tent camp, 2-person tents are available to borrow from AdventurHER Travel at no extra cost; you may be bunking with another hiker.
***you will be receiving a special edition hammock and a small, packable daypack as a part of this trip!