Backpacking is a new passion for Jen. Growing up on Long Island meant she was well-acquainted with beaches, not mountains. It wasn’t until she moved to D.C. and became involved with a local outdoors group that she started hiking. It was a steady progression: short hikes led to longer ones, long hikes led to overnight backpacking, and overnight backpacks led to her wanting to do more.
She wouldn’t have described herself as ultra-light before joining DC UL Backpacking, but Jen always was fine-tuning her gear after each trip. Going lighter made complete sense, and helped her move closer to her goal of being a more efficient backpacker. Since joining DC UL, Jen has backpacked throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, and completed her first long-distance trail by thru-hiking Sweden’s Kungsleden trail in June 2013. Jen was recently made a co-organizer of the group, and started up a women’s only backpacking series for its female members.
Jen is looking forward to continuing her backpacking journeys and to encouraging others to get on the trail… ultra-light, of course!
Home: Washington, DC
Website: Shuttling Around
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Co-organizer, DC UL Backpacking.
Favorite Training Ground: I never get tired of hiking Signal Knob, and Sugarloaf Mountain is an underrated hike that’s close to D.C. If I have time, I enjoy heading down to the southern Shenandoah area.
Current Plans: My long distance adventure for the year will be hiking the John Muir Trail this summer. As a personal challenge, I’m also planning to tackle the Grand Traverse in the Adirondacks (love hiking up there!). Otherwise, I’ll be leading trips for the DC UL Backpacking Meet-up with an eye on building out our beginner trips, as well as exploring new trails for our veteran members.