The Backpacking Committee runs a wide range of backpack trips throughout the year. The most common destinations are within a few hours drive of New York City: the Catskills, the Appalachian Trail, Harriman State Park, the Adirondacks, the Taconics, the Berkshires, and the Kittatinnies, as well as occasional trips to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Central Pennsylvania. We offer a wide variety of backpack trips in all seasons, and for all levels of ability and experience. We also offer training workshops to introduce you to 3-season and winter backpacking and a number of backpack trips specifically for new backpackers that include training.
The Backpack program has grown significantly in the past few years, and you must pre-register for any backpack trip. Go to the Activities Schedule and find the trip you are interested in. For most trips, there will be a detailed trip description and instructions for how to register. Usually, you can register from the website using the link that leads to the online pre-registration form. See the entire details of the Backpacking Trip Registration Process.
There are risks associated with backpacking. Although our trips have experienced leaders, you should recognize that you are responsible for your safety and the safety of the group. Read the descriptions carefully to see if they are suitable for your abilities and contact the leaders if you have any questions. Participants must be experienced day-hikers, in good or excellent physical condition and have all the required backpacking equipment (consult our gear lists and our backpacking FAQs).
The number of people hiking on trails and camping in the backcountry these days is overwhelming. We must follow low-impact guidelines to preserve the relatively pristine nature of the backcountry so that we can continue to enjoy it and allow others to do so as well.
The Backpacking Committee always welcomes new leaders. If you are an experienced backpacker, consider leading for the committee, especially if you have some experience leading other activities. If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of backpacking, please contact the Backpacking Committee Chair listed to the right.
Check out the link below for a photo gallery of some of our backpacking leaders (and leader trainees) and a little bit about them. After that are links to some photo albums of our backpacking trips. If you hover over the photo you will see a description of the activity in many cases.