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Beginner Backpack Trip – Belle Isle State Park

September 18 @ 2:00 pm - September 19 @ 10:00 am



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Are you new to backpacking? This is a great first trip to test your skills if you haven’t been backpacking before! Join Virginia Backpacking’s guides for an overnight backpack trip to Belle Isle State Park, a hidden gem within the Virginia State Park system!

Your Guides

Brian has been backpacking for decades and has years of experience as a formal educator to help ease you into learning how to backpack. He’s also a former Wilderness First Aid instructor.

Carmen has been backpacking a few years now but her knowledge of what it was like as a beginner is still fresh in her mind. She can share those experiences with you to help build your confidence. Carmen también habla español.

We’ll be hiking around 3 miles over two days on flat, wide fire roads to established campsites along the Rappahannock River.

DAY 1 – Meet at Belle Isle Equestrian Trailer Parking Area, arrive by 2:00 pm. Hike 1.5 miles to campsites. Set up camp and enjoy the evening!

We’ll also be leading a class to discuss the following topics:

  • Choosing a backpacking route.
  • The “Ten Essentials”
  • Choosing your gear
    • Clothing
    • Footwear
    • Backpack
    • Sleeping gear
    • Food
    • Trekking poles
    • Tent vs hammock
    • Stove
    • Water treatment
    • GPS
  • Additional considerations
    • Going to the bathroom
    • Hygiene
    • Backpacking on a budget
    • What to do when you get back home

DAY 2- Break camp. Hike 1.5 miles back to the Parking Area.

Additional Details

• Group Size – 8 people

• The campground has a portable toilet. No electricity or showers.

• Hiking Distance: 3 miles

• Trail Terrain: gravel, dirt

• Difficulty: Easier (Level 1 out of 4 difficulty level)

What to Bring:

Required (If you don’t have something on this list let us know. We’re in the process of purchasing equipment that can be rented.)

  • 2 Liters of water – recommend Nalgene bottles
  • Hiking boots or hiking shoes
  • Hiking socks
  • Prescription medications
  • Toiletries (there is a portable toilet at the campsites)
  • Sun protection
  • Weather appropriate clothing (rain jacket, warm or cooler clothing depending on temperatures)
  • Personal Headlamp/Flashlight
  • Trail snacks
  • Backpacking backpack
  • 1 or 2 person lightweight tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad


  • Change of clothes
  • Pillow – Bring a camp pillow (or stuff sack that you can fill with clothing)
  • Sunglasses
  • Wide brim hat
  • Trekking poles

What Virginia Backpacking brings:

  • Backpacking Stove
  • Dinner – Your choice of a freeze dried backpacker meal
  • Group First Aid Kit

• Cancellation: If weather becomes an issue, call or check your email for updates before leaving.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel or leave a trip for any reason:

  • 60+ days before start of trip: Full refund of trip cost minus $25 per person.
  • 59 to 30 days before start of trip: 50% refund of the trip cost.
  • Less than 30 days prior to trip start: There will be no refund or trip credit.


September 18 @ 2:00 pm
September 19 @ 10:00 am


Brian Finkle
View Organizer Website


Belle Isle State Park
1632 Belle Isle Rd
Lancaster, VA 22503 United States
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