Dec 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm #1297269
I live in eastern PA, but grew up in western PA, so I occasioanlly get to drive 6 hrs across the northern Appalachian mountains. This trip I took some time to stop in at Brain Vargo's retail store…Vargo Outdoors. They moved to a new location this year in Lewisburg, PA.
I met Brian at Trail Days several years ago since I used to live close to Damascus, VA. Although it's a long drive down to Virgina from Pennsylvania, he has been one of the regulars there to talk with hikers and spread the UL backpacking word.
He was working in his nearby warehouse today, so I didn't didn't get to chat with him, but it was nice to see his new digs. The guy working on inventory was very nice and great to talk with. The new place is much more open than his original location and next to a bike path, which a bit different from his "downtown" location.
In addition to the typical outdoor retail stuff he still has his own Vargo Ti gear, including his fairly new Hexagon wood burning stove and Ti Bot bottle/pot.
If you are in the area, make a detour to stop by; otherwise check out his website. I think it's great to see one of the earliest lightweight cottage manufacturers thriving in retail stores, on-line, and in his own brick-and-mortar locations.
TomDec 23, 2012 at 7:47 am #1937630
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
Thanks for the heads-up.
I had planned on doing some hiking in the area in the spring. We usually do a few trips in various locations in PA when we can and that area was on our list.Dec 24, 2012 at 8:23 am #1937915
Thanks for posting this…I live near Lancaster and drive right through Lewisburg on my way to much of my backpacking in the northern part of the state. Did you notice if they carry any food? It might be nice to know that there's a good place to pick up those "last minute things" on the way to the trail.Dec 24, 2012 at 8:26 am #1937918
Yes, they have a good selection of freeze dried meals and bars.
TomDec 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm #1938197
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have a Vargo ti alky/ESBIT stove and had a Vargo Jet-Ti canister stove. Both were good quality but the Jet Ti burner is no longer sold.
I now use a Trail Designs Sidewinder Caldera Cone stove for ESBIT and wood and have found it to be much more efficient than the Vargo ESBIT/alky stove.Jan 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm #1947843
Wait, what? I live down the road. It never even occurred to me there might be such a store around here… I fly to California/Utah/Arizona/Norway/etc for most of my hiking.
I only moved here recently but pretty much wrote off Pennsylvania when I had the most boring hike of my entire life "summiting" Mount Davis (PA's highest point… elevation difference from "trailhead" is about 100 feet on a 3/4 mi trail). Although I'll admit we had a lot of fun snowshoeing today at Ricketts Glen State Park. Maybe I can get some solid, reliable, local hiking advice about better places in PA.Jan 28, 2013 at 5:17 am #1947921
There are a couple nice options here in PA.
– Midstate Trail
– Black Forest Trail
– Allegany Trail
P.S. I agree that CA, UT, & AZ offere a awfully nice change from the green tunnels here in PA.Jan 28, 2013 at 5:54 am #1947929
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
I have lived all over the US, but mostly Utah and NYC.
The differences between hiking out west and the northeast is that out west you may spend the whole day getting over a big mountain 5,000 to 7,000 or more elevation gain.
In the northeast you go up and down several 500 to 1,000 mountains in one day.
The same amount of total climb.
In the northeast you don't know when you summit a mountain because you are usually in a green tunnel. Sometimes you hike all day in the green tunnel. No sunglasses or sunscreen needed.
When I hike out west, I wear sunglasses and sunscreen with a wide brim hat.
I can't say I prefer one place over another.
My wife likes the green tunnel because she tends to get a little agoraphobia in wide open areas.Jan 28, 2013 at 7:17 am #1947946
@aromankoLocale: Great Lakes
Id recommend the Black Forest Trail and the Loyalsock Trail which are both in the same general area, both trails have great views and challenging climbs.Jan 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm #1948217
I'll have to check out the Black Forest Trail. I have been up Pine Creek biking the rail trail many times but not hiking there. I definitely didn't realize "best in the state" would be there.
I actually was just looking at Pine Creek on a topo map lately wondering if it might be possible to get in some AT skiing on the hills that form the sides of the gorge. I was specifically thinking about the Slate Run and Little Slate Run areas where I now see the Black Forest Trail goes right by. Anyone think it might be possible to hike up to the trail from Slate Run Rd and ski back down? Looks like 1000 feet of vertical are possible but I can't tell from the satellite if the tree cover is thin enough to ski through it.
I was also considering Little Pine State Park.
Anyone tried to go backcountry skiing at all in the Lycoming County area?Jan 29, 2013 at 3:42 am #1948347
You might want to look at the Old Loggers Path if you'd like to take your skis on a PA trail. If you hike it clockwise there will be at least two 1-mile downhill runs on old railroad grades.
Of course, getting to Masten in the winter may not be easy (or possible).Mar 19, 2013 at 5:55 am #1967358
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