That's right, adventure doesn't wait, you have to go out and get yours. And we're going to bring you along for the planning of a 10-Day Overlanding and Hiking trip in early May on the Mid Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route (MABDR).
The P&P team, a Jeep, and an adventurous spirit are all we need. WAIT, NO. We need a lot more than that and we'll show you how we plan, prepare, and execute a multi-day trip in this multi-part series.
So What is the MABDR? Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route, what?
The MABDR is a scenic trail through the backcountry of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania on dirt, gravel, and paved roads intended for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle riders. The trail is about 1,080 miles long and is the 8th (at this time) Backcountry Discovery Route. And they welcome respectful and courteous guests on the trail -- enter stage left the P&P team with their trusty Jeep Gladiator.
And if you're not in Virginia or the surrounding areas, these Backcountry Discovery Routes (ridebdr.com) are available in other areas of the United States.
So What's Our Game Plan for the Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route?
Because the team, the Jeep, and a hail mary are not enough -- that's for sure. We're going to take a systematic approach to plan for the trip in a couple of Phases as we'd do for an extended hiking and outdoor trek. We have two objectives with this trip:
Overlanding in the Jeep: Trekking up the George Washington Forest and camping along the route in campsites and possibly boondocking (which is short for camping in a sanctioned backcountry spot)
Hiking Each Day: As we plot our course up the discovery route, we are planning for hiking 3-5 miles each day and traveling somewhere between 50-90 miles per day. Assuming that the average speed on the trail will net out at about 30mph, that's about 3-5 hours per day.
And of course, no trip would be complete without pictures on pictures of the journey and adventure, but more importantly, the Pointer part of the Pixels and Pointers team. The Shorthair is a ham.
As we think about the journey, there are a few parts that we need to really dig into. A multi-day trip that spans a road that's over 1,000 miles long from the tip of Virginia to Pennsylvania calls for an understanding of terrain, supplies, and most importantly -- where we'll stop to go hiking. So we'll divide this process into a few phases.
Route Planning: Gaining an understanding of the adventure, where you're staying, where you'll stop (for supplies, gas, food, etc), and what reservations are needed.
Hiking Trail Research: Remember the Blog post on how to Hack the Map (TrailHack#101: Mapping: Finding Trails on Your Own and the Apps to ‘Lifehack’ Your Adventures), this is exactly how we'll find the trails we're going to hike each day.
Equipment: Once we have a level of understanding of the driving route, the trails we're going to venture onto, and estimated start and stop points -- we can assess what type of equipment will be needed.
Reservation Booking: It's important to keep an adventuresome spirit while trekking into the unknown. The MABDR opens in May, so we must have a plan for where we're going to stay and for how long. And this is where it gets tricky because we don't necessarily know how long the trails will take to make it between stops. But there are hacks to get there.
And the rest will sort itself out as we go along. I'll make sure to document some of the one-off planning that we do for the MABDR and will publish our game plan should anyone want to recreate some version of this trek with your 4x4, pup, and brood.
How Should I Think About This Adventure Series?
While we may be planning for a trek on the MABDR, all of these practices will hold true for your planning process with any adventure. Whether it's a weekend trip or a week-long one, we encourage you to see this as a framework to apply to your adventure.
Between our Chief Morale Officer and myself, we'll do our best to share the plan, equipment, and links to any of the resources that we use. For now, get a pencil and paper (or your tablet), and let's dig in. The adventure will not wait, so we're going to go find it!