Backpacking: AT – Swatara Gap to PA 501


Girtong has never been backpacking before, but he’s been reading trailournals all summer, and so he wanted to try it out. We scraped together enough borrowed equipment to outfit him for adventure and headed for the Appalachian Trail.

Yesterday morning, we arrived at a very foggy Swatara State Park, where we saw some intrepid kayakers.

Kayakers on the Swatara

We climbed up the mountain, took in some scenery, and pitched the tarp near the William Penn Shelter.

A toad along the AT

Girtong observing scenery

It was windy and cold camped up on the ridge, but we survived the night. This morning, we fortified ourselves with some instant oatmeal and highly concentrated tar instant coffee, and pushed on to route 501.

There are lots of nice views of the Lebanon Valley to the south.


It was a nice overnighter. We had good weather, and kept the mileage very low.

There are a few more pictures in my gallery, but for some damn fool reason, my camera was in 640×480 mode the whole time, so nothing terribly high-res this time.

2 thoughts on “Backpacking: AT – Swatara Gap to PA 501

  1. I’ve never been backpacking (yet). I even borrowed some gear from a friend in Indiana, intending to go, but never got around to it. Hopefully I will be able to try it someday, although I don’t know how now. Blast.

    Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

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