Who We Are
Mountain Blazers is a hiking club based in South Carolina, with members throughout the Carolinas. In two areas of our website you can learn about hiking and camping in the mountains. Our Backpacking Basics section has information for those getting started or wanting to learn a little more about backpacking. Then there is Hiking With Jerry, articles about hiking and living on the trail. If you want to join us on a trip, check out our Upcoming Trips and choose from short beginner hikes to as challenging as a 3-day section hike on the Appalachian Trial.
A Bit About Jerry
Trail Name: "Monsoon"
My first ever hiking trip was the summer of 1985 on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. During that trip our group ran into a gentleman thru-hiking the trail on his way to Maine. I've been hooked ever since.
After completing a 20-year career in the Marines with little to no recreational camping (except for a hike up Mt. Saint Helens in 2002), I am back at it in full force. I'm now the owner of a coffee shop, a practicing Vegan, and an avid hiker. I try to get to the mountains every other weekend, especially during the summer months.
The hikers I've met express different reasons for wanting to be out in the wilderness. For me, it is not about getting away from it all. I'm happy during the rare occasions when I have mobile coverage at a campsite. I love hiking simply because I enjoy the challenges, the rewards, and the beauty of all that nature has to offer.
My philosophy for hiking is simple. Hike your own hike. Enjoy it in the manner which makes you the happiest. Worry less about the expectations of others. Coincidentally, this is also my philosophy for living life.
A Bit About Allayna
Hello! My name is Allayna Weber. I started hiking when I was young, probably nine or ten years old, because it was something my dad loved to do. My family and I took camping trips all the time to different locations in New England, where I used to live. From a young age I loved the mountains and the outdoors and took any opportunity to go on new adventures.
Upon moving to South Carolina I went on day hikes with my friends, but hadn’t been camping in years since leaving New Hampshire. When Jerry offered the opportunity of a backpacking trip I was both eager and nervous, unsure of my own capabilities or limitations. Our first trip, to Black Balsam knob, a simple hike in and out to our camping spot (approximately four miles) consisted of beautiful mountain views, macaroni dinner, and lots of laughs. This short trip left me wanting to go on many more like it and it left me wanting to go FARTHER, climb HIGHER, and to learn even more about backpacking.
The reason I love hiking, camping, backpacking, is the feeling of freedom and accomplishment that is gained from just being outdoors with nothing but what is carried on your back. The feeling of the outdoor air and the beautiful sights all around is an experience like no other. It is a way for me to test my abilities and simultaneously enjoy the earth around me.
A Bit About Ashley
Why do I enjoy backpacking and hiking? The answer is simple. For me, Mother Nature is a healer. Mother Nature allows me to feel both so free yet uncomfortable at the same time. Spending time outdoors allows me to spend time with myself, with the earth I live on; the home that my “home” resides on.
Although you could get hit by a thunderstorm at any moment, or have your belongings stolen by raccoons, hiking/camping in the wilderness allows for memories to be made - always. Especially when you’re with some great friends; that makes it even better.
Testing myself physically and mentally is also another aspect of hiking that I truly have learned to enjoy. It’s incredible what the body can do when you put your mind to it.
I encourage you, if you have never been fully immersed in Mother Nature’s beauty on top of a mountain, go ahead and give it a try. Embrace the beauty. Inhale the fresh air. Conquer something you would doubt that you are able to do. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
Mother Nature is a healer. And for me? I look forward to my next adventure with Her. I can’t wait for the next escape into the mountains that never fail to help in healing my soul.
Become a Member
Want to become a member of our Mountain Blazer hiking club?
If you are a hiker, or just learning, you can join. We are looking for individuals who enjoy hiking & camping. If you love meeting new people and providing assistance to others learning to backpack, there will be opportunities to do just that after becoming a member.
Email us to get the process started. firstname.lastname@example.org
To become a Mountain Blazer you are required to do two things:
1) Join us on at least one overnight hiking/camping trip.
2) Sign up to join our website. You will then be issued a badge in accordance with your hiking and camping experience.