The Backpackers Club are holding their AGM Weekend in Stanhope in Weardale, on the 6, 7 & 8th of May.
The word "backpacker" was first used in the UK to describe the self-contained, hiking tent camper in 1972 and the Backpackers Club was founded in that year. Today this national organisation has members who bike as well as hike. Their weekends are a time of leisure and green travel, complementing rural life.
This green travel habit brings people to a region, either moving through, sometimes a short-stay or perhaps stopping longer. Hikers and cyclists leave little but footprints or wheel tracks, taking away nothing but photos. Very dependent on local services, they shop as they travel with most personal needs carried in a rucksack or panniers. These people rely on the locality for food and other essentials, bringing custom to local services and suppliers, along the way helping to support the rural economy. This is tourism that pays dividends; without any downside and certainly wholly sustainable.
The weekend should be great fun. As well as there being an orgy of lightweight gear to examine, fondle and lust after, I understand that the Pieman will be leading one of his guided walks and Chris Townsend will be signing copies of his recently published masterwork “Scotland.”
It sounds to me like a great weekend in an idyllic setting.