Two Options for Spring 2017 - Weeknight or Weekend Part 1 along with a WEEKEND option for Part II. 

Our Beginner Backpacking Basics Course provides you with all the necessary practical information and expertise needed to begin the joy of backpacking,  along with a weekend outing to apply the newly-learned skills in a non-intimidating and fun environment.   

The practical part of the Beginning Backpacking Basics Course (Part 1) is classroom and hands-on learning about all the different equipment options, trip planning, how to prepare, food options, places to go, safety and hygiene considerations.   Two options are available for the Part 1 Sessions, either eight (8) weeknights on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm; or a weekend session on Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm each day, with optional onsite overnight camping.  

​The application part of the Beginning Backpacking Basics Course (Part II) is a weekend session (Saturday/Sunday) of field instruction and a guided overnight backpacking hike.  This is an opportunity to learn the proper use of the gear covered in the weeknight sessions and provide hands-on skills needed for backcountry travel and camping. The total mileage hiked will be minimal to allow time to learn the skills and maximize the experience for the beginning backpacker.  Two weekends options are available for the Part II of the course.    

All sessions will begin and end at The Outpost/Outdoor Education Center near Georgetown, Indiana.  Please register early as space is limited and subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

What to Bring: Notebook and pen.  Opportunities will be available to bring in your backpack (if you have one) and other equipment for evaluation, fitting, how to use, etc.

​Spring 2017 Course Dates:

​Part I Weeknights (March 21, 23, April 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20)

​Part 1 Weekend (March 25 - 26)

​Part II (May 20-21)

Part I and Part II (either Weeknight or Weekend Part I, and Weekend Part II): $120 per person
Fee covers instruction, course materials, equipment use, refreshments, a flash drive with essential course materials and a SWAG Bag of outdoor goodies.

overview of course CONTENTS

Testimony from Previous Courses  

"Learning and having fun at the same time. Meeting some wonderful people. We truly appreciate the education and the beautiful facilities."

"It amazes me the knowledge shared with us. Thank you!"

"Excellent class! I will look forward to each one. Very informative. Thank you.  Your expertise and experience is invaluable."

"I truly enjoyed the education. Looking forward to more. Ready to embark on new challenges."

"This meet up is just incredible! Thanks so much for the education. You are truly an expert!!"

PART 1 (both Weeknight and Weekend Session)
Welcome and Introduction

Fears of Backpacking

Ten Essentials
 Types of Packs- Sizes of Packs-Volume categories (cu. In and Liters)
 Anatomy of a Backpack
 Internal vs. External Frame
 Weight consideration/Volume
 What pack is best for you?
 Fitting and Adjusting your Pack
 Packing your Pack
 Weight Distribution

Footwear, Socks, and Blister Prevention
 Boot Types
 Outsoles, linings, midsoles and uppers
 Fit, Insoles, and lacing
 Care
 Camp shoes
 Socks and Liners
 Preventing blisters

Tents, Shelters and Hammocks
 Types
 Pros and Cons of Each/Choosing a Shelter
 Deciding What Is Most Important for You
 Cost drivers
 Care and Maintenance

Sleeping Bags and Pads
Sleeping Bags
 Types and Uses
 Insulation options
 Understanding Comfort Ratings
 Care of and storage
Sleeping Pads
 Types and Uses
 R Value
 Length/weight Considerations

Clothing Systems
 Principles and Function of an Outdoor Clothing System
 Layering Components
 Top 5 Layering Mistakes
 Other Factors for Keeping Dry and Warm
 Rain Gear
 Clothing Tricks

Water Treatment, Stoves and Eating Gear
 What’s in the Water?
 Filtering vs. Purification
 Chemical Treatment
 Storage and Carry
 Emergency Options
 Stove Safety
 Types of Stoves
 Fuel Types
 Matching a Stove to Your Needs
 Alcohol Stoves
 Getting the Most Performance Out of Your Stove
 Cups
 Bowls/Plates
 Cutlery

All the Other Stuff
 Trekking Poles
 Communication
 Safety/Survival/Maintenance
 Personal Hygiene
 Comfort Items

PART II (Field Instruction and Guided Overnight Backpacking Trip)

Topics include but are not limited to: Places to Go; Packing Your Pack to Maximize Comfort and Space; Lifting and Adjusting Your Pack on the Trail; Food and Meal Planning; Food Storage; Stove Safety and Use; Personal Hygiene; Basic Navigation; Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics; Campsite Selection; Water Treatment and Storage; Walking, Pace and Stride; Trail Etiquette; Disposing of Waste; Female Considerations; Uses of Trekking Poles; Stream/River Crossings; Dangerous Plants and Animals; Basic Trail First Aid; Weather and Lightning.

beginning backpacking basics