The course is addressed towards people with little or no experience in backpacking but who want to explore backcountry trails and get away from the crowds. Topics are:
- Equipment (clothing, tents, sleeping bags and pads, backpacks, boots, stoves)
- Safe wilderness travel
- Trip planning
- Basic navigation skills
- Backcountry food and cuisine
- How to operate a stove
- How to treat water
- Common problems in the backcountry and how to avoid them
- Wilderness ethics and low impact camping
The course consists of:
During the overnight trip you will have the opportunity to try out your gear, learn how to set up a tent and operate a backpack stove, practice basic navigation skills and, most important, experience what it feels to hike with a heavy pack on your back. Participation in the overnight backpack trip requires attendance at the indoor session. No exceptions.
- A full-day indoor session on Sunday, March 15, 2020, including a series of short lectures, discussions, slide and equipment show. The event will be hosted from 9:30 – 5:00 at the Kenwood Depot, 314 Warm Springs Road, Kenwood, CA 95452 .
- An overnight field trip at a weekend (Sat/Sun) in April/May in small groups lead by experienced instructors. There are 4 dates to choose from: April 11/12, April 18/19, April 25/26, May 9/10.
You need to be in good physical shape and have no serious health conditions. Experience in day hiking is necessary. Sierra Club membership is not required.
Families with Children
Families with children age 12 and older are welcome. Unfortunately, the course is not suited for children under the age of 12. Contact Thomas Meissner for details.
Participants under the Age of 18
For all participants under the age of 18, who are not accompanied by a legal guardian, a minor release form needs to be signed. Contact Thomas Meissner for details.
Food and Equipment
The Sierra Club will provide lunch, snacks and soft drinks at the indoor session. For the overnight backpack trips, we will provide hot water commissary (stoves, cooking equipment for boiling hot water) and group first aid kit. Participants need to provide all other gear (clothing, tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, boots, etc.) and their own food at the field trip. We strongly recommend that you wait until after the indoor session before making any purchases.
Transportation to and from the indoor session and to and from the overnight backpack trip trailheads is the responsibility of each participant. A roster will be provided to each sign-up so that participants can arrange carpooling.
Trip Fee and Refund Policy
The trip fee is $ 90. For participants age 12 – 22 a reduced fee of $ 45 applies. We will refund your money if we have to refuse your application due to physical or medical conditions, if the course is full, or in the event that the Sierra Club has to cancel. No refund will be given if a participant cancels.
Sign Up and Notification
- Advanced sign up is mandatory. No drop ins.
- In order to sign up, please complete the RSVP form and sign the waiver. You will receive an application form with further instructions.
- Payment: PAYPAL: You will instructions how to pay through PayPal.
- Accepted participants will receive a confirmation and further information about meeting time and place for the indoor session and a trip roster for arranging carpools.
- Applications are reviewed in the order they are received.
- Application deadline is March 8, 2020.
Thomas Meissner, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (strongly preferred),
Phone: 707-795-7980 (please use only if you do not have email).