Backpacking Building Blocks
02/11/13 - 12/30/13
Member: $65.00 / Non Member: $0.00
Cancellation and Refund Policy
The Backpacking Building Blocks "B3" course is designed to provide both beginning and more-experienced backpackers with new or refreshed knowledge, with the tools and practical experiences to be skilled, safe and successful backpackers; and with opportunities to steadily improve their skills and capabilities on the trail and in camp. In addition, the B3 course will offer participants the guidance of experienced trip leaders and a community of backpacking companions through a series of 20+ trip offerings of varying intensity and length through the May-to-October Pacific Northwest backpacking season.
The course will include a “Building Blocks” series of classes and seminars in May (2 evening indoor sessions in Issaquah and an outdoor, half-day, hands-on session at Marymoor Park) covering all the basics while also offering lots of ideas to go further and deeper into the nuances of light-weight backpacking. There will also be optional in-depth seminars in May and June on lightweight gear (just one smart gear purchase decision might be enough to recover the cost of the course and then some) and back-country food planning & preparation.
Following the classroom preparation time, we will offer a range of 2 to 5 day trips through the summer to help course enrollees get in shape and expand their multi-day backpacking skills while exploring amazing backcountry (the Pacific Crest Trail, Mount Rainier, The Olympics, the North Cascades, etc.) with trusted, experienced leaders and compatible groups.
A website, a Facebook group and social events will give participants a chance to meet and share photos, questions, ideas and experiences, while building a strong backpacking community of trail friends. The course fee will provide priority access to classes, events, backpack trips and assistance from proven teaching-focused leaders.
To formally graduate, you must attend the “Building Blocks” classes (including the outdoor ‘skills practice’ session), and complete at least three backpacks over the summer, including two trips of 3 days or longer. Graduation will serve as a meaningful credential for participants to qualify for future Mountaineer-sponsored backpack trips.
Course enrollment will be limited to 35 people and individual backpack trip enrollment will generally be limited to 8 people (including the leader) to enhance opportunities for small-group learning and hands-on experiences, and to promote a better overall wilderness experience.
This course is only available to Mountaineers members age 18+ with an up to date waiver on file.
For more information, visit the Foothills Hiking & Backpacking web page.
The schedule of classes is as follows:
---Tuesday, 4/30; Building Blocks Class indoor session 1 (required), Mercer Island Community Center, 6:15-8:45
---Tuesday, 5/7; Building Blocks Class indoor session 2 (required), Mercer Island Community Center, 6:15-8:45
---Saturday, 5/11; Building Blocks hands-on field session (required), Marymoor Park North Shelter, 9-1:30
---Monday, 5/13, Lightweight Hiking & Backpacking class(optional), Mountaineers Program Center - Cascade Room,7-9PM
---Wednesday 5/15, Lightweight Hiking & Backpacking class (optional), Mercer Island Community Center, 6:30-8:30
---Wednesday 5/29, Light & Healthy Backpack Food Made Simple class (optional), Mercer Island Public Library, Large Conference Room,6:15-8:45
---Tuesday 6/4, Light & Healthy Backpack Food Made Simple (optional), Issaquah REI,6:15-8:45
---NOTE: An additional session of Light & Healthy Backpack Food Made Simple will be added for Wednesday, 6/26 at the Mountaineers Program Center in the Cascade Room from 6:30-9PM if waitlists develop in the other two sessions.
Separate signups will be required for the optional classes (sign up for only one of the duplicate sessions), but if you sign up for the B3 course you will be automatically signed up for the two required Building Blocks indoor and the one Building Blocks outdoor classes. All classes will be free with your registration in the B3 course. We encourage early signup for the optional classes because they tend to fill up quickly. Emails will be sent out to remind everyone of class dates and locations/directions in advance of the events.
While course enrollees are strongly encouraged to attend all three of the required classes, if a person is unable to attend every class, consideration can be given to providing "equivalency" or "test-out" credit toward the graduation requirement for 1 of the 3 classes.