Navigation, First Aid and Conditioning Classes for Hikers and Backpackers!

Foothills Branch is offering low-cost classes specially tailored to help hikers and backpackers "stay found" on the most complex trail systems, respond capably to trail emergency and first aid situations, and develop a custom conditioning and strengthening plan for the summer!
Cheryl Talbert Cheryl Talbert
January 25, 2016

We've been hearing from many hikers and backpackers who want to learn navigation and field first aid/emergency-response skills, but aren't ready to invest the time and expense for the full Wilderness First Aid or Navigation course. Others really want to get strong and in shape for the trail season but would like some professional guidance to design a tailored conditioning program. To help, our volunteers from the Foothills branch have developed clinics tailored for hikers and backpackers from all walks of life. 

Staying Found:On-Trail Navigation

Sat, Apr 9, 2016, Saturday May 14, and Saturday June 11,  9am
Tradition Lake Shelter near High Point Trailhead

This hands-on field class is a designed for hikers and backpackers who want to build their navigation skills to "stay found" on even the most complex of trails. We focus on skills and practice to become confident reading a topographic map against the features of the terrain around you, get important information from a compass and altimeter, and maintain a steady awareness of where you are as well as how to find yourself if you get temporarily misplaced.

Trail Emergency Preparedness

Sessions on Monday April 18 or Weds May 4, at 6:30pm
Mercer Island Library, 4400 88th Ave Se, Mercer Island

This hands-on clinic will provide hikers and backpackers with some basic skills and information to handle the most common first-aid situations encountered on trails: blisters, sprains, hypothermia, wound care, splints and slings as time permits. We will also review Mountaineers club protocols for responding to emergency situations. Students should bring their first-aid kits with at a minimum first-aid tape and a triangle bandage for practice. (Does not count toward Wilderness First Aid certification.)

Conditioning for Hiking and Backpacking

In the Level I class you will develop and practice a sport specific training routine for hiking, Level II for advanced hikes and backpacks.  Teachings include: 

  • Dynamic warm-up for hikers including myofascial release techniques
  • Core exercises
  • Lower body exercises
  • A proper hikers cool down
  • Progression of hiking specific exercises over a one-month period
  • Appropriate build-up of hiking mileage over a one-month period 

During the course you will receive a handout that will outline proper progression of sets and repetitions for each exercise taught over a one-month period. You will also fill out a workout calendar to help keep you on track with your pre-season training program. All exercises taught in the class can be performed at home or outdoors. This is a hands on course, be sure to bring your workout clothes! We recommend that people interested in conditioning for long or strenuous day hikes or for backpacking take both the Level I and Level II classes.