Registration opens January 17 for the 2015 Backpacking Building Blocks course!

The Foothills-sponsored Backpacking Building Blocks course has opened the joy and skills of backpacking to over 80 new and returning backpackers in it's first two years, and registration opens on January 17 for its third season!
Cheryl Talbert Cheryl Talbert
December 23, 2014

Backpacking Building Blocks is a season-long course with the objectives to:

  • Provide new and returning backpackers with the latest knowledge, gear info and practical experience to be skilled, safe and successful on overnight or longer trips; 
  • Teach participants to pack light by safely balancing camp comfort with pack weight and trail comfort;
  • Providing participants with information about the latest backpacking gear and food choices; 
  • Build your conditioning through the season, and
  • Connect you with trusted trip leaders and compatible companions, through an array of trips of varying intensity in the fabulous Northwest backcountry. 

The Backpacking Building Blocks Course includes:

  • Required “Building Blocks Basics” classes:  2 evening indoor sessions on March 18 and 25, and a half-day hands-on demonstration day on Saturday March 28, with all the basics plus ideas to go beyond.  
  • Optional in-depth seminars through the spring and early summer, including lightweight gear, lightweight food planning and preparation, "Staying Found"on-trail navigation, Trail Emergency Preparedness, and Conditioning for Hiking and Backpacking.   All of these seminars are offered for free for B3 students and also for qualifying backpack leaders or aspiring ones! 
  • A series of 2-5 day backpacking trips will be offered through the summer as part of the program, progressing in length and strenuousness, to help you get in shape, to expand your multi-day backpacking skills,and to be introduced to amazing remote backcountry with experienced leaders and trail companions you come to know and trust.  

The course fee gets you the required Building Blocks Basics classes, free entry into the optional seminars (other members may attend for $25 per class as space permits), and advance notice of all the B3 backpack trips through the summer.  Backpack trips sponsored through the B3 course include extra emphasis on coaching and demonstration of gear and trail/camp skills.  To graduate, students must complete the Basics classes and 3 backpack trips of which at least one is two nights or more.   

To advance the goal of maintaining and growing our backpacking community in the club and spreading the skills and joy of backpacking as broadly as possible, all B3 backpacks are open to any Mountaineers member over 18 who meets the qualifications for the trip.  

We hope you will join us!

WE ALSO NEED BACKPACK LEADERS! If you love to backpack and have a passion for teaching, consider joining us as a backpack leader even if you haven't yet completed the certification process - we can help you through that.