Introduction to Trail Running: Fastpacking - 2023

Trail Running Course

Introduction to Trail Running: Fastpacking

Fastpacking: where trail running meets ultralight backpacking. Discover ultralight techniques, choose your gear, and try it all out.

Introduction to Fastpacking is designed to teach participants how to combine trail running with ultralight backpacking. Fastpacking combines lighter and ultralight backpacking gear and techniques to enable you to go lighter and travel farther but also stay out overnight safely. Carry less but see and do more!

Participants will be awarded a Fastpacking course badge after successfully meeting course objectives and other graduation requirements. The Fastpacking badge will enable you to participate in future fastpacking activities with the Mountaineers.

Note: Fast and light gear can be expensive and boutique companies may have long order times. You will be responsible for buying/borrowing/acquiring gear before the field trips.

Course Format

The course consists of several parts; all of which are required:

  • A two hour classroom session
  • An in-person gear demo
  • An evening 'shakeout' out and back trip to a backcountry location with your gear
  • An overnight field trip to a backcountry location to practice and evaluate what you have learned

Pick one shakeout and one overnight trip


Backcountry Trail Running badge or equivalency with First Aid and Navigation

Graduation Requirements 

These are requirements for graduation that must be completed in addition to the course's own activities.

  • Participation in Stewardship badge for taking part in a trail maintenance (or similar) activity 
  • Low Impact Recreation skill badge (earn this through a free online self-paced training with the Mountaineers)
Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Please wear layers of breathable, technical clothing suitable for outdoor aerobic activities for this course's outdoor activities. The classroom session and gear demo will help you determine available options.

Sample gear list for fastpacking:

  • Running backpack suitable for trail running and carrying a 10-20 lb. load comfortably

Sleep system

  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Earplugs
  • Patch kit for pad


  • Tent/tarp/hammock system
  • Running poles
  • Stakes
  • Footprint sheet


  • Rain jacket
  • Socks
  • Technical t-shirt
  • Down pants
  • Down jacket
  • Gloves
  • Visor or sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm mid layer and baselayer pants
  • Buff
  • Hat for warmth at camp
  • Watch 


  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Spork
  • Firestarter/matches
  • Small cleaning solution and tiny sponge
  • Cup for cooking in and eating/drinking from
  • Dinner (include one extra meal)
  • Breakfast (include one extra meal)
  • Gels/sports drink mix/bars for on-trail fuel
  • Paracord for hanging
  • Bag for hanging
  • Ultralight bag for water at camp


  • Headlamp & spare batteries
  • Water treatment method or device
  • Personal locator beacon
  • Cell phone
  • Small charger and cable
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Knife
  • Duct tape
  • Map
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bag to pack out trash in
  • Sports lube
  • Small plastic shovel to bury waste
Course Materials

There are no materials for this course.