Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry - 2021

Trail Running Course

Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry

Learn how to get started with wilderness trail running. Go farther and faster in the backcountry safely.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry is designed to introduce participants to trail running in more remote wilderness locations. The curriculum focuses on how to travel as a runner in the backcountry safely, and the knowledge and resources you'll need. This course is ideal for outdoor recreation enthusiasts with an interest in trail running and runners who wish to take their trail running to the next level. It's recommended that you are in shape to comfortably run 6 miles on hilly trails (hiking uphill is OK) in order to have a successful experience during the field trips.  

This course's badge is required for participation in backcountry trail running trips with the Mountaineers. (Frontcountry trail runs are open to everyone.)

Course Format

The course consists of the following components:

  • A virtual lecture of approximately 2 hours - required
  • 1 outdoor session of approximately 1 1/2 hours - required 
  • 2 field trips from the list of field trips offered - required (only sign up for 2 field trips  until all students have gotten a chance. At that time we will allow additional runs if wanted)
  • Super cool Mountaineers Trail Running t-shirt is included with your course registration!


All instruction and practice will be carried out either in virtual form using Zoom or in small groups following the Mountaineers' detailed covid-19 safety policies and procedures with a focus on keeping you and your family and friends safe and healthy! To find out more go to The Mountaineers Covid-19 Response Page HERE.

Graduation Requirements 

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

  • Stewardship badge for taking part in a trail maintenance (or similar) activity
  • Wilderness First Aid or another equivalent training  
  • Navigation badge or "staying oriented on trails" training or other navigation training (Note: A stand alone GPS workshop will not meet this requirement)
  • Low Impact Recreation skill badge (earn this through a free online self-paced training with the Mountaineers)
  • Participation in 1 backcountry trail run hosted by 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.

  • Waterproof jacket, hat, buff, gloves, sunglasses
  • Trail running shoes
  • A runners vest or small day pack suitable for trail running
  • Bring snacks and water
  • Trail running-adapted ten essentials
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.