Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry - 2023

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.

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 to 8 miles on hilly trails (power 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 as well as being  a prerequisite to enroll in our fastpacking course. (Frontcountry trail runs are open to everyone.)

Course Format

The course consists of the following components:

  • 1 virtual lecture (zoom) of approximately 2 hours - required
  • 1 outdoor session (gear demo) of approximately 2 hours - required 
  • 3 field trips (2 instructional, 1 experience) - required

Graduation Requirements 

 In addition to the course's own activities, the following 4 badges are requirements for graduation and need to be obtained separately from this course.

  • Stewardship Credit badge for taking part in a trail maintenance (or similar) activity
  • Wilderness First Aid Course badge  
  • Basic Navigation Course badge 
  • Low Impact Recreation badge (earn this through a free online self-paced training with the Mountaineers)

Note:  Wilderness First Aid and Basic Navigation are high demand courses and fill up fast. It is advised to enroll in them at the first given opportunities as graduating from this course is dependent on having those additional badges.

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Leaders Meeting (optional)
Online Classroom
Wed, May 29, 2024
Registration closes May 27
3 participants on waitlist
19 instructors
Required Equipment

Gear will be quickly discussed during the zoom meeting and covered in full during the demo night. The below list is the minimum required gear needed for all backcountry runs. 

  • Trail running shoes
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Running specific hydration vest or pack, 8 to 15  liters in size
  • Headlamp, waist light, or handheld light with a light beam suitable for running  at night  
  • Trail running-adapted ten essential

Please wear layers of breathable, technical clothing suitable for outdoor aerobic activities for this course's outdoor activities.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.