Introduction to Trail Running: Backcountry - 2024

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:

  • A 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
0 participants
20 instructors
Classroom Session
Online Classroom
Thu, Jun 6, 2024
Registration closes Jun 4
4 participants
2 instructors
Cougar Mountain: Harvey Manning Trailhead
Thu, Jun 13, 2024
Registration closes Jun 11
4 participants
0 instructors
Intro to Trail Running: Backcountry Field Trip - #1
Little Si
Wed, Jun 19, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
2 participants
0 instructors
Little Si
Tue, Jun 25, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
5 participants
0 instructors
Little Si
Wed, Jun 26, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
5 participants
0 instructors
Little Si
Sun, Jun 30, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
3 participants
1 instructor
Intro to Trail Running: Backcountry Field Trip - #2
Dirty Harry's Balcony
Wed, Jul 3, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
1 participant
1 instructor on waitlist
Dirty Harry's Balcony
Sat, Jul 6, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
3 participants
1 instructor
Dirty Harry's Balcony
Thu, Jul 11, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
5 participants
0 instructors
Dirty Harry's Balcony
Sun, Jul 14, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
4 participants
1 instructor
Intro to Trail Running: Backcountry Field Trip - Experience
Annette Lake
Wed, Jul 17, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
1 participant
0 instructors
Annette Lake
Sat, Jul 20, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
4 participants
1 instructor
Annette Lake
Tue, Jul 23, 2024
Registration closes Jun 15
4 participants
1 instructor on waitlist
Annette Lake
Mon, Jul 29, 2024
Registration opens Jul 26
0 participants
Roster
Required Equipment

Gear will be quickly discussed discussed during the zoom meeting and covered in full during the outdoor 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.