Field trip: Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) Course

BACKPACKING BUILDING BLOCKS (B3) COURSE: Practice "Camp" - Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

In this required field trip, students will pack a pack and carry it out into a local park, practice setting up camp, treating water, and preparing a meal, all with an experienced mentor and small mentor group; then walk back for a debrief.

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 activity.
  • Easy
  • For Beginners (Getting Started Series)
  • Mileage: 2.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 mph

The full 2019 B3 class will assemble at the Seattle Program Center at 8AM to review the plan for the day, distribute maps and pack up your backpacks with your mentor group, discussing strategies for how to load your gear and gear choices that impact pack weight the most.  Then you'll walk with your mentor group a couple of miles out into Magnussen Park, collect and treat some water, set up a camp, prepare a meal and discuss camp hygiene and Leave No Trace considerations.  Finally we'll repack and walk back to the Program Center for a debrief, ending at around 3PM.

Final start and end times may vary so watch the listing and your email for reminders!

As the culmination of the series of informational and hands on sessions that have come before, in the required 6-hour  "Practice Camp" field trip students will have the opportunity to try out the key skills and approaches with their own gear and/or with those of others in their mentor group in an actual hike that will end with setting up camp, treating water, preparing a backpack meal and then packing up and walking back.  The practice day will be with your small mentor group for most of the day, but we'll debrief together at the end of the day.   If you don't have your own gear yet or are still missing a few key pieces, that's perfectly OK - we'll focus on sharing and trying out a range of different gear contributed by our mentors, helpers and fellow students.


Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

Required Equipment

Required Equipment


Sleep system (tent, sleeping bag, pad)

Overnight clothing

Trail food for a day including a trail dinner, lunch and breakfast

Stove and cooking-eating utensils

Hydration system sufficient to carry 1-2L of water

Water treatment method (Aquamira, filter, UV)

Hiking clothing

Sturdy trail footwear

Personal first aid

Sun protection

Navigation:  compass, map

Other gear as advised in pre-trip emails

Trip Reports