The Essentials of Backpacking - Olympia - 2017

Backpacking Course


The Essentials of Backpacking is a hands-on course designed to help hikers go further, stay longer and enjoy the backcountry more.

This course has two session students are to attend; Classroom - Tuesday, May 16 from 6 - 9 PM and Classroom and Field Trip on Saturday, May 20 from 8am to 5PM.  The class sessions will be held at the Friends Meeting House at 3201 Boston Harbor Rd.   Students also need to go on a backpacking trip and perform a day of Stewardship - both are going to be fun, so get ready to enjoy the outdoors. 

Purpose: Preparing day hikers for extended trips into the backcountry. The course includes:

Ø  LEARNING in-depth information and hands-on exercises in backpack including: building problem solving skills; measuring and improving physical conditioning; avoiding and handling emergencies; food option; clothing and equipment for the long-haul (old school/cheap, classic, high-tech, and ultra-light); maintenance and repair of equipment, Leave No Trace, animal protection, find the great places to go and obtain the necessary permits and hi-tech gear options. 

Ø  PRACTICING skills for setting up a comfortable camp, responding to common problems and traveling off trail where self-reliance and backcountry skills are required.

Ø  ENJOYING backpacking with like minded travelers who wish to explore the high country and its alpine environment or lowland old-growth forest or the Pacific Coast or the Eastern sage-steppe.

Ø  COURSE COMPLETION as noted above, to complete this course students are to go on a Mountaineers backpacking trip (any branch) and participate in a day of  Stewardship.  Olympia Branch offers several backpacking trips and gobs of Stewardship opportunities. Students may participate in  backpack trip and stewardship work with any branch they choose.  

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

Students will need all the essential clothing, footwear, 10 essentials and equipment for day hikes and will need to own, borrow or in some way, have access the basic equipment for backpacking including; backpack, shelter system - tent, fly, ground cloth; sleeping system - sleeping bag, sleeping pad, pillow; cooking system - stove, cooking pot, utensils; water treatment options, camp and personal clean up and food for an overnight trip. 

Course Materials