Wilderness Skills - Olympia - 2020

Day Hiking Course

Wilderness Skills

Learn the skills to get outside and safely enjoy Washington's wilderness.

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.

Open to everyone, Wilderness Skills provides skills and practice for hiking and the "groundwork" for backpacking in the Northwest. It is also required for Alpine Scrambling and Basic Climbing courses with the Olympia Branch.

Wilderness Skills is two  consecutive Saturday  activities from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm. And all students must attend both Saturdays to graduate. The mix of presentations, discussions and hands-on learning is both inside and outside regardless of weather. More detailed information is in the activity description for each Saturday.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Wilderness Skills Jan 30
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Olympia
Sat, Feb 1, 2020
Registration closed Feb 5
16 participants
9 instructors
Wilderness Skills Jan 16
Online Classroom
Sat, Jan 16, 2021
Registration closed Jan 14
29 participants
Required Equipment

Wilderness Skills is designed to prepare area outdoor enthusiasts for hiking or backpacking in the forests, mountains and trails of the Pacific Northwest. Open to all, this course is also the foundation required before the Alpine Scrambling and Basic Climbing Courses with the Olympia Branch. 

The course is held on two consecutive Saturdays that include presentations and hands-on inside and outside activities. Back-country skills and Unplanned overnights are the focus of Wilderness Skills. Planned overnights and related planning and gear are more briefly covered.  A  sample agenda  and start-end times are in  the two activity-day listings.

CLIMB/SCRAMBLE STUDENTS ONLY:  Most students register directly online, but Basic Climb and Alpine Scrambling course students are registered for Wilderness Skills by their  BC/AS course leaders.  BC/AS students are also graduated from WS by their  BC/AS course leader.

GRADUATION: Students must complete both Saturdays. Climb/Scramble students will be graduated by their Climb/Scramble course leader after students complete the first Climb/Scramble activity.

DATES & TIMES: Courses begin about the last week of January and finish before Olympia Branch Basic Climb and Alpine Scrambling courses begin.  Typically each Saturday runs 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm and is based out of the main hall at  St. John's Episcopal Church in Olympia.  Exact times and location are set each year.

ONCE EACH YEAR: The Wilderness Skills course is offered once each year. Hiking, Backpacking, and a Conditioning Hiking Series are offered in the Spring/Summer.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.