Essentials of Backpacking - Olympia - 2019

Backpacking & Youth Course

Essentials of Backpacking

For backpackers, this course will bridge the gap between day trips and experiencing the wilderness overnight.

This course is for all adults, as well as parents who want to take their children backpacking. You will learn about planning, gear, tips and tricks to help make overnights comfortable in the wilderness.

  • An evening information session for all adults is Wednesday, May 22, 6:00-9:00pm, at The Olympia Friends Meeting Hall.  This session is not appropriate for kids.  Learn about appropriate gear, trip planning, on the trail tips, food, safety, and other tips and tricks.
  • A FAMILY information session for parents and children is Wednesday, May 29, 6:00-8:00pm, at The Olympia Friends Meeting Hall.  This will be a night of interaction and hands on activities that will cover children essentials and family tips and tricks. This is not necessary for adults without children.
  • There will be two overnight group practice camps at Lake Sylvia. One for families, and the other for adults only.
    • The weekend of June 1-2 will be catered to the Family backpackers who have children. We will walk about 1/2 mile, set up and sleep in your tent, test your gear, go on a day hike, and practice for a real wilderness backpack trip.
    • The second overnight group practice camp will also be at Lake Sylvia the weekend of June 8-9. This is for adults only and will also be backpacking basics such as sleeping in your tent, testing your gear, and hiking with a loaded pack.
During the summer months, backpacking trips will be offered on the Mountaineers backpacking activity page for both adults and families to participate in. They will be designed to help you use the skills from class, as well as continual growth.  These  are not a required part of the course but we hope that you will participate in them.


It is very highly recommended  to have taken the Wilderness Skills or Outdoor Skills Course prior to this course. There are no more offerings of these courses before this backpacking course starts.

To register for this course, click on the Registration button at the right of this course listing. The course fee is $60/adult.

For families: The course fee is for adults only; children are free with paying adults. At least one parent must participate with their kids in the session and trips. To sign up your children, first register yourself. Then send an email with the children's name to  

If you have any questions or would like help with any part of this process, please don't hesitate to call our friendly folks at Mountaineers Member Services at 206-521-6001, or call Becky Nielsen at 206-521-6044.  We look forward to meeting you in the course!

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

To be communicated to participants in advance by course leaders.  See course materials for food and equipment checklists.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.