Advanced Backpacking Skills Equivalency - Tacoma - 2022

Backpacking Course

Advanced Backpacking Skills Equivalency

Interested in earning your Advanced Backpacking Skills badge? Begin the process here!

This is an administrative-only course for awarding the Advanced Backpacking Skills badge for members affiliated with the Tacoma Branch. Those with equivalent backpacking training and experience listed in the description of skills portion of the badge are welcome to apply. 


Equivalency process:

  1. Earn the Basic Backpacking Skills badge first (linked below).
  2. Review the skills required for the Advanced Backpacking Skills badge and verify you have those skills.
  3. Complete and submit the application linked in the skills badge. Choose the advanced badge type and Tacoma as the branch. Include specific examples of how you meet the equivalency requirements outlined in the badge.

Members of the Tacoma Hiking & Backpacking Committee will review your application and club activity history and may contact you if they need additional information. Allow a few weeks for processing as this review depends upon volunteer availability.

Documenting your proficiency

The applicant's Mountaineers course and activity history provides much of the supporting documentation described below. At times you may be requested to provide additional information about your skills that cannot be validated through the online course or activity history. Equivalency for navigation and first aid are handled by your respective branch committees. If you are new to club and believe you have equivalent skills in those areas, we ask that you apply for those equivalencies first before applying for equivalency here.

 Trip planning: Provide adequate explanation in your application under the Skills and Experience section of the application that allows the evaluator to tell how you planned and participated in at least three successful backpacking trips in the previous two calendar years, of which at least one trip is two nights or more. Note that the application only asks for two trips but the skills badge requires three. If you are using experience from private trips, additional information may be requested from you to demonstrate your knowledge of trip planning.

Navigation: A current Wilderness Navigation or Staying Found course within the past three years is required. Include a date for your course so that we can verify with your activity history.

First Aid: A current Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, MOFA, or Trail Emergency Preparedness course taken within the past three years is required. Include a date for your course so that we can verify with your activity history.

 Why should I earn this badge?

The Advanced Backpacking Skills badge shows that you have the skills needed to plan and lead backpacking trips and participate in longer trips to remote destinations that are more committing  and require more self sufficiency in areas such as navigation and first aid. It can be a step towards becoming a backpack leader for the club. It makes it easier for trip leaders to verify your qualifications for joining a trip. Some backpacking trips may require the badge as a condition of joining a trip. Applying before backpacking season starts is encouraged.

Who can earn this badge?

  • Members that are already active backpack leaders or a leader in another activity that go on overnight trips such as climbing, scrambling, glacier travel, winter camping, etc.
  • Members that have the Basic Backpacking skills badge. 
  • Members that have the equivalent skills and recent experience from outside the club.

Not enough experience? You might qualify for the Basic Backpacking Skills Badge instead.


Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment


Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.