Introduction to Backpacking - Tacoma - 2021

Backpacking Course

Introduction to Backpacking

Hands on course for new backpackers that includes two lectures, a gear practice/review session and two overnight backpacking trips: one student field trip and one additional trip of your choice.

If you are new to backpacking or perhaps a returning backpacker who has not been out for some time, this course will prepare you to safely and confidently enjoy overnight or multiple day routes. Experienced leaders will provide instruction and coaching on: 

  • Basics of trip planning and route selection
  • Gear -how to select without going broke, and how to use it
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Leave No Trace wilderness ethics
  • and much more

Requirements to complete the course include:

  • Attend both lectures and the gear practice day session
  • Take two qualifying overnight backpacking trips 
  • Earn the Low Impact Recreation Badge by viewing the online video 
  • Earn the Stewardship Badge by completing one stewardship activity

Registration Instructions:

  • Register for both online lectures.
  • Register for only one of the six gear practices according to your availability. Gear practice trip leaders may change as the dates approach.
  • Field trips will not open for registration until April 7th (see below)
  • Field trip registration instructions:
    • April 7th-13th: Registration for field trips opens to students.  Please only register for one field trip.
    • April 14th: You may register for additional field trips.
    • April 19th:  Field trips will be opened to general club registration to fill the remaining spaces.  

Optional: Fitness for Hiking and Backpacking - Online Classroom. A Zoom session to help you get in shape at home for Hiking & Backpacking on March 18, 2021 @ 6:30pm


Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

The lectures will be held via Zoom.  Students will need a device with internet access to attend the lectures, a full-size screen is recommended in order to best view the content.  

There are no other gear requirements for the lectures, but there are gear requirements for the Gear Practice Day Hikes.  Gear requirements will be covered in detail at Lecture 1, giving students ample time to prepare.

Course Materials