When we launched our GetHiking! program three years ago, the goal was to offer fledgling hikers a supportive hiking environment and to expose more experienced hikers to new trails. Those remaining our overriding goals; we love hiking with you, and while we hope you love hiking with us, we realize that sometimes you’d rather hike alone, or perhaps expose less-experienced friends and family to the joys of hiking. That’s why we’ve moved into a second phase of GetHiking!
Sure, you pick up a thing or two on our hikes. But sometimes you want to know more. Which is why we’ve created a series of classes designed to make you more confident in the woods.
Here’s our lineup so far for fall:
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina / GetHiking! Fall Hiking Series. This new program is aimed at the beginner hiker, those of you who have been intrigued by the idea of hiking, but intimidated by the prospect of going alone. We will be launching a 10-week series of weekly hikes in six North Carolina metro areas — Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Raleigh, Wilmington, Winston-Salem — starting Sept. 18. Stay tuned for details.
GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking program. Backpacking is a bit like space travel: in both cases, you’re headed into a foreign environment with a life-support system on your back. Thus, since astronauts don’t learn space travel from their buddies, you shouldn’t learn backpacking from acquaintances, either. In three local training sessions, you will learn about the necessary equipment and develop the skills necessary to venture into the woods. The class culminates with a three-day, two-night graduation trip to South Mountains State Park. From beginner to bonafide backpacker in three weeks. Fee: $85 for Triangle, $75 for Triad (introductory offer), includes $35 gift card to Great Outdoor Provision Co. and 10 percent GOPC discount during the course of the session. Class size limited to 12.
- GetBackpacking! Triangle: first session, Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m., Umstead State Park, with subsequent training sessions on Sunday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 17. Graduation trip is Friday, Oct. 14 – Sunday, Oct. 16. More info and sign up here.
- GetBackpacking! Triad: first session, Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m., Hagan Stone Park, Pleasant Garden, with subsequent training sessions on Sunday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 17. Graduation trip is Friday, Sept. 30 – Sunday, Oct. 2. More info and sign up here.
GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods. Been following others on the trail and are uncertain how you’d fare in the lead — or on your own? In this three-hour class, you’ll learn basic map and compass skills, then head into the woods to test those skills as well as learn to read the trail and the terrain. See something off trail you’d like to explore? You’ll have no qualms about getting there — and more importantly, getting back — after this class.
Fee: $35, includes compass and map for the program. Class size limited to 6.
- Saturday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m., Umstead State Park. More info and sign up, here.
- Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m., Umstead State Park. More info and sign up, here.
Intro to Family Camping. Did camping skip your generation? Did your parents think you were “roughing it” by staying in a motel without room service? Now, here you are, pining to spend the night in the woods with your own kids, but have no idea how to make that happen? Make it happen with our Intro to Family Camping program. Session 1 is an introductory session: get to know your fellow campers, learn camping basics, do some fun camp activities. Then, we take an overnight trip to a nearby state park and camp out.
Fee: $85, includes dinner, campfire treat, breakfast, loaner tents and sleeping pads (if you need them), program materials such as packing guides, journals for recording nature experiences, $50 credit toward the purchase of any tent at Great Outdoor Provision Co.
- Sunday, Sept. 11, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.; Umstead State Park; overnight camp out, Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 1-2. More info and to sign up, here.
GetHiking! Southeast’s Classic Hikes. Each month, our Classic Hikes series visits one of the region’s more renowned trails. In September, October and November, we will be engaged in hiking weekends, which include a group camp experience.
Fee: $35 for camping weekends, includes camping, swag bag, enewsletter subscription, $25 for one-day hikes
- September — Sept. 24/25, Grayson Highlands / Mount Rogers, Va.
- October — Oct. 22/23, Panthertown Valley, Sam Knob
- November — Nov. 11-13, Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs
- December — Dec. 30, Mount Mitchell and Mount Jefferson
More info and to sign up, here. http://www.meetup.com/GetHiking-Triangle
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We’re looking to expand our offerings and are curious about what classes you’d like to see. What skills would you like to develop? Plant and critter ID? Photography? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
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