GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking (Triad/Charlotte)


Learn to backpack with our three-part Intro to Backpacking program, which includes a gear Zoom session; a 5-hour, in-field training session; and a weekend graduation trip to South Mountains State Park.

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Hiking north, from Hump Mountain, on the Appalachian Trail

We launched our GetBackpacking! program in 2014; since then, we’ve graduated more than 240 new backpackers. Here’s the plan for our Spring 2021 session:

* Getting to know you, getting to know your gear. In this Zoom session we’ll spend a little time getting to know one another and learning why you’re interested in backpacking. Then, we’ll go over the different typed of gear, focusing on good options for beginners. 1.5 hours.

* Training Day. In full gear, we will meet at Morrow Mountain State Park for a day-long training session that will go over: Evaluating a campsite, setting up camp, breaking camp, meal preparation (including the various food and cooking options on the trail). Expect to hike about 5 miles in full pack, during which we will work on hiking technique (including the use of trekking poles), ensuring a good pack fit, adjusting your pack during the hike to make sure it continues to fit, and more. We will spend 5 hours on this session.

* Graduation hike. Three-day, two-night trip to South Mountains State Park, a great place for your first trip.

* Fee. Cost of the program is $195. In addition to the above, you’ll receive:

• Info packet, including:

    • Class overview
    • Gear list
    • Tips for going lite
    • 10 great places to backpack in North Carolina once you’ve graduated.
  • 20 percent off coupon for one item of backpacking gear from Great Outdoor Provision Co.

• eguide outlining the program and covering what you’ll learn.

• Loaner gear. We have a limited number of backpacks and tents available on a first-requested, first-awarded basis, at no extra charge.’


• Zoom Getting to know you, getting to know your gear: Wednesday, March 3, 6-8 p.m.

• Training Day: Saturday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Morrow Mountain State Park

• Graduation trip: Friday afternoon thru Sunday, March 26-28, South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs.

NOTE: Minimum age for the program is 13, ages 13 through 17 must be in the program with an adult (we define adult generously as anyone 18 or older).

This class is limited to 7 participants. Social distancing is enforced; in situations where we gather for discussion and instruction and social distancing isn’t practical, masks must be worn. We keep the class size small in part to accommodate social distancing.



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