We launched our GetBackpacking! program in 2014; since then, we’ve graduated more than 230 new backpackers. Our goal is to provide you with the skills and equipment to become a competent, confident backpacker.
Here’s the plan for our Spring 2020 session in Virginia Beach:
* Gear Get-together. We meet at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for a quick get-to-know-you session, then spend about an hour learning about the basic gear: backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and pads, cook stoves. We will also do a pack loading demonstration, working on fit and what goes where. 2 hours.
* Training Day. In full gear, we will meet at Merchants Millpond 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 6 miles in full pack (3 miles to the site, 3 miles out), 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 to 6 hours on this session.
* Graduation hike. Three-day, two-night trip on a stretch of the Appalachian Trail near Lynchburg. You’ll not only get a chance to put your newfound skills and gear to the test, but you’ll be doing so on the nation’s premier hiking trail.
* Fee. Cost of the program is $155. Upon signing up, you will be invoiced. In addition to instruction and the guided graduation hike, you’ll receive:
• 20 percent discount on one piece of hiking/backpacking gear at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for the duration of the session.
• Info packet, including gear lists, tips sheets, and 10 great places to backpack in Virginia once you’ve graduated.
• 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.’
• Gear Get-together: Wednesday, April 1, 6-8 p.m., Great Outdoor Provision Co., Hilltop East Shopping Center, Virginia Beach.
• Training Day: Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Merchants Millpond State Park
• Graduation trip: Friday afternoon thru Sunday, April 17-19, Appalachian Trail near Lynchburg.
Immediately upon registering you will be contacted for your email address so we can send you additional information about the program.
NOTE: Minimum age for the program is 13, ages 13 through 17 must be in the program with a paying adult (we define adult generously as anyone 18 or older).
Refund policy: Cancelations seven days or more in advance of the class will be refunded in full. Cancelations made one to six days before the class begins will have the fee credited to a future GetBackpacking! or GetHiking! event. No refunds for cancelations made less than 24 hours before the start of the first session of the program.