This course is designed for entry level backpackers or hikers with little or no backpacking experience. Our
experienced and knowledgeable volunteer instructors teach comprehensive skills and
provide hands-on interactive activities that allow participants to become capable
and confident backpackers. The course consists of eight indoor classroom sessions as well as additional outdoor sessions (map and compass, one overnight, and the graduation backpack over Memorial Day weekend). Topics covered include equipment, weather, first aid, trip planning, food, outdoor etiquette and navigation. It is also a great way to become familiar with the Spokane Mountaineers and meet new friends that share the love of the outdoors. Backpack School graduates may even wish to progress on to more advanced activities such as our Mountain School.
Schedule: Classes begin Friday, March 29, 2019
Hiking experience is recommended but not required. Physical conditioning and the ability to carry 30-45lbs is recommended and can be completed throughout the duration of the class. This course does not require a high level of physical demand; however, backpacking is an endurance activity and does require a certain level of physical fitness. The graduation backpack requires participants to go a minimum distance of six miles per day, with elevation gain and loss, carrying a full pack. At least three conditioning hikes are required for graduation; the club offers many opportunities to participate in qualified hikes throughout the course.
Day-hike equipment is recommended, however not required to start class. Day-hike gear consists of a water bottle, hiking shoes, a small pack, a hat, rain gear, and sunglasses. You will learn how to properly equip yourself for hiking, including our required 13 Essentials. It is preferable that participants attend the first class before purchasing any equipment.
Class schedule: View Schedule