The Chicago Backpackers is a club for those who share an enthusiasm and interest in backpacking. Backpacking (also tramping or trekking in some countries) is the complete combination of hiking and camping. A backpacker hikes into a wilderness area with the intent of exiting at a later date. He or she carries all the supplies and equipment needed to live and survive in the backcountry. This typically includes a tent, sleeping bag and pad, extra clothing, cooking stove, food, and means to filter or purify water. This may be differentiated from traveling from hostel to hostel in a country (primarily European) while wearing a backpack.
The Chicago Backpackers has existed since April 2005. We focus on organizing backpacking trips in the Midwest, helping introduce interested people to the sport, provide a way for local backpackers to network, and expand general knowledge of the sport. Rather than offering guided trips or packaged and planned getaways, we focus on fostering knowledge, friendships and sound backpacking practices.
Organizers in the club are volunteers who help facilitate group trips. Normally, these trips are over a weekend to destinations in the Midwest, within a three to eight hour drive from Chicago. The club also holds boot camps from April to September to help instruct people who are new to the sport in the fundamental aspects and skills associated with backpacking. Clinics (on various backpacking skills) are also offered periodically.
Individual members are encouraged to use the website and club meetings to organize their own trips. The Chicago Backpackers also occasionally organizes longer trips throughout the year to destinations that are outside the Midwest. Past destinations include Glacier National Park, White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Wind River Range, Wyoming.
"Go where the sidewalk ends"