This is a Beginner Bootcamp for those who are new to backpacking, or who have been out of the sport for quite some time. This bootcamp involves an overnight weekend trip approximately three hours south of Chicago. The objective is to help beginners become self sufficient and familiar with the skills and gear required to have a fun and safe backpacking experience.
We will backpack approximately 8 miles on Saturday and approximately 2 miles on Sunday. You are expected to carry all gear for the duration of the trip, and the terrain can be strenuous at times. The trails may also be wet, slippery, muddy, or rocky. This willl give you a good sense of the requirements for a typical Intermediate Trip with this club.
Organizers are responsible for planning carpools. One of us will email participants to collect carpool information about 10 days prior to the trip. Be sure to check email and respond promptly. Those who fail to respond will be dropped from the trip.
Expectations of participants:
Backpacking can be a strenuous cardiovascular exercise. Participants should be in reasonably good health and physical fitness.
All participants are responsible for obtaining the essential gear for the trip. This includes a backpack, sleeping bag, tent or shelter, rain gear (a garbage bag can be used), headlamp or flashlight, food, and water (you should be able to carry two liters). Over-the-ankle hiking boots and a sleeping pad are strongly recommended. Avoid wearing cotton jeans or tennis shoes. The Organizers will have a water filtration system, however you may bring your own. You can learn more about fundamental and recommended camping equipment by reading the 'basic beginners gear list' located in the 'More/Files' section of the Chicago Backpackers Meetup website. REI is another good resource for information (www.rei.com).
Organizers will do their best to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time, however you are ultimately responsible for your own comfort. Remember that May can often bring rain and moderately cold nighttime temperatures. Do not fall victim to hypothermia. Avoid cotton clothing. Bring a fleece or wool hat and extra medium-weight clothing layers so that you can change into dry clothes and stay warm. Don't forget any medications, prescription eyewear, etc. Let an Organizer know if you have any special requirements.
Itinerary for trip:
Saturday May 18:
Everyone arrives by 10:00 a.m at Camp Wokanda, in Peoria, IL.
Shakedown: The Organizers will conduct an equipment assessment. Participants may lay out the contents of their backpacks, allowing the Organizers to make suggestions for lightening loads and provide instruction on how to properly load and adjust packs. We will then hike approximately 8 miles to our campsite, practicing good hiking techniques.
At camp, organizers will discuss basic camp skills such as site selection, making camp, cooking, etc.
Sunday, May 19:
Hike 2 miles back to cars.
Return to Chicago.
Organizers will make the car pool arrangements, within reason, so that everyone may attend. They will plan the route of the trip and coordinate any other needed logistics. Details on carpool arrangements, directions, and contact information will be emailed about a week before the trip.
Please contact an Organizer if you have any questions!
1. If you have backpacking experience, this trip is not for you. Backpacker Bootcamps are primarily geared toward beginners. Contact an Organizer if you have a question concerning your readiness.
2. Only group members may attend. +1 add-ons are not permitted. If you have a friend that wishes to attend, please have him or her join the group and add themselves to the list.
3. Dogs, minors, or other dependents are not permitted.
4. We practice Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. www.lnt.org
5. Cost is $10.00 per person payable at the time of sign up. The cost includes the standard meetup fee for the club, as well as camp costs. Attendees will also receive a Chicago Backpacker T-Shirt.