Beginner Bootcamp

  • July 20, 2013 · 7:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

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 7 miles on Saturday and approximately 4 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 July can often bring rain and moderately hot daytime temperatures. Although quite unlikely at this time of year, it is wise to note that nighttime temps could be cool. 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 July 20:
Everyone arrives by 11:00 a.m at Forest Glen.

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 7 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, July 21:
Hike 4 miles back to cars.
Get lunch.
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!

Additional Information:
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.

Thanks,
Sonja and Mary

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  • ILMAR H.

    I also want to say thanks to Sonja and Mary too for organizing and planning the trip. I had a wonderful time meeting, hiking, and chatting with everyone, and learned a lot!

    July 23, 2013

  • Bryan

    I just wanted to let everyone know that it was a pleasure meeting each and everyone of you. What a great group! Mary and Sonja did such a fantastic job in their instruction while making it really fun at the same time. I love how that giant wasp flew in just in time for the group pic. What are the odds of that happening right when the picture was taken? Looking forward to seeing everyone at a future backpacking adventure!

    1 · July 23, 2013

    • ILMAR H.

      Yes, I was really surprised when I loaded the pics onto my computer and saw the wasp in the group pic. He must have been hiding in the trees behind us, waiting for the right moment! ;-) He caused a lot of excitement and drama Saturday night, and I guess he wanted to be remembered for it!

      July 23, 2013

  • George G

    I have to also state this was a great trip for me. Many thanks to Sonja and Mary for organizing and teaching. I also can't say enough good things about the rest of the group. I appreciated meeting all of you and look forward to seeing you again soon. And for those who still have the Banana Splits theme song ringing in your heads, I will buy the first round next time we meet. Cheers to all. G

    1 · July 23, 2013

  • Bill F.

    Thank you all very much for a wonderful trip. It was such a great group of people. I hope I'll have the chance to backpack with any or all of you again. Sending a special shout out to Mary and Sonja as great leads. Woot! Woot!

    1 banana, 2 banana, 3 banana, 4 ;-)

    2 · July 22, 2013

  • Sonja

    Great photoshopping on the group pic.

    1 · July 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you so much to everyone! I so enjoyed meeting all of you, and a huge thank you to Mary and Sonja for being such fantastic leaders.

    July 22, 2013

  • Sung W C.

    I'm case I forgot anyone, Veni Vidi Vici. :-D

    July 21, 2013

  • Sung W C.

    Great trip to learn about backpacking. Only Excellent people showed up for the trip. Lucky to get in on this one. Excellent training trip. Need one for each type of climate extreme.

    2 · July 21, 2013

  • Sonja

    Everyone on this trip did an amazing job! Thanks to all for stepping up to help.

    July 21, 2013

  • Celeste

    I just had to change my RSVP from yes to no- I am going to be needed at work this weekend. I apologize for the last minute cancellation. I am so sorry Mary, that I had you send the information and now I am cancelling. I hope someone else will be able to take my spot & have fun for me!

    July 17, 2013

  • Mary

    Car pool requests were sent out last week, still have not heard from Celeste, Kathy, Liz and Erin. Please send (or resend) your info today. If I do not hear from you today, you I will assume you are no longer interested and you will not be included in the trip plans. Thanks!

    July 15, 2013

    • Mary

      Celeste, it would have come from me, via the Meetup.

      July 16, 2013

    • Mary

      It's prolly in your spam folder. Check there, and I'm also resending it to you, please get back to me today. Thanks!

      1 · July 16, 2013

  • Deanna R.

    I've had something come up and won't be able to make it. :( I hope there's another one soon!

    July 12, 2013

    • Sonja

      Thanks for changing your RSVP. Hope you can make another one soon.

      July 12, 2013

  • Sung W C.

    I just got a message saying a slot opened up. How do I respond to it? It says I'm still on the wait list with 1 person in front of me.

    July 10, 2013

  • Celeste

    I just put my beloved hiking boots on- to get used to wearing them again....my soles are falling off. Does anyone know of a good place to get them repaired or a suggestion of a good shoe to buy? I need ankle protection, as I have rolled my right ankle a number of times in the past. Thanks!

    July 4, 2013

    • Sonja

      REI has a great return policy if they don't work out for you. I've also heard wonderful reviews of the fitting process at Erehwon from other backpackers. Wherever you get them, make sure to break them in before the bootcamp.

      July 8, 2013

    • Celeste

      I picked up a pair at REI & yes, I do plan on breaking them in....otherwise I will be one unhappy camper. ;)

      1 · July 8, 2013

  • Walter T.

    Just read my mail! Missed this one. When will you do this again?

    Please?

    July 3, 2013

    • Sonja

      We offer bootcamps pretty regularly. Keep checking the site and always sign up for the waiting list if you can make the date.

      July 8, 2013

  • Sujata

    I've been meaning to attend a bootcamp for a while. I used to enjoyed hiking, camping, and just being outdoors. It would be great to start again...

    July 7, 2013

  • sandykurtz

    Can you plan a shorter trip and stay in a motel in the fall? October would be perfect.

    July 7, 2013

  • LC

    Hi, I've been on a back packing trip with the Sierra Club. We went to the Porcupine Mountains and all of our day long hikes were led by a group leader. We didn't sleep outside (ie in tents) though - we stayed at a local motel. I have no problem hiking long distances but just wanted to confirm I should attend this trip. Thanks! : )

    July 3, 2013

    • Mary

      Yes, you should :)

      July 3, 2013

    • LC

      Oops, looks like the meetup is now full.

      July 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know I can drive if needed.

    July 3, 2013

    • Sonja

      Thanks. We'll send out a request to everyone closer to the date.

      July 3, 2013

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