Beginner Bootcamp

UPDATE:

Convenient link to packing list (models have not been updated in some time, but this will give you an idea):

http://files.meetup.com/15324/basic%20backpacking%20gear%20list.pdf

TRIP DESCRIPTION:

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 will 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 September, while daytime temperatures vary, can often bring rain and moderately chilly evening temperatures. Avoid cotton clothing. Bring a fleece or wool hat and extra medium/heavy-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 September 21:
Everyone arrives by 10:00 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, September 22:
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,
Nadia and Chris

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  • Michelle

    I had a great time (blisters and all)! I learned so much and met some great people! Hopefully we can get out again soon! If anyone from our bootcamp is interested in going on another outing let me know. Thanks to this bootcamp I feel I am ready for more backpacking trips!

    2 · September 23, 2013

  • Preeti

    A great learning experience made so much fun and comfortable by the ever-helpful organizers and fellow-backpackers! Thank you Chris, Nadia and Rick! Awesome pics Mindy, thanks for sharing!

    2 · September 23, 2013

    • Mindy

      Thanks, Preeti!! I LOVE your pics, too... they're all so clear and you got such great shots of nature! Thanks for posting!

      2 · September 23, 2013

    • Preeti

      Thanks, Mindy :) :)

      September 23, 2013

  • Mindy

    SO much fun and a great learning experience!! An absolutely fantastic group of people... I hope to backpack with all of you again soon! Thank you Chris, Nadia and Rick for a wonderful weekend! I can't wait to get back out on the trail again!!

    September 22, 2013

  • Robert S.

    Good, congeiel group. Knowledgeable organizers.

    1 · September 22, 2013

  • Betsy J.

    Knowledgable and supportive organizers who did a great job a teaching us the basics and the priorities! . Forest Glen is a lovely preserve with large, wooded backpacking group sites. Congenial and encouraging fellow boot campers made the work fun and the weather was perfect! Thank you Nadia, Chris, and Rick!

    2 · September 22, 2013

  • Jack M.

    I've got some extra straps ill bring them

    September 20, 2013

  • Mindy

    Hi Everyone! I know this is so last minute, but I just packed my backpack and realized that the straps on the outside of my rented backpack are not long enough to go around my sleeping pad. Does anyone have any extra straps? If not, it's okay. The pad can fit under the top lid, but I'm just nervous it might slip out, or that the pad might get ruined if I squish it too much. Thanks!

    September 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    They are doing a revolutionary war reenactment this weekend up near the pioneer homestead. Don't be surprised if you hear gun and cannon fire. If you have time defiantly worth checking out!

    September 19, 2013

    • Nadia

      That is so funny - I've been there before randomly on a re-enactment weekend! We'll keep a look out.

      September 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm a member of the group that will be there. But family stuff came up so I won't be there. They only have the reenactment every other year. Guess I'll try again in 2015.

      September 20, 2013

  • Chris

    Just sent out email requesting info for carpools. If you did not receive let me know and I will re-send. Please respond by Sunday, 9/15. Thanks!

    September 12, 2013

    • Chris

      Got it. Working on carpools now. Will be sent soon.\

      September 16, 2013

    • 蒋杰

      Thanks!

      September 16, 2013

  • Nadia

    Hi everyone,
    I just sent an email to everyone that is currently on the list with a packing list, etc. If you did not get it, please a) check your spam folder and b) send me a message through this site and I will re-send. Thanks!

    1 · September 9, 2013

    • Michelle

      Hi Nadia. Do you know we can expect email about car pooling? Im just super excited about this hike!

      September 11, 2013

  • Nadia

    Sorry I can't make this one, folks! At least I know I'm making someone on the waiting list happy. Have fun!

    September 9, 2013

  • 蒋杰

    When would we start confirming the list? I mean switching people from the waiting to the going.

    September 8, 2013

    • Nadia

      I expect to have a final list by the end of this week. We'll notify people on the waitlist if anyone drops out.

      1 · September 9, 2013

    • 蒋杰

      Thanks to that. I'll be keeping an eye on my messages. One thing to make sure is, did you send the packing list to the waiting list? Since I didn't receive any thing here and I don't want to miss your notification of empty spot...

      September 9, 2013

  • anika p.

    big event at work that weekend. i would much rather be hiking!

    August 31, 2013

  • Michelle

    Im super excited about this backpacking trip! Never backpacked before, and am excited about a new adventure!

    1 · August 30, 2013

  • Mindy

    Should we bring RTE meals? Or any other recommendations? Thanks!

    August 28, 2013

    • Nadia

      You should bring whatever food you like, with a backpacking stove (or arrangements to share one) if you need boiling water or to cook. For dinner, dehydrated meals work fine, but so does cheese/crackers/sausage,­ or ramen & TVP, or instant mashed potatoes and salmon in a bag, or mac n cheese... The key is not needing complicated prep and being lightweight but filling.

      1 · August 28, 2013

    • Mindy

      Thanks!

      August 28, 2013

  • Tushar

    Hey all, this thing got filled up so quickly...

    August 28, 2013

  • Sung W C.

    Assuming there are any spots left, is it cool to attend boot camp twice?

    August 28, 2013

    • Chris

      Priority to new members, but if there is a last minute open spot you are more than welcome.

      August 28, 2013

  • Robert S.

    I can take a rider who will split driving expenses from N. side Chicago/ N. Suburbs.
    Phone #[masked]

    August 28, 2013

    • Chris

      Thanks. We'll organize the carpools for everyone and send out a request for this info closer to the date.

      August 28, 2013

  • 蒋杰

    First in the waiting list. I guess I still have a chance...

    August 28, 2013

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