Next Meetup

Skills workshop - orienteering
• What we'll do Can't tell your east from your west? Have a compass but not sure how to use it? Want to build, or refresh, skills before a big trip? Join us for an afternoon of orienteering practice! We'll talk through the basics of how a compass works, then proceed to some hands-on exercises. If you have your own compass, bring it, especially if you plan to use it on a trip. We'll have a few extras for those without. Let us know if there are any particular skills you'd like to learn or show off! Itinerary 12pm: meet at grove 3 shelter at LaBagh Woods (Cicero entrance). We'll spend a half hour or so talking about how a compass works, on its own and with a map, why/when you might use one, and what to look for when choosing one. 12:30 -2: We'll branch out in the area and do some exercises with the compass -- taking readings (checking direction), following a straight path, getting around an obstacle, and so on. 2p: head to a nearby eatery or brewpub for a warm up Notes: We are not organizing carpools for this event, but feel free to use the comments section to coordinate. No charge for this event, but RSVPs help with planning! Feel free to bring friends and family. Kids are welcome, but you are responsible for keeping track of them and keeping them interested, warm, etc. • What to bring Compass if you have one. • Important to know

LaBagh Woods

N Cicero Ave at W Foster Ave · Chicago, IL


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What we're about

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Welcome to the Chicago Backpackers Group

Chicago Backpackers is a club for those who share an enthusiasm for backpacking. We provide opportunities for backpacking education, trip organization, and backpacker networking.

Backpacking education: The club helps teach new backpackers about backpacking: hiking self-sustained for consecutive days in a wilderness area carrying all necessary supplies in a backpack. We do this through trips and clinics that provide opportunities for all members, old and new, to continually improve their skills in the safest possible situations.

Trip organization: The group's volunteer organizers plan a variety of trips throughout the year, from one-night beginners-only trips up to week-long advanced treks out west. Individual organizers choose the location, plan the route, help set up car pools, and take care of other trip logistics. Individual members are responsible for their own gear, their own food, and communicating with the organizer to ensure that everyone is on the same page before and during the trip.

Backpacker networking: By going on trips and frequenting the various online message boards, members are encouraged to connect with other backpackers who share similar interests, and plan their own trips using the Meetup interface to further enjoy the sport beyond what the Chicago Backpackers organizers can offer.

We practice low-impact, leave no trace backpacking ( Our trips usually consist of 10 to 14 people to minimize the impact we will have on our favorite locations and new trails, to keep them as fresh as possible for ourselves and other backpackers.

What you can do to help:

Backpacking with a group provides many benefits, from safety in numbers to sharing essential but easily-shared gear like water filters. The organizers and event hosts volunteer their time and experience to make our trips as safe and smooth as possible, but we can’t do everything ourselves. In addition to preparing and carrying your own gear and food, you can help the club and its trips run smoothly by doing a few simple things.

Read: Until we actually get on the trail, most of the information we have to give you is written down in trip descriptions, emails, and announcements. If you don’t read the descriptions, or only read part of an email, you will miss valuable information, which could lead to a poor experience on the trail, or being dropped from a trip.

Communicate: If you have questions, ask. If an organizer or event host sends you an email or asks for information, please respond as quickly and as fully as possible. If you’re having a difficult time on the trail, speak up. Frequent and clear communication makes trip planning easier, carpooling smoother, and trail hiking safer.

Lend a hand: If you have a car and can drive others to the trailhead, indicate that on the carpool/ ICE information request form sent out before the trip starts. If you don’t have a car but are willing to drive, indicate that, as well. While we’re on the trail, follow Leave No Trace principles. While we’re in camp, volunteer to get water, gather firewood, etc. Remember that organizers and event hosts are volunteers, and backpacking in a group is a team effort. When we all work together, trips are safer and run more smoothly for everyone.

Thanks, and see you on the trail!

The Organizers

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