Our GetBackpacking! program, launched in 2014, is back with four sessions scheduled for winter and spring. This, the fourth session, starts May 15. Briefly, here's how the program works:
* Three training hikes. At the first hike, we'll go over how to pack a backpack, then hike in full pack for 2 miles. Second training hike: We'll hike 2 miles, stop and set up camp, then break camp and hike 2 more miles. Third training hike: We'll hike about 3 miles, stop and prepare a meal, then hike another 3 miles. Training locations vary (see below).
* Graduation hike. Three-day, two-night trip to South Mountains State Park (http://ncparks.gov/south-mountains-state-park), a great place for your first trip.
* This is a fee program. Cost of the 4-week program is $85. You'll recoup $35 of that amount in the form of a gift card from Great Outdoor Provision Co.
* 10 percent discount on backpacking gear. Each participant in the clinic gets a 10 percent discount on backpack gear at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for the duration of the session.
Dates for the March session:
• Training 1: Sunday, May 15, 9 a.m.
• Training 2: Sunday, May 22, 9 a.m., Eno River State Park
• Training 3: Sunday, May 29, 9 a.m., Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake
• Trip planning session: Wednesday, June 1, 6:30 p.m., Great Outdoor Provision Co., Raleigh
• Graduation trip: Friday afternoon thru Sunday, June 3-5, South Mountains State Park.
NOTE: The first 12 people to sign up and pay will be guaranteed a spot in this program. Immediately upon signing up, you will be sent an invoice through PayPal (if you prefer to pay by check, let me know and we can make that happen).
ANOTHER NOTE: Minimum age for the program is 13, ages 13 through 17 must be in the program with an adult (we define adult generously, as someone 18 or older).
YET ANOTHER NOTE: If you'd like to take the program with a friend, a spouse, your youngster, it's best if they sign up individually. However, if they'd rather not do the Meetup thing, let me know and we can sign them up without becoming entangled in the system.