We launched our GetBackpacking! program in 2014; since then, we've graduated more than 200 new backpackers. We plan to offer three sessions this fall, two in the Triangle, one in the Triad. Here's how the program works
* Gear Get-together. We meet at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for a quick get-to-know-you session, then spend about an hour learning about the basic gear: backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and pads, cook stoves. We will also do a pack loading demonstration, working on fit and what goes where. 2 hours.
* Training Day. We will meet at Morrow Mountain State Park for a training session that will go over: Evaluating a campsite, setting up camp, breaking camp, meal preparation (including the various food and cooking options on the trail). Expect to hike about 5 miles in full pack, during which we will work on hiking technique (including the use of poles), ensuring a good pack fit, adjusting your pack during the hike to make sure it continues to fit, and more. We will spend 5 to 6 hours on this session.
* 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.
* Fee. Cost of the program is $155. Upon signing up, you will be invoiced. In addition to instruction and the guided graduation hike, you'll receive:
• 10 percent discount on backpacking/hiking gear at Great Outdoor Provision Co. for the duration of the session.
• Info packet, including gear lists, tips sheets, and 10 great places to backpacking in North Carolina once you've graduated.
• eguide outlining the program and covering what you'll learn.
• Loaner gear. We have a limited number of backpacks and tents available on a first requested, first awarded basis, at no extra charge.'
• Gear Get-together: Thursday, April 25, 6-8 p.m., Great Outdoor Provision Co., Cameron Village Shopping Center, Raleigh.
• Training Day: Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Morrow Mountain State Park
• Graduation trip: Friday afternoon thru Sunday, June 7-9, South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs.
A NOTE ABOUT REGISTERING:
The growing popularity of our hikes, trips and classes has lead us to the following registration policy. Immediately upon signing up on Meetup, we will send you an invoice. Within two weeks, you may either:
+ Pay the entire amount, which is eligible for a full refund if you cancel seven days or more before the event, or;
+ Pay a $50 non-refundable deposit. The balance will be due two weeks before the event. If you do not pay by the two-week deadline, you will be moved to the bottom of the waitlist.
If you choose neither option within two weeks, your name will be moved to the bottom of the waitlist, in which case you may not make the trip roster.
If you have not been on a previous outing or taken a class with us and we do not have your email address — to send you trip information and an invoice through PayPal — we will send you a request for your email through Meetup (or beat us to the punch and just send your email address to [masked]). If we do not receive your email address within two weeks, you will be moved to the bottom of the waitlist.
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 anyone 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.