GetBackpacking! 24 Hours of Backcountry Skills
You fancy yourself a Daniel Boone type. But are you? Are you proficient at starting a campfire? Is your bear hang foolproof (or at least bear proof)? How are you at pitching a tent under deadline pressure (read: you’re about to get dumped on)? Do you know the right knot for the right occasion?
Basic backcountry skills aren’t that hard; basically, it’s a matter of a little knowledge, a little direction. In our first 24-hour skills clinic, that’s just what we plan to give you: knowledge and direction in 7 key areas: starting a fire, perfecting your bear hang, basic knot tying, effective tent pitching, hiking at night, map and compass use. We’ll also go over the basics of leave-no-trace.
We’ll do this over an action-packed 24-hour period, on a campout at Eno River State Park. Here’s how the weekend will unfold:
Saturday, Aug. 10
3 p.m. — Arrive, hike the half mile or so to camp, with all your gear. (We have a handful of backpacks available first-come, first-given-to.) We’ll start with quickly and efficiently setting up camp.
4 p.m. — We’ll have three 20-minute rotating sessions covering: knot tying, bear hangs and leave no trace.
5:30 p.m. — Dinner begins with a clinic on how to make a campfire. Then we eat.
7:30 p.m. — Night hike. We’ll discuss the basics of night navigation, then head out on a 3.25-mile hike up, over and around Cox Mountain. Sunset is at 8:11, meaning we’ll have a chance to hike in twilight-fading-to-dark, the toughest time to hike. We’ll be back to camp around 9:30.
10 p.m. — Lights out.
Sunday, Aug. 11
8 a.m. — Breakfast begins with another opportunity to make a fire.
9:30 a.m. — GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods. We’ll start with a 20-minute session to go over basic map and compass skills (map of the area and compass provided). Then, we’ll
wander out the back of our camping area and hike downstream along the Eno, navigating a 2.5-mile loop, much off which is off trail, some of which is on an old roadbed, the last little bit of which will be on trail. The goal: to get you comfortable with using a map and compass, and to help you relate the reality of what you’re seeing with what’s depicted on the map. We’ll stop and have lunch along the way.
1:30-2 p.m. — Back to camp. Break camp and be on our way.
What you’ll need:
Food: bring one dinner, one breakfast, one lunch and trail snacks.
Water: Bring at least one water bottle and the capacity to have in your possession 2 liters of water.
Clothing: the Sunday morning GetOriented! session does involve off-trail hiking through unmaintained areas: long pants are strongly encouraged.
Backpackers: you should be set. Bring what you would normally bring on an overnight backpacking trip.
Non-backpackers: We can provide a backpack to help you tote gear to the campsite. We will provide a list of what else you will need.
Headlamp: we have spares, but if you have one, bring it.
Again, a comprehensive list of what you will need will be provided upon registration.
Cost: $125. Includes:
— All instruction
— Materials for skills sessions (unless otherwise noted in registration packet)
— Skills tips sheets on all skills covered (provided upon registration)