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Backpacking Fundamentals Course FAQ’s and Outline
Sponsored by the Los Padres Forest Association
Please note there is a donation/fee required to take this course as noted in the details below...
What is the Backpacking Fundamentals Course?
The Backpacking Fundamentals Course is a comprehensive classroom and outdoor training program designed to introduce you to backpacking, familiarize you with current backpacking gear, prepare you for a wilderness or urban backpacking experience, and introduce you to the backcountry trails and camps in the Los Padres National Forest in preparation for even bigger and better backpacking adventures.
Who should attend?
Anyone interested in an introduction or re-introduction to backpacking. If you have all or part of one of the big bucket list wilderness hikes in mind, John Muir Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, or if you’re considering an urban walk like the Camino de Santiago in Spain or the California Mission Trail (El Camino Real), you will learn valuable skills and information that will allow you to more confidently move forward with your goal. And even if all you want to do is enjoy weekend trips in our beautiful local backcountry, you will come away with a level of confidence and the right gear decisions to enhance your outdoor experiences.
What will I learn?
This course will take you through all of the steps required to make you a proficient and safety conscious backpacker. Our trainers are all experienced backpackers and Volunteer Wilderness Rangers. You will learn how to select and purchase properly fitted backpacking gear, wilderness preparedness skills, route finding and navigation, packing and camp set up skills, camp cooking and meal selection, water treatment methods, basic wilderness first aid and many other useful trail skills that will allow you to become a confident hiker and backpacker.
What does it cost?
This 5 week classroom course plus an outdoor navigation course, and 2 optional overnight outdoor experiences is only $150.00 per person. We can almost guarantee you that you will save that much in well made gear and equipment selections alone. That’s money you may have spent making the wrong decisions without the benefit of this training program. Better yet, all of our trainers are volunteers which means that, all proceeds go toward maintaining and improving our local trails through the Los Padres Forest Associations Volunteer Wilderness Ranger program.
What is the “Los Padres Forest Association” (LPFA)?
Founded in 1979, the LPFA is the official non-profit 501(c)(3) of the Los Padres National Forest. Our mission is to care for the Los Padres Forest, ensuring it thrives and remains safe and open for the people to use and enjoy. The LPFA shares the Forest Service motto of “Caring for the Land and Serving the People.” We love nothing more than to help people enjoy their time in the Los Padres in a sustainable and respectful manner. http://lpforest.org/
Location & Times
Classroom sessions are two hours and run from 7:00-9:00 pm, the outdoor navigation course will be from 9:00 am-12:00 noon. Classroom sessions 1, 2, 3 & 5 will take place at the Best Western Peppertree Inn, 3850 State St, Santa Barbara in the Treetop Room. Classroom session # 4 will take place at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The location of the outdoor navigation session will be determined once our class has started.
Classroom Session #1, Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Class overview and introduction of attendees and instructors
Los Padres National Forest, Our Backcountry Backyard
Classroom Session #2, Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Intro to Backpacking Gear & The Benefits of Being “Light”--Lightweight and Ultralight Gear
Optional Field Trip to REI and/or Mountain Air Sports to look at gear--Weekend date TBD
Classroom Session # 3 Feet, Clothing and First Aid, Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Classroom Session #4 Camp Cooking, Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Field Program--Navigation Saturday, TBD, 2016--Curt
Outdoor Session #1--Camping Trip Gear Shakedown
Classroom Session #5--Bring your Gear to Class, Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Outdoor Session #2, Backpacking Trip, Date TBD during class
Overnight backpacking trip to a backcountry campsite 12-14 miles round trip. Location TBD
What if you can’t make a class?
Don’t worry, we will send notes and an outline after every class and better yet, all of our graduates are welcome to attend any classes they may have missed at the next session. You will also be invited to participate in future backpacking trips as an alumni of LPFA Backpacking Fundamentals.