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Full Day Seminar: Backpacking for Beginners

Tennessee Wild is partnering with Outdoor Chattanooga to offer a full day, comprehensive seminar entitled 'Backpacking for Beginners.' This class is free and open to the public. The class is suited for participants aged 14 and up. The goal of the class is to prepare attendees for undertaking a 2-5 day backpack trip.

The doors will open at 9 am and our class will begin promptly at 9:30 am. Tennessee Wild's Jeff Hunter will lead the class. Jeff is an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. He has also backpacked the John Muir Trail (CA), Foothills Trail (SC), Pinhoti Trail (SC), Benton MacKaye Trail (GA, TN, NC), and parts of the Florida Trail, Northville Placid Trail (NY), Colorado Trail, and many other trails in the southeastern US.

Here is the proposed class agenda (subject to change);

  • Review attendee expectations
  • Why backpack? (15 minute slideshow)
  • Clothing including footwear & foot care
  • Packs
  • Shelter & sleeping gear
  • Miscellaneous gear including cooking gear
  • Lunch Break 30 min (on your own)
  • Hydration & water filtering & treatment
  • Trip planning
  • Staying found
  • Leave No Trace
  • Safety (animals, first aid, hygiene)

After covering the above information, we will head to Rock /Creek at Two North Shore to look at various gear options. We will spend an hour (3-4 pm) at the store looking at packs, tents, sleeping bags, and misc gear. Rock /Creek will offer a discount coupon to all attendees, along with several gear specials exclusively for attendees.

For the final portion of the seminar we will go next door to Whole Foods for an hour (4-5 pm) where we will review nutrition and backcountry food options. The class will adjourn at 5 pm.

Following the class, there will be opportunities to join the instructor on an overnight backpack trip later in the spring. This is another exclusive opportunity available only to attendees.

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  • Greg F.

    Was wonderful meeting everyone and thanks so much for coming. As you can tell, we are passionate about this Communing with Nature via Backpacking thing!! Duh! :-) Look forward to seeing each of you out on a trail someday! Until then, Smile Often!
    Greg....aka: Sourdough

    April 1, 2013

  • Holli R.

    Thank you Jeff, Caara, Greg, Outdoor Chatt and Rock/Creek. I'm so glad I went. I'm already planning my May short-backpacking trip. I really resonated with the love you all conveyed for the experience of what backpacking offers.

    1 · March 31, 2013

  • Jana

    Very informative and fun! Thanks to Jeff, Caara and Greg for all of the expertise and suggestions. Looking forward to buying some gear, preparing for a trip and getting outdoors this summer!

    March 31, 2013

  • Barry k. S.

    Jeff, folks always do this experience the greatest justice. Great to share times with friends like you!

    March 30, 2013

  • Puspa

    The session was great - learnt a lot too. Look forward to my first backpaking trip.

    March 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent job I learned a lot!

    March 30, 2013

  • Michele J.

    Unfortuntely made plans not realizing this would open up. Hopefully will be offered again.

    March 30, 2013

  • Betsy F.

    Sorry have to work at last minute. :(

    March 29, 2013

  • Marci Marie Vaughn D.

    I was so looking forward to this but I have been asked to work Saturday night.

    March 29, 2013

  • Tabitha

    Hey, I undid my RSVP and found out I would be able to come. The web will not let me go back and unchange. Is there a possibility to still go?

    March 29, 2013

  • chris a.

    This sounds good,as i am a beginner.can i bring my son?

    February 15, 2013

    • chris a.

      Sorry,not gonna be able to come.When will next one be?

      March 29, 2013

  • Colleen

    Sorry to miss...my Easter weekend plans take me out of town.

    March 29, 2013

  • Josh L.

    Turns out I will not be able to make it tomorrow :(

    March 29, 2013

  • Susan N.

    I was able to attend a backpacking seminar in Nashville and signed up for a hike on Saturday.

    March 25, 2013

  • Gayle T.

    Sorry to miss this, but maybe next time.

    March 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds great

    March 19, 2013

  • Kimberly M.

    Count me in for another class if this one doesn't open!

    March 10, 2013

  • Deborah

    Jeff, Is there any chance you'll be doing an encore class? I am signed up and eager to attend, but just realized this is Saturday before Easter and I may be traveling to join family that day.

    March 7, 2013

  • Colleen

    Just finished the book "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed--her memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail solo, with no backpacking experience!...now I am ready!...and don't want to lose any toenails!!!...Thank you, Jeff, for scheduling this event!!!

    January 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I read "Wild" last summer! I loved it. I couldn't put it down.

      1 · January 17, 2013

    • angela a.

      I once spent the better part of a year with no "big" toe nails. Its not that big a deal :-)

      February 15, 2013

  • Marti O.

    I'm changing to a no to let someone(s) who would do a 2-5 backpack trip. We're not there yet. Maybe later.

    February 10, 2013

  • Greg F.

    Nice!! Yes, will be happy to lend a hand. C Ya There! Would RSVP Yes, but since there is 17 on the waiting list, would be difficult! LoL G

    February 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just what I'm looking for. Loved hiking/camping in my early days and would like to restart.

    January 19, 2013

  • angela a.

    Sounds fun but alas i haven't been a beginner for nearly 20 years. Maybe an experienced backpacker class with trip would be fun for us non beginners. Like covering aspects related to long treks, prepping dehydrated food.

    January 17, 2013

  • Cindalou

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    January 16, 2013

  • Chris

    right now i have to say no :( id love to go, love camping, havent ever tried backpacking. Primative isnt a problem. Hopefully I will know more as the time grows closer and I can make it

    January 16, 2013

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