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Introduction to Backpacking


If you're a little apprehensive to start backpacking or want to brush up on those fading skills, join us for Trail Otter's Introduction to Backpacking class.

In this course we’ll show you exactly what you need to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience backpacking. Starting with gear, then tips & tricks, followed by how to avoid animal encounters, and finishing with getting in shape for your first trip!

We also have one- and two-day backpacking trips to practice these skills and feel more confident.  Your Trail Otter guides will help you build confidence both in the classroom and out on the trail.

Two hour introductory class. A great beginner’s course, or a chance to brush up on rusty skills.
Training location:  Trail Otter Store, 134 Main Street Leicester, NY 14481

What to Bring:
  If you have backpacking gear, bring it along and we can discuss how to pack and properly use it

What you'll learn:

  • Assessing your capabilities
  • How to research where and how to start
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Your responsibilities vs. group responsibilities
  • Acquiring gear

Mental Skills
  • Sense of adventure & humor
  • Problem solving
  • Group dynamics

Planning Skills
  • Location & Time of year considerations
  • Food & water requirements
  • Clothing & footwear considerations
  • Shelter considerations
  • The 10 Essentials

Basic Skills
  • Pain & Injury management
  • Packing & Managing gear on your body and pack
  • How to poop in the woods & proper sanitation
  • Managing gear on your body and in your pack
  • "Bearmuda" Campsite location and setup 
  • Avoiding bears and mini bears
  • Sleeping

Technical Skills
  • Balance
  • Daylight Realizations
  • Navigation issues
  • Water filtration
  • Cooking & Nutrition
  • Logisitics
  • Food/Bear hanging

Rescue/Notification Skills
  • Watcher & Dashboard Sheets
  • Satellite vs. Phone