[Sierra Club]
Backpack Section
Loma Prieta Chapter
Sierra Club

Lightweight Backpacking Course

April 12 - 13, 2014
May 3 - 4, 2014 (tentative)

A class in advanced skills and gear for low-impact, long-distance wilderness travel.

Imagine backpacking, and feeling like a you're on a day-hike. How much farther could you go? How much more could you see? Find out in our class for experienced backpackers on lightweight and ultralight backpacking skills, gear, and techniques.

Classroom sessions will be held in Palo Alto on two consecutive weekend days, lasting seven hours each, on a Saturday and Sunday on April 12 & 13, 2014. Topics covered include:

[Lightweight Class '05 at completion.]
Still not tired after 20 miles
of hilly lightweight backpacking in
Henry Coe State Park
  • Philosophy and style.
  • What's in your pack?
  • Clothing as a system.
  • Lightweight systems: shelters, packs, and sleeping gear.
  • Home-made gear.
  • Tarp skills.
  • A day on the trail (time management).
  • Safety and preparedness.
  • Meal planning.
  • Trip planning.
  • Logistics and resupply.

A weekend outing will follow, tentatively scheduled on May 3 - 4 (or alternately on May 17 - 18). The outing will be an overnight backpacking trip in the greater Bay Area, covering around 10 miles per day. In order to participate in the outing, students may be advised to replace one or more significant components of their existing backpacking gear kit to stay within recommended pack-weight limits.

The class is limited to 12 people on a first-come basis. Anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. The final outing is limited to class members only. First preference for registration will be given to Sierra Club members.

This class is offered for experienced backpackers as a follow-on to our Basic Backpacking Course, and assumes that level of knowledge. We consider backpackers adequately experienced if they have either a minimum of 25 days on the trail (at least 12 total nights-out), or they have taken a formal beginners class (ours or an equivalent) and have 6-8 nights out. Extra "points" for solo travel or snow camping are considered.

The $45 course fee includes a text book and other class materials but does not include costs and fees incurred for transportation, parking, or permits for the outing. Instructors are volunteers from the Backpack Section and receive no compensation. Any class proceeds, after expenses, are donated to conservation and trail maintenance groups.

To be sent a registration form, please contact the instructor, Steve Sergeant, by e-mail at steve.sergeant @ lomaprieta.sierraclub.org or by phone at (408) 937-8116. You will be given an address to send a SASE (self-addressed and stamped envelope) to get the registration form. Registration closes on Friday, April 4th.

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If you have questions or comments about this web site, please send e-mail to: steve.sergeant(AT)lomaprieta.sierraclub.org