Eleven months ago the world was turned upside-down by Covid. For years I’d wanted to offer an online course, and last spring was an ideal opportunity — the expansive stay-at-home orders kept most people inside and also put a freeze on my guided trip program.
Over a few weeks, Joe McConaughy (who was freshly unemployed) and I developed a curriculum and launched the first session on April 20.
It sold out within a few days, so we offered a second session in June and a self-paced session in July. The course surpassed every goal that I had for it, in terms of both its popularity and its quality.
Today we are opening registration for the 2021 course. Sessions start and finish on:
- February 22 through April 25
- March 15 through May 16
- April 12 through June 13
Its focus remains the same: how to (better) plan a backpacking trip. Among a few other things, students will learn to:
- Research likely environmental and route conditions like the weather, bug pressure, water availability, and problem bears;
- Select appropriate gear for the conditions and your backpacking style;
- Plan meals, including dinners that go beyond Ramen noodles or expensive freeze-dried packages;
- Assemble a navigation system of maps, resources, and tools; and,
- Acquire requisite skills and fitness for your itinerary.
Class sizes are capped so that the instructor team is not overloaded. Unlike other online courses during which you might passively read or watch content, our course is interactive — your ten assignments will be reviewed, and we host three virtual meetings per session.
The course fee is $175, which I think is an exceptional price for the instruction that is provided. Students are also eligible for free and discounted products and services with partner brands like GaiaGPS, Gossamer Gear, Mountain Laurel Designs, Sierra Designs, and ULA.
If you have questions, leave a comment below or contact us directly.
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