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Backpacking Basics

  • Boston Outdoor School 131 Walnut St Saugus United States (map)
Backpacking Basics
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Course full? Email me to get on the waitlist.


Duration: 4 hours

Age: 16+ (10+ with parent)



Gain the confidence to successfully plan and execute your first backcountry overnight camping trip. Whether you just want to spend a night in the woods or you dream of someday hiking the AT - this course will prepare you with the solid foundational skills required for your first (or second, or third) overnight camping trip in the backcountry. From planning mileage to selecting gear and setting up camp, by the end of this course you will fully understand how to pack for, prepare for, plan for, and stay safe during your first overnight backpacking trip.

Take Away’s:

  • Comprehensive gear list

  • How to select the right backpack,

  • How to choose your sleeping set up (what bag and mat is right for you, and do you need a pillow?)

  • practice setting up a tent

  • how to meal plan for your trip

  • backcountry kitchen safety tips and how to set up your camp kitchen

  • What clothes to pack and how to plan for different weather

  • What shoes to wear (trail runners or hiking boots?)

  • Trip planning - how to research and prepare routes including common websites and forums with trip itineraries,

  • Campsites - how to find hosted campsites in New England with bear boxes

  • Physical fitness - how to train and what to expect

  • Principles of Leave No Trace

  • How to find hiking and backpacking groups to join so you don't have to hike solo

Instructor: MEGAN BRAKE

Megan Brake.jpg

An avid hiker, Megan discovered her love for walking over mountains while living in Southern California, and that passion for hiking has carried her around the world. To date, she has explore the Himalayas, the mountains of Korea, the volcanoes of Indonesia, and once spent three months hiking across the Andes of Peru. She almost always hikes without a guide, planning and executing all her own trips no matter where she goes in the world, and she wants to share this knowledge and confidence with others. These days, you can usually find her pouring over maps of the White Mountains, looking for potential stealth camping spots and planning her next weekend excursion. Her goal is to inspire others, especially women, to overcome their fears and insecurities and gain the confidence (and knowledge) needed to head out into the wilderness. You can read more about her travels and adventures on her blog,  Into Foreign Lands.

What to Bring:

Any camping gear you currently have. We’ll help you do a full inventory assessment.