There’s no better way to become one with nature than to live in it. For those who enjoy the basics and revel in self-reliance, backpacking and backcountry camping is an excellent way to experience an intimate encounter with nature. But for those just starting out, it’s important to get some good guidance.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will hold a Backpacking Preparation 101 class Friday, July 30 from 9-11 a.m. The program is free and open to all ages and will be held at the Warrenton Pool Park Aquatic Center.
Backpacking overnight is an excellent way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. It does take a bit more preparation and planning than casual day hiking or camping from a car. Backpackers carry everything they need for hiking, cooking, eating, shelter, and sleeping on their backs. That provides an unparalleled sense of independence and freedom.
The course will cover how to choose and properly fit an overnight backpack, and how to pack it. Participants will learn what items are essential to bring, and what might be unneeded weight. It’s also important to prepare physically for a backcountry adventure and the program will also cover that aspect. Attendees will also discover great backpacking destinations in Missouri, and helpful organizations like the Ozark Trail and the Ozarks Highlands Trail associations. The class will even review some modern mobile apps that can assist the backpacker.
Backpacking Preparation 101 is a free program, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZHF. As this is an in-person activity, MDC asks all participants to observe current local social distancing and masking guidelines. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when appropriate for the in-person activity.
The Warrenton Pool Park Aquatic Center is located at 751 Warrior Avenue in Warrenton.
Program registrants should note that families now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children to an event without having to logoff and login for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members to an event at the same time.
Stay informed of MDC latest programs by going to the MDC St. Louis regional events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.