Olympia Mountaineers offering class on ‘Essentials of Backpacking’

The Olympia Mountaineers will offer “The Essentials of Backpacking” class starting Wednesday to people looking for backpacking opportunities in the Northwest that fit their experience level.

Course instructors will help new and experienced backcountry travelers select destinations and routes, and work through the process to obtain the necessary permits.

Other topics include navigational skills, physical conditioning, food preparation, sleeping options, selecting clothes and equipment for the long haul.

Experienced backpackers also will present information on ultra-light equipment, handling emergencies and other specialty topics, according to a news release from the Mountaineers.

Participants will then have a chance to practice the skills needed to be safe and comfortable in the wilderness with a group of like-minded travelers.

The course includes the evening lecture Wednesday, a one-day workshop Saturday and a weekend backpacking trip at a date to be decided, depending on snow levels.

The first two sessions will be held at Friends Meeting House, 3201 Boston Harbor Road NE, Olympia.

The cost is $60 for Mountaineer members and $90 for nonmembers. The prerequisite is a previous wilderness skills course or an equivalency exam.

For more information, visit olympiamountaineers.org, or contact Mountaineers member Jim French at jimfrenchwa@comcast.net.