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Backpacking 101

September 12, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

Backpacking 101 – Beginning Backpacking

Join the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA), Colorado Mountain College (CMC), Salida Mountain Sports, City of Salida and more for a beginning backpacking course in Salida, Colorado on September 12 from 9:30am to 3:30pm at Riverside Park. This half day event will cover a variety of topics including what to pack and how to pack it, what to consider when planning a trip, food options and how many calories to bring, backpacking with kids, water filtration, backpacking with dogs, Leave No Trace practices, and much more. The day will start off with two 45-minute back to back sessions covering the basics. After lunch, participants will choose from 30-minute breakout sessions on more detailed topics. Participants can come for any portion of the day or stay for the whole course.

All levels are welcome. This course will not dive into the nitty gritty of all topics, and is aimed at more novice or beginner backpackers, though even experienced backpackers are likely to learn something new. Participants will be introduced to backpacking and will leave with an increased sense of confidence to backpack on their own, plus gain many resources to keep honing their skills.

This course is FREE to the public. All attendees will be required to abide by COVID regulations: wear masks, maintain social distancing, and be respectful. The course will be outdoors for the entirety of the day. Please bring all your own supplies for the day such as a chair, pen, paper, lunch, water, etc. Email or call 719-539-5106 with questions.

Optional pre-registration here.


9:30 – 10:00: Hello and introduction from CMC and GARNA

10:00 – 10:45: Intro to backpacking, how to plan a trip 

11:00 – 11:45: What to pack/wear and how to pack it 

12:00 – 1: 00: Lunch and nutrition breakdown/backcountry cooking items (bring your own lunch)

1:15 – 1:45: breakout session 1

2:00 – 2:30: breakout session 2

2:45 – 3:15: breakout session 3

3:15 – 3:30: Thank you and goodbye 

Each breakout session will run for all three time slots, giving participants a chance to listen in on multiple topics throughout the afternoon.

Breakout sessions:

Random questions

First Aid 

Water filtration 

Backpacking with kids 

Backpacking with dogs 

Colorado Trail 


September 12, 2020
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Event Category:

Many GARNA programs require a liability release form be filled out each calendar year.

Your registration is secured upon receipt of payment. If you prefer not to register online (recommended), you may mail a check, made out to “GARNA” to the address below. Please include a note with the program you are registering for.

PO Box 1522
Salida CO 81201

Cancellation policy:

If we are notified of your need to cancel within 24 hours of program date, your program fee will be refunded except for a $3.00 administrative fee. If minimum enrollment has not been met by program date, programs will be cancelled 2 days prior to the date and we will refund the full amount.