Backpacking Fundamentals & Skills: Big Branch Wilderness
Time & Location
About The Event
Hike along the historic Long Trail in Vermont's Green Mountains while you learn and practice skills in a premiere wilderness setting. During the trip, or group will enjoy expansive views from summit overlooks, waterside views and dense forest.
This 14.7 mile loop trip travels through an area that provides a home for turkeys, beaver and moose. About 80% is northern hardwoods while red spruce, fir and hemlocks fill out the rest allowing for a one of a kind Green Mountains experience.
This trip is open to all though you will most likely find it suitable if you are:
- First-time backpacker with some day-hiking, car-camping experience and are interested in learning to go on more overnight or multi-day trips
- Beginner backpacker who wants to improve know-how
- Intermediate backpacker who wants to improve skills and modernize gear
- Advanced backpacker looking for a refresher or a new adventure
Other considerations to make:
- You should be willing and able to hike up to 10 miles per day over varying terrain with an increase in intensity at times
- You should be comfortable hiking all day wearing a 20+ lb pack
- You should be willing to hike off-trail to learn and practice your navigation skills
Group size is 5. RSVP is required. Registration closes on July 3, 2021. Waiver/Assumption of Risk documents are required before participation and can be signed electronically or in person the day of this trip. This event will be held rain or shine.
If you have any questions or you would like to register for this trip, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me: Mat, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: $275 per person
- 5 Star backpacking guiding and instruction
- Group gear rental including headlamps, cookset, fuel, first-aid supplies, gear repair kit, bear bag, etc.
- National Forest permit and/or campsite permit (reservations)
- Breakfasts, dinners, water and 2 snacks
- Free product
- Demo gear rental for each hiker including shelter (tent, hammock system or tarp/bivy), stove, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and water treatment
What's Not Included:
- Park entry fee (if required)
- Personal gear and supplies
- Additional snacks and food
What Will You Learn:
- Trip planning
- Gear selection
- On-trail & Off-trail navigation
- Basic Map-reading
- Operation of compass
- Layering and clothing
- Foot care & footwear
- Food planning & nutrition
- Water quality assessment & treatment
- Campsite selection
- Shelter setups
- Stove operation
- Bear bag hanging
- Leave No Trace Principles
- How to pack a backpack
- Wildlife precautions and encounters
What To Expect:
Exact trip details (meeting location, time, etc) will be specified weeks or even months before your trip. The itinerary below is simply meant to help you plan your travel and to better understand how the trip will flow.
- Meet at our entry point 10am
- Make introductions
- Distribute group food
- Distribute group gear
- Check personal gear, supplies & make final decisions
- Learn how to pack a backpack
- Begin hiking
- Learn & discuss navigation, water treatment, first aid, gear repair, foot care
- Arrive at camp, learn and discuss campsite selection, campsite setup, bear bag hanging, fire starting (if regulations allow)
- Meal, clean-up
- Personal time/lights out
- Breakfast, campsite breakdown
- Learn & discuss proper layering techniques
- Practice and discuss navigation skills
- Around noon +/-1 or 2 hours arrive back to entry point
- Sort through personal and group gear
Why Should I Join:
This is a one-of-a-kind experience that will not only teach you fundamentals of backpacking, but will also help you leave feeling confident, strong, creative, relaxed and ready for the next adventure. Master the art of balance. This weekend is an investment in your backpacking future. It will save you considerable time and money in the long run, and it will greatly enhance your future trips & experiences, whether they be short or long, solo or with a group or the Scouts. By the end of this trip you will leave with the skills to plan, prepare, pack and enjoy your own personal adventures whether solo or with a group of friends, family or others. This weekend is focused on you and providing you with quality, value, safety, comfort and personal growth. You will be under the guidance of a reputable, credible and accomplished professional guide who wants to make the wilderness accessible and enjoyable for you at the highest level.
This backpacking fundamentals trip starts from the moment we both confirm the trip is suitable for the individual and the payment has been submitted to reserve your spot. These trips are opened up to 5 individuals in order to provide personal instruction, guidance and a more enhanced experience rather than feeling like you are part of a big group tour or missing out on key learning opportunities. It also helps us lower our impact on the areas we travel through. Once the trip has been confirmed, we will begin to collaborate on the trip planning process. This can be done through email, Google Drive, etc. After doing our research and planning together we will then go through the appropriate gear for our trip by creating a gear list together that will allow us to be safe, comfortable and enjoy the trip's objectives a bit more. We will work on the gear list together through a spreadsheet file. With the file we'll go through our reasoning for the items and compare our lists. At that time, suggestions and guidance that is tailored to you specifically (e.g. Lightweight backpacking, budget friendly, ease of use) will be provided. Each hiker on the trip will be given different items so that we can go through trying different things out throughout the trip and help you find what might work best for you before investing in the gear at a store. Rented gear we have finalized together will then be brought out to you the day of the trip. All gear is well cared for and maintained before and after each trip. Safety and enjoyment are always some of Reach Your Summit's top priorities. During our trips, groups stick together and look after each other.
Save time and money. Avoid spending thousands of dollars on gear and learning to backpack the hard way. Learn hands-on skills that will make backpacking fun, not work. You’ll learn trip planning techniques to make the process less stressful and overwhelming. Enjoy your backpacking experiences more. Get experience-backed information that is tailored to you, your preferences, your experience and your budget. Try out gear, see and learn about things before going out and buying it yourself.
Invest in your backpacking future and avoid learning things the hard way.
- Full payment is required to register. Trip cost includes a 10% non-refundable administrative fee. If you cancel more than 14 days prior to your trip's start date you will receive a full refund (less the 10% administrative fee).
- If you cancel within the preceding 14 days, do not show on the day of your trip, or reschedule within 48 hours, you forfeit your payment.
- If your program is cancelled due to inclement weather, we can reschedule for a better day, or we can offer a full refund. Please call to discuss weather concerns by noon 2 days prior to your trip if you wish to reschedule. If we experience bad weather locally, we will pro rate your trip on a 50% basis. Trips take place rain, shine or snow.
Please note: The guide always reserves the right to change or suggest alternate objectives based on trip conditions. Sometimes these conditions aren’t apparent until we arrive or are in the middle of the trip. If this occurs we may be forced to turn back. We are always looking to reward our guests with the best experiences. This is left to the judgement of the guide in all circumstances. If time on the trip permits, we may opt to go to another nearby location.
Gratuities are not included and are always greatly appreciated. They typically range from 5-10%.
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