Welcome to Backpacking 101

Backpacking 101 Lecture Series

The scope of the Backpacking 101 series is to provide clear and sound coverage of the current concepts, techniques, and challenges involved in the pursuit of exploring the backcountry and to provide a fundamental understanding of each topic covered.  Our objective with this series is to:

  1. To have a clear understanding of the basics of backcountry skills. To teach you how to be “safe and comfortable in the backcountry.
  2. To learn the inherent risks and challenges of the backcountry.
  3. To develop the skills necessary to mitigate those risks and develop strategies to overcome those challenges.   

Welcome to Course 4 - Trip Planning

"Trip Planning" is the fourth course in the Backpacking 101 lecture series. You now have a strong grasp on all the types of clothing and gear used in the outdoor world as well as how to pack it. Now it is time to plan your trip. In this course we will cover the proper strategies used in planning a successful trip to the backcountry. Back when I was in the military, we had a saying known as the 7 P’s. It stood for “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”. The meaning behind this statement is fairly obvious. It states that in order to perform well you need to you need to have good planning ahead of time. This holds true in the backcountry no matter where or when you are going. You will need to evaluate your trip across a number of categories and from that develop a solid plan. In this course we will cover all the essentials in trip planning so that you can have greatest chance for a safe and successful trip. The course is outlined as such:

  1. Essential Planning Considerations
  2. Trip Preparation
  3. Route Difficulty
  4. Planning Your Route

Following this lecture we will dive into the Environmental Factors Affecting the Backcountry. When dreaming of exploring a certain destination there are a many important environmental factors you will need to consider when planning your trip. These factors will have a significant impact on the types of clothing and gear you will bring as well as the time of year you may consider going. In order to do this takes careful planning and research. In this section we will break down the relevant environmental factors you need to be aware of and offer some insight on where to find this information. This lecture is broken down to highlight the following factors:

  1. Temperature
  2. Elevation
  3. Precipitation
  4. Daylight
  5. Ground Cover
  6. Vegetation
  7. Sun Exposure
  8. Water Availability
  9. Wildlife & Insects
  10. Remoteness
  11. Natural Hazards



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