ALERT: Enter Your Design in Our County Park T-Shirt Contest by April 30th Contest Rules
ALERT: Botna Bend's Newly Renovated South Campground is Now Open with Full Hookup Sites.
ALERT: Full hookup camping sites are now available at Hitchcock Nature Center for $30 per night.

Level-Up Your Camping Skills with Intro to Backpacking

Learn the ins and outs of backpacking and put your skills to the test with a guided overnight adventure in the Loess Hills!

Interested in backpacking but are not sure where to start? Join us for our Introduction to Backpacking class where we will explore the dynamics of backcountry travel! 

Previous Intro to Backpacking students put their skills to use on the trails at Hitchcock Nature Center.

In this three-part lecture and hands-on course sponsored by the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol, you will learn how to navigate and travel in the wilderness with all your gear.  Experienced backpackers will help you examine how to plan a trip, select and use essential gear, then you'll implement what you learned on an overnight adventure at Hitchcock Nature Center.

This course includes the following instruction dates and times:

  1. Tuesday, May 3rd | 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (HNC Lodge)
  2. Saturday, May 7th | 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (HNC Lodge & Patio/Hike)
  3. Saturday to Sunday, May 14th-15th | 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. (HNC Lodge & Patio/Overnight)

Equipment: The instructor will discuss equipment on the first night (Tuesday, May 3rd) and hand out a packing list. Items that students do not have already will need to be borrowed or purchased before the overnight stay from May 14th - 15th. Instructors will work to mix, match, and make up equipment shortages if needed. Some course time will be dedicated to making sure students have what they need.

Click here to get an idea of different items you might want to bring on a backpacking trip.

Intro to Backpacking students learning what equipment they will need and how to pack it.

Participants must be 18 or older to participate. Intro to Backpacking comes at a steal for just $40 per person for the entire course.

Ready to join us for some outdoor fun where you'll gain the skills and confidence you need to plan your very own backpacking trip? Click here to sign up by May 1st!

The Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol. Learn more about these awesome, highly-skilled volunteers who help keep park visitors safe, maintain trails, and more.


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