Introduction to Backpacking

Description: Our REI Outdoor School instructors will prepare you for this backpacking season by making your pack more comfortable and manageable than ever before! We'll start by custom-fitting each pack and teach you what to look for in a proper fit. You'll also learn how to load your pack to balance the weight for specific trail conditions and better organize your gear. Then it's off on our "Shakedown Hike" to learn to make adjustments on the trail to keep your back from aching and allow you to get more out of your experience in the wilderness.

Skills you'll learn:

  • Learn how to pack a backpack for fit, balance and accessibility
  • Learn techniques of how to properly wear and hike with a backpack for ultimate comfort on the trail
  • Discover local areas where overnight backpacking is available.

Check out the gear list.

Required Legal Form:
This course requires the participant to read and sign a liability release form before participating. Please see "Required Legal Form" for the session you are registering for. You will need to print, sign and bring the form to your class.

Introduction to Backpacking Information

Outdoor School Cancellation Policy



  • Class Details
  • Gear List

Introduction to Backpacking Gear List

Gear to bring to class:


  • Personal Backpack & Equipment - The backpack and equipment you use.
  • Hiking Boots
  • 2 Liters of Water - At least 2 Nalgene sized water bottles or a large Camelback style reservoir
  • Lunch & Snacks
  • Sun Protection - Lip balm, sunscreen, wide-brim hats, etc.


  • Rain Gear - Waterproof/resistant jacket, pants and hat.
  • Gaiters
  • Lip Balm/Protection
  • Binoculars

Gear provided by REI:

  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Hiking Poles - REI will provide but you are welcome to bring your own.