Overnight Backpacking Class

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$250 for REI Members

$270 for non-members

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  • Fitness level 3 Moderate
  • Skill level 2 Intermediate
  • Minimum age 14
  • Group size 6 people
  • Instructor REI Local Experiences Guide

Let us help you with your first backpacking experience. Join our instructors on an overnight trip to a nearby scenic camp. Our instructors explain how to choose and use equipment (including how to load and carry your backpack) to maximize your comfort and fun. You'll also learn about campsite selection, camp cooking, water treatment and Leave No Trace etiquette. Course includes all required gear (backpack, tent, sleeping bag, pad, stove, all cookware, trekking poles, and water filters) and food.

  • 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
  • Learn additional camp skills such as choosing a camp site, camp cooking, water treatment, sanitation, and Leave No Trace principles
  • Discover local areas where overnight backpacking is available.

What to bring with you

Map image of Sam Knob/Black Balsam Parking Area

More directions and information

From the Blue Ridge Parkway, turn onto Black Balsam Knob Rd. (just past milepost 420) and follow it until the road ends. Park in the large lot and look for your REI guide. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead, but no running water.