The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA), Colorado Mountain College (CMC), Salida Mountain Sports, the City of Salida and more are hosting a beginning backpacking course in Salida on Sept. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Riverside Park. This half day event will cover a variety of topics including what to pack and how to pack it, what to consider when planning a trip, food options and how many calories to bring, backpacking with kids, water filtration, backpacking with dogs, Leave No Trace practices and much more. The day will start off with two 45-minute back to back sessions covering the basics. After lunch, participants will choose from 30-minute breakout sessions on more detailed topics. Participants can come for any portion of the day or stay for the whole course. 

All levels are welcome. This course will not dive into the nitty gritty of all topics but is aimed at more novice or beginner backpackers, though even experienced backpackers are likely to learn something new. Participants will be introduced to backpacking and will leave with an increased sense of confidence of how to backpack on their own.

This course is free to the public. Check out more information and to register. All attendees will be required to abide by COVID-19 regulations: wear masks, maintain social distancing and be respectful. The course will be outdoors for the entirety of the day. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies for the day such as a chair, pen, paper, lunch, water, etc. Email or call 719-539-5106 with questions.

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