Backpacking Workshop Series

A weekend backpacker pauses to catch his breath and take in the views along the IAT. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

Deepen your backpacking know-how with plenty of advice from backpacking experts. If you’re carefully considering a thru-hike on the Ice Age Trail as your next big adventure, or if you’re dreaming and scheming about how to section-hike the Trail in weekend jaunts, then these sessions are for you!

Join us on Saturday, April 14th at the Blue Harbor Resort in beautiful Sheboygan!

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Trip Planning, Logistics, and Navigation.
Do you wonder how, exactly, to start planning your thousand-mile journey? If you feel a little confused, you’re not alone. The good news is there is a wealth of resources and IATA staff is eager to demystify them. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the interactive map including Trail conditions, as well as, the helpful details embedded in the Mammoth Tracks app. You’ll get the inside scoop about how to connect with chapter leaders; how to use the Thousand-Miler spreadsheet; the nitty-gritty of resupply, shuttles, and trail angels; and how to use social media to network with other hikers.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. What’s Inside Your Pack?
So you have your backpack loaded with all the “necessary” items for your next backpacking trip. Still think you might be carrying too much? Join Sarah Mayer, REI Outdoor School Instructor, and learn how to cut weight, carry the essentials, and tailor your gear to best suit your needs. In this hands-on class, bring in your personal pack and gear and we will go through the items you take with you when backpacking and do a group “shake-down” on gear. You will receive the small group attention you need to really perfect your packing system.

12:15 – 1:15 Buffet Lunch (included)

Backpackers look out from Gibraltar Rock on their way to the dispersed campground on the Gibraltar Rock Segment. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Leave No Trace and Prepare Smart, Healthy Meals that Go the Distance
You probably have a Trail Mix of peanuts, raisins and MM’s in your repertoire of backpacking meals. However, there are other easy-to-carry and easy-to-prepare meals for you to consider. After all, there is only so much Trail Mix one person can eat. Join our panel of experts to learn about some other options. This session will also provide an overview of important Leave No Trace principles while you cook, camp, and hike.

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Hikers’ Forum – Wisdom from the Trail.
Wondering what the chances are of meeting a bear, what cowboy camping entails, or how people survive heat and ticks on their way to the coveted 1,000-miler status? This session is your chance to hear crazy, make-you-want-to-hike-the-trail stories of those who’ve made the journey. Be inspired, be informed, and be entertained by the stories and fresh perspective of those who most recently completed their Thousand-Mile journey.

Investment: $50.00.

These workshop sessions are being offered in tandem with the IATA Annual Conference and Membership Meeting.

NOTE: Please register at the main conference page.