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Trail group offering tips for backpacking beginners

by LAUREN REICHENBACH
Hagadone News Network | March 28, 2024 1:00 AM

SAGLE — The Idaho Panhandle is full of gorgeous mountains, but many scenic locations are inaccessible by cars and only backcountry camping is allowed in these wilderness areas.

Next month, the Idaho Trails Association is hosting a free Backpacking 101 series, where participants will learn the basics of carrying everything they need on their back as they venture into the woods for hours or even days at a time.

“We’ll be hosting webinars, in-person events and trail projects to teach you how to feel comfortable, be safe and respect the land while backpacking,” ITA staff said.

Thursday, April 4, will kick off the webinar series introducing guests to the basics. This first webinar begins at noon and will teach people how to stay safe, the ten essential items to carry, how to take care of your feet, cooking while backpacking, filtering water, "leave no trace" principles, and some easy hiking recommendations throughout the state.

The second part of the webinar, being held Tuesday, April 9, at noon, will dive into more specific facets of backpacking. Attendees will be taught what to carry, what items to buy for a trip, how to pack effectively, tips for an easy trip, and how to be safe while also having fun.

Both webinars will be recorded and made available on the ITA website.

On April 6, ITA will host an in-person class in Sagle, where attendees will learn the differences in backpacks, what items to carry for an overnight trip as opposed to what items to pack for a week-long trip, how to efficiently pack a backpack, tips for making a packed load lighter, and first-hand lessons learned from ITA crew leader Tom Dabrowski.

“Want to break free from crowded campgrounds and carry everything you need to survive in the backcountry?” ITA staff asked. “Whether you are an experienced backpacker or just starting out, this presentation is packed with knowledge for all backpacking levels.”

The class will take place Saturday, April 6, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Dabrowski’s Shop, 877 Heath Lake Road, Sagle.

Sign up to attend the webinars or the in-person backpacking class at bit.ly/3TQ7c3V.