Intro to Backpacking (In Person)
Taught by Ben DiMatteo
A true fan of the woods, Ben has logged hundreds of miles solo and group trekking particularly on trails that can be reached from the city by public transportation. His youth in scouting and many adult years spent rediscovering the lost art of woodcraft provide a tried-and-true wealth of knowledge that can't be gleaned from gear reviews or recreation store salespeople. Though he hasn't thru-hiked the AT, he's sure he could.
When in the city, Ben brings the great outdoors inside and teaches several classes on how to make and keep terrariums.
Planning and executing a multi-day hike can be daunting for the first-time backpacker, but with a little knowledge, forethought and, ok, a bit of spending money, anyone can hit the trail for a couple days or even a week. And if you can hike for a week, you can hike the Appalachian Trail.
This class covers the basic skills necessary for solo or group backpacking, including:
- Organizing a hike from start to finish
- Selecting gear for best utility and price
- packing for low weight and easy access
- Tenting (and other sleeping accommodations)
- Dressing for the weather and staying warm and dry
- Choosing the right meals and trail snacks for energy
- Finding water and making it safe for drinking
- Orienteering with map and compass to find your way
- Avoiding negative encounters with plants and animals (including the dreaded tick)
- Preparing for most emergency situations.
You'll also receive plans for three hikes geared toward beginning backpackers and easily accessed from NYC, as well as lists and links to other resources to get you started. Happy hiking!
*We are still requiring proof of vaccination for all in-person events.*