Intro to Backpacking

Intro to Backpacking

This trip is geared towards creating a welcoming, educational backpacking trip for beginners, empowering adults who are new to experiencing the outdoors in this way to move forward with planning and implementing their own personal trips. Whether it’s choosing a trail that doesn’t get you stuck walking for miles on a Forest Service road because you misjudged a creek crossing, setting up that ultra-light backpacking tent that you swear came with too many poles, or using a backpacking stove in the wind without losing both your eyebrows, this trip gives you the opportunity to learn, troubleshoot, and try out your skills with the coaching and support of professionals.

This intro to backpacking trip is specifically for people who identify as women, or who are non-binary and will feel more comfortable in a group that does not include men. People with these identities often feel less safe in the outdoors than those who identify or are perceived as men, and this trip is intended to be a space for them to learn about backpacking that is centered around them and their experience in the backcountry.

The June trip takes place on the Olympic Peninsula on the trail known as the Ozette Triangle, the ancestral home of the Makah people. About halfway through the second day of hiking, the trail passes the Wedding Rocks, the site of petroglyphs depicting whales, sailing ships, hunters, and priests. Ozette is remote, less visited than many other areas on the Olympic Coast, and is characterized by wild and rugged coastline views.


Educational – Tidepools – Wildlife – History

Difficulty Level

Easy: Moderate elevation gain and loss, 9 miles over two days, some scrambling over wet, slippery rocks, uneven and steep trail.


Two days

2023 Schedule:

June 10-11

August 19-20

Price: $200 per person

Includes gear, transportation, and all entrance fees, permits, and passes.

Our mission is to make outdoor recreation accessible to all. If you cannot afford the total trip cost right now, send us a brief message to request a discount form

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    Trip Details


    • Day 1: Gear up day
      • Orientation
      • Backpack in to camp
    • Day 2: Backpack out.

    Learning Goals

    • Leave no trace
    • Gear management
    • Plant and wildlife identification
    • Basic backpacking skills such as cooking, campfires, filtering water, first-aid
    • Map reading
    • Local geography
    • Cultural history


    • Meet Location: TBD
    • Meet Time: 9 AM
    • End Time: Approximately 4-6 PM

    Gear Provided

    • Tents
    • All entrance fees, permits and passes 
    • First-aid kit and satellite phone
    • Group stove and fuel for cooking breakfast and dinner

    Indigenous Land


    “On the brink of extinction, drums and hearts still beating!
    . . . telling me not to speak my language
    well we’re still speaking
    don’t sing my songs
    well we’re still singing
    telling me it’s illegal to dance
    well we’re still keeping it moving” 

    ~John Pritchard III, Makah slam poet

    Historically, the Makah were highly skilled mariners, using sophisticated navigational and maritime skills. They carved canoes from western red cedar and used them for a myriad of purposes. There were war, whaling, halibut, salmon fishing, sealing canoes and large cargo canoes. There were even smaller canoes which children used for practice. The canoes had sails so that paddlers could use the wind to their advantage. When they landed, it was done stern first so that, if necessary, the paddlers could make a quick exit. The canoes and their contents were never disturbed as the Makah were taught from an early age to respect the belongings of others. The Makah were tireless paddlers and traveled great distances to obtain food or trade their wealth. Today, the Makah maintain their traditions of traveling by canoe.

    The tradition of whaling is a source of great pride among the Makah. Whales were hunted for their meat and blubber, and nearly every part of the whale was designated for use. Humpback, right, sperm, gray, fin and blue whales were among the species traditionally hunted by the Makah. Oil rendered from the whale’s blubber was a valuable commodity, earning whaling families great wealth. The bones of the whale were useful for making combs, spindle whorls, war clubs, bark pounders, shredders and personal adornments. The Makah work with NOAA Fisheries to maintain their treaty rights of whaling in Neah Bay while still following marine mammal regulations. “The Makah people have an enduring relationship with the sea and all marine creatures, but that connection is especially strong with whales, which are central to our identity as a people.” (Patrick DePoe)

    ~ This information found on

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