Backpacking School - Denver - 2024

Backpacking & Hiking Course

Backpacking School

The 2024 Backpacking Season is ready to go! The CMC Basic Backpacking Course is a fundamentals course going over the essential skills needed to be safe and prepared when venturing into the mountains on overnight or multi-night trips. The course is designed to enable Indvidual's to be prepared and confident in their ability to not only survive but have fun in the wilderness camping near trail or fully off trail. The school will have multiple class sessions to inform and prepare everyone. Then will transition into multiple overnight trips to put the lessons from class into practice. The final trip will be a 2 night / 3 day trip! - Register and join the waitlist if the school is at capacity, more spots may be opening up!

Backpacking School Schedule: (Expand this section by clicking the More+ icon below)

Registration opens March 1st 2024
(NOTE: Registration is capped at 36 students currently but will likely be expanded as we organize volunteers to lead more students!  Register and get on the wait list if the school is at capacity!!)

Prerequisites are:

Must be a CMC member and hold one of the following "badges" or completion of these classes:

  • Wilderness Trekking School
  • Day Hiking School
  • Wilderness Trekking Skills Badge

If you have completed one of these courses and are missing the badge, or are looking to receive a waiver if you have the required skills, please contact the Wilderness Trekking Director - John Linder: John Lindner

Classes are held at the American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th St. in Golden

  • Class 1 - Wednesday, June 5, Check-in at 6:00pm, Starts at 6:30pm @ AMC(Full School)
  • Class 2 - Tuesday, June 11, 6:30pm @ AMC (Full School) 
  • Class 3 - Field Shakedown – Saturday, June 15, 7:30am - 1pm @ AMC (or Nearby Park) (Full School)

Trips (All Trips and Prep Meetings are with the small groups)

  • Prep Meeting 1 - Wednesday, June 19th, 6:30pm (Virtual/In-Person based on Group pref) 
  • Field Day 1 Overnight – June 22 - 23
  • Prep Meeting 2- Tuesday, July 9th, 6:30pm (Virtual/In-Person based on Group pref) 
  • Field Day 2 Overnight – July 13 - 14
  • Prep Meeting 3- TBD based on FD3 dates. 
  • Field Day 3 - 3-day Trip, dates to be determined by each group and will be completed by Sept. 30 (student sorting will be by date availability for this trip)

Registration for the Backpacking School requires the completion of the Wilderness Trekking School Badge (Or existing WTS / DHS student) or WTS Waiver (found under the Course Materials).

Any questions about this please contact

Buying Gear for the school?

Remember, CMC Members have access to Pro Deals through Expert Voice, go to this link for more info! 

Group Structure Overview:

The Backpacking School is broken up into smaller groups to order to give the attention and detail needed for these topics. These groups are between 7-10 students in size with 2-4 Instructors. To organize these groups before the first class a Student Survey will be sent out before the first class.

The Basic Backpacking School topics include:

  • Gear and clothing
  • Camp craft and skills
  • Cooking, nutrition and stoves
  • Organizing your: trip, pack, tent and camp
  • Navigation
  • Basic first aid
  • Staying warm
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • Packing and packing lighter
  • Avoiding problems with animals and weather

The CMC Backpacking instructors are passionate and experienced hikers who love the outdoors, enjoy sharing their knowledge, and deeply know their gear and skills.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
BKPS School Field Day (optional)
Route-Place TBD
Fri–Sun, Aug 16–18, 2024
Registration closes Aug 15
0 participants
3 instructors

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment
Ten Essentials
Sleeping Bag / Pad
Sturdy hiking boots
An inquisitive and adventurous mindset!
Course Materials