MDC to hold Backpacking Basics programs in August in Warrenton and at Shaw Nature Reserve

News from the region
Saint Louis
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WARRENTON, Mo.—There’s no better way to become one with nature than to live in it.  For those who enjoy the basics and revel in self-reliance, backpacking and backcountry camping is an excellent way to experience an intimate encounter with nature.  But for those just starting out, it’s important to get some good guidance.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will hold two Backpacking Basics classes during August—Aug. 15 in Warrenton, and Aug. 20 at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.  Both classes will help outdoor adventurers get ready for their first overnight backpacking trip and are free and open to all ages.  However, participants must pre-register online at the following links:

  • Monday, Aug. 15 at the Warrenton Pool Park Aquatic Center, located at 751 Warrior Avenue in Warrenton:
  • Saturday, Aug. 20 at Shaw Nature Reserve, 307 Pinetum Loop Road, on the south side of I-44 at exit #253 in Gray Summit:

As the classes are identical, participants should select the one most convenient for them.

Backpacking overnight is an excellent way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.  It does take a bit more preparation and planning than casual day hiking or camping from a car.  Backpackers carry everything they need for hiking, cooking, eating, shelter and sleeping on their backs.  But that provides an unparalleled sense of independence and freedom.

The courses will cover how to choose and properly fit an overnight backpack, and how to pack it.  Participants will learn what items are essential to bring, and what might be unneeded weight.  It’s also important to prepare physically for a backcountry adventure and the program will also cover that aspect.  Attendees will also discover great backpacking destinations in Missouri, and helpful organizations like the Ozark Trail and the Ozarks Highlands Trail Associations. 

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