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Winter Backpacking Information


Welcome!

I would like to thank you for signing up for the backpacking trip. It is going to be an adventure! I look forward to getting out with all of you. Everyone will be coming with their own unique experiences and fitness level and I feel confident that everyone will enjoy this trip. To ensure maximum enjoyment it is important to come to the trip with a good fitness level. Spend some time hiking the hills close to your home to help prepare your body.

For tips on building your fitness level here are two resources to help you succeed!

6 week hiking fitness program   Hiking Fitness Series  

Although we cannot control the weather, these dates in the past have proven to be an ideal time to hike, less bugs, and beautiful scenery. Get ready for some exciting days and keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Kick-off Meeting

As a result of COVID-19 all pre-trip meetings have now been moved to a virtual platform. The meeting will start at 7pm the night before hitting the trail. You will receive and email with the invite a few days prior to the meeting.

It is essential that all participants attend this meeting. We will cover what to pack and how to pack it. We will also review the trips itinerary, participants’ expectations, and do an equipment check.

Group gear and any rental items will be handed out at the trailhead when we meet in person. We will have lots of time to repack our bags and get organized.

Logistics

Accommodations

The night prior to and after the trip is not included. Websites like booking.com are a great resource for finding suitable accommodation. If your trip is taking place in the Canmore region check out our Resource page for recommended options.

The nights on the trip will be spent in the backcountry, using tents and camp stoves. If you don’t have your own tent, don't stress, they are provided for you. If you have your own, you are more than welcome to use it, just let Jenna know. A gentle reminder you are required to bring your own sleeping pad and bag. Get Outside does have very affordable rental items if you want to rent for the adventure.

Meals

Ingredients for the meals will be organized prior to the camp with an emphasis on the nutritional requirements specific to this kind of activity. We will have various options and different types of stoves so that people can learn how different set ups work. Meals will be tasty and filling, with a strong focus on being lightweight.

If you have any food intolerances or preferences, please notify us and we will do what we can to accommodate you. ​

Breakfast and lunch on day one is not included; also dinner on the last day is not included.

Cancellation & Medical Insurance

Please consider trip cancellation insurance. It is also a good idea to have medical insurance if you are coming from out of country.

Park Vehicle Pass

If you are driving please ensure you have a valid National Park vehicle pass. This covers you for rescue insurance while in the Park. You will be able to stop at the Banff National Park gate to pick up a pass when we drive to the start of our trip.

Waivers

Waivers and Health Declarations will be handed out at the start of the course. Each participant is required to read and sign both documents. In light of minimizing contact, guests are asked to please print, read, and sign a copy of these documents and bring them with them.

Transportation

Transportation to and from the trailhead is not included in the price, unless otherwise stated. As a result of COVID-19, all participants are expected to transport themselves to the trailhead.

Equipment

Carefully review the equipment list when packing for this camp.  Please do not hesitate to contact Get Outside if you have any questions about your equipment - we want to be sure that you have all the right gear.  We will have time the night before the trip to make final reviews so if you have questions about which item to bring or not bring, take them both along and we can make final cuts there!

You will be asked to carry some group gear in addition to your own personal items, so leave room in your pack for 4-6 kg (10-12 pounds) of group food and gear.

If you require rental equipment, Jenna is happy to arrange this for you. Get Outside has a very affordable pool of rental gear.

Blisters are always a problem on camps and inevitably slow down the entire group. Please ensure your boots fit properly and have been tested out prior to your camp. Alert Jenna at the first sign of a blister – blisters will only get worse if you wait.

Suggested Clothing List

  • Long underwear top and bottoms (synthetic or merino wool)
  • Durable hiking pants (e.g. Schoeller or quick dry)
  • Synthetic jacket/sweater
  • Gortex jacket (or equivalent waterprrof/breathable outer shell w/ hood)
  • Waterproof shell pants (Gortex or equivalent, preferrable full side zip)
  • Warm wool or synthetic socks x 2
  • Warm gloves
  • Toque (yes, I am Canadian), warm hat, or merino buff
  • Down or synthetic insulated jacket
  • Down or synthetic insulated jacket
  • Hut booties for around camp
  • Gaiters
  • Lightweight long underwear top and bottom for sleeping only

Personal Equipment

  • Backpack (+60L)
  • Pack cover
  • Plastic bag to waterproof clothing and sleeping bag in pack (garbage bags works well)
  • Sleeping bag (-30°C for tent based trips, -9°C for hut based trips, depending on your comfort level)
  • Sleeping pad/Therm-a-rest (if you are bringing an inflatable model make sure it has no holes and bring a patch kit) This item is not required for hut based trips

  • Well fitting insulated boots (ideally broken in before the trip)

  • Mug, bowl, spoon (you won't need the rest)

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen and lip protection with minimum SPF 30

  • Water bottle(s) - at least 1 litre, wide mouth, plastic with tight lid (no water bladders as the hose will freeze)

  • Toilet kit including toobrush, medications, toilet paper, and hand santizer

  • Headlamp - with spare batteries

  • Ziploc baggies

  • Lighter

  • Face mask

Optional Items

  • Gem Trem Map of the area

  • Chemical hand warmers x 4

  • Compression bag for your sleeping bag

  • Compass

  • Camera

  • Collapsible hiking poles

  • Pocket knife

  • Ear plugs

  • Small personal amount of liquor / treats, if desired

  • Reading material/pencil/journal for the evening

Food

  • Remember to pack lunch for day one

Some notes on equipment:

No equipment or replacement parts will be available on the trip, so be sure you arrive properly equipped with all items adjusted, sized and in very good condition. Shortages and inadequate gear may limit your enjoyment of the experience, rule out your participation in some activities, or impose an unnecessary burden on other participants. It is highly advisable that all equipment (particularly new, borrowed or unfamiliar gear) is checked out extensively before the camp on at least one other trip.

Jenna has some extra gear, so if you are short on something let her know, you may be able to borrow an item or two. All group gear including tents, stoves, pots and pans, first aid kit, group repair kit, additional camp gear, etc. will be provided.

Lightweight Philosphy

Jenna is a big believer in keeping ones pack lightweight. After years of backpacking, she has discovered tricks and tips to pack a lighter bag. By keeping your pack lighter you get to experience more energy at the end of the day, increased agility, and fewer injuries. She is happy to help you drop weight in your pack!

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