Intro to Backpacking Course

Learn how to plan and execute your own backpacking trips in the world famous Sea to Sky Corridor

Duration 3 days Hiking
Time of Year
Time of year June - October
Total distance approx 20km
Group Size
Group size 3 - 8 Guests
Difficulty Moderate
Meeting Location
Meeting in Whistler

Trip Highlights

  • Learn backcountry skills from an experienced guide
  • Meet like-minded adventure enthusiasts
  • All the skills you need to plan your own backpacking trips
  • Hike and camp in the beautiful Sea to Sky mountains
  • Learn how to be safe and responsible in the wilderness

Are you new to camping? Have you gone car camping but now want to explore the great outdoors by backpacking? Want to plan and organize your own backpacking trips but want to be better prepared?

Come learn the fundamentals to backpack camping in the world famous Sea to Sky corridor of British Columbia! Through this course you will learn practical, hands on skills to camp safely, comfortably, and with appropriate know-how to manage yourself in the wilderness. Topics will teach you foundational skills applicable to the future adventures you embark on.

On this course, you will learn to be self sufficient and hike into the wilderness in a group setting where you will carry your own personal food and gear along with some shared group gear commonly used in the Sea to Sky corridor. The primary focus will be guided education and practice so that participants leave the course feeling comfortable going out on their own backpacking trip.

The intro to backpacking course includes the following topics:

  • Safety in the Backcountry
  • Personal Gear and Clothing
  • Kitchen, Water, and Sleep System
  • Route Planning, Pacing Techniques, Weather
  • Meal Planning
  • Camp Site Selection
  • Hygiene and toilets
  • Wilderness Ethics + Leave No Trace (LNT)
  • Logistics

Pricing Per Person

1 - 3 Guests
4+ Guests

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What our customers say about Outdoor Explore guided adventures

Always good fun out with the Outdoor Explore team. First time out with these guys I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, but they helped make me feel comfortable and safe the whole time. Solid, confident, and proficient guides. Amazing way to visit the outdoors, seeing places that would be hard to access alone....

- Canada

Trip details


Day 1 (classroom session)

  • 9:00am: Begin pre-trip meeting - waivers, group intro, desired goals & objectives, Q&A
  • 10:00am: Review route plan, transportation, logistics, emergency procedure
  • 11:00am: Gear explosion & bag packing demo
  • 12:00 noon: break for lunch
  • 12:30pm: food and menu planning
  • 1:30pm: trip planning essentials and navigation basics
  • 2:30pm: Final Q&A

Day 2

  • 7:00am: Meet at meeting location TBD, group check-in
  • 7:30am: Depart for destination
  • 9:00am: Arrive at trailhead, review route and plan. Begin hike
  • 11:30pm: Lunch and lessons
  • 1:30pm: Scout camp location, setup tents
  • 3:00pm: Hands on practice with Lessons
  • 6:00pm: Dinner + debrief

Day 3

  • 7:00am: Wake up, breakfast, review LNT before tear down
  • 8:30am: Clean up, take down + clean up/site sweep
  • 10:00am: Map and Compass intro
  • 12:00pm: Lunch and final lessons
  • 1:00pm: Depart for cars
  • 3:00pm: Back at vehicles, group pictures, debrief & review, drive home
  • 5:00pm: drive back home

Itinerary Disclaimer
Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is adventure travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee that we will stick to this plan. Weather conditions and the health of participants can all contribute to changes. The trip leader/guide will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset!


Please bring your own breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Enough to cover the whole trip with some to spare, just in case.


Please bring your own tent. Tents can be rented from us - please contact us before the trip to arrange a rental. Tent-sharing can be arranged with other participants.

Price Includes/Excludes
Price Includes
  • One experienced and knowledgeable guide
  • 3 days of mountaineering tuition
  • Emergency equipment (Comprehensive First aid kit, satellite phone etc.)
  • Group gear (tarps, bear hangs, etc.)
Price Excludes
  • Tipping for the guide
  • Transport to and from the trip location (ride sharing can be arranged)
  • Your food while on the trip
  • Your personal clothing and equipment. See packing list above
  • Your personal camping equipment including tent, stove, gas, etc.
  • Your personal travel/cancellation insurance
  • Any rental equipment, if applicable (e.g. sleeping bags)

Students should have a moderate level of fitness, and ideally have some exposure to car camping however, prior backcountry/backpacking experience is not required. Participants will be expected to carry upwards of 40lbs/18kgs, hiking uphill in uneven terrain (roots, rocks, small stream crossings), for up to 4 hours in 1 direction.

Students must bring all their own equipment, properly sized/fitted and know how to use it. E.g. Backpacking boots should be well worn in, backpacks should be properly fitted to the students’ bodies, be of sound mental, physical, and emotional health, etc. Some equipment can be rented from Outdoor Explore for an additional fee.

Students must provide their own food, stoves, fuel, camp equipment, water purification, tent, tarp shelter, and various other items to be listed on a pre-made list of supplies.. They must also be appropriately prepared for all weather conditions (rain, snow, wind, etc).


We're happy to answer any questions you have about this trip. Give us a call or drop us an email.

+1 (778) 836-1189 +1 (778) 836-1189 Send us an email Email us

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