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Programs, Presentations and Workshops





The Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota


November 8, 2016 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp & Yvonne Entingh
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Miami Valley Outdoor Club
Wegerzyn Garden MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45414 ~ Map Link

Join us for a photo journey on the not-so-well-known Superior Hiking Trail. The Superior Hiking Trail is a footpath that follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior on Minnesota's North Shore. Our 270 mile, 21 day backpacking trek, took us from the remote Canadian border south to bustling Duluth in wolf, bear and moose country through spectacular scenery of wild rivers, cascading waterfalls and beautiful vistas of the lake the Ojibwe called Gitche Gumee.

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Thru Hiking The Buckeye Trail - A 1,400 Mile Journey Around Ohio


November 9, 2015 - 11:00am
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public. Reservation Required

Presented by: Piqua YWCA
418 N Wayne St, Piqua, OH 45356 ~ Map Link

In the spring of 2011, Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp set out on a hiking journey on the Buckeye Trail. His journey started at Deeds Point in Dayton. The goal of his hike was to hike on the Buckeye Trail for as long as it was fun. Over 1,400 miles and 88 days later, Captain Blue returned to Dayton on the Buckeye Trail, the longest circular trail in the nation. Andy is the 6th person to complete a thru hike of the Buckeye Trail. His presentation will take you on a foot journey around Ohio. His beautiful photos and narrative will surely inspire you to hike the Buckeye Trail.

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9,000 Miles On A 2,200 Mile Trail. Lessons Learned From An Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker


November 13, 2016 - 4:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Minster Journeymen's Sportsman Club
Minster Middle School, 50 E. 7th Street Minster, OH 45865 ~ Commons Area ~ Map Link

Since 1994 Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has hiked 9,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT), a continuous footpath that runs through fourteen states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. He has been awarded four "2,000 miler" certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is conferred on hikers who have completed the entire AT and he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. He is one of a dozen people worldwide who has reported completing the entire Appalachian Trail four or more times. Andy first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989, and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times. His average hike on the trail is 10-15 miles per day but he has walked up to 27 miles in one day. In the last few years he has averaged 500-600 miles per section. He labels himself as a chronic section hiker of the AT. He finds each successive end-to-end hike gets easier and more enjoyable and his favorite areas of the trail are the southern Appalachians, New Hampshire and Maine. Most of Andy's AT hiking is solo, but occasionally he has friends join him for short sections and he has met many interesting people along the way. During this presentation you will take a photo journey from Georgia to Maine on the AT. You will also get valuable "Captain Blue" tips and advice about the AT on things like mail drops, shuttles, hitchhiking and hiker hostels. Andy says "the physical and mental demands of long distance hiking are a great way to recharge one's internal batteries and get a fresh look on life." Long distance hiking is the closest thing Andy has found to a "fountain of youth."

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The Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota


November 15, 2016 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp & Yvonne Entingh
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Hikers
Gander Mountin, 8001 Old Troy Pike, Huber Heights, OH 45424 ~ Map Link

Join us for a photo journey on the not-so-well-known Superior Hiking Trail. The Superior Hiking Trail is a footpath that follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior on Minnesota's North Shore. Our 270 mile, 21 day backpacking trek, took us from the remote Canadian border south to bustling Duluth in wolf, bear and moose country through spectacular scenery of wild rivers, cascading waterfalls and beautiful vistas of the lake the Ojibwe called Gitche Gumee.

More Info




Hiking 101 - Get Started With Hiking!


January 5, 2017 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Northmont Branch
Northmont Branch, 333 W. National Rd.,Englewood, Ohio 45322 ~ Map Link

Have you been thinking about going for a hike in a local park but have some questions about what to bring and where to go? Come out to Outdoor Adventure Connection's "Hiking 101" to learn the do's and don'ts of hiking. We will discuss clothing, footwear, gear, safety, maps and area parks so you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Learn the ten essential that every hiker should have. Get the confidence needed to plan a hike. We will also talk about our ten best beginner-friendly trails for a hike in the Dayton area. Learn from the experts!

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Hike Leader Training


January 12, 2017 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp & Angie Sheldon
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Five Rivers MetroParks
Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449 ~ Map Link

Do you want to be a hike leader? Learn the basics of how to get started leading day hikes in our local parks. Gain the skills and confidence necessary to plan, organize and lead safe and enjoyable hikes. Topics include trip planning, basic map reading, trail etiquette, hiker safety and minimizing your impact to the trails. Experienced hike leaders are encouraged to attend too. Course taught by hiking experts from Five Rivers MetroParks and Outdoor Adventure Connection.

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9,000 Miles On A 2,200 Mile Trail. Lessons Learned From An Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker


January 19, 2017 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Franklin-Springboro Public Library
Franklin Branch, 44 E. 4th Street Franklin, OH 45005 ~ Map Link

Since 1994 Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has hiked 9,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT), a continuous footpath that runs through fourteen states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. He has been awarded four "2,000 miler" certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is conferred on hikers who have completed the entire AT and he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. He is one of a dozen people worldwide who has reported completing the entire Appalachian Trail four or more times. Andy first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989, and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times. His average hike on the trail is 10-15 miles per day but he has walked up to 27 miles in one day. In the last few years he has averaged 500-600 miles per section. He labels himself as a chronic section hiker of the AT. He finds each successive end-to-end hike gets easier and more enjoyable and his favorite areas of the trail are the southern Appalachians, New Hampshire and Maine. Most of Andy's AT hiking is solo, but occasionally he has friends join him for short sections and he has met many interesting people along the way. During this presentation you will take a photo journey from Georgia to Maine on the AT. You will also get valuable "Captain Blue" tips and advice about the AT on things like mail drops, shuttles, hitchhiking and hiker hostels. Andy says "the physical and mental demands of long distance hiking are a great way to recharge one's internal batteries and get a fresh look on life." Long distance hiking is the closest thing Andy has found to a "fountain of youth."

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Backpacking 101 - Get Started With Backpacking!


January 23, 2017 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Northmont Branch
Northmont Branch, 333 W. National Rd.,Englewood, Ohio 45322 ~ Map Link

Are you ready to try backpacking after an inspiring visit to a national park? Ready to introduce your kids to the great outdoors? Are you a longtime hiker who needs a refresher after too much time away from the trails? Whatever your goal, this indoor workshop will teach you the techniques to have a safe and enjoyable backpacking trip. We will cover topics such as backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, stoves, food, clothes, footwear, weather, terrain, comfort zone, trip planning, and Leave No Trace Principles.

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Denver To Durango. A 500 Mile Hike On The Colorado Trail


February 16, 2017 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Western Gate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association
First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 6031 Goodrich, Pensacola, FL 32504 ~ Map Link

Take a 500 mile journey from Denver to Durango on the Colorado Trail through the beautiful Rocky Mountains with photos and narration as Andy Niekamp recounts his epic 2013 summer hike. The Colorado Trail is Colorado's premier long distance trail and travels through the spectacular Rocky Mountains amongst peaks with lakes, creeks and diverse ecosystems. It traverses six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet. The average elevation is over 10,000 feet and it rises and falls dramatically. Learn how Andy endured sun, heat, rain, wind, hail and snow to complete this six week hike.

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Hiking 101 - Get Started With Hiking!


March 7, 2017 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Belmont Branch
Belmont Branch, 1041 Watervliet Ave, Dayton, OH 45420 ~ Map Link

Have you been thinking about going for a hike in a local park but have some questions about what to bring and where to go? Come out to Outdoor Adventure Connection's "Hiking 101" to learn the do's and don'ts of hiking. We will discuss clothing, footwear, gear, safety, maps and area parks so you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Learn the ten essential that every hiker should have. Get the confidence needed to plan a hike. We will also talk about our ten best beginner-friendly trails for a hike in the Dayton area. Learn from the experts!

More Info




Hike Leader Training


March 8, 2017 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp & Angie Sheldon
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Five Rivers MetroParks
Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449 ~ Map Link

Do you want to be a hike leader? Learn the basics of how to get started leading day hikes in our local parks. Gain the skills and confidence necessary to plan, organize and lead safe and enjoyable hikes. Topics include trip planning, basic map reading, trail etiquette, hiker safety and minimizing your impact to the trails. Experienced hike leaders are encouraged to attend too. Course taught by hiking experts from Five Rivers MetroParks and Outdoor Adventure Connection.

More Info




Hiking 101 - Get Started With Hiking!


March 9, 2017 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Vandalia Branch
Vandalia Branch, 330 S Dixie Dr, Vandalia, OH 45377 ~ Map Link

Have you been thinking about going for a hike in a local park but have some questions about what to bring and where to go? Come out to Outdoor Adventure Connection's "Hiking 101" to learn the do's and don'ts of hiking. We will discuss clothing, footwear, gear, safety, maps and area parks so you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Learn the ten essential that every hiker should have. Get the confidence needed to plan a hike. We will also talk about our ten best beginner-friendly trails for a hike in the Dayton area. Learn from the experts!

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A Dummies Guide to Water Treatment for the Backpacker


March 13, 2017 - 6:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Huber Heights
Huber Heights Branch, 6160 Chambersburg Rd., Huber Heights, Ohio 45424 ~ Map Link

Confused About All The Options To Treat Water in The Backcountry? Not Sure What To Choose? Learn The Facts! Selecting a water treatment system can be an overwhelming decision. There are many factors to consider, including method, effort, size, weight, treatment time and cost. In this workshop we will cover all the major types of water treatment options for the backpacker, day hiker and camper and what types of organisms each system is effective at eliminating. We will discuss the pros and cons of each method. We will give you advice on what to consider, what we think is the most important, and which products might be best for you. We'll also discuss why treating water in the backcountry is necessary, the common waterborne pathogens you'll encounter, how they make you ill and the symptoms of waterborne illnesses.

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Hiking 101 - Get Started With Hiking!


March 20, 2017 - 6:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Huber Heights
Huber Heights Branch, 6160 Chambersburg Rd., Huber Heights, Ohio 45424 ~ Map Link

Have you been thinking about going for a hike in a local park but have some questions about what to bring and where to go? Come out to Outdoor Adventure Connection's "Hiking 101" to learn the do's and don'ts of hiking. We will discuss clothing, footwear, gear, safety, maps and area parks so you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Learn the ten essential that every hiker should have. Get the confidence needed to plan a hike. We will also talk about our ten best beginner-friendly trails for a hike in the Dayton area. Learn from the experts!

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Hiking Vermont’s Long Trail - End To End


March 21, 2017 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - New Lebanon
New Lebanon Branch, 715 W Main St, New Lebanon, OH 45345 ~ Map Link

Take a photo journey on Vermont's 270 mile Long Trail. The Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from Massachusetts to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont's highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state. As it winds its way to Canada, the Trail climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine bogs, hardwood forests and swift streams. The Long Trail is steep in some places, muddy in others, and rugged in most. Learn why this trail has the reputation for being the nation's most difficult long distance trail mile for mile.

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Backpacking 101 - Get Started With Backpacking!


March 27, 2017 - 6:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Huber Heights
Huber Heights Branch, 6160 Chambersburg Rd., Huber Heights, Ohio 45424 ~ Map Link

Are you ready to try backpacking after an inspiring visit to a national park? Ready to introduce your kids to the great outdoors? Are you a longtime hiker who needs a refresher after too much time away from the trails? Whatever your goal, this indoor workshop will teach you the techniques to have a safe and enjoyable backpacking trip. We will cover topics such as backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, stoves, food, clothes, footwear, weather, terrain, comfort zone, trip planning, and Leave No Trace Principles.

More Info



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I had a wonderful time with a really positive hiking group.Robert R.