Carter Caves State Park, Kentucky
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Skill: Level I
March 24 - 25, 2018
Carter Caves State Resort Park, Kentucky
Meets at 10:00am.
Fee: $95 - Includes Saturday dinner.
Ready to learn about backpacking? This is a perfect opportunity!
This is a one night, backpacking trip for first time backpackers and beginning backpackers. It includes seven workshops on backpacking essentials that every backpacker should know. This trip is designed for those with little or no backpacking experience who have always wanted to try backpacking under guidance of experienced backpackers. Experienced backpackers are welcome too! Share your tips and hints!
Limit 12 participants.
Spots Open: 4 as of January 18, 2018.
About Carter Caves:
The beautiful setting of Carter Caves State Resort Park is the ideal setting for this backpacking adventure. Nestled in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, Carter Caves is 2,000 acres of wooded hills rich in plants, animals and geologic formations both above and below ground. Carter Caves is home to over 30 miles of hiking trails and over a dozen caves. We have special permission from Carter Caves State Resort Park management to conduct this workshop and this is the only backpacking workshop held at Caves State Resort Park. Park Web Site
On Saturday we will hike 4-5 miles at a slow to moderate pace over varied terrain which includes some steep hills and rugged trail to our campsite where we will spend the night. On Sunday morning we will hike ~2 miles back to our cars arriving before noon.
During this backpacking trip we will conduct seven short workshops and cover these topics:
What Is Included?
- Proper Backpack Fitting and Trekking Pole Adjustment.
- Bear Bagging - Hanging Your Food In A Tree
- Backcountry Sanitation & Hygiene In The Woods
- Fire Building
- Backpacking Stoves & Cooking
- Leave No Trace Principles
- Packing Your Backpack & Gear Organization
Your registration fee includes professional guides, all workshops, course material, any shuttle, camping, parking or permit fees, Saturday dinner and dessert around the campfire. Dinner will consist of sampling various backpacking food entrees. This is a great chance to check out different backpacking food choices and decide which you like best!
Gear, meals, (except for Saturday dinner), snacks, transportation and optional guide gratuity.
- Sleeping Bag & Pad
- Headlamp or Flashlight
- Warm Clothes (warm hat, gloves & long underwear)
- Rain Gear
- Food: Saturday Lunch, Sunday Breakfast.
- Personal medications: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Antacids, Pepto-Bismol, Prescriptions (as needed).
A pair of trekking poles, hiking stick or staff is highly recommended!
Don't Have Backpacking Gear? Rent It For A Low Cost!
For only $35 you can rent a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad for the night. We have both two-person and one-person tents. People renting a two-person tent will be paired with someone who is renting gear also. Let us know your preference for a two-person or one-person tent and if you already have a tent mate selected. The gear will be distributed at start of the hike for you to carry. The rental gear is first come-first served and must be paid for in advance. Rental gear quantities are limited. Choose the rental gear option from the PayPal drop down box below.
Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp.
Andy Niekamp is the Chief Adventure Officer for Outdoor Adventure Connection, which specializes in backcountry adventures. Andy has backpacked over 14,000 miles including four end to end hikes of the Appalachian Trail and thru hikes of the Buckeye Trail, Ohio To Erie Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Long Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, Colorado Trail, Superior Hiking Trail and the Bartram Trail. Andy is founder and leader of the Dayton Hikers group, the largest outdoor recreation group in Dayton, Ohio, and a Leave No Trace Master Educator. Andy Niekamp grew up and lives in Dayton and has a passion for long distance hiking which he shares with others. Andy brings his wealth of backpacking experience and his passion for hiking to this program. He has two rules for his backpacking trips. Number 1: Be safe. Number 2: Have fun!
Glenn has been backpacking for 30 years, and still hasn't figured out whether he has 30 years of experience, or 1 year of experience 30 times. All of his backpacking has been in the eastern U.S., mostly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with the occasional trip to the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Many of Glenn's trips nowadays are long weekends, with the occasional week-long trip. He is a recreational backpacker; He goes out there to have fun, not to prove anything to anyone. Glenn has led youth trips, was a Scoutmaster and a volunteer for a troubled teens program. Glenn is a gearhead, so don’t be afraid to ask him about gear and equipment. Glenn, who is in his mid-60s, provides insight and perspective for older hikers, whether they are just taking up backpacking or looking for ways to continue to participate. In his other life, Glenn is a CPA with Clark Schaefer Hackett. Glenn is a happily married, a proud grandfather, and a chess player. Glenn is the author of two popular articles: How I Got This Way
and Where Can I Backpack?
Karen "Tag Along" Power.
Karen began backpacking in 2014 at the age of 60 after completing Outdoor Adventure Connection's backpacking workshop and overnight trip. Since then Karen has backpacked many times in many places including the Appalachian Trail, Foothills Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Buckeye Trail, Twin Valley Trail, Red River Gorge, Big South Fork, Cumberland Gap and most recently, a solo hike in part of Maine's 100 Mile Wilderness. She loves the "living in the moment" feeling of backpacking and being outdoors. Karen is a retired college professor, mother of three sons, grandmother to three and enjoys travelling. Karen is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR/AED.
Sterling "Vagabond Vet" Deck.
Sterling joined the U.S. Army right out of high school and got to experience the "great outdoors" in some very unique places. After serving our country for 20 years, he retired from the military and went on a multi-year travel adventure - combining his passions for travel, adventure motorcycling, ultra running, and hiking. As an endurance athlete and lover of all things long distance, Sterling has completed over two dozen marathons and ultra-marathons of distances up to 50 miles. In 2015, Sterling backpacked nearly 2,000 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail; and in 2016, he hiked for 94 days, circling Ohio on the Buckeye Trail. When he's not hiking or running, he's logging miles on his adventure motorcycle, including trips along Route 66, the entire Pacific Coast Highway, and the Trans-Canada Highway. Sterling has been a certified fitness trainer, worked for a well known recreational equipment company, and is also certified in Wilderness First Aid. If anyone knows the benefits of wilderness therapy, it is he!
Here Is What They Say About Our Level 1 Workshops:
This was my first backpacking experience and I feel like I learned so much. All of the workshops were informative.
– Robin T.
What I liked the best was the core Leave No Trace principles that laid the foundation for the entire trip--outdoor ethics. The importance of respect for nature and minimizing the human footprint had personal impact for me.
– Karen P.
The rain provided yet another great lesson in backpacking reality and how to deal. All in all,it was a great experience, I learned a lot, and I very much enjoyed the company of all of the ladies who were there.
– Laurie J.
I was pretty impressed. Wouldn't change anything, really.
– Tim S.
I'm now an experienced backpacker thanks to Outdoor Adventure Connection. Their workshops, presentations, backpack trips, and hikes have turned an interest in the outdoors into a passion. Andy is a natural at educating and promoting. He knows how to teach; he knows how to encourage; he knows when to challenge; he has a knack for connecting with people. He's creative, energetic, and a master at organization.
– Karen C.
Overall a great trip, lots of information about backpacking learned. I hope to do Level II trip with you soon.
– Bernie B.
The course, workshops, guides and time spent was excellent and I hope to do other courses in the future.
– Joe V.
I liked all the different workshops. I liked hearing advice from all the guides.
– Teri H.
Very well organized! I liked how the team worked together to share their knowledge and experience with all of us. I liked how the guides were patient when we asked questions and the overall wonderful comaraderie of the group and relaxed atmosphere throughout the weeekend. Overall experience was great!
– Helen M.
Everything was so organized and fun and laid back. Can't remember when I have been so pleased with a group outing. Andy and Yvonne were so helpful. They constantly showed care and concern for every hiker. It will definitely be a cherished memory.
– Terry B.
Operated on Kentucky State Park lands in Carter Caves State Resort Park with special permission.
Your workshop fee is fully refundable if you cancel 14 days in advance or if this event is cancelled or rescheduled.
All participants must complete an adventure application and sign a liability waiver. Adventure Application PDF with fill-able form fields or Adventure Application PDF to download/print.
Application must be returned for your registration to be confirmed. Note: If you've attended one of our trips in the last 12 months we have an application on file for you.
Minimum age is 14. Adult family member must accompany minor children. Inquire about children younger than 14. No pets permitted. All of our trips are non-smoking. A recommended gear list, meeting location and trip details will be sent via email to registered participants.
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The schedule was good. One week was perfect. Work/play ratio was great. – Sterling D.