Carter Caves State Park, Kentucky
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Skill: Level I
March 27 - 28, 2021
Carter Caves State Resort Park, Kentucky
Meets at 10:00 am.
Fee: $95.00 - Includes Saturday dinner.
Limit 14 participants.
Spots Open: 1.
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 the guidance of highly experienced backpackers. Experienced backpackers are welcome too! Share your tips and hints!
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
- Sitting Pad. Foam or Inflatable
- 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 $45 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 16,000 miles including four end to end hikes of the Appalachian Trail and thru hikes of the Buckeye Trail, Ohio To Erie Trail, Florida Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Long Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, Colorado Trail, Superior Hiking Trail, John Muir 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!
Tama is a full-time naturalist for the Miami County Park District. She loves to hike, backpack, and be out in nature. She is a Leave No Trace Master Educator. She hikes sections of the Appalachian Trail each year. In her spare time, Tama can be found underground exploring wild caves. She and her husband were invited to a weeklong underground expedition in Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico. She's rappelled Golindrinas Cave, a 1,200-foot pit in Mexico with her daughter and husband. Tama is experienced in canyoneering at Zion National Park.
Karen "Tag Along" Power.
Karen began backpacking in 2014 after completing Outdoor Adventure Connection's backpacking workshop and overnight trip. Since then Karen has backpacked many times in many places including the 400 miles on the Appalachian Trail, 800 miles on the Florida Trail, the Foothills Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Twin Valley Trail, Red River Gorge, Big South Fork, Cumberland Gap, Shawnee Backpack Trail and Zaleski Backpack Trail. She completed Ohio's 1444-mile Buckeye Trail. 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 four and enjoys travelling. In her spare time she volunteers in Costa Rica helping sea turtles. Karen is trained in Wilderness First Aid and CPR/AED. She is also a professional writing coach.
Here Is What They Say About Our Level 1 Workshops:
Terrific! Andy was incredible! I learned, was reminded of so many essentials backpacking tips, tricks, and essentials - all in a fun, casual, inclusive, encouraging and informative way.
– Dawn B.
Andy and Glenn did an awesome job in making us feel comfortable. It was such a nice group of people, beautiful place, making for a truly enjoyable weekend!
– Barb L.
Aside from spending all that time in the beautiful outdoors, I liked the workshops the best. Tama and Andy flawlessly conveyed years' worth of backpacking/camping knowledge to us in an understandable and entertaining way.
– Lucy W.
I loved all aspects of the trip, well....except that 28lb pack was not so pleasant the first hour, but after some adjustments by the guides, it wasn't difficult. I did not want the weekend to end! All the guides were so helpful, friendly, and full of information from their own various personal experiences. I will definitely do this again!
– Bridget M.
It was awesome! Enjoyed everything, even the rain!! Looking forward to more backpacking trips!
– Gwen T.
I thought the experience was great. I came to just hike and see the beautiful scenery but I truly learned a great deal from all of you.
– Rachel M.
It is perfect.
– Mary M.
Andy and his team are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. They provided valuable beginner backpacker information in a welcoming and encouraging environment.
– Terra D.
Typical well planned trip by Andy. Fun had by all!
– Scott B.
All guides very friendly, helpful & knowledgeable. I learned a lot. This was my first workshop and I thought it was the total package.
– Regina C.
Operated on Kentucky State Park lands in Carter Caves State Resort Park with special permission.
Your workshop fee is fully refundable, less any PayPal fees, if you cancel 21 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 18. 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.