Carter Caves State Park, Kentucky
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Skill: Level I
March 26 - 27, 2022
Carter Caves State Resort Park, Kentucky
Meets at 10:00 am.
Fee: $125.00 - Includes Saturday dinner
Limit 16 participants
Spots Open: 6
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 Gear From These Places!
Wright State University - Fairborn, Ohio
The Wright State University Outdoor Resource Center offers outdoor equipment rental available to the public. Items available to rent include: Backpacks, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pads, Backpacking Stoves, Kayaks, Tarps, Helmets. Ask for the Outdoor Adventure Connection discount and get student rental rates which is 33% off the public rates.
WSU ORC Rental Gear Page
Great Miami Outfitters - Centerville, Ohio
Do you want to try before you buy? Or do you want your friend to experience the great outdoors with you but they lack the equipment? Now you can rent your equipment from Great Miami Outfitters. Stop in the store for complete information or rent online. We offer kayaks, SUPs, gear and equipment rentals. Call us at 937-938-5009 for pricing and information.
GMO Rental Gear Page
Roads Rivers Trails - Milford, Ohio
Not ready to go head-first into your equipment purchases? Do you have your first backpacking or paddling trip coming up? Want to test out certain brands and equipment before investing? Roads Rivers and Trails now offers gear rentals on backpacks, stoves, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, water filters, kid carriers, paddles, life jackets, trekking poles, headlamps, tents, cargo boxes, dry bags and more!
RRT Rental Gear Page
Know of a place that rents gear? Let us know and we will list it here.
Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp.
Andy Niekamp is the Chief Adventure Officer for Outdoor Adventure Connection, which specializes in backcountry adventures. Andy has hiked over 26,000 miles including five 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!
Karen "Tag Along" Power.
Karen began backpacking in 2014 after completing Outdoor Adventure Connection's backpacking workshop and overnight trip. Since then Karen has become a backpacking enthusiast. She has completed 3 long-distance trails: Ohio's 1444-mile Buckeye Trail, the 1100-mile Florida National Scenic Trail, and the 340-mile Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. Karen has hiked 600 miles on the Appalachian Trail and has backpacked the Foothills Trail, the Twin Valley Trail, Red River Gorge, Big South Fork, Cumberland Gap, the Shawnee Backpack Trail and the Zaleski Backpack 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 has volunteered abroad in China, Costa Rica, and Italy in a variety of capacities. She is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist and is trained in Wilderness First Aid and CPR/AED. She is also a professional writing coach. Read about Karen's Florida Trail adventure
Glenn has been backpacking for nearly 40 years, and still hasn't figured out whether he has 40 years of experience, or 1 year of experience 40 times. He is strictly a recreational backpacker; all his walking has been in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with the occasional trip to the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Most of Glenn's trips nowadays are long weekends in rolling terrain; his "mountain" days are memories. In his younger years, Glenn has led backpack trips for Scouts and troubled teens. Glenn is a gearhead, so don’t be afraid to ask him about gear and equipment – it’s a topic he can be boring about for hours. Glenn, who is in his early 70’s and plans to backpack into his late 80s (at least), provides insight and perspective for older hikers, whether they are just taking up backpacking or looking for ways to continue at a less aggressive pace. Before he retired in 2021, Glenn was a CPA. Glenn is happily married, a proud grandfather, a mediocre golfer and a weak chess player. Glenn is the author of two popular articles: How I Got This Way
and Where Can I Backpack?
Here Is What They Say About Our Level 1 Workshops:
The entire trip was great. I was at ease as soon as I met all the guides. They were professional and made the trip a fun learning experience, even in the rain. I couldn't ask for a better program to learn backpacking skills. I'm thankful I signed up. Thank you for a great adventure!
– Catie H.
I loved what we did and where we stayed. Best guides I have ever met. Loved every minute. And they were so kind and patient teaching us stuff.
– Tippi M.
I really liked the planning that was evident on this trip. No one can predict the weather - and we certainly experienced 3 of the 4 seasons - but there were plans in place to deal with whatever mother nature threw at us.
– Linda M.
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.
I loved how everything was broken down and explained in an easy to understand manner. I had a wonderful experience and learned more than I thought possible.
– Faith D.
I loved the 'can do' attitude, no matter the experience level of the client. They gave me a lot of confidence that no matter your experience level or physical fitness level, this can be done.
– Traci B.
The whole experience was great: very friendly and knowledgeable leaders, great group of women, and wonderful views!
– Robin T.
This was an excellent trip all the way around. I am very thankful I went on this trip. I learned so much and had a great adventure doing it.
– Lauren D.
Motivational. This backpacking trip was exactly what I needed to encourage me to continue.
– Mike D.
The guides did a great job. You both did tons of work and were never flustered and always smiling. And you took care of all of us. I really appreciate that.
– Tim S.
Operated on Kentucky State Park lands in Carter Caves State Resort Park with special permission.
Cancellation & Refund Policy:
Your registration fee includes a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the amount received. PayPal fees are not refundable. Your registration fee, minus the 20% non-refundable deposit, minus any PayPal fees, is refundable if you cancel 21 days in advance. Your registration fee is 100% refundable if this event is canceled 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.
We both learned a lot. Being new I am not sure what would make it better. The hiking itself was my favorite. – Minette S.