What level of fitness should I have?
Members should have the fitness to hike up to two miles with moderate elevation gain carrying a pack. We organize our field activities so people will be together with others with compatible levels of fitness.
Does the school provide gear?
Backpacking gear such as tents, backpacks, stoves and sleeping bags are not provided. Ways of minimizing expenses will be covered in class, such as renting, sharing gear with other students and purchasing used gear at gear swaps sponsored by the CMC and area retail stores. Backpacking School students also receive a discount from some area retailers.
Will graduation of BKPS allow me to go on to Basic Mountaineering School (BMS)?
The CMC Basic Mountaineering School is the next school in the progression of the CMC’s mountaineering curriculum. Successful completion of Backpacking School satisfies the “school prerequisite” for entering the Basic Mountaineering School.
What if I miss a class or field trip? Can I still graduate?
To graduate from the Backpacking School, you must attend at least six of the seven classroom sessions and attend all of the field trips. If you miss any of the field trips or more than one classroom session, you may return the following year at no cost to complete the activity and graduate from the Backpacking School. For students who want to take BMS but do not graduate the Backpacking School because of missed classes or trips, there is an option to apply for a waiver which often satisfies BMS’ school prerequisite.