budget-travels-tips.com - backpacking, hiking and camping Welcome to budget-travels-tips.com
create account   login  
     home : articles : tipsandhow
    articles  beginners  gear  links  pictures            

The Johnny Appleseed of Backpacking

by Jay Demagall

Read More Tips & How-to's Articles

Trail Magic: Giving Something Back by Noah C. Kady
Trail Magic: Step Carefully by Noah C. Kady
Trail Magic: Angels Are Out There by Noah C. Kady
Navigating without a compass by George G. Spearing
Lessons from a Boy Scout by Nick Narigon
What is ultralight hiking? Why should I hike light? by Steve Green
How Fish Finders Work? by Andrei Loskoutov
A land of the rising sun by Elena Reboni
India – an experience of your lifetime by Constance Blair
How To Get Your Kids Along On Your Next Hike by Mats Lundkvist
Why Should You Use Hiking Poles? by Mats Lundkvist
Explore the adventurous side of you by Loreal Oliver
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Trekking Poles by Mats
Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim, A Guide for First Timers by Irene Jacobs
Paresthesias Can Be A Pain by Christine Dobrowolski
Ultralight Backpacking Gear & Techniques by Ryan Jordan
Going Light by Jason D. Martin
Air Travel for Backpackers by Jay Demagall
The Johnny Appleseed of Backpacking by Jay Demagall
Have Your Cake (and carry it too) by Gerry McDermott
The Art of Long Duration Backpacking by Virgil Kret
Looking Out For Number One by Zaring P. Robertson
Rainpacking by Eric Blumensaadt
Packing a Pack by Matt Johnston
A Tent For All Seasons by Kenneth Koh
21 Things Not To Forget On A Day Hike...And Why by Norm Zurawski
Testing Your Salesperson by Matt Johnston
Beginning In The Backcountry: A Guide For No-Timers and First-Timers by David Jones
Pack It In - Pack It Out by Matt Johnston
Too Much or Not Enough? by Matt Johnston
Rebounding From Sticker Shock by Matt Johnston
Unshaking Your Pictures by Matt Johnston
Hiking in the Grand Canyon Backcountry: A Book Review by Robert Goff
Making Your Gear Count by Zaring Robertson
The Valuable Day Hike by Norm Zurawski
The Vapor Barrier by Luigi Seli
Travel and Car Maintenance by Kirk Mueller

I've been backpacking for many years and enjoy just about everything about the activity; from the secnic views, to the physical challange, to the solitude of nature. I also consider myself somewhat of a philanthropist, and enjoy helping others in my community. The combination of these two hobbies led me to teach a backpacking class through my local Parks and Recreation Office, and it became a very satisfying, enjoyable experience.

The nice thing about teaching a class, is about any experienced backpacker with some time, and presentation skills can do it. With the help of some of my trailmates and teaching buddies, I made up a teaching plan, researched a few books, and submitted my proposal to the Parks Department. After an interview, they allowed the class, and 14 people signed up!

The class was a broad group of people who each had a different reason for wanting to learn about backpacking. One elderly lady wanted to get in shape and have fun. Another student was going to backpack Europe over the summer and needed information on gear. Others were couples who liked the outdoors and wanted to "kick it up a notch". Overall, I had a class full of eager participants who were willing to attend 8 classes over the winter.

I focused on several things for every class. I'd discuss backpacking basics, demonstrate gear, allow the students some hands on experience, assign homework and administer a quiz. The person who had the top score on each quiz received a prize.

I also incorporated a theme that linked all the classes. I had the group plan a 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip in our area. Every week, thier homework was geared toward the trip, wether it was making a gear list, or aquiring a map. This allowed the students to plan thier own trip, while learning to do it properly.

After the classes were over, all had learned what they wanted to learn, and all the students were excited about the trip. When the trip arrived, I was very proud of the students. They adhered to LNT principles, were able to navigate effectively, properly utilized thier gear, and enjoyed the experience much more so that if they would have tried backpacking without instruction.

Overall, it was a rewarding and fun experience, and now our hobby has 14 more enthusiasts.

About the Author

Jay Demagall is an avid hiker and backpacker from Cleveland, Ohio.


Tips & How-to's
Trip Reports

Newest Articles
Submit Your Article


Search budget-travels-tips.com for:

Ready to Buy Gear?

Sponsored Links

Great Outdoor Sites