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Fri, Apr 24


Forest Glen Preserve

Beginners Backpacking Bootcamp - Illinois

Have you ever wanted backpack but weren't sure how to get started? This course is designed for anyone new to backpacking or anyone wanting to get out and explore in a social setting. Our goal is to ensure you gain the knowledge and confidence you need to backpack on your own or with a group.

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 Beginners Backpacking Bootcamp - Illinois
 Beginners Backpacking Bootcamp - Illinois

Time & Location

Apr 24, 2020, 5:00 PM – Apr 26, 2020, 3:00 PM

Forest Glen Preserve, 20301 900 North Rd, Georgetown, IL 61846, USA


About The Event

This course is designed for inexperienced, new backpackers, or those that would like to brush up on their backpacking skills, learn about new equipment or test out new equipment in the safety of a group. Our bootcamp combines hiking and camping in beautiful backcountry settings. Our primary goal is to help guests become confident, self-sufficient and familiar with their gear, while gaining the skills required to be safe and comfortable while backpacking.  

Our friendly, trail-wise staff will walk you through every step of the way so that you can enjoy the rejuvenating spirit of the outdoors. Sign up with friends, or by yourself. Either way, we guarantee you’ll leave the trip with a group of like-minded friends.

This event takes place over the course of 2.5 days and starts on Friday. After you arrive and check in, there will be an informative 2-3 hour session when you'll learn how to select the right gear for your trip, prepare and store tasty meals, and the basics of first aid and hygiene. Experienced True North staff can also provide you with a "gear shakedown," where we can advise you on your personal trip gear. Dinner is provided Friday night at the group camp. Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon we will be hiking approximately 11 miles, stopping at mile 7 to overnight camp at a backcountry site. The terrain where we will be hiking contains steep hills, ravines, drop offs, ledges, unstable and rocky terrain, wooden crossings, and can be strenuous at times. The trails may also be wet, slippery, muddy, and rocky. Drinking water will be obtained and filtered from area creeks or may be provided by True North.


Dinner is provided Friday night. Saturday and Sunday's meals are the responsibility of the attendee. Information regarding the types of meals we suggest on the trail will be sent out prior to the event. If you have any questions regarding meals or types of food to bring, you can contact the event hosts at any time. Meal packages are available at a rate of $37.50 per day and include everything you need including breakfast bars, protein/energy/meal replacement bars, jerky, nuts, lunch meal, dehydrated backpacking meals and a dessert. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know when selecting the "Meal Package" option during registration. Your meals will be waiting for you on the day of the event, simply add them to your pack! 


Members are responsible for obtaining their own gear, or you can rent gear from True North by selecting the "Admission w/Gear Rental" ticket option.

Course Highlights

  • Backpacking basics
  • Gear selection
  • Safety and survival basics 
  • Water filtration techniques
  • Meal preparation/food storage
  • "Leave no trace" principles review
  • Foot care and hygiene on the trail

Gear rental is available for an extra fee and includes the following:

  • Backpack
  • 1 or 2 person tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping pillow
  • Backpacking stove
  • Water filter
  • Trowel
  • Headlamp
  • Trekking Poles
  • Dry Bag for food storage


All True North Expeditions staff are certified in First Aid/CPR and every one of our events is lead by a guide with a background in emergency medicine and a certified Wilderness First Aid instructor. Guides are experienced in wilderness and outdoor travel and are equipped with GPS and satellite phones during every portion of this event.

Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be issued for cancellations less than 7 days from the date of the event. All other cancellations are subject to a 50% service fee. Refund will be issued in the form of a check. Please allow 5-7 business days for processing, we will notify you when the refund has been issued. Additional information will be emailed to you after registering.

True North Expeditions, Inc. reserves the right to substitute the events listed in the description above in the event of inclement weather, availability or other uncontrollable events.

Donate and Give Back to the Outdoor Community

We are teaming up with *Gear Forward in an attempt to collect new and unused gear, specifically sleeping bags, tents and backpacks. Illinois resident Scott Gauvin is the founder of Gear Forward, an independent nationwide non-profit that provides gear to non-profit community organizations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. If you have one of the above mentioned pieces of gear and would like to donate it, please bring it with. After our winter events, the gear that we collect will be turned over to Gear Forward. 

*As stated above, Gear Forward is an independent nationwide non-profit that provides gear to non-profit community organizations, youth groups and charities working with young people in the outdoors. Founded by Scott Gauvin, Gear Forward aims to encourage people to donate unused outdoor gear they no longer want or need. Gear Forward also seeks partnerships with outdoor retailers and manufacturers to encourage donation of unused gear or donations by customers.

The outdoors are our collective greatest treasure and gift that we offer the next generation. Gear Forward, simply is about providing the next generation of stewards, adventurers, Scoutmasters and Girl Scout Leaders the resources they need to get outdoors. No child should be denied access to all the outdoors has to offer because they don't have the necessary equipment. Through the collection of gently used outdoor gear, Gear Forward will work with other youth and outdoor focused organizations to get donated gear into the hands that need it. 

Through the donation of outdoor gear, Gear Forward will provide youth in need via various noteworthy organizations the ability to participate in outdoor themed activities such as hiking, camping and backpacking. You can find out more about Gear Forward by visiting their Facebook page or website.


  • Waiting List

    Selecting this option will put you on a waiting list in the event someone cancels. We will also be holding a Beginners Bootcamp in June and October.

    Sale ended



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