• Schedule (1)
  • Course Information (9)

    The Wilderness Basics Course is a hiking, camping and backpacking course offered once a year by the San Diego chapter of the Sierra Club. The WBC starts at the end of January and finishes in April. We meet every Tuesday night at 7:00 PM until 9:30 PM for 10 weeks at the Lawrence Family JCC in UTC.

    On the Tuesday night classes we will be having demonstration, lecturer, video, slide, PowerPoint presentations on all aspects of wilderness travel including such items as first aid, different types of equipment, insects, navigation, food preparation, large animal encounters, water filtering systems, staying warm, and weather, to name a few.

    We have scheduled day hikes up Iron Mt Saturday and Sunday on the first weekend. You can choose to do both of these day hikes or just one of them. The main purpose of the day hike is to give you an idea of how physically fit you are in comparison to the rest of the class. You will be timed and you will be able to compare your time to the rest of the class by looking at a graph and seeing where you fit in. This way you will know whether to sign up for the easier weekend backpack trips or for the more challenging.

    Approximately, every other weekend, we will be heading out to different parts of the local deserts and mountains for our weekend camping trips. The first trip will be a car camp trip leaving Saturday morning and returning Sunday afternoon or night. You will have a choice of approximately 20 different car camp trips to choose from for that weekend. They range from extremely easy to very difficult, with each leader specializing in a variety of different subject matters; such as star gazing, flora, wildlife, Indian lore and survival techniques. Each person is encouraged to form carpools and cooking groups.

    There will be a Land Navigation weekend trip, where we will spend the entire weekend working on our navigational and backpacking skills. There again you will have approximately 20 different trips to choose from. There will also be a desert backpack trip to Anza Borrego State Park followed by our Snow Camp outing. For the snow camp outing we will be leaving by bus from the Cubic parking lot on Balboa Avenue at approximately 3:00 PM Friday, for a trip to Mammoth. You will again need to choose the level of difficulty you are comfortable with on either cross-country skiing trips or snow shoeing trips. You will also be learning how to build snow shelters, igloos and stay warm. This usually turns out to be everyone's favorite trip. There is a separate fee for snow camp to cover the cost of the buses, catered breakfast, gym use, etc. which will be collected in March.

    In mid April we will have our Reunion/Graduation Ceremony. We will have a potluck dinner on Saturday night followed by slide shows from different leaders' trips. We invite students to spend Saturday night at the lodge at no cost and the following morning, before and after breakfast, sign up for the optional hikes.

    We encourage all students to either borrow or rent their equipment until they get more familiar with all of the different types of equipment available. However you will need good boots for each outing. One of the first lectures is on how to find the correct boot, so please wait until that lecture before purchasing your new boots.

    By signing up via our website, you gain access to enrolment to our class. Signing up online does not gaurantee a spot in the class, you will still need to enroll in the fall and pay for the class to secure your spot in the class. On the first night of class you will be directed to the Advance Registration table where you will pick up your WBC course book, folder and compass. Please arrive to the first class at least 15 minutes early.

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18 Years of Age

Persons 18 years of age and older are eligible to take this course.

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