Why is it that people who've been backpacking love it so much? In a way, it's like stepping back in time before human development. You see stars unbelievably bright, underscored by meteorites hurrying across the heavens. You smell pine forests, feel the soft touch of the wind, and see mountains, lakes, streams, trees and animals in their natural state, as they have been for millenia. And you develop a profound sense of independence, totally self-sufficient in the wild.
Backpacking is part of the Outdoor Living Skills (OLS) program at Shaffer's High Sierra Summer Camps. We call it the "Outdoor Living Skills" program because there's so much more to backpacking than strapping on a pack and hitting the trail. There's route and gear planning, learning what to pack and how to pack, meal planning, how to select a camp site, how to setup and takedown a camp, how to make a fire safely, how to cook, and sanitation. As part of our preparations, campers learn orienteering, which is how to read a topographical (topo) map and use a compass and a GPS to navigate cross-country.
You'll also gain an appreciation of nature and "leave-no-trace" camping, how to camp with minimal impact on the environment. And of course you'll enjoy camp fires (fire restrictions permitting), marshmallows, hot chocolate, songs, and games under an umbrella of stars brightened by the mountain elevation. The Camp provides all necessary equipment, other than sleeping bags.
Our trips last from two to five days and are conducted in California's splendid Tahoe National Forest. The actual trails vary depending on participant age, fitness, experience, interest, and local conditions. Potential trails include:
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If your plans change, you can get a full refund before May 1st. And if you enroll after May 1st, you may still cancel and receive a refund if you notify the Camp within 7 days of your enrollment, or the start of camp for your child, whichever comes first. And you are always covered by our Fun Guarantee!