Wilderness Basics Course

Backpacking Notes
Course details
The Outings
Course Materials
Where to go hiking






What is WBC?
The perfect way to learn how to backpack!  This is a 10 week course, with lectures starting on January 6, 2015 and meeting every Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at San Pasqual High School in Escondido. In addition to these lectures, you will go on 4 overnight trips, guided by experienced Sierra Club Chapter Outings Leaders. For a great introduction to what these weekend outings are like, check out our You Tube Video with pictures from previous years.

The course has introduced thousands of women and men to safe, comfortable wilderness experiences. After completing the course, you will be experienced in hiking and backpacking, and will be able to do it confidently and safely. Along the way, you'll meet some nice people, see some beautiful places right here in San Diego County, and may surprise yourself with what you can do.

The cost of the course is just $125 (paid by credit card), and includes a compass, guidebook, notebook, handouts, and admittance to all outings.

You can now register for the class on line and all the details are on the Registration page.  There is a limit on how many students we can take (110), so register early if you are confident you want to take the course.

Recently, San Diego Fox News did a mini-series on our WBC course.  You can watch it here:  WBC on YouTube

Which WBC?
This website describes the WBC course put on in the North County, in Escondido.  There is a sister course that is given in San Diego at the Scottish Rite Event Center that starts one week later.  Find out more about the differences by clicking here, or go directly to the Main Chapter website.


New on the website .....

Reunion info updated. Mountain backpack photos and elevation maps added.  Several presentations added.


Find us on Facebook:            

Last update: February 10, 2015


What's  the North County Group?

The North County Group is an entity of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club.  We are particularly concerned with conservation and environmental issues in North County. Once every year, our all volunteer staff conducts the Wilderness Basics Course. 

If you are interested in joining the Sierra Club, this link will get a a first year discount, and helps the North County Group out a bit: 

Key Dates (all in 2015)

  • January 6 -- First class
  • January 10 -- Conditioning hikes start
  • January 17 or 18 -- Monserate Evaluation hike
  • January 24 - Nomad Ventures shopping day, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.,Escondido
  • January 29 -- A16 shopping day, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., San Diego store
  • January 31 - February 1 -- Desert Car Camp
  • February 14 - 15 -- Desert Backpack
  • February 17 - Presidents Day!  No class.
  • February 28 - March 1 -- Mountain Backpack
  • March 14 - 15 -- Snow Camp Backpack
  • March 17 -- Last class
  • March 24 -- Optional "11th" class
  • May 2 - 3 -- Reunion
  • June 6 - NC Group annual picnic, Dixon Lake

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