Adult Leader Training

Our training courses are designed to help prepare the new Trek Leader for taking scouts into the wilderness and provide updated information for the veteran Trek Leader. Basic Backpacking classroom training is followed with a day hike to provide field experience with map and compass and a weekend overnight hike to let you experience what you've been told about. This training is offered twice a year, the first weekend of March and the last weekend of September. Winter Backpack training is put on in January.

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Basic Backpacking
Classroom: 2/19 - 2/20
Day Hike: 2/21
Overnight: TBD
Desert Backpacking
Classroom: 2/20
Overnight: 3/13-3/14

Basic Backpacking

Do you enjoy backpacking?  Maybe you have never been backpacking, but want to get started?  Taking Scouts into the great outdoors is fun, exciting, and is a great developmental tool for youth.  Whatever your level of backpacking experience, from none to expert, this course will provide you with important information to get started guiding Scouts on a backpacking trek.  Come join your fellow Scouters in the fun!

COURSE COST: $75…roster limited to the first 32 students who sign up…openings as cancellations occur.

Must Complete the Following:

Medical Form ABC

This course is in several parts:

  • Part 1 - ZOOM Orientation from home (Friday, February 19, 7 pm - 8:30 pm)

  • Part 2 – OUTDOOR CLASSROOM TRAINING (Saturday, February 20, 8 am - 4 pm). Outdoor classroom training will be conducted at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, 2 Irvine Park Road, Irvine, CA 92869, and consists of demonstrations and equipment round robins covering backpacks, tents, clothing, footwear, sleeping systems, stoves and cook gear, wilderness electronics, backpack cooking and food, water treatment, map and compass, critter encounters and food protection, planning a backpack with Scouts including adult leadership, and implementing “High Adventure” into your unit.

  • Part 3 – DAY HIKE WITH INSTRUCTORS (Sunday, February 21,  7 am - 3 pm). The day hike will include map and compass fieldwork. 

  • Part 4 – WEEKEND OVERNIGHTER WITH INSTRUCTORS (dates throughout March and April). For dates and details, go to the first link below. Dates will be set by January 15th.

John's Meadow, San Gorgonio Wilderness

Winter Backpacking

Winter is a special beast.  Learn the skills needed to keep your scouts safe and yourself confident in the snowballed mountains

The course is organized around two components:


1.  Classroom session focused on deep content (Saturday)

2.  Overnight backpacking trek with fellow classmates & a HAT Instructor

Must Complete the Following:

Medical Form


Mountaineering Safety
Basic Equipment
Travel in Snow Country
Special Equipment
Care & Use of Cars
HAT Awards

Date is TBD

Mt. San Bernardino, San Gorgonio Wilderness

Desert Backpacking

Have you always wanted to take your Scouts backpacking in late winter and early spring but do not know where to go? Exciting possibilities exist in the deserts of California, Arizona, and Utah. Try the Boy Scout Trail or Camelback Trek in Joshua Tree National Park, Kelso Dunes in the Mojave National Preserve, Surprise Canyon or Telescope Peak in Death Valley National Park, to name a few. The slot canyons of northern Arizona and southern Utah beckon adventurous Scouts and Scouters over Easter/Spring Break.

Prerequisite: Basic Backpacking Course (taught spring and fall)

Cost: $40.00...roster limited to the first 12 students who sign up. Additional sign-ups as cancellations occur. Additional cost (food and fuel) for the Boy Scout Trail Backpack.

Must Complete the Following:

Medical Form


This course will get you thinking and started and builds upon the principles and skills taught in the Basic Backpacking Course which is a prerequisite to this course. Covered in the 4 hours of classroom are seasonal considerations, how to choose your desert trails considering Scouts, what to wear trekking the desert, water availability and management, packing lightly but safely, and hazards specific to the desert such as day time radiation and night time cold, flash floods and sharp things like scorpions, cacti and rattlers.
  • Part 1 – OUTDOOR CLASSROOM TRAINING (Saturday, February 20, 8 am - 4 pm). Outdoor classroom training will be conducted at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, 2 Irvine Park Road, Irvine, CA 92869
  • Part 2 – WEEKEND OVERNIGHTER WITH INSTRUCTORS (Saturday, March 13 - Sunday, March 14).  The overnighter is a 5-mile round trip out of the southern trailhead (Keys West) of the Boy Scout Trail in Joshua Tree National Park.  An easy one to get you started.
Joshua Tree National Park