Courses teach wilderness basics

The Santa Barbara-Ventura chapter of the Sierra Club is again offering the wilderness basics course after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The course teaches residents the skills and knowledge they need to confidently go hiking and backpacking in comfort.

The course runs Feb. 15 through April 5.

Eight classes, taught by volunteer staff, will be held from 7 to 9:30 pm Wednesdays at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3290 Loma Vista Road, Ventura.

Hikes and camps will be in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Students will participate in day hikes, a car camp and backpacking trips in the local mountains. The outings offer students a choice of difficulties ranging from low-moderate to strenuous with multiple trip options.

Local experts will demonstrate backpacking equipment, wilderness ethics, wilderness first aid and safety, weather, water filtration, cooking, map and compass instruction, and backcountry clothing.

Class outings are scheduled on weekends for the following dates:

Feb. 18: Conditioning hike.

March 4 and 5: Car camp overnight.

March 18 and 19: Backpack trip 1 overnight.

April 1 and 2: Backpack trip 2 overnight.

Students are expected to provide their own equipment. Some equipment is available for loan and rentals through local stores.

Face masks covering the mouth and nose are required for the indoor class. Lecturers will be unmasked and distanced while presenting.

Participants should stay at home if they are sick or have any COVID symptoms; makeup days are possible.

Discounts are available for Sierra Club members and students; ID required.

For more information and registration, go to

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