Introduction to Backpacking

This workshop is designed to empower womxn to backpack together and alone. The physical and emotional experience of moving through the backcountry imparts a profound sense of confidence, self-reliance, and freedom. Along with the powerful feeling of connectedness to nature, a womxn alone in the wilderness has both an opportunity for contemplation and a way to experience her body’s radical strength and autonomy.

This workshop is an introduction to walking deep into the backcountry on your own two feet with everything you need on your back – and in your head. A skill building workshop at the WCCW will cover topics like gear and where to find it, what to eat and how to cook it, water treatment, trip planning, and first aid.

Two weeks later, workshop attendees* will have the option to participate in a guided, one-night backpacking trip in the Angeles National Forest to practice our skills together in the wilderness.

Camping Trip: Saturday-Sunday, April 20-21. You must attend the April 6 workshop to camp.

For the camping portion of this workshop, we will be hiking around 7 miles round trip with an elevation change of 600 feet. Participants should feel comfortable hiking on a moderate, well-maintained trail carrying a pack that weighs 25-30 pounds. Think vigorous but not brutal Sunday morning hike at Griffith Park, each way lasting around 2.5 hours.

Participants will need basic backpacking gear if they want to join the subsequent trip. We will go over affordable ways of assembling your kit through renting, sharing, and used gear swaps, but be aware that there could be additional costs for gear.

Christina Mesiti is an artist and teacher based in LA. Her practice incorporates many different processes for exploring the edge where her body meets the world, whether through sculpture, drawing, meditation or very long walks in the mountains. Backpacking alone is one of the best ways she has found to restore her sense of agency and strength, and she is committed to sharing this experience with other interested womxn. This summer, she plans to solo hike the 211 mile John Muir Trail. She is Wilderness First Aid Certified and a graduate of the Thomas Coyne Survival School.

Accessibility information for this event: WCCW has a 36” wide ramp at our front entrance and a stairway with 8 steps and a rail. There are 2 gender neutral restrooms. One restroom is wheelchair accessible, with a handrail. We provide scent free soaps and encourage guests to attend our events scent free. If you require ASL interpretation, CART, interpretation for a language other than English, supervised childcare, or have any other access needs or questions, please contact info@wccw.us at least two weeks in advance. It is our practice to do everything we can to create a safe and accessible space.

Childcare for this event: We do our best to provide low-cost, on-site childcare for our events when requested at least a week in advance. If you are interested in childcare for this event, please fill out this form.

*All members get 20% off paid programming. A limited number of free spots are also available for Warrior & Goddess level members. Email info@wccw.us to inquire about free tickets.

Our program costs go directly towards compensation of the instructors and staffers who work the event. We want to make programming as accessible as possible to anyone who is interested, however, so we offer volunteer opportunities in exchange for membership, as well as free community tickets to each program (number varies depending on capacity of the class). Email info@wccw.us for more info or to find out more about these opportunities for a specific event.