Watch the Intro
Become an expert at trek planning – whether you need to quickly plan an overnighter or meticulously plan a complex, off-trail expedition – we’ll walk you through every step.
In this self-paced online video course, you’ll learn to plan routes, forecast weather, evaluate terrain, use digital mapping tools, evaluate gear decisions, determine route difficulty ratings, and plan food requirements.
Plan your next dream trek – and be confident that you’ll be safe, comfortable, and have a backcountry experience that will last a lifetime!
- 9 hours 41 minutes (16 videos)
Introduction to Trek Planning
20 minutes • An overview of the course and description of the trek planning process.
High Level Route Planning
35 minutes • Using digital tools to understand the landscape and scoping route opportunities.
Intermediate Route Planning
30 minutes • Mapping route options, evaluating their difficulty using quantitative analysis, how to compare options, and predicting the time and energy requirements for completing routes.
Detailed Route Planning
40 minutes • Fine-tuning route options using different digital mapping tools and techniques.
30 minutes • Evaluating climate and predicting weather using both predictive and historical models.
35 minutes • Evaluating ground cover, slope angles, and terrain difficulty using different types of digital mapping tools.
Equipment & Supplies
60 minutes • Using route, environment, and terrain to inform equipment decisions.
Planning for Inclement Conditions
30 minutes • Considerations for hiking and camping in inclement conditions, including snow, rain, wind, cold temperatures, exposed terrain, and biting insects.
Hygiene & Hydration
50 minutes • Hygiene and hydration science and equipment/skills practices for extended treks in remote environments.
Food & Nutrition
25 minutes • Calculating energy requirements from the route plan and predicting nutrition needs; strategies for minimizing food weight.
Zirkel Wilderness Case Study: Trip Planner
35 minutes • Using the Trip Planner App to plan a remote mountain trip from start to finish. This case study is for a week-long trek with extensive off-trail travel for young and inexperienced hikers, and addresses terrain analysis for safety and travel efficiency in detail.
Sherman Range Case Study: High Level Planning
20 minutes • An extensive case study of a fastpacking trip plan – Part 1 of 5 (high-level route planning).
Sherman Range Case Study: Intermediate Route Planning
45 minutes • An extensive case study of a fastpacking trip plan – Part 2 of 5 (intermediate route planning).
Sherman Range Case Study: Detailed Route Planning
60 minutes • An extensive case study of a fastpacking trip plan – Part 3 of 5 (detailed route planning).
Sherman Range Case Study: Environmental Forecasting
40 minutes • An extensive case study of a fastpacking trip plan – Part 4 of 5 (environmental forecasting).
Sherman Range Case Study: Gear & Supplies
40 minutes • An extensive case study of a fastpacking trip plan – Part 5 of 5 (gear and supplies).