Backpacking and Hiking Class at COS Starts This Month

This will be a great class folks. Charlie Unkefer really knows his stuff. The class begins at College of the Siskiyous on August 24th, 2011.

From the press release:

Take the next step outdoors with College of the Siskiyous new Backpacking and Hiking class starting this fall semester.  The new course is co-sponsored by the l Pacific Crest Trail Association and Mt. Shasta Trail Association and is an introduction to the basic skills needed to safely enjoy hiking and backpacking opportunities in our area. Focus will be on the more traditional backpacking skills as well as “fastpacking”, the new way of traveling fast and super light. Registration is now open and space is still available.

Charlie Unkefer, Instructor
Charlie Unkefer, Instructor

Taught by Charlie Unkefer, the class includes a one-night lecture, two Friday day hikes, and one overnight weekend backpack trip.  Unkefer’s experience includes 30 years of backpacking adventures and five years as a professional mountain guide.  His intimate wilderness knowledge includes exploring the secret places along the Pacific Crest Trail, and in the Trinity Alps, the Marble Mountains, Castle Crags State Park, and the Mt. Shasta Wilderness Area.  Unkefer will also be teaching leadership and guiding skills along with helping students explore a career in professional guiding and outdoor recreation jobs if desired.

“He is well liked,” says Joy Taylor, COS Program Coordinator.  “The students will just enjoy being around Charlie while they gain greater confidence for their next backcountry hiking and camping trips.  Students will be updated on the latest “no trace left behind” techniques of adventuring in the outdoors.”

“This will just be a fun class for whoever signs up,” Unkefer says.  “It really is an excellent opportunity for folks who have hiked before to cultivate the skills necessary to safely and comfortably go on extended overnight trips. Concepts such as traveling lightly, leaving no trace, being acutely aware of one’s surroundings, being resourceful, and conserving resources will be discussed and practiced in more depth for both on the trail and use in our day-to-day lives.  If you’re in the tourism industry, learning outdoor skills and getting to know the area better may enhance your familiarity and outreach efforts.  I also think some people will sign up because it is just fun to learn together and meet new people on adventures.”

“We appreciate our partnership with College of the Siskiyous,” says Liz Bergeron, Executive Director of Pacific Crest Trail Association and co-sponsor of the program. “We hope that together we can motivate others to get out and enjoy the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California.  Through these partnerships we hope to raise awareness about our important work and cultivate future trail stewards.”  For more information about the Pacific Crest Trail Association go to

John Soares, local hiking author and board member of the Mt. Shasta Trail Association says, “The Mount Shasta Trail Association is very pleased to be a co-sponsor of the COS backpacking class. We want people to get out on Siskiyou County trails and explore our beautiful area, and we think courses like this — and others in the Sustainable Communities program — are a great way to encourage people to do that.”

To learn more about the Backpacking and Hiking class contact Program Coordinator Joy Taylor at  To register for the class go to