So far in our Course Spotlight Series, we’ve highlighted our Survival Courses, our Women’s Courses, and our GEMS Camp. But did you know Mountain Shepherd also has a wide variety of Adventure Courses to try out??? Our adventure courses offer students a chance to try out a new type of recreation and gain valuable safety and preparedness skills. We’ve got options for families (Family Adventure Weekend), day hikers (Trail Mix – Coed Adventure), and lots of options for backpackers, or those folks that aspire to be backpackers: Backpacking Essentials, Winter Backpacking Essentials, and Peak Performance – Coed. Join us!

First up is our Family Adventure Weekend, a relatively new Mountain Shepherd course, geared toward getting families adventuring outside, whether for the first time, or for seasoned explorers. Enjoy a weekend in the great outdoors, and let us do all the work so you can maximize family time. Over the course of the weekend, we’ll explore the Mountain Shepherd trail system on a family-friendly nature hike, have some splashy fun in the creek, learn survival skills, and of course lots of good food, campfire, and s’mores! Choose your level of adventure with the option to tent out under the stars, or reserve a bunkroom for your family in the lodge. Lodging, camping gear, and all meals provided. 

Our Trail Mix – Coed Adventure course offers hikers looking to push themselves the chance to complete three challenging day hikes with big rewards! Summit three iconic peaks back-to-back on the world-famous Appalachian Trail, each of which can be reached via a vigorous but rewarding day hike. Throughout the adventure, we’ll help you get your hiking gear in order, and equip you with the knowledge to make it through those worst case scenarios, with our Wilderness Survival Training.  Students can choose to overnight in a tent, hammock, or grab a bunk in the lodge. Let the breathtaking views and campfire camaraderie fuel your hunger for adventure!

Looking to get into backpacking? Our Backpacking Essentials course is the perfect way to try out your boots in the backpacking world. You’lll spend two days and one night learning all the basics of backpacking, with the 7 Survival Priorities in mind.  Topics include how to properly select, fit, and pack a backpack, campsite selection, camp cooking, water treatment systems, and how to stay safe and comfortable while you hike, all the while keeping an ultralight focus. Throughout the adventure, we’ll help you get your hiking gear in order–whether you’ve already got your system dialed in and are ready for a few pro tips, or are just starting to figure out what to carry. Mountain Shepherd has a wide array of loaner gear you can try out, plus expert guidance on planning your own safe and successful adventures.

Similar to our Backpacking Essentials course (but with a winter focus), Winter Backpacking Essentials, will prepare hikers with the knowledge and confidence to recreate safely outside during the winter months.  We’ll cover gear, clothing layering systems, information, safety, cold weather nutrition, winter footwear and traction devices, and some of our tried and trued strategies for staying warm and happy while winter backpacking. Let us help make winter hiking less daunting!

Take your backcountry skills to new heights with our Peak Performance – Coed course! This 3-day, 2-night adventure traverses the famous Virginia Triple Crown, a 30-mile section of the A.T, where you’ll get to summit three of the most popular peaks on the Appalachian Trail – McAfee Knob, Dragons Tooth, and Tinker Cliffs.  The adventure starts with trip preparation at Mountain Shepherd, including a review of the survival priorities and an introduction to the basics of backpacking. Along the trail, you’ll develop new skills with hands-on practice and pro tips from your expert instructors, all designed to help you reach your personal peak performance!

We have a few other adventure course options – those courses that are a part of our Day Pack Course series. We recently highlighted those new courses in a blog – check it out at: https://mountainshepherd.com/day-pack-course-series/. When you’re ready to choose your level of adventure, give us a shout, we’d love to help get you outside in 2023!