OPP Backpacking & Backcountry Courses
  opp courses opp home
First class attendance is REQUIRED! Please read our enrollment and first day attendance policies.
TOPICS/RESOURCES
A. General Backpacking

backpack weights

fuel amounts

food ideas

sharing the woods safely

uphill_downhill

B. Navigation
navigating by nature
sunrise/sunset bearing
gps and maps
gps basics
m & c field techniques
map tools
public land survey
C. Survival
survival
survival needs

D. Campcraft Knots

bowline - single
bowline - tied facing anchor
butterfly coil - pcord
clove hitch - tarp attachment
crowe cradle
overhand - tarp attachment
patagonia knot
sheet bend
sheet bend - double
taut line hitch
truckers hitch
E. Snow Camping
staying warm in the cold
frostbite
snow shelter construction tips

emergency shelters

igloo building

quinzhees

t-slot snow caves

F. Avalanche Safety

mountain weather
snow crystals
snow metamorphism
recognizing avy terrain
avalanche dynamics
travel in avy terrain
stability evaluation
avalanche rescue

 

PEO 351-Backpacking - spring and fall terms

This is a two-credit course designed for students with little or no backpacking experience. The course consists of classroom sessions and a three-day backpacking outing to the Oregon Coast. Classroom topics include clothing and equipment requirements, a map and compass review, backpacking risks and hazards, leave no trace travel and camping ethics, fitness requirements, and trip planning and preparation.

Students are required to complete a map and compass worksheet and an in-class fitness test (2-mile run in less than 20 minutes) prior to participating in the outing.

The focus of the outing is on learning the basics of backpacking, with an emphasis on thefollowing skills andtechniques: Packing a pack; improving hiking efficiency and preventing injuries, using a backpacking stove and cooking basic meals; erecting a tarp and/or tent shelter; camping and traveling using Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics specific to the coastal environment; reading a map and using a map and compass to navigate from point to point.

course documents


PEO 353-Backcountry Cuisine fall term

There's nothing quite like eating a gourmet meal after a long day of backpacking. Backcountry Cuisine is a one-credit course designed to teach people how to prepare, pack, and cook lightweight, nutritious and delicious tasting meals while hiking in the backcountry.

The course consists of six classroom sessions and a one-day cooking outing to a campground near Eugene. Classroom topics include:

  • meal planning and rationing,
  • using a variety of backpacking stoves,
  • cooking one pot meals,
  • advanced techniques such as baking,
  • environmental considerations (fire safety and waste disposal).

View course syllabus

View Backcountry Cuisine text by D. Dawson


PEO 356-Backcountry Navigation fall term

map and compassThis is a two-credit course consisting of classroom sessions and a three-day backpacking outing to the Oregon Cascades. Classroom topics include clothing and equipment requirements, navigation (map and compass review and introduction to GPS use), backcountry safety practices and protocols, LNT travel and camping ethics, fitness requirements, and trip planning and preparation. Students are required to complete a map and compass worksheet, and pass an in-class fitness test (2-mile run in less than 18 minutes) prior to participating in the outing.

The outing is geared towards developing efficient backcountry navigation skills. We follow an exciting and challenging route in rugged country that requires the use of intermediate and advanced GPS and map and compass skills. The route is mostly off trail, in the southern portion of the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. This outing can be physically demanding, especially in foul weather.

course documents


PEO 392-Backcountry Survival spring term

This one-credit survival course is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who venture into backcountry areas during the cooler months of the year, or travel to areas that have winter-like conditions (e.g. higher elevations) at any time of the year.

The course provides the knowledge, skills and practice essential to surviving in the cool, wet, and windy climate of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the obvious safety advantages, the skills and knowledgegained in this course is integral to increasing personal comfort in conventional outdoor activities. The course consists of classroom sessions and a three-day outing.

course documents


PEO 371 - Snowcamping winter term

This two-credit course includes classroom sessions and a three-day snowcamping outingin the Oregon Cascades. Classroom sessions preparestudents for participation in the outing.

Classroom topics include trip planning and preparation, thermoregulation, cold weather clothing and equipment requirements, a review of cold injuries, snow shelter construction techniques, Leave No Trace travel and camping ethics, avalanche safety, and winter navigation and survival techniques.

The outing provides an opportunity to learn and practice safe and responsible winter camping and travel techniques, snow shelter construction and backcountry routefinding techniques. Winter survival techniques will also be addressed, including an opportunity for a solo survival experience if weather conditions allow.

course documents

OPP - credit for adventure