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Programs, Presentations and Workshops





Thru-Hiking the Buckeye Trail: Things That Will Change the Way You See Ohio


January 20, 2018 - 2:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Franklin-Springboro Public Library
Franklin Branch, 44 E. 4th Street Franklin, OH 45005 ~ Map Link

On an 88-day thru-hike of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail, Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp made the most amazing long-distance journey of his life. As he walked his home state through wilderness, farmland, small towns, big cities, rural and urban areas, he discovered Ohio in a way that can be only experienced on foot. Captain Blue‘s stories about the people and places, past and present will change the way you see Ohio. His beautiful photos and experiences will surely inspire you to hike the Buckeye Trail.

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Hiking 101 - Get Started With Hiking!


January 23, 2018 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - New Lebanon
New Lebanon Branch, 715 W Main St, New Lebanon, OH 45345 ~ Map Link

Have you been thinking about going for a hike in a local park but have some questions about what to bring and where to go? Come out to Outdoor Adventure Connection's "Hiking 101" to learn the do's and don'ts of hiking. We will discuss clothing, footwear, gear, safety, maps and area parks so you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Learn the ten essential that every hiker should have. Get the confidence needed to plan a hike. We will also talk about our ten best beginner-friendly trails for a hike in the Dayton area. Learn from the experts!

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Thru-Hiking the Buckeye Trail: Things That Will Change the Way You See Ohio


January 25, 2018 - 7:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Winter Adventure Weekend
Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Dr, Olive Hill, KY 41164 ~ Map Link

On an 88-day thru-hike of Ohio's Buckeye Trail, Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp made the most amazing long-distance journey of his life. As he walked his home state through wilderness, farmland, small towns, big cities, rural and urban areas, he discovered Ohio in a way that can be only experienced on foot. Captain Blue‘s stories about the people and places, past and present will change the way you see Ohio. His beautiful photos and experiences will surely inspire you to hike the Buckeye Trail.

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A Dummies Guide to Water Treatment for the Backpacker


January 26, 2018 - 10:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Winter Adventure Weekend
Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Dr, Olive Hill, KY 41164 ~ Map Link

Confused About All The Options To Treat Water in The Backcountry? Not Sure What To Choose? Learn The Facts! Selecting a water treatment system can be an overwhelming decision. There are many factors to consider, including method, effort, size, weight, treatment time and cost. In this workshop we will cover all the major types of water treatment options for the backpacker, day hiker and camper and what types of organisms each system is effective at eliminating. We will discuss the pros and cons of each method. We will give you advice on what to consider, what we think is the most important, and which products might be best for you. We'll also discuss why treating water in the backcountry is necessary, the common waterborne pathogens you'll encounter, how they make you ill and the symptoms of waterborne illnesses.

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A Dummies Guide to Water Treatment for the Backpacker


January 26, 2018 - 10:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Winter Adventure Weekend
Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Dr, Olive Hill, KY 41164 ~ Map Link

Confused About All The Options To Treat Water in The Backcountry? Not Sure What To Choose? Learn The Facts! Selecting a water treatment system can be an overwhelming decision. There are many factors to consider, including method, effort, size, weight, treatment time and cost. In this workshop we will cover all the major types of water treatment options for the backpacker, day hiker and camper and what types of organisms each system is effective at eliminating. We will discuss the pros and cons of each method. We will give you advice on what to consider, what we think is the most important, and which products might be best for you. We'll also discuss why treating water in the backcountry is necessary, the common waterborne pathogens you'll encounter, how they make you ill and the symptoms of waterborne illnesses.

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Backpacking 101 - Get Started With Backpacking!


January 30, 2018 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Springboro Public Library
Springboro Public Library, 125 Park Ln, Springboro, OH 45066 ~ Map Link

Are you ready to try backpacking after an inspiring visit to a national park? Ready to introduce your kids to the great outdoors? Are you a longtime hiker who needs a refresher after too much time away from the trails? Whatever your goal, this indoor workshop will teach you the techniques to have a safe and enjoyable backpacking trip. We will cover topics such as backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, stoves, food, clothes, footwear, weather, terrain, comfort zone, trip planning, and Leave No Trace Principles.

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Appalachian Trail Hike Planning Workshop


March 6, 2018 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Kettering-Moraine Branch
Kettering-Moraine Branch, 3496 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45429 ~ Map Link

Is there a long distance hike on the Appalachian Trail or other long trail in your future but you’re not sure where to start? This program will give you the knowledge and confidence to plan a long distance hike. You'll learn trip planning skills about gear, clothing, food planning, resupply methods, shuttles, long-term parking, trail safety, hostels, guidebooks, maps, trail magic and more. Learn some basic resources and tips to get you started on planning your hike whether it is a week-long hike or months-long hike.

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Thru-Hiking the Buckeye Trail: Things That Will Change the Way You See Ohio


February 15, 2018 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Western Gate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association
First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 6031 Goodrich, Pensacola, FL 32504 ~ Map Link

On an 88-day thru-hike of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail, Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp made the most amazing long-distance journey of his life. As he walked his home state through wilderness, farmland, small towns, big cities, rural and urban areas, he discovered Ohio in a way that can be only experienced on foot. Captain Blue‘s stories about the people and places, past and present will change the way you see Ohio. His beautiful photos and experiences will surely inspire you to hike the Buckeye Trail.

More Info




9,500 Miles On A 2,200 Mile Trail. Lessons Learned From An Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker


March 13, 2018 - 7:00pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Springboro Public Library
Springboro Public Library, 125 Park Ln, Springboro, OH 45066 ~ Map Link

Since 1994 Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has hiked 9,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT), a continuous footpath that runs through fourteen states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. He has been awarded four "2,000 miler" certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is conferred on hikers who have completed the entire AT and he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. He is one of a dozen people worldwide who has reported completing the entire Appalachian Trail four or more times. Andy first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989, and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times. His average hike on the trail is 10-15 miles per day but he has walked up to 27 miles in one day. In the last few years he has averaged 500-600 miles per section. He labels himself as a chronic section hiker of the AT. He finds each successive end-to-end hike gets easier and more enjoyable and his favorite areas of the trail are the southern Appalachians, New Hampshire and Maine. Most of Andy's AT hiking is solo, but occasionally he has friends join him for short sections and he has met many interesting people along the way. During this presentation you will take a photo journey from Georgia to Maine on the AT. You will also get valuable "Captain Blue" tips and advice about the AT on things like mail drops, shuttles, hitchhiking and hiker hostels. Andy says "the physical and mental demands of long distance hiking are a great way to recharge one's internal batteries and get a fresh look on life." Long distance hiking is the closest thing Andy has found to a "fountain of youth."

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Hiking 101 - Get Started With Hiking!


March 20, 2018 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Main Library
Main Library, 2nd Floor Community Room, 215 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 4540 ~ Map Link

Have you been thinking about going for a hike in a local park but have some questions about what to bring and where to go? Come out to Outdoor Adventure Connection's "Hiking 101" to learn the do's and don'ts of hiking. We will discuss clothing, footwear, gear, safety, maps and area parks so you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Learn the ten essential that every hiker should have. Get the confidence needed to plan a hike. We will also talk about our ten best beginner-friendly trails for a hike in the Dayton area. Learn from the experts!

More Info




9,500 Miles On A 2,200 Mile Trail. Lessons Learned From An Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker


April 3, 2018 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Main Library
Main Library, 2nd Floor Community Room, 215 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 4540 ~ Map Link

Since 1994 Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has hiked 9,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT), a continuous footpath that runs through fourteen states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. He has been awarded four "2,000 miler" certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is conferred on hikers who have completed the entire AT and he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. He is one of a dozen people worldwide who has reported completing the entire Appalachian Trail four or more times. Andy first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989, and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times. His average hike on the trail is 10-15 miles per day but he has walked up to 27 miles in one day. In the last few years he has averaged 500-600 miles per section. He labels himself as a chronic section hiker of the AT. He finds each successive end-to-end hike gets easier and more enjoyable and his favorite areas of the trail are the southern Appalachians, New Hampshire and Maine. Most of Andy's AT hiking is solo, but occasionally he has friends join him for short sections and he has met many interesting people along the way. During this presentation you will take a photo journey from Georgia to Maine on the AT. You will also get valuable "Captain Blue" tips and advice about the AT on things like mail drops, shuttles, hitchhiking and hiker hostels. Andy says "the physical and mental demands of long distance hiking are a great way to recharge one's internal batteries and get a fresh look on life." Long distance hiking is the closest thing Andy has found to a "fountain of youth."

More Info




Thru-Hiking the Buckeye Trail: Things That Will Change the Way You See Ohio


April 17, 2018 - 6:30pm
Presenter: Andy Niekamp
Free and open to the public.

Presented by: Dayton Metro Library - Main Library
Main Library, 2nd Floor Community Room, 215 E 3rd St, Dayton, OH 45402 ~ Map Link

On an 88-day thru-hike of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail, Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp made the most amazing long-distance journey of his life. As he walked his home state through wilderness, farmland, small towns, big cities, rural and urban areas, he discovered Ohio in a way that can be only experienced on foot. Captain Blue‘s stories about the people and places, past and present will change the way you see Ohio. His beautiful photos and experiences will surely inspire you to hike the Buckeye Trail.

More Info



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All guides very friendly, helpful & knowledgeable. I learned a lot. This was my first workshop and I thought it was the total package.Regina C.