Stillwater Prairie Reserve, Ohio
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Backpacking Workshop and Overnight Trip
Skill: Level I
April 8 - April 9, 2017
Stillwater Prairie Reserve near Covington, Ohio
Meets at 10:00am.
Fee: $95 - Includes Saturday dinner.
Ready to learn about backpacking? This is a perfect opportunity!
This is a one night, backpacking trip for first time backpackers and beginning backpackers. It includes seven workshops on backpacking essentials that every backpacker should know. This trip is designed for those with little or no backpacking experience who have always wanted to try backpacking under guidance of experienced backpackers. Experienced backpackers are welcome too! Share your tips and hints!
Limit 12 participants.
Spots Open: 6 as of February 14, 2017.
About Stillwater Prairie Reserve:
Stillwater Prairie Reserve, a jewel in the Miami County Park system, is situated along the Scenic Stillwater River. A circular hiking trail passes through fields, woodlands, marshy habitats and shrub lands. Segments of the main trail follow along the river. Diverse topography and vegetation make this park a perfect place for hiking, picnicking, wildflower viewing and bird watching. Park Web Site
On Saturday we will hike 4-5 miles at a leisurely pace over varied terrain to where we will spend the night. On Sunday morning we will hike ~2 miles back to our cars arriving around noon. A park naturalist from Miami County Parks will join us for this trip! Learn the names of plants and animals while you hike.
This hike will involve crossing the Stillwater River without a bridge twice. Bring a pair of sandals, Crocs or camp shoes to wade the river or just wearing your hiking boots. If the water level in the river is too high to safely cross we go to Plan B which does not involve wading the river.
During this backpacking trip we will conduct seven short workshops and cover these topics:
What Is Included?
- Proper Backpack Fitting and Trekking Pole Adjustment.
- Bear Bagging - Hanging Your Food In A Tree
- Backcountry Sanitation & Hygiene In The Woods
- Fire Building
- Backpacking Stoves & Cooking
- Leave No Trace Principles
- Packing Your Backpack & Gear Organization
Your registration fee includes professional guides, all workshops, course material, any shuttle, camping, parking or permit fees, Saturday dinner and dessert around the campfire. Dinner will consist of sampling various backpacking food entrees. This is a great chance to check out different backpacking food choices and decide which you like best!
Gear, meals, (except for Saturday dinner), snacks, transportation and optional guide gratuity.
- Sleeping Bag & Pad
- Headlamp or Flashlight
- Warm Clothes (warm hat, gloves & long underwear)
- Rain Gear
- Food: Saturday Lunch, Sunday Breakfast.
- Personal medications: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Antacids, Pepto-Bismol, Prescriptions (as needed).
A pair of trekking poles, hiking stick or staff is highly recommended!
Don't Have Backpacking Gear? Rent It For A Low Cost!
For only $35 you can rent a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad for the night. We have both two-person and one-person tents. People renting a two-person tent will be paired with someone who is renting gear also. Let us know your preference for a two-person or one-person tent and if you already have a tent mate selected. The gear will be distributed at start of the hike for you to carry. The rental gear is first come-first served and must be paid for in advance. Rental gear quantities are limited. Choose the rental gear option from the PayPal drop down box below.
Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp.
Andy Niekamp is the Chief Adventure Officer for Outdoor Adventure Connection, which specializes in backcountry adventures. Andy has backpacked over 14,000 miles including four end to end hikes of the Appalachian Trail and thru hikes of the Buckeye Trail, Ohio To Erie Trail, Sheltowee Trace, Long Trail, Ozark Highlands Trail, Colorado Trail, Superior Hiking Trail and the Bartram Trail. Andy is founder and leader of the Dayton Hikers group, the largest outdoor recreation group in Dayton, Ohio, and a Leave No Trace Master Educator. Andy Niekamp grew up and lives in Dayton and has a passion for long distance hiking which he shares with others. Andy brings his wealth of backpacking experience and his passion for hiking to this program. He has two rules for his backpacking trips. Number 1: Be safe. Number 2: Have fun!
Tama is a naturalist for the Miami County Park District. She loves to hike, backpack and be out in nature. She is a Leave No Trace Master Educator. In her spare time Tama can be found underground exploring wild caves. In 2003 she and her husband were invited to a weeklong underground expedition in Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico. In 2004 she rappelled Golindrinas Cave, a 1,200 foot pit in Mexico with her daughter and husband. In 2014 Tama spent a week canyoneering in Zion National Park.
Glenn has been backpacking for 30 years, and still hasn't figured out whether he has 30 years of experience, or 1 year of experience 30 times. All of his backpacking has been in the eastern U.S., mostly in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, with the occasional trip to the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Many of Glenn's trips nowadays are long weekends, with the occasional week-long trip. He is a recreational backpacker; He goes out there to have fun, not to prove anything to anyone. Glenn has led youth trips, was a Scoutmaster and a volunteer for a troubled teens program. Glenn is a gearhead, so don’t be afraid to ask him about gear and equipment. Glenn, who is in his mid-60s, provides insight and perspective for older hikers, whether they are just taking up backpacking or looking for ways to continue to participate. In his other life, Glenn is a CPA with Clark Schaefer Hackett. Glenn is a happily married, a proud grandfather, and a chess player. Glenn is the author of two popular articles: How I Got This Way
and Where Can I Backpack?
Sterling "Vagabond Vet" Deck.
Sterling joined the U.S. Army right out of high school and got to experience the "great outdoors" in some very unique places. After serving our country for 20 years, he retired from the military and went on a multi-year travel adventure - combining his passions for travel, adventure motorcycling, ultra running, and hiking. As an endurance athlete and lover of all things long distance, Sterling has completed over two dozen marathons and ultra-marathons of distances up to 50 miles. In 2015, Sterling backpacked nearly 2,000 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail; and in 2016, he hiked for 94 days, circling Ohio on the Buckeye Trail. When he's not hiking or running, he's logging miles on his adventure motorcycle, including trips along Route 66, the entire Pacific Coast Highway, and the Trans-Canada Highway. Sterling has been a certified fitness trainer, worked for a well known recreational equipment company, and is also certified in Wilderness First Aid. If anyone knows the benefits of wilderness therapy, it is he!
Here Is What They Say About Our Level 1 Workshops:
This trip was one of the best times I've had in a long time. I'm not really sure what I would change. The gear list was very clear. The guides were very open and helpful with there thoughts on different gear and tips to make things easier. Thanks for a great trip.
– Jeremy L.
Fantastic trip and a great time. Looking forward to participating in more events!
– Shawn L.
This workshop was so informative, fun, and prepared my husband and I to take off on our own. We learned so much and this confirmed our desire to start backpacking. I was a little unsure and uncomfortable with it before but now I can't wait to get back out there. It was a perfect and amazing experience.
– Melissa T.
Thank you for the incredible amount of knowledge shared - the hands on experience made me ready for the next step - let's do an intermediate hike!
– Tara S.
I thought the way the workshops were spread throughout the trip worked very well. I appreciated how candid the guides were in their presentations and in response to questions.
– Eunice H.
This was a great weekend for beginners. It definitely makes you want to keep on backpacking.
– Theresa W.
I loved everything. I came home and weighed everything in my pack.
– Teresa A.
This was a wonderful experience that increased my confidence not only in my ability to backpack but in myself in general. There is nothing I would change.
– Jackie B.
I loved trying the different meals. They were delicious and gave me tons of ideas!
– Jaime S.
Best hiking group ever! I loved the guides. They were both so kind and patient and answered all those questions I had about stoves, filters, packing backpack.
– Tippi M.
Your workshop fee is fully refundable if you cancel 14 days in advance or if this event is cancelled or rescheduled.
All participants must complete an adventure application and sign a liability waiver. Adventure Application PDF with fill-able form fields or Adventure Application PDF to download/print.
Application must be returned for your registration to be confirmed. Note: If you've attended one of our trips in the last 12 months we have an application on file for you.
Minimum age is 14. Adult family member must accompany minor children. Inquire about children younger than 14. No pets permitted. All of our trips are non-smoking. A recommended gear list, meeting location and trip details will be sent via email to registered participants.
Sign Up Now With PayPal - Choose Rental Gear Option If Needed
Sign Up By Mail
Make a check payable to Outdoor Adventure Connection
(add $35.00 for rental gear) and mail to our address
. Please include your include your name, telephone number, email address and name of trip. Please send an email to
indicating your check is on the way so we can save a spot for you.
I really liked talking to the guides about their experiences. They made me feel very comfortable asking questions. The only thing I would have changed was for it to be warmer! ;). – Andrea C.