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HikingBackpacking_Web_VR2016_BackpackingSanGorgonio (82)


Girl Scouts San Diego offers regular opportunities for outdoor adventure at all levels! Register online for upcoming Wilderness Hiking and Backpacking classes and trips. Read on to learn more about our volunteer-led program, progression levels, youth leadership, and what you can do to stay socially distanced while still getting out on the trails.

Wilderness Progression

Designed for individuals, our three-step wilderness progression safely takes girls and adults out of the campground and into the woods. Wilderness Hiking lays a strong foundation of outdoor skills and knowledge and is a prerequisite for our Basic Backpacking course and Advanced Backpacking trips. An amazing group of volunteer trainers with years of experience run courses and trips throughout the year. Class fees include course materials and a "10 Essentials" starter kit.

Wilderness Hiking

First in the outdoor progression, this one-day training teaches adults and girls (grade 6 and up) the essential skills and knowledge necessary for exciting wilderness exploration. Our emphasis includes safety, proper gear and equipment, the Leave No Trace ethic, building independence in girls, and laying a strong foundation for more extraordinary adventures, such as backpacking.

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Basic Backpacking

Basic Backpacking teaches everything adults and youth (grades 7 and up) need to know to begin a true, multi-night wilderness adventure. Hikers gain the knowledge and skills they need to make important decisions about gear, clothing and trip planning so that you can hit the trail feeling confident and self-sufficient. Training includes classroom instruction, group day hike, and backpacking trip.

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Advanced Backpacking

This third step in training safely takes Girl Scouts and adults on unforgettable wilderness adventures, where they will enjoy the majesty of nature along with the camaraderie of fellow backpacking enthusiasts, while building skills to a higher level.

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Class Materials


Youth and Adult Leadership

We welcome new adult and youth leaders to help teach our hiking and backpacking courses. You must be trained one level above your teaching status (e.g., Basic Backpacking trained to teach Wilderness Hiking).

Youth and adult volunteers are a tremendous asset on any hiking and backpacking trip. Our youth leaders particularly benefit from the opportunity to teach others while upholding the high standards of our program, and sharing not just their knowledge, but their passion for the outdoors. Please contact Sandy Sultz, 619-610-0814, for more information on how to volunteer.

More Resources

California Girl Scout Backpackers (CAGS) is a coalition of adult Girl Scouts across California and the West, united in a goal to create wilderness opportunities for our girls. CAGS is a hub for resources, shared knowledge, fellowship, and support for all councils, troops, interest groups, and individuals interested in developing and strengthening their programs.

After you're trained, go on your own adventure: Check out our local day hike maps, Winacka and Whispering Oaks hiking page, and suggested backpacking trips.