House on Your Back - Camping Classes

Join us this April for these exciting classes! Sessions are on Thursday nights, 7:00-7:50pm. There is no charge & no need for sign-up! The classes are held at our main store at 311 W. Kilgore Rd. in Portage. Feel free to call the store if you have any questions: 269-381-7700.


Don't forget!

You will receive a 2% discount for each session that you attend. This gives you a chance to accumulate 16% off one in-store total purchase at the end of the seminars!



Session 1: April 3

Series Intro and Clothing Systems
Before we put our houses on our backs, we need a shirt on our backs (and pants, shorts, socks, etc). This session will look at options in layering and what's new this spring in technical clothing. We'll also give an overview of the clinic schedule and our spring events.


Session 2: April 10

Packs and Packing
The series is called House on your Back, so lets take a look at those houses. We'll look at backpack brands, features and benefits, as well as what comprises a proper fit, and which pack to choose. There will also be tips on how to load up a stable and comfortable pack.


Session 3: April 17

Tents and Shelters
A tent is truly a house on your back. This session will cover just what kind of house you need (or want). All kinds of shelters are available, from tarps & bivy sacks, to convertible & expedition tents. Technical and practical information will help you choose the right house for your back.


Session 4: April 24

Bags and Pads
No matter what kind of camping you prefer--in the summer, in the winter, in a meadow or high mountain pass--the right sleeping system will make your night a pleasant experience. Sleeping bags, ground pads, and sleeping safety will be discussed.


Session 5: May 1

The Outdoor Kitchen
Everybody says "Everything tastes better when you're camping!", and it's true--as long as you attend this session! We'll provide a look beyond noddles & oatmeal for some delicious meal ideas. Stoves, fuel types, cook sets, and water filtration systems will also be covered.


Session 6: May 8

Boots and Feet
Our feet are our link to the terrain. Boots & shoes not only protect our feet from the terrain, but help us to interact with it too. This session will cover what footwear to choose, proper fit, foot-beds and construction. Related items like socks & weather-proofing will also be covered.


Session 7: May 15

Backcountry Skills
Somewhere between a Cub Scout and an Apache chief stands a variety of basic backcountry skills necessary for survival. Essential skills like building a fire, orienteering, hear retention, unique shelters and bedding will be covered in this session.


Session 8: May 22

Open Mic Night: What's going on locally?
Find out what's happening around Kalamazoo! Would you like to know more about; The Kalamazoo Nature Center, Great Lakes Adventure Club, Kalamazoo Adventure Race Team, The Third Coast Metro Trek, The North Country Trail? Find out here!