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The Sierra Club's annual Wilderness Basics Course whips prospective outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen into shape.

Ever wish to learn land navigation by map and compass or GPS? Or discover the fine points of selecting and packing gear for a backpacking expedition? Or learn how to prepare for and experience a reasonably pleasant couple of days in the snow? If so, the San Diego Sierra Club's Wilderness Basics Course (WBC) may be the efficient and economical solution for you.

The WBC, now in its 49th year, is a serious yet seldom heavy-handed effort at transforming city slickers into happy hikers, campers, and backpackers. Up to 300 registered students and "crashers" are expected to arrive on opening night, January 11, at the San Diego Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino del Rio South, in Mission Valley.

On 11 consecutive Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., WBC volunteers will offer lectures and demonstrations designed to promote the safe, enjoyable, and environmentally sound use of wilderness areas near and far. Topics will include equipment selection and use, foods and cooking, physical conditioning, wilderness first-aid, navigation, and the art of self-propelled travel and camping in desert, mountain, and snow-covered terrain. Five weekend activities, integral to the course, are scheduled: a timed day hike up Cowles Mountain for the purpose of fitness evaluation, an overnight car camp, a land-navigation weekend, a two-day desert backpack, and a snow camping trip to the eastern Sierra Nevada. Participants must supply their own equipment (sleeping bags, packs, camp stoves, etc.) or rent the same from local sporting stores.

San Diego's WBC is open to all persons -- Sierra Club members and nonmembers -- 18 years of age and older. Course registration is offered via the course's website, wildernessbasics.com, at a cost of $105, or on a space-available basis at the first meeting. The snow camp, which involves bus transportation, will cost an additional $100 or slightly more. Visit WBC's website or phone 858-272-9229 for more information.

The North County Group of the Sierra Club offers a similar Wilderness Basics Course beginning January 18, with meetings at San Pasqual High School in Escondido. North County's snow camp travels to the San Jacinto Mountains high above Palm Springs, not to the more distant but snowier Sierra Nevada. Unlike San Diego's course, the North County WBC accepts students between the ages of 14 and 17 (with parental supervision). For more information about the North County WBC, visit www.ncwbc.org or call 760-728-8220.

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Ever wish to learn land navigation by map and compass or GPS? Or discover the fine points of selecting and packing gear for a backpacking expedition? Or learn how to prepare for and experience a reasonably pleasant couple of days in the snow? If so, the San Diego Sierra Club's Wilderness Basics Course (WBC) may be the efficient and economical solution for you.

The WBC, now in its 49th year, is a serious yet seldom heavy-handed effort at transforming city slickers into happy hikers, campers, and backpackers. Up to 300 registered students and "crashers" are expected to arrive on opening night, January 11, at the San Diego Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino del Rio South, in Mission Valley.

On 11 consecutive Tuesday evenings, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., WBC volunteers will offer lectures and demonstrations designed to promote the safe, enjoyable, and environmentally sound use of wilderness areas near and far. Topics will include equipment selection and use, foods and cooking, physical conditioning, wilderness first-aid, navigation, and the art of self-propelled travel and camping in desert, mountain, and snow-covered terrain. Five weekend activities, integral to the course, are scheduled: a timed day hike up Cowles Mountain for the purpose of fitness evaluation, an overnight car camp, a land-navigation weekend, a two-day desert backpack, and a snow camping trip to the eastern Sierra Nevada. Participants must supply their own equipment (sleeping bags, packs, camp stoves, etc.) or rent the same from local sporting stores.

San Diego's WBC is open to all persons -- Sierra Club members and nonmembers -- 18 years of age and older. Course registration is offered via the course's website, wildernessbasics.com, at a cost of $105, or on a space-available basis at the first meeting. The snow camp, which involves bus transportation, will cost an additional $100 or slightly more. Visit WBC's website or phone 858-272-9229 for more information.

The North County Group of the Sierra Club offers a similar Wilderness Basics Course beginning January 18, with meetings at San Pasqual High School in Escondido. North County's snow camp travels to the San Jacinto Mountains high above Palm Springs, not to the more distant but snowier Sierra Nevada. Unlike San Diego's course, the North County WBC accepts students between the ages of 14 and 17 (with parental supervision). For more information about the North County WBC, visit www.ncwbc.org or call 760-728-8220.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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