Guided Beginner Backpacking on the Appalachian Trail

Date and Time

Friday, July 12, 2024 6:00PM - Sunday, July 14, 2024 3:00PM


Joe Dodge Lodge,
New Hampshire, White Mountains,


Registration is required for this activity.

(best time to call: 10am - 5pm, Monday - Saturday)


Join us for a backpacking adventure on the famed Appalachian Trail in the stunning White Mountains! Led by experienced AMC Guides, this trip will provide an engaging atmosphere to learn necessary skills for backpacking in a supportive and encouraging community. Perfect for those new to backpacking and for those who would like to sharpen their outdoor skills, this program will give any outdoor enthusiast the opportunity to gain skills, grow confidence, and find connection with the natural world. Our journey will begin at AMC's Joe Dodge Lodge, a cozy and welcoming base where the group will meet for the first time. This initial meeting is a chance to connect as a group and the guides will review the plan for the weekend, expectations, safety protocol, gear, weather conditions, etc. and will be a chance to make sure everyone is feeling confident and prepared about the trip to come. Backpacking gear is available to borrow at no extra cost. The next morning, our group will pack up and depart for the trail and hike to an established backcountry shelter along the Appalachian Trail. Along the way, guides share their wealth of knowledge on outdoor skills, tips and tricks and share about the flora, fauna, and history of the region, enriching the experience with fascinating insights and stories. Once arriving at camp, the group will set up camp and cook a hearty backcountry meal together, learning all the skills needed to stay comfortable and safe while minimizing impact on this outdoor adventure. After a night sleeping in tents under the stars, the group will cook breakfast, break down camp, and depart for a beautiful hike through serene forests back the trailhead. Once back at Joe Dodge Lodge, the program will wrap up and group will depart. Create unforgettable memories on this journey with our knowledgeable guides, fostering a supportive community as you explore the wonders of the Appalachian Trail. Gain the skills, confidence, and respect for nature necessary for a lifetime of outdoor adventures. Course Highlights: Learn Essential Skills: Master the fundamentals of backpacking, including navigation, water filtration, and wildlife safety. Pack Like a Pro: Unravel the mystery of packing a backpack efficiently and comfortably for extended trips. Camp Setup Mastery: From selecting the perfect site to pitching your tent with ease, gain confidence in creating your backcountry home. Culinary Adventures: Elevate your outdoor cuisine with camp cooking techniques and delicious meal planning. Leave No Trace: Embrace responsible outdoor ethics and leave minimal impact on the pristine wilderness. Safety First: Navigate the trail with confidence, equipped with essential backcountry safety knowledge and emergency preparedness.

AMC Trip Policy


Starting at:

Adult: $396 member / $442 non-member
*One night lodging at AMC's full service Joe Dodge Lodge. Members of the same party sharing a lodge room are charged an additional but reduced per person rate. AMC backcountry campsite fee All meals from dinner the first night to lunch on the final day. Free use of backpacking equipment and gear from Joe Dodge Lodge Demo Center Instruction and leadership by AMC Outdoor Guides

Past participants say...

"Highlights were learning how to correctly use equipment and how to minimize the impact to the environment when I go hiking and backpacking" -Participant, April 2022 "I would recommend this program! It's a great way to learn basic backpacking in safe and supportive environment" -Participant, April 2022

Click map for driving directions


Instruction (Skills)
Specialty Skills

Offered By

AMC Staff



Nearby AMC Destinations

Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
Joe Dodge Lodge




Adults (18+)


AMC Guides are passionate about the outdoors and have the skills necessary to ensure safe adventures. Certified in wilderness medicine, with focused training in outdoor leadership and risk management, guides provide individual attention while reaching group goals. They possess local natural and cultural history knowledge and solid backcountry skills, and they follow well-planned itineraries. As lifelong learners, AMC guides create the connections and moments that become lasting memories.