Two backpackers on a mountain trail. (Photo: Pixabay)

If you’ve been thinking about trying backpacking but are unsure of how to begin, consider joining Outdoor Chattanooga for an introduction to backpacking on the Cumberland Trail, March 10-11.

This will be the first of three overnight backpacking adventures planned by Outdoor Chattanooga as part of their Cumberland Trail Hike Series designed for those in need of instruction, guidance, and/or equipment.

Outdoor Chattanooga’s experienced guide staff will provide an essential gear pack list and give instruction on how to properly pack an overnight backpack before hitting the trail.


Transportation and food are provided, so once everyone is packed up, they’ll load up in the van to drive to the trailhead. Guide staff will be with you on the trail, offering advice and tips on how to make backpacking more comfortable and enjoyable. They’ll assist with campsite set up, meal preparation, cooking, and clean up, all while practicing and educating you on No Trace ethics.

If you don’t have camping or backpacking equipment, don’t worry. They have plenty to spare and will let you use theirs at no additional cost.

Just like all the other hikes in the series, you’ll hike an average of 4-6 miles per day, one way and mostly downhill. This hike is rated as moderately strenuous and there will be elevation gain and loss throughout the hike. The Cumberland Trail is remote and on rugged terrain.

Participants are required to have some hiking experience and to be in good enough physical shape to hike 4-7 miles continuously on sections rated as moderately strenuous while carrying a pack weighing 25-45 pounds. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating parent or responsible adult.

The cost is $65 per person for food, transportation, guides, and use of any camping/backpacking equipment. Registration is required in advance. All details are given to participants upon registration.

To learn more or to register:

Email [email protected]

Call (423) 643-6888


The Cumberland Trail is a scenic footpath following the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau, beginning in Chattanooga’s backyard on Signal Mountain. Learn more about the trail here.

The two other Cumberland Trail backpack trips in 2018 are scheduled for April 14-15 and November 10-11.