Backpacking Section (BPX)



(updated 9-8-20)

Click here for current and archives of the BPX newsletter,  “Backcountry Cache”

Statement of Purpose:

The purpose of BPX is to promote backpacking as a core CMC activity, organize and coordinate backpacking trips, create and support a community of backpackers, and provide early notice of BPX events to members.

BPX Activities:

We are looking at a shortened summer season for backpacking with the COVID19 protocols in place but BPX members can still up grade their skills by viewing CMC webinars, reading articles in the CMC digital library and practicing setting up your tent or tarp. Yes, practice in your backyard or a local park (following social distancing protocols of course). Why practice, why time yourself? Because there are some situations where timing is critical – such as Setting Up in the Rain. Read an article by our BPX Chairman’s experience of Setting Up in the Rain at the link listed in “How to” below. Or, watch Karl Ford’s webinar on “Long Distance Light Weight Backpacking” to get weight off your back and more miles on the trail.

All BPX Trips July through September remain listed in the CMC Trip Schedule for registration.

Section members are updated through monthly newsletters and a notice of trip slots available. Click here to view the current and past newsletters, “Backcountry Cache”.

Benefits of BPX membership and benefits of being a BPX Trip Leader are posted in the RESOURCES section of this web page.

We recommend you go to your MY MEMBERSHIP on and check “backpacking” special interest of your personal profile page to be certain you will receive future updates.

Recruiting BPX Leaders:  We are currently seeking backpacking trip leaders to ‘Join the Pack’ to lead BPX trips.  Check out this article, “Why I Lead BPX Trips” , authored by John Walters who ‘Backpacks for Life’.   If you may be interested in leading backpacking trips or helping with committee work, please contact the Trip Leader Coordinator at [email protected]



Backpacking Classifications

Backpacking Trip Classifications are assigned a rating for the entire trip based on the most difficult day of the trip:

  • Easy Backpack: <5 miles/1000′ (Easy Hike is <8 miles/1200′)
  • Mod Backpack: 5-10 miles/1000′-2000′ (Mod Hike is 8-12 miles/1200′-2500′)
  • Diff Backpack: >10 miles/2000′ (Diff Hike is >12 miles/2500’+)


Important Links for Additional Information

How To:

BPX – How to Set Up A Tent in the Rain

BPX Presents Lightweight and Thru Hiking Zoom Presentation by Karl Ford – Colorado Mountain Club On-Line University
(Note: this YouTube video is 1 hour, 55 minutes – click box in lower right corner of the video for full screen)

How much does your  backpack weigh?  Can you backpack 20 miles a day for consecutive days?  If you are interested in trekking more miles in a day with a lighter pack, then this video of Karl Ford’s presentation can get you there.

Karl carries a title of  “a Triple Crowner”, having hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail. He has also hiked the Colorado Trail and has backpacked over 10,000 miles all over the west for many years. He is a retired environmental scientist and a volunteer conservationist. As a 15-year member of CMC he  volunteers as a Denver Group trip leader and a Wilderness Trekking School Senior Instructor.


Operations Committee:

BPX’s founding committee includes Jennie Popovich, director of Denver Backpacking School (who completed a thru-hike of the CT in September,) Linda Lawson (long-term leader, volunteer and AIARE School Director) and John Walters (over 10 years as a high-volume trip leader and former DS&L Chair) as committee chair.




These photos are some of the scenery of the 40 backpacking trips available to BPX Members.