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Women's Introduction to Backpacking
- for Intermediate Level Hikers

When: Saturday-Sunday, July26-28, 2024

Time: Friday, 10am- Sunday 4pm (overnight)

Where:  Jacobson Lake to Horseguard Camp,

                   HBC Heritage Trail

Cost: $429/person 

(Youth under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian)

For more information or questions, please contact Tunde

at or 604-869-1274

Are you an experienced / intermediate day hiker looking for the next step up, but lack the confidence or skills to do so?

Then this program is for you! Come and join us in this female* only introduction to backpacking. Best suited for moderately experienced hikers looking to step up their backcountry experience. Our group size is purposely kept small for a safe and inclusive environment, with a maximum of 15 participants, plus a minimum of 3 trip leaders.


*We welcome cisgender females, transgender, agender, two-spirit, nonbinary, and genderqueer individuals. HMCOL is a proud member of the Safe Space Alliance

This year’s trip will take us on a different section of the HBC Heritage trail. Starting at Jacobson Lake, we will hike 12.5 KM down to Horseguard Camp, one of the historic camps of the trail.
On the second day, our day hike will take us through beautiful forest and eventually through the defiles (narrow passage through the mountains left by melt water from glaciation).
Along the way, we will witness remnants of history, with trailblazes left by Chief Blackeye’s peoples, and later HBC fur traders. We will get to observe beautiful wildflowers through subalpine meadows and break for lunch at the highest point of the HBC Trail: Blackeye’s camp on the Tulameen plateau. This day will be a 12 KM day, with 652m elevation with a day pack. 

Trip Highlights:

  • Hike a historical trail

  • Hike through beautiful old growth forest and the defiles

  • Overnight camp along the Tulameen river, at historical Horseguard Camp

  • Hike through meadows and observe wildlife

  • Hike in a safe space, with a like-minded group!

Learn about Adventure Smart’s 3Ts : Trip Planning, Training and Ten essentials, introduction and presentation of gear selection, options for backcountry food, Leave No Trace Principles, and more!


Broken down in 3 mandatory sessions: 

All 3 sessions are MANDATORY (Gear talk night, trial hike and backpacking weekend).
Not only does this allow us to get to know each other, it is to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment during this program.


1. Wednesday,  May 15, 2024 

7-9pm “Pack and Plan”: A Gear and trip planning online zoom meeting: 

We will get to know each other, discuss the plan for the backpacking trip, discuss the gear you have and suggest gear you may need to change or acquire, and talk about meal planning and other logistics.


2. Saturday, July 6, 2024

9am-1pm A half-day test run hike in Hope

…Not in the backcountry yet. We will practice on a trail in Hope BC. You will get a chance to pack your gear as you would for our trip, test the weight distribution, make necessary adjustments and get a real feel of what to expect with your weighted overnight backpack to practice before we enter the backcountry. Please ensure you wear the same hiking boots and backpack with gear you plan to use for the trip.

3. The Backpacking Trip - Friday, July 26, 2024

10:00AM – Gather in Hope at the Rec Centre (1005 6 Ave, Hope) check-in, sign waivers,

*Participants must arrange their own transportation to Hope and carpooling can be arranged from Hope to the Trailhead and back to Hope. .

10:30AM – convoy together to the trailhead. (50 km on the Coquihalla Highway, 50KM on the Tulameen FSR) MAP

After arriving to the trailhead we will hike to our campsite and set up camp.

*Be aware that times are approximate! Start and end times may vary slightly depending on speed of the group, weather and road conditions, etc.

Saturday, July 27, 2024

After breakfast, we’ll put on light day packs and hike for the day up the defiles to Blackeye’s Camp.  

Sunday, July 28, 2024

After breakfast, we will take down camp and hike back to the trailhead

What to bring:

Whenever you are hiking, you should always carry The Essentials

Participants will need the following items below:


  • Sturdy waterproof hiking boots or hiking shoesMust be broken in so they don’t blister you. If you plan on buying new footwear for this trip, it is HIGHLY recommended you purchase them and hike in them at least 8 times prior to this trip. 

  • Socks — A thin synthetic (not cotton) inner sock and a thick outer sock (preferably wool). Bring at least 1 extra pair of back-up socks

  • Long pants and shorts or zip-off pants (no jeans)

  • Waterproof rain pants

  •  2 tank tops or T-shirts (merino wool or polyester – NOT COTTON)

  • 1 long sleeve shirt (merino wool or polyester – NOT COTTON)

  • 1 mid layer (fleece, wool, or puffy jacket)

  • Rain-proof jacket

  • 1 pair of gloves

  • 1 toque

  • non- cotton undergarments


  • Water reservoir or bottle(s) with 2 litres of water

  • Hi-energy snack food (ie power bars/balls, trailmix)

  • 3 lunches on the trail

  • 2 dinners in camp

  • 2 breakfasts in camp

  • Any drinks you wish to have


  • Sleeping bag — rated to -10 Celsius minimum

  • Sleeping mat — ie inflatable Thermarest 

  • 3-season tent

  • Stove, fuel, pots

  • Method to purify drinking water

  • Cup, plate, cutlery

  • Sun glasses

  • Sun screen

  • Chapstick

  • Toilet paper, bags to place used TP in, to pack-out with you, and hand sanitizer

  • Head lamp

  • Multi tool

  • Basic first aid and moleskin for blisters

  • Hiking poles (highly recommended)

  • Day pack for light hiking (you can also just use your overnight pack if you prefer)

  • Bug repellent/mosquito face net/Tick spray

  • Bear Spray

Gear is available for rent at Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors in Chilliwack (604-846-1984) and Valhalla Pure in Abbotsford (604-850-5523) if you need it. Book ASAP if you need to rent gear.

Price includes:

  • Trail guide and naturalist

  • First aid backup

  • Training regarding gear and backcountry camping techniques

  • NOTE participants are required to provide all their own gear and food

Physical demand:

Please note that THIS PROGRAM IS NOT SUITABLE FOR BEGINNER HIKERS! Nor should this be your first challenging hike of the year.

All participants must be able to carry a large backpack containing all their own gear described in the trip checklist up 500-650 metres elevation and 12km each day. 
Pack weight for first and last day will likely be around 25-40 lbs (11-18Kg) including food and water.

Please contact us to discuss your hiking experience if you are unsure if this trip is suitable for you.

Meet Your Guides

Moon Pruvost Hope Mountain Centre Program Director.jpg

Moon Pruvost
Program Director


Connie Davis

Moon is Hope Mountain Centre’s Program Director. She is an experienced educator and backcountry mountain guide. Her passion for the natural world and grizzly bears led her to study Wildlife and Forestry Conservation.

She is certified in Wilderness First Aid,

Avalanche Skills Training, Leave No Trace Master Educator and has experience as a bush craft/survival instructor.

Moon loves to share her knowledge and love of the outdoors with people of all ages! When she is not guiding, you can usually find her exploring the outdoors with her puppy, Kenai.

Connie has volunteered for Hope Mountain Centre since 2009 and is a former High Adventure Scoutmaster. Her passion for the outdoors led her to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2005 and she enjoys introducing people to the backcountry. Connie is a retired nurse practitioner, experienced Leave No Trace Educator, and is certified in Wilderness First Aid. Connie enjoys hiking with Cooper the coonhound, camping with her grandkids, and birding with her husband.


Michelle brings a passion for the HBC Heritage Trail to the hike along with her remote first aid certification. She first experienced Black Eyes Plateau from Horse guard Camp 8 years ago. After 37 years of nursing and 8 years on ski patrol, she retired to start a new journey connecting with nature. Her days are filled with snowshoeing, skiing, and hiking with her four dogs. She loves being out in nature, where she feels peaceful, happy, wild, and free. 

Michelle Pacholzuk


Sorry no refunds! You can pass on your spot to someone else who meets the physical demand of the program, just please let us know, as we need registration information from everyone.

 A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled by HMCOL, participants will receive a full refund of program fees. Please be aware that our programs run regardless of weather conditions, unless HMCOL determines that it will affect the safety of participants.

Hope Mountain Centre reserves the right to change the location of a program for the safety of our participants and staff. No refund offered when location is changed. 

Additional information:

Liability Waiver

Everyone ages 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions. 

Informed Consent Form 

Everyone, age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parents or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.

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