Whether you prefer roasting s’mores around the campfire or comparing gnarly scrapes and bruises with friends, few of us can resist taking advantage of Utah’s nature playground. But, if you’ve been hibernating indoors this winter or if you’ve never learned how to put on a hiking boot, it’s best, as the Boy Scouts say, to be prepared. Here are some ways to hone your wilderness skills, pronto.
Abstaining from injury is Rule 1. Wilderness Medicines of Utah offers a three-day Wilderness First Aid course where you’ll learn how to evaluate, treat and evacuate injured persons in wilderness settings. While possessing medical knowledge is vital when an unexpected injury occurs, you’ll no doubt up your street cred and impress friends by being the hero. Starting July 13, $200, WMUtah.org
Once you’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of backcountry safety, the International Wilderness Leadership School will teach a backpacking and canyoneering program to prepare you for remote backcountry settings such as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the surrounding areas. The seven-day course starts out with pre-trip planning, from organizing technical camping equipment to managing group and personal expectations. You’ll receive hands-on instruction on building fires and crossing rivers, and you’ll learn about the geological forces that created Utah’s unique landscapes. Sept. 28, $1,410, IWLS.com
Wheeling around mountain trails is an invigorating adrenaline rush, but those devious rocks can wreak havoc on your bike’s tires. But blown tires won’t slow you down once you’ve taken REI’s Bike Maintenance Basics class, which provides skills like quickly fixing a flat and lubing a chain. June 11, free, REI.com
Utah’s long months of winter weather can have a person climbing the walls. Now that warmer temps are finally here, Momentum Climbing Gym is teaming up with Red River Adventures to offer outdoor courses that teach the basic types of climbing, movement on the rock, knots, belaying and more. Plus, they offer more advanced courses for those who aren’t afraid to get crafty on the rock or who’ve been practicing on indoor courses all winter. The Rock 201 course helps climbers move beyond top-roping or following to learn more about building anchors and advanced climbing techniques. Classes are held in both Salt Lake City and Moab throughout the summer, and private instruction can be scheduled at any time. Throughout summer, $189, MomentumClimbing.com