Learn New Outdoor Skills In The New Year With Outdoor Chattanooga’s Winter Workshops

Thursday, January 2, 2020

For the past nine years, Outdoor Chattanooga has hosted a series of free, weekly winter workshops designed to teach a variety of outdoor skills in a classroom-based setting. The goal is to prepare and inspire your inner adventurer to get outside and play.

The 2020 Winter Workshops occur Wednesdays, 6:30-8: p.m., Jan. 8 through Feb. 19 at Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River St. in Coolidge Park. No reservation or prior experience required to attend and all ages are welcome. 

Outdoor Chattanooga is adding something new in 2020; the opportunity to “put it to practice” the following Saturday after the classroom-based workshop. Spend a wintry Saturday getting hands-on experience putting those newly acquired outdoor skills to practice in the field with experienced instructors. Participants who attend the classroom-based workshops on Wednesdays will have first priority to register for the field experiences planned the following Saturday. See the full schedule and description of the workshops below. Most field experiences are free but some have a nominal fee and minimum age requirements. Registration is required in advance as space is limited. Online registration will open Thursday morning after giving first priority to those that attend the Wednesday workshop. Call Outdoor Chattanooga 643-6888 to learn more.

Jan. 8: Way Finding with Map & Compass
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Not all who wander are lost but those who are lost should know how to be found. We’ve become pretty dependent on smartphones for wayfinding, but what happens if the signal fails or the battery dies while you’re out on the trail? Knowing how to read a map and use a compass is an essential skill for anyone wandering in the woods. Learn the basics of how to navigate using the “old school” method of map and compass. Maps and compasses are available to use during the workshop.

Put it to practice: The following Saturday, Jan. 11, participants can put those new map and compass skills into practice finding checkpoints at Coolidge Park. Maps and compasses are available to use during the field excursion. Registration is required in advance and space is limited with priority given to those that attend this workshop. Online registration will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop.

Jan. 15: Speleoart - The Art of Caving
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Cave etiquette and speleoart is the art of leaving no trace in a cave and leaving with art in your sketchbook! Learn how to create caving memories and cave art without leaving a trace! This free workshop will have a Powerpoint presentation on cave etiquette and speleoart-the art of leaving no trace in a cave while leaving with art in your sketchbook. The workshop will also include demonstrations of ancient cave art along with modern speleoart techniques in various artist materials.

Put it to Practice: on Saturday, Jan. 18, during a guided speleoart caving trip with the Chattanooga Grotto and Carolina Shrewsbury. Learn about ancient cave formations and how they are made while making your own art masterpiece from inside a local cave. Participation is limited to 10 people with first priority given to those that attend the Wednesday Winter Workshop. The field trip is appropriate for ages 12 and up with a participating adult. Online registration will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop and is first come first serve. A waiting list will be initiated once registration has met capacity.

Jan. 22: Intro to Paddle Sports
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Is paddling on your “bucket list” of things to try, but not sure where to start or how to put this adventure into motion? Make plans to attend this free workshop at Outdoor Chattanooga to learn all about the wonderful world of paddling from an experienced paddling instructor. This workshop will teach you the basics of all the paddlesports, what types of paddle crafts are on the market, their intended use, and what style of paddling is best suited for you! We will have a variety of paddle crafts and equipment on hand for demonstration purposes. You’ll walk away with a beginner-friendly paddling guide so you'll have the confidence to check this adventure off your bucket list.

Put it to Practice: on Saturday, Jan. 25, during a guided and equipped kayak tour at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge to view the migrating Sandhill Cranes. The tour cost is $45 per person which includes all the kayak equipment, basic paddling instruction, the guided tour and transportation from Chattanooga. The tour is appropriate for ages 14 and up with a participating adult. Registration is limited to 10 participants due to limited equipment and ACA guidelines. Priority registration is given to those who attend the Wednesday Winter Workshop. Online registration will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop and is first come first serve. A waiting list will be initiated once registration has met capacity.

Jan. 29: Protecting Local Waterways
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Water experts from WaterWays will educate community members on how individuals and small groups can take action to protect and restore their local creeks and streams. This workshop will teach attendees how to build and restore eco-friendly yards and outdoor spaces at home and the office, and what steps to take to achieve a Tennessee Clean Water home, how to evaluate storm-water runoff issues as well as techniques for restoring riparian zones with streambank stabilization, native plants, and volunteer power. 

Put it to Practice: on Saturday, February 1 during a field expedition to North Chattanooga’s Mountain Creek stream restoration site to learn how to identify a healthy stream, conduct water quality samples, and see stream quality repair in action with the experts from Waterways. Participation is limited with first priority given to those that attend the Wednesday Winter Workshop. The field trip is appropriate for ages 10 and up with a participating adult. Online registration is required and will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop and is first come first serve. A waiting list will be initiated once registration has met capacity.

Feb. 5: Wilderness Survival Skills
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a wilderness survival workshop focusing on 3-season skills that could save your life. Learn practical tips and strategies that every outdoor traveler should know, including emergency priorities, how to make an emergency shelter, how to locate and access drinking water, and how to make your own emergency kit with all the essentials. You will also participate in interactive scenarios to practice and hone your skills. This class is designed for anyone who spends time outdoors.

Put it to Practice: on Saturday, Feb. 8, during a wilderness field experience with Outdoor Chattanooga's own Cole Henderson. Participants will have the opportunity to practice scenarios, fire building, shelter building and other techniques in the fresh air of the forest.  This class is designed for anyone who spends time outdoors. Participation is limited with first priority given to those that attend the Wednesday Winter Workshop. The field experience is appropriate for ages 10 and up with a participating adult. Online registration is required and will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop and is first come first serve. A waiting list will be initiated once registration has met capacity.

Feb. 12: Bicycle Maintenance 101
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Demystify your bike and learn the essentials of bicycle repair and maintenance in this hands-on workshop. Outdoor Chattanooga's bicycle guru, James Eubank will dive into the most common repair and maintenance issue for everyday cyclists: how to prevent and fix a flat tire. Bring your own bike to learn on or use one of ours. Tools will be available for use. Hands and clothing may get dirty/greasy. 

Put it to Practice on Saturday, Feb. 15. Take your bicycle education and maintenance skills even further! Outdoor Chattanooga's bicycle guru, James Eubank, will demonstrate and allow time for practice on how to tune a rear derailleur. Tools will be provided and questions are encouraged. Hands and clothing might get dirty/greasy. Bring your own bike to practice on or use one of ours. 

After mastering how to fix and flat and tune a rear derailleur for smooth shifting, we will shift gears and gear up for a winter bike ride on local roadways (weather permitting) to learn the rules of the road and riding techniques to be a confident and predictable road cyclist. During the short group ride we will practice lane positioning, lane changes, signaling, scanning and learn about TN State laws that pertain to bicycles using roadways. We're confident you'll ride away 'wheelie' confident with a well-tuned bike.

Bicycles are available for use at no additional charge for riders 5 ft and taller or bring your own. The ride is appropriate for ages 16 and up with a participating adult. Registration is limited with priority registration given to those who attend the Wednesday Winter Workshop. Online registration will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop and is first come first serve. A waiting list will be initiated once registration has met capacity.

Feb. 19: Camp Cooking 101
Wednesday Winter Workshop: Cooking in the outdoors need not be limited to hot dogs and s’mores. With the right ingredients, tools, and know-how, you can prepare gourmet feasts without a gourmet kitchen. The keys are planning and prep. Make plans to attend this free workshop at Outdoor Chattanooga to learn about the various outdoor cooking methods, supplies, and tricks for easy and tasty cuisine utilizing backpacking and car camping equipment. Learn how to create a healthy, delicious meal with the same ingredients cooked on different types of stoves and fuel, and various types of camping cookware.  What to bring, how to pack, food safety, clean up and critter considerations are a few more topics that will be covered. 

Put it to Practice: on Saturday, Feb. 22, during a group field experience.  Equipment and ingredients will be provided for the group to cook a meal in the great outdoors. Space is limited for the field excursion with priority given to those that attend the Wednesday Winter Workshop. Online registration will open to the public on Thursday morning following the workshop. A waiting list will be initiated once registration has reached capacity. Appropriate for ages 14 and up with a participating adult. Cost $10 per person

For more information:
Email info@OutdoorChattanooga.com  
Call 643-6888
Visit: https://outdoorchattanooga.com/programs/winter-workshops/
https://www.facebook.com/outdoorchattanooga/


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