Outdoor Journal

Tips for the trail: Diamond Brand Outdoors will offer a series of free backpacking classes every Thursday evening, beginning Aug. 2. The hour-long classes will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the company’s Arden location. Expect lessons on everything from choosing the right equipment to bear-bagging your vittles to applying a splint.

“We’ll cover everything a person needs to know in order to enjoy backpacking,” says John Murius, Diamond Brand’s backpacking specialist. “From selecting and purchasing the right equipment to dealing with animals and first aid, the class series will benefit both beginning and intermediate-level backpackers.”

Registration is not required. Call 684-6262 for more information.

The bear necessities: This fall, the DuPont State Forest Game Land will offer three—count ‘em, three!—special-permit black bear hunts. For a nominal $5 application fee, interested parties can apply for bear hunts on Oct. 29-31, Nov. 5-7 or Nov. 12-14. But wait! There’s more! Hunters on the DuPont land will also have the chance to harvest feral hogs. To apply for a permit, visit a wildlife- service agent or call (888) 248-6834. The deadline for applications is Sept. 15.

Thank God for disc brakes: Ready or not, downhill racing is coming to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort later this month. The Mars Hill resort will host three “gravity-fed racing events” on Saturday, Aug. 18, beginning with the North Carolina State Downhill Championships. Visit www.skiwolfridgenc.com to get all the relevant dirt.

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