I've had an interest on backpacking for 15 years or more (currently 31 years old). This year I decided I'm going to learn. My problem is that I don't really know anyone from whom I can learn. So I found out about NOLS and Outward Bound. I took an Outward Bound course, but unfortunately dehydrated pretty badly on the second night (thought I might die) and walked out on day 3. Now this is really killing me. I'm inclined to read 3 or 4 good books, go buy all the gear and start with one nighters and work my way up. My other plan is to do the same, but then take a NOLS 2 weeker next summer. I guess I'm concerned that there may be critical information that I may not glean from reading books.
Anybody out there teach yourself? Good idea or really bad idea? Thanks for any advice. I know that had I been out alone with the limited knowledge I have and dehydrated like I did I'd have been dead as dead.