Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter

Ryan Jordan's Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp

Ryan Jordan's Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp

A 6 - 9 week online course (with options for attending a trek) designed for beginner-to-intermediate backpackers or ultralight hikers looking for a more solid foundation in skills, gear, and techniques.



"The combination of the most awesome place I've ever trekked with a dynamic group learning and sharing environment made the trek the best backcountry experience I've ever had." - Jeremy Hanks (Lehi, UT)

"Best way anywhere to learn and practice ultralight backpacking!" - Lowe Johnston (Austin, TX)

"I would highly recommend a trek with Ryan Jordan and staff based upon the experience my wife (first-time backpacking trip) and I had on the Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp – simply awesome in every way!” - Gary Parkes (Franklin, TN)

"Trekking in Montana with Ryan is the perfect combination of world class varied terrain and incredible scenery coupled with expert leadership from Ryan Jordan. Do it." - Mark Shane (Cody, WY)

"In a pure setting that only nature can deliver, Ryan and crew provide the absolute best experience to learn and put into practice what it means to 'backpack light'" - Mark Smith (Huntsville, AL)

"Don't just read about it, do it - Ultralight in Montana with the Ryan Jordan!" - Sparky Millikin (Burlington, VT)

"Ryan Jordan's outdoor and backcountry knowledge, skills and experience combined with his easy way really boosted our group's morale, confidence in themselves and each other and provided not only the skills and training that we needed but also has helped us learn more techniques about gear and trekking than we ever knew before!" - Mike Hall (Bozeman, MT)

"Lightweight backpacking across Montana's Beartooth Wilderness, with the 2011 ULBC Trek, was a great experience. Regardless of your skill level, or experience, I highly recommend this course. From the miles of off trail hiking in amazing settings, to the Tenkara fishing for Cutthroats in backcountry lakes and streams, it was a great trip." - Josh Leavitt (Ogden, UT)

"Throughout the summer of 2011, my husband and I prepared for our Montana trip with Ryan Jordan and Chris Wallace with ULB by reading the materials and watching the videos of the program. My husband had been an Eagle Scout and done a fair amount of camping years ago (we are in our 50s). For me, however, the experience was unique - I had never so much as been backpacking beyond a daytime hike in the local parks of Tennessee. As a horseman, I don't think of myself as "high maintenance", but I had not had the opportunity to camp and pack. It was entirely novel. So was the idea of backpacking with 12 guys - for several days. We were blessed with perfect weather. We had been told not to anticipate that being the case, but the weather forecasts kept looking fair and fine as we approached our day to fly to Montana, and we excitedly loaded our carefully planned gear for the airport. I was actually taking less with me to the airport than I would for a weekend to NYC. I found that fascinating - and my "be prepared for the unexpected" nature kept nagging me. But the sound thinking presented in the videos and materials won out, and I showed up in Montana with little to leave behind at the motel while we were on the pack trip beyond my nearly empty suitcase and a change of clothes. We worked as a unit the whole time out. Sometimes there were reasons to subdivide into two groups (fishing vs non-fishing) but we were always together at the beginning and end of each day. The conversations were lively and fun; the food was wholesome and abundant. Learning to do a lot with little was fascinating! There were plenty of adventures along the way with learning opportunities. Everyone, from the seasoned traditional backpackers among us to the novices, learned much about the ideas of ultra-light backpacking theories and application of theories to things about themselves and others. That was the best part, if I have to point to one aspect of the trip. I was challenged - hard - but there was nothing I couldn't do. Sometimes I had to learn to accept help - not something I arrived in Montana comfortable with. I left Montana at peace with that! For anyone traveling in grizzly territory as we were in: you are trained on what to do and how to use spray - but we never even saw grizzly. Prints of a black bear was as close as we came. But there is so much to see - it is absolutely beautiful and you won't ever know unless you go and get out in it! Time to sign up for the next trip…" - Eleanor Parkes (TN)

Learn More About Our 2012 Boot Camp in This Video

Course Overview

To view the updated curriculum, please visit this link at Ryan Jordan's website:

It covers everything including philosophy, gear, and techniques to minimize pack weight and maximize adventure. Not only will the course cover backpacking, it will also provide valuable information on how to apply ultralight backpacking techniques in other contexts such as fishing, packrafting, and photography. When carrying gear for any activity in the outdoors, going lighter directly correlates to more comfort and enjoyment - you will be able to focus on and take pleasure in the moment, rather than endure the pain of too-much-stuff. This course will get you there.

If you want to travel solo, as a couple, in a group, as a family, in the winter, as a thru-hiker, or on a long distance trek, then this course is for you.

At the core, ultralight backpacking philosophy and techniques are similar no matter what the scenario. The course curriculum has modules to address your special considerations, whatever they may be. Whether you want to head out for a weekend with your family and don't know how much your kids can carry, or you want to tackle the PCT with your buddy but can't decide which sleep system will best suit your needs, the course material will have you covered.

Does being out in the woods strike fear in your bones?

Perhaps you are a backpacker (or want to take up the habit) but are fearful of the weather, the bugs, or the bears. The greatest countermeasure for fear is to arm yourself with knowledge. The thorough curriculum will provide you with the knowledge you need to travel outdoors with safety and confidence, and allow you to enjoy every moment as much as possible without worrying about what could go wrong.


Ryan Jordan: Ultralight adventurer, wilderness trekking/fishing/packrafting guide, founder/CEO of Backpacking Light.

Course Options

The course is being offered in three different packages:
  1. A 6-week self-directed online course - These are the basic online course materials; a good starter for someone who is just dipping their toes in the water. Conducted in partnership with Ryan Jordan's online course program hosted at
  2. A 6-week directed online course with mentoring - If you are looking to get serious about ultralight backpacking, this package steps it up a notch by including email mentoring with Ryan. You get to tap into a wealth of information, more customized to your specific requirements. Enrollment is limited.
  3. A 9-week directed online course with mentoring and a 5-day expedition trek - This is the full enchilada. It includes everything you need to learn the fine art of ultralight backpacking: everything in the 6-week mentored program with the addition of live teleconferences and a 5-day expedition with Ryan (and one or more other instructors) as part of Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School. Enrollment is very limited.

Course Logistics

  • Enrollment Opens: June 19 for both sessions
  • Enrollment Closes: August 15 for session 1 and September 15 for session 2
  • Session Starts: Aug 6 for session 1 and Sep 6 for session 2
  • Course Duration: 6 weeks (9 weeks if you purchased the trip with it)
  • Course Trek*: Sept 24 - 28 for session 1 and Oct 29 - Nov 2 for session 2
  • Trek Location*: Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, Montana (in partnership with the Backpacking Light Wilderness Trekking School under a commercial use permit granted by the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest). Nearest airline-served city to our trailhead will be Butte, Montana.
  • * The trek in October will be geared specifically for more challenging/inclement conditions and terrain.


We are now offering a scholarship fund to help cover course costs. You can find out more about the fund and how to apply here.

View a Slideshow of the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

Photos: Ryan Jordan

Course Type: (Will update display)


Regular Price$150.00
Member Price$150.00
Not a Member? Join Now
to get the Member price.


Please try selecting a different option above (if any).

See "AVAILABILITY INFO" below for more information.

View Cart / Checkout

for Ryan Jordan's Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp


Email me a stock alert when this item comes back in stock.

Your cart is empty.
Light gear needs a home, too...
Browse Our Online Catalog


If you are logged in as a Premium Member, member pricing will be reflected in your shopping cart. You may log in at any time or wait until you check out.