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Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School



Contact the WTS Director, Ryan Connelly, at

For access to Ryan Jordan's online course, "Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp", please visit Note: Enrollment in ALL Wilderness Trekking and Packrafting Field Courses also includes 90 days of access to Ryan's online Boot Camp course.

About the Backpacking Light Wilderness Trekking School

Advanced and comprehensive instruction in lightweight philosophy, skills, and gear.

The Backpacking Light Wilderness Trekking School teaches lightweight camping, hiking, backpacking, trekking, packrafting, tenkara fly fishing, long distance hiking, thru-hiking, winter camping, and other wilderness travel skills. We take great pride in offering high quality education and hands-on instruction in advanced ultralight skills. Our wilderness venue includes the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of Montana and Wyoming. The Wilderness Trekking School strives to be the world's premier outdoor education provider focusing on lightweight wilderness travel philosophy, techniques, and gear.

The BPL Wilderness Trekking School is operated by Ryan Jordan under a Special Use Permit with the Custer National Forest (Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness / Beartooth Plateau), along with commercial guiding permits issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, the Montana Board of Outfitters, and other agencies as required by law and jurisdiction.

Difficulty Ratings

EASIEST. Reasonable fitness recommended, no previous experience necessary.
EASIER. Good fitness and some previous outdoor/camping experience are recommended.
INTERMEDIATE. Good fitness, skills, and previous experience (backpacking or packrafting) are recommended.
MORE DIFFICULT. Good fitness, skills and previous experience (backpacking or packrafting) are required.
MOST DIFFICULT. Excellent fitness, skills and previous experience required to ensure your safety.

2014-2015 Winter Course Catalog

Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp - Winter (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT2-SNOW) JANUARY 5-10, 2015

WT2-SNOW is a ski/snowshoe trekking course that takes a comprehensive look at ultralight equipment and techniques for winter travel in the mountains. This course spends a significant amount of time on ultralight shelters, cooking systems, and oversnow travel. Includes a full avalanche safety curriculum, and travel to high elevations, with camping in an alpine (above the treeline) environment. Maximum Enrollment: 10. » Download the Welcome Packet for this course (PDF) to learn a bit more about course logistics, gear, and location.

6 Days Trekking ENROLL NOW
Ultralight in Winter Seminar (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WS2-SNOW) - JANUARY 2-4, 2015

WS2-SNOW is a ski/snowshoe trekking course that introduces you to traveling light during the winter, and in the deep snows of the mountains! Enjoy the solitude and beauty of the Beartooths on a three-day seminar in one of the most beautiful winter locations on earth. Maximum Enrollment: 10.

Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School

Joe J. surveys from high Montana divide during a WT1-LWB course.

2014 Spring/Summer/Fall Course Catalog

Packrafting Seminar - Montana (PR1-TEN) - APRIL 25-27, 2014

PR1-TEN provides a packrafting experience on a river in Southwest Montana. Instructor is Ryan Jordan. Maximum Enrollment: 3.

3 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT CLOSED
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp I (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT1-ULB) - JUNE 23-28, 2014

WT1-ULB covers everything including philosophy, gear, and techniques to minimize pack weight and maximize adventure. Maximum Enrollment: 10.

Ultralight Backpacking Seminar (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WS1-ULB) - JULY 11-13, 2014

WS1-ULB is short course that provides intense focus and practice with a wide variety of ultralight techniques for cooking systems, shelter and sleep systems, water treatment, bear bagging, and more - some hiking involved, but it's not intense. LOTS of GEAR and TECHNIQUE education. Maximum Enrollment: 10.

Learn to Packraft! - Yellowstone River, Montana (PR1-L2PR) - JULY 20-25, 2014 (Session 1) and SEPTEMBER 22-27, 2014 (Session 2)

PR1-L2PR provides a comprehensive course in stillwater, flatwater, and whitewater packrafting gear, skills, and philosophy based on Ryan Jordan's Learn to Packraft! curriculum. Maximum Enrollment: 6.

6 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT CLOSED
Packrafting Seminar - Yellowstone River, Montana (PR1-IPR) - AUGUST 8-10, 2014

PR1-IPR provides an crash course in flatwater and Class I-II+ river packrafting. Maximum Enrollment: 6.

3 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT CLOSED
Expedition Traverse (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT3-EXT) - AUGUST 17-30, 2014

WT3-EXT is a two-week traverse across the Beartooth Plateau that focuses on expedition planning and execution in lightweight, "alpine-style" (no resupply). Maximum Enrollment: 8.

14 days Trekking ENROLLMENT CLOSED
Packrafting Expedition - Yellowstone River, Montana (PR3-EXP) - SEPTEMBER 7-20, 2014

PR3-EXP is a two-week river expedition that explores the wild water of the Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the Continental United States. Learn packrafting skills, river camping skills, tenkara fly fishing, and expedition planning while learning about the environmental, social, economic, and cultural issues at the high water boundary of the river. Maximum Enrollment: 6.

14 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT CLOSED
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp II (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT2-ULB) SEPTEMBER 21-26, 2014

WT2-ULB is a proving ground for ultralight techniques in fringe season conditions. Learn intermediate and advanced skills and put them to the test! Maximum Enrollment: 10.

SUL Seminar (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WS1-SUL) - OCTOBER 3-5, 2014

WS2-SUL focuses exclusively on so-called "super-ultralight gear and techniques" in inclement conditions. Instructor: Ryan Jordan. Maximum enrollment: 7.

Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp III (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT3-ULB) - OCTOBER 19-24, 2014

WT3-ULB is a more advanced expedition course - a high elevation off-trail wilderness traverse in early winter, with a possible packrafting exit to the Montana plains. A rousing and spectacular adventure! Maximum Enrollment: 8.


Photos from Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp in the Beartooths!


Contact us at, to converse with the WTS Director, Ryan Connelly.