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Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School

QUICKLINKS

Online Boot Camp | About the School | Difficulty Ratings | 2015 Course Catalog | Enrollment Info | Instructors | Contact



Online Course: Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp

For access to Ryan Jordan's online course, "Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp", please visit ryanjordan.com. Note: Enrollment in ALL Wilderness Trekking and Packrafting Field Courses also includes 90 days of access to Ryan's online Boot Camp course, beginning 60 days prior to the start date of your course.



ABOUT THE 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, expedition planning, and other wilderness travel skills. We offer comprehensive education and hands-on instruction in beginning, intermediate, and 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.


2015 Course Catalog


2015 Winter Courses

DurationTypeDifficulty
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


2015 Summer Courses

DurationTypeDifficulty
Packrafting/Tenkara Seminar - Southwest Montana (PR1-TEN) - APRIL 24-26, 2015

PR1-TEN offers instruction in tenkara fishing in the context of a 3-day, 2-night packrafting float on a river in Southwest Montana. Maximum Enrollment: 6.

3 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp I - (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT1-ULB) - JULY 12-17 (Session 1) and AUGUST 23-28 (Session 2), 2015

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

6 days Trekking ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014
Ultralight Backpacking Seminar (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WS1-ULB) - JULY 24-26, 2015

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.

3 days Trekking ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014


2015 Fall Courses

DurationTypeDifficulty
Learn to Packraft! - Southwest Montana (PR1-L2PR) - SEPTEMBER 13-18, 2015

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: 8.

6 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp II (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT2-ULB) - SEPTEMBER 20-25, 2015

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.

3 Days Packrafting ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp III (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WS3-ULB) - OCTOBER 1-4, 2015

WS3-ULB focuses exclusively on so-called "super-ultralight gear and techniques", inclement conditions, off-trail routefinding and navigation. Solid fitness and backpacking skills foundation required. Lead Instructor: Ryan Jordan. Maximum enrollment: 7.

3 days Trekking ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014


2016 Winter Courses

DurationTypeDifficulty
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp - Winter (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT2-SNOW) JANUARY 4-9, 2016

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 ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014
Expedition Ski Traverse - Winter (Beartooth Plateau, Montana) (WT3-SNOW) FEBRUARY 25-28, 2016

WT3-SNOW is a backcountry ski-trekking expedition across high-elevation areas of the Beartooth Plateau. Curriculum: advanced ski touring, avalanche assessment, route planning, navigation. Extreme downhill skiing experience is not required, but ski touring experience is, along with a high level of fitness, and skills for self-management in cold alpine environments. Focus will be on route planning and execution in fast-and-light, group expedition-style. Maximum Enrollment: 4.

6 Days Trekking ENROLLMENT OPENS DEC 30, 2014


Enrollment, Payment, and Course Logistics

Deposit Payment

A 50% deposit is required to book an enrollment reservation. This payment must be made online at the backpackinglight.com website.

Final Payment

The remaining 50% of your total tuition cost is due 60 days prior to your course start date. This payment must be made online at the backpackinglight.com website.

Refundability and Transferability

Payments are not refundable, but they are transferable to another course or privately guided trip if cancellation / rescheduling is made within 60 days of the original course start date.

Late Payments

If your payment is more than 7 days late, your reservation may be cancelled and offered to the next person on the waiting list for your course. Please communicate to us via email (school@backpackinglight.com) so we can hold your reservation if you are anticipating a late payment.

How to Book a Reservation / Make a Payment

  1. Review our course offering by clicking the "SCHOOL" tab or visiting Course Catalog Page.
  2. Click the ENROLL NOW button next to the course you want to take
  3. From the drop-down box to the right, choose the session date that you want to enroll in and the payment type ("Payment #1: Deposit" or "Payment #2: Final") that you wish to pay.
  4. Click the ADD TO CART button to enroll.
  5. Proceed to checkout to issue payment for your course!

What Happens After I Enroll?

Immediately, you'll receive a confirmation receipt via email. Then, about 60 days prior to your course start date, you'll receive:

  1. A final welcome packet that includes a comprehensive gear list, course program information, and travel/logistics details;
  2. Access to Ryan Jordan's "Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp" self-directed online video course (included with all courses).
  3. Access to your group course email so you can collaborate with your course mates.
  4. Access to your group's collaborate equipment spreadsheet so you can start planning your gear list, sharing it with others in your course group, and learn from what other people are bringing on your course.

What Should I Do About Travel?

We provide transportation to your course location from a central location in Bozeman, Montana on the morning of your course start date. We provide transportation from your course location back to Bozeman on the evening of your course start date.

When Does Enrollment Close?

When the course is full, or 14 days prior to the course start date, whichever comes first.



Our Instructors

Ryan Connelly (School Director), Ryan Jordan (Course & Curriculum Director), Pat Starich (Instructor), Andy Heath (Instructor), Mike Martin (Instructor), Josh Vinson (Instructor), Dan Wielenga (Instructor), Adam Van Zee (Instructor)

Interested in being an instructor? We want to hear from you! Tell us why you're a good fit for our school by emailing us at school@backpackinglight.com.

Questions?

Contact us at school@backpackinglight.com, to converse with the WTS Director, Ryan Connelly.


Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School

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


Photos from Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp in the Beartooths!