Horsepacking

expedition

“I had a ton of fun, learned a lot and learned to survive.
It was the adventure I had hoped for!"
– 2018 MWS student

Expedition Overview

Dates: July 28 – August 8, 2019
Age: 16–18 years old
Group size: max 10 students/2 instructors
Length: 12 days
Tuition: $3,120
This 12 day expedition emphasizes skills in backcountry horsepacking and camping in Montana, along with Leave No Trace Ethics, leadership and team building techniques.

(Please note that there is a weight limit of 250lbs for this expedition)
Questions? Send us an email.
Packing List 
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Expedition Highlights

  • Horsepacking in remote wilderness areas
  • Adventurous alpine experiences
  • Navigation, orienteering, and wilderness travel skills
  • Wilderness decision-making and communication skills
  • Experiencing abundant wildlife and ecosystems

Expedition Description

This expedition introduces students to the art of horsepacking and the long history of the relationship between humans and animals while traveling across some of the wildest places in the Montana. Students will learn about how to care for, manage, and treat animals with respect while developing their own backcountry skills, leadership and team-building techniques, and connection to wild places. This is a physically challenging expedition and students should expect long days in the saddle. Along the way, students will learn and apply Leave No Trace principles, communication skills, and gain a deep understanding of the ecology and human history of Montana. For more information about MWS core curriculum and expedition progression see Expedition Life

Expedition Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Teamwork and communication skills

  • Learn positive communication skills with diverse group members to create a healthy community, build trust, and make sound decisions in the backcountry together
  • Develop and apply an expedition philosophy on course, and understand how it can transfer back to the student’s home environment

Safety and wilderness based decision making

  • Backcountry hazard evaluation and risk reduction guidelines and tools
  • First aid awareness for backcountry settings: identification and treatment of common backcountry illness and injuries
  • Learn to collaboratively make decisions in remote environments that prioritizes individual and group safety

Conservation Ethic

  • Use basic observational and interpretive skills to demonstrate an understanding and respect for the natural environment
  • Discuss the history, facts and potential solutions to pertinent environmental and social issues affecting the wilderness in the expedition area
  • Reflect upon and discuss the transference of wilderness conservation ethics into personal life and build a capacity for commitment and stewardship to wild places
  • Develop comprehensive understanding of Leave No Trace© ethics and apply them during the expedition

Backcountry camping and navigation skills

  • Use safe backcountry kitchen practices to cook nutritious meals on a camp stove or fire
  • Demonstrate an ability to select an appropriate campsite and set up a shelter while minimizing the impact on the ecosystem
  • Understand and demonstrate how to stay healthy, warm, and comfortable in the backcountry
  • Understand and demonstrate techniques for camping and traveling in bear habitat
  • Use various navigation and route-finding tools and methods for on and off trail travel
  • Travel efficiently in the alpine environment using map and compass skills

Technical Skills

Horsepacking Skills
  • Learn how to care for animals appropriately
  • Learn to properly pack and adjust a saddlebag for horsepacking
  • Become competent in horse travel in alpine environments
  • Travel off trail and discover unpopulated areas of the Montana wilderness
  • Develop essential skills for extended travel in the backcountry
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Contact
Montana Wilderness School
P.O. Box 1183
Bozeman, MT 59771
406.388.4610
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