Yellowstone Backpacking

expedition

“ I felt that I grew as a person, while also improving my backcountry skills. I am so grateful that I ended up on this trip.”
– Clara, MWS Yellowstone Expedition student

Expedition Overview

Dates:  July 6 - 13, 2021
Age: 14–16 years old
Group size: max 10 students/2 instructors
Length: 8 days
Tuition: $1,840
8-day adventure through remote area of the Montana wilderness, developing leadership, outdoor skills in navigation, camping, backcountry cooking and teamwork.
Packing List 
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Expedition Highlights

  • Backpack in the mountains of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem
  • Navigation, orienteering, and wilderness travel skills
  • Wilderness decision-making and communication skills
  • Experiencing abundant wildlife and ecosystems

Expedition Description

The Yellowstone Backpacking Expedition is an introductory backpacking expedition, specifically designed for 14 - 16 year old students. This one week adventure focuses on preparing students to enjoy the backcountry and teach them fundamental outdoor skills such as cooking, camping and navigation while being a member of an expeditionary group. Students will be challenged physically (at appropriate introductory levels), and will hike most days with packs in a mountainous backcountry environment. While on this expedition, students will learn about Leave No Trace® camping principles and how to work as a team to accomplish common expedition goals. 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 an expedition philosophy, apply it to the 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 conveyance 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

Backpacking
  • Learn to properly pack and adjust a backpack
  • Become competent in backpacking in alpine environments
  • Travel off trail and discover unpopulated areas of the Montana wilderness
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Contact
Montana Wilderness School
P.O. Box 1183
Bozeman, MT 59771
406.388.4610
info@montanawildernessschool.org
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