Go light and fast through the desert
Join a group of motivated adults to explore the remote corners of the American Southwest. On this course for adults, you’ll explore the Gila National Forest, the United States’ first designated wilderness, as you master the skills of lightweight backpacking. Start your mornings cooking breakfast on an alcohol stove, then break down your camp and get ready for the day’s hike. Spend your days scrambling over high mountain ridges and through ponderosa pine forests. Learn about the area’s ecology as you find habitat for elk, coyotes, or wild turkeys. Aiming for a pack that weighs between 22 and 28 pounds, you’ll learn about the principles of lightweight backpacking, the specialized gear that’s available, and carefully finding the balance between weight and comfort.
In addition to the miles you’ll cover, you’ll also focus on developing leadership skills. Learning about navigating off-trail becomes a lesson in judgement and decision making. Living in a small community becomes an opportunity to learn about communication and group dynamics. From these experiences, you’ll develop your own leadership style that you can transfer to your life at home. By the end of this course, you’ll walk away with experience with lightweight backpacking, leadership skills, new relationships formed in the wilderness, and ready to take on the next adventure.