Event Details


BPL BASECAMP is Backpacking Light’s live online backcountry training program for hikers and backpackers interested in taking their backcountry skills to a new level.

Is this program appropriate for my skill level?

I believe programs like this must address all skill levels based on the pedagogical idea that presentation of advanced skills opens the floodgates of thoughts for beginners and that the presentation of basic skills reminds advanced users to remain grounded in fundamental principles. Our fundamentals presentations bring beginners up to speed and offer sound refreshers for the rest of you. The remaining issues addressed in each session are balanced so backpackers of all skill levels – whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced backpacker – can benefit from this program.

Each cohort consists of a small group of backcountry enthusiasts who spend time together in an immersive program via online group video broadcasts moderated by Backpacking Light owner/founder Ryan Jordan. The calls include a keynote discussion about a focused aspect of backpacking gear, skills, or planning, followed by an extensive live Q&A session and additional follow-up support as needed.

bpl basecamp studio
BPL BASECAMP sessions are broadcast live from the Backpacking Light Studio in Estes Park, Colorado. Program participants able to travel to Estes Park have the option to book working 1-on-1 meetings with Ryan as well.

Early enrollment for the Summer 2023 Cohort will open to Unlimited Members starting June 3. You can become an Unlimited Member now to access early enrollment and a $100 discount.


{Login with your Unlimited Membership to access the coupon code here}


  • Is enrollment limited?
    • Yes – Cohort participation is limited to preserve interaction quality and participant support.
  • Will enrollment fill during the period of time it’s available only to Unlimited Members?
    • Based on past programs similar to this, Unlimited Members usually grab 80% or more of available enrollment slots before the program is offered to the general public.
  • How many hours of training sessions are included with this program?
    • There are 4 scheduled LIVE sessions ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 hours each = 8.25 hours total.
    • There are 4 additional PRE-RECORDED modules that provide a total of 3.75 hours.
    • Total video content (live + pre-recorded) = 13 hours
    • LIVE session length may be extended to give all enrollees a chance to participate in the Q&A.
  • If I can’t make a live session, can I watch a recorded version later?
    • Yes, all sessions are recorded, and you can watch them at any time after the scheduled session. In addition, you’ll have access to all recorded sessions forever.
  • What’s the format of each live session?
    • Keynote presentations + Live Q&A with participants
  • What if I have other questions that weren’t able to be addressed in the live sessions?
    • All participants will have email access to Ryan for additional support. In addition, Ryan is available for private coaching/consulting either online or in person as needed (additional fees may apply).
  • What’s the enrollment fee?
  • When is enrollment open?
    • Unlimited Members: June 3 – 7, 2022
    • Open Enrollment: June 8 – 13, 2022

Summer 2023 Cohort Schedule (Live Sessions)

* All sessions will be recorded and available to watch at your leisure.

See “Program” below for an additional 3.75 hours of pre-recorded content you can watch anytime after you enroll (Modules 5-8).

Session # Day of Week Date Time Topic
1 Tuesday 13.June.2023 6:00 – 8:30 PM US MST Backpacks & Shelters
2 Thursday 15.June.2023 6:00 – 7:45 PM US MST Clothing Systems for Trekking and Inclement Weather
3 Tuesday 20.June.2023 6:00 – 8:30 PM US MST Cooking Systems, Hydration, Nutrition, and Food Planning
4 Thursday 22.June.2023 6:00 – 7:30 PM US MST Route Planning

Event Program

Module 1

BPL BASECAMP LIVE Session 1 (Summer 2023 Cohort) – June 13

Backpacks & Load-Carrying Comfort

  • Load suspension systems
  • Analysis of backpack suspension types vs. load-carrying comfort
  • Backpack fitting and adjustment for optimal load-carrying efficiency
  • Case study: managing bear canisters
  • Live Q&A

Shelter Design, Condensation & Inclement Weather Management

  • How to stabilize ultralight shelters effectively in storm conditions
  • Condensation management – principles and techniques
  • Case study: what shelter type vs. type of trip & locale
  • Live Q&A
Module 2

BPL BASECAMP LIVE Session 2 (Summer 2023 Cohort) – June 15

Clothing Systems for Trekking and Inclement Weather

  • Physiological fundamentals of vapor and moisture transmission in clothing systems during activity
  • Case studies: clothing systems for trekking in heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow
  • Live Q&A
Module 3

BPL BASECAMP LIVE Session 3 (Summer 2023 Cohort) – June 20

Cooking/Stove Systems

  • Fundamentals of cooking efficiency considerations
  • Case studies: ultralight and no-cook systems, fuel savings strategies and their practical implementation
  • Live Q&A

Hydration, Nutrition, and Food Planning

  • State of the science: hydration physiology
  • Nutritional deficiencies that negatively impact backpacking
  • Improving your morale – good food and easy cooking without complexity and cost
  • Case studies: macronutrient ratios vs. endurance performance
  • Live Q&A
Module 4

BPL BASECAMP LIVE Session 4 (Summer 2023 Cohort) – June 22

Route Planning

  • Finding campsites – evaluating terrain, vegetation, ground cover, and topography using 2D and 3D satellite imagery
  • Energy-mile theory
  • Routefinding and planning – off-trail in non-technical terrain
  • Live Q&A
Module 5

BPL BASECAMP: Training and Nutrition

  • Fundamentals of endurance training for backpackers and hikers
  • The Backpacking Light pre-season training program
  • How to adapt the training program to your individual physiology, lifestyle, and local geography
  • Off-season nutrition to prepare for seasonal backpacking
  • Case Study: physiological performance data from a six-month backpacking endurance training cycle
Module 6

BPL BASECAMP: Clothing and Sleep Systems for Camping in the Cold

  • Physiological fundamentals of heat loss and moisture accumulation in clothing and sleep systems during periods of rest/inactivity
  • Case studies: clothing and sleep systems for cold, humid conditions
Module 7

BPL BASECAMP: Water Treatment Systems

  • Water treatment methods – overview & attributes
  • Demonstration of ultralight water treatment methods
  • Case Study: Cold Temperatures and Chemical Treatments
  • Case Study: Cold Temperatures and Water Filters
  • Case Study: Squeeze Filters – How They Work, Limitations, and Backflushing
Module 8

BPL BASECAMP: Packing and Efficiency

  • Core principles: consistency, efficiency, and simplicity
  • A systems approach to gear organization
  • Let context-dependent tasks define how your organize your gear
  • Water storage and access
  • Organizing gear for hiking
  • Organizing gear for camping
  • Food packing strategies when using bear canisters and Ursacks
  • Organizing clothing access for inclement weather