Crew One on the Continental Divide during an 11-day off-trail/glacier traverse of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, July 2015.

Backpacking Light is the Chartering (Sponsoring) Organization for BSA Venturing Crew One of Bozeman, MT, which exists to foster the development of expedition leadership and high adventure skills in 14-20-year-olds (coed). We focus on:

  • Cooperative Team Development
  • Mastery of Skills Competence
  • Expedition Planning and Logistics
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tolerance for Adversity and Uncertainty
New! Read the 2016-2017 Welcome Letter from Ryan & Stephanie Jordan

Chartering Statement

Crew One is chartered by Backpacking Light to:

“…promote youth development initiatives focused on instilling the attributes of honor, courage, and leadership through practice in the context of the complex and challenging environment of High Adventure; and further believes that practicing these traits provides a practical foundation that youth can use in their adult lives as positive practicing citizens in their family, workplace, and communities; and further believes that Venturing BSA provides an effective model for doing so.” – Crew One Bylaws, Sec. 1-A-5.

Vision Statement

We will:



Each year we undertake a significant wilderness expedition.

Recent expeditions:


Crew One is sponsored by MSR and others. Become a sponsor by donating expedition gear or money to help finance our expeditions. To become an equipment sponsor, contact us.

Or make a donation below via the Backpacking Light website – 100% of proceeds are delivered immediately to Crew One and are used to cover the costs of our activities and expeditions.

Contribute to Crew One

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All of Venture Crew One’s funds are spent in accordance with financial policies and accountability as set by the Boy Scouts of America. Typical expenses include group gear, food, and supplies for the Scouts’ activities as well as to pay for transportation to activity locations. All durable gear that is purchased for the Crew remains with the Crew (we do not use funds to purchase personal equipment for youth or adults) or is donated to another BSA unit/district/council.

Selected Press Coverage

Crew One has a proven history of strong public relations and outreach. Its expeditions have been covered by numerous local, regional, and national newspapers, magazines, and websites.

Watch the Montana Council Film, By Foot and Paddle, featuring both youth and adult members of Crew One, and written/produced/directed by Ryan Jordan (Crew One’s Chartering Organization Representative, Associate Crew Advisor, and Backpacking Light owner/founder):

More Info

2016-2017 Welcome Letter

We want to share with you why we support the Scouting movement, and why Backpacking Light is the chartering organization behind BSA Venturing Crew One.

Our Background

I (RJ) was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout and earned the Eagle Scout award in 1986. My first real “wilderness expedition” was a 50-mile traverse of Washington’s Olympic Range in 1982, and my first Philmont Trek was in 1986. From 1987 through 1992, I worked on the staff at Camp Parsons, where I was its High Adventure Director and Program Director.

Stephanie grew up in the Scout camp and was also the super cute girl who worked at the camp trading post. We got married in 1992 and celebrate most of our anniversaries in the wilderness. Our son, Chase, was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, and is now a Venturing Scout, and he earned his Eagle Scout award last year.

As an adult leader, I’ve been a Cub Scout and Webelos Den Leader, an Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster, and an Associate Crew Advisor.

Over the past several years, I’ve been the Program Director, a Trek Leader, and a Program Advisor for the Montana High Adventure Base, where we launched the world’s first wilderness packrafting program for Scouts.

In addition, I’ve served on the editorial review board for the most recent edition of the award-winning BSA Fieldbook, have written for Scouting Magazine, and was recently awarded the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award by the Montana Council, in large part for our efforts to instill a lightweight backpacking ethos into the Scouting movement.

In short, you could say that Scouting is in our family blood: today, Stephanie and I are now the Chartering Organization Representatives for Crew One, where we focus our Scouting passions to promote high adventure and expedition leadership in youth.

Why We Chartered Crew One

Crew One was chartered with a very simple vision: promote wilderness high adventure and expedition leadership/teamwork, two areas that we felt were extremely important to teaching the types of character values that are important for youth to take into their adult lives.

Also, these were two areas that we felt were not being sufficiently addressed by enough Scouting troops and crews – they felt that these areas were “dispensible” parts of their Scouting program.

We feel the opposite: learning and practicing the arts of dealing with adversity and uncertainty, and learning to plan and execute complex objectives with a team of peers are indispensable parts of being a functional and contributing member of society.

Crew One is a Wilderness Expedition Crew

Crew One’s focus is on the training for, planning, and executing of logistically complex, physically challenging, and remote, human-powered wilderness expeditions in lightweight style.

Over the past three years, we’ve completed unsupported (no resupply) expeditions traversing the Bob Marshall Wilderness by foot and packraft (13 days), a glacier traverse of the Wind River Range (11 days), and just this past summer, a 12-day traverse of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.

We Need Your Help

As our Crew grows, so too does our need for funding. We consider Crew One an important part of Backpacking Light’s family and community, and we’re appealing to our community to help support us. It costs more than $2,000 a year per youth member to support our activity program, and the cost of new members is even higher due to the requirements for outfitting themselves with the type of equipment needed to attempt wilderness expeditions at a high level.

Contribute to Our Youth Today

If you are able to make a financial contribution, we’d be immensely grateful. 100% of your donation is immediately transferred to Crew One accounts, which are managed by the youth members of the Crew. They will use proceeds to fund their activities, expeditions, training, certifications, and more in 2016-2017.

Your contribution allows us to focus on programs and activities, instead of the usual fundraising efforts that return nominal amounts of money in exchange for token goods (chocolate? popcorn? coupon books?). This campaign helps decrease the financial strain on our Crew Members and their families and frees our time to pursue the type of high-level training required to attempt complex wilderness expeditions. We are eager to support this youth program in a way that minimizes the financial barriers of participation for both youth and adults.

Please join Backpacking Light in helping foster positive citizenship, collaborative teamwork, selfless service, expedition leadership, and wilderness appreciation in our nation’s youth.

Contribute Today

Ryan and Stephanie Jordan