Dr. Ryan Jordan is the Publisher at Beartooth Media Group and co-founder of Backpacking Light.
Ryan has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in Biofilm Engineering from Montana State University’s Center for Biofilm Engineering (http://www.erc.montana.edu/). Ryan spent seven years at Montana State University as a Senior Research Engineer managing a research and industry testing program in biofilm science, focusing on backcountry water quality and treatment, moisture transport in next to skin performance textiles, and anti-infective medical device coating performance. Ryan is the co-founder of the Biofilm Institute (http://www.biofilm.org), where he was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Biofilms Online (http://www.biofilmsonline.com/), the Internet’s leading clearinghouse for information and research about biofilm science and engineering for medical and industrial communities. Ryan remains on Montana State University’s adjunct faculty and serves on the Management Team as a Senior Partner for Cytergy (http://www.cytergy.com), the largest U.S.-based provider of scientific e-learning programs in biofilm science and engineering to Fortune 500 corporations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, federal agency, and higher education sectors. Ryan also remains active in corporate consulting and training in the area of biofilm science, and is a co-editor of Advances in Biofilm Science and Engineering.
Ryan’s wilderness travel background is rooted in his experience as both a Scout and Scouter in the Boy Scouts of America. Ryan is both an Eagle Scout (Troop 360, Burien, WA) and a Philmont graduate, and served seven years on the staff of the nation’s oldest continuously operating Scout camp, Camp Parsons (Chief Seattle Council), located on Washington’s Hood Canal at the base of the Olympic Mountains. While at Camp Parsons, Ryan was the director of the highly acclaimed Silver Marmot High Adventure Program, renowned worldwide for its rigor and challenge. As the High Adventure Program Director, Ryan began introducing ultralight backpacking techniques to the Scouting community, incorporating lightweight travel as an integral component of the Parsons’ high adventure experience. Ryan then became Camp Parsons’ Program Director, where he developed and taught the nation’s first formal adult leader program dedicated exclusively to empowering Scout leaders with the skills and gear for ultralight backpacking. More than 175 adults graduated from Ryan’s “Ultralight Backpacking Leadership” program in its inaugural year, 1992. It was at Camp Parsons where Ryan met his wife-to-be, Stephanie Krack, in 1987. Stephanie was also a member of the Camp Staff. They were married in September 1992. Today, Ryan and Stephanie are the co-owners of Backpacking Light and continue their Scouting involvement as Den Leaders for Pack 676 in Bozeman, Montana. Their son, Chase, is a Cub Scout in their Den.
Growing up in the Seattle area, Ryan’s home wilderness range spanned the Olympics and Cascades of Washington State. Now a resident of Bozeman, Montana, Ryan tramps around the Northern Rockies most often, including the Beartooth, Teton, and Wind River Ranges. An accomplished climber, Ryan has been an alpine mountaineering guide and glacier / ice climbing instructor, with several mountaineering achievements to his credit, including winter ascents and ski descents of Mts. Hood, Baker, Rainier, Adams, Glacier Peak, St. Helens, and Olympus. Ryan has also enchained the Grand Traverse (Tetons) and Ptarmigan Traverse (Cascades), as well as winter ski traverses of the Bailey Range (Olympics), Teton High Route, and Wind River Range from Togwotee Pass to South Pass. Between 1988 and 1991, Ryan completed trekking circumnavigations of Mts. Rainier (Wonderland Trail), Baker, Adams, St. Helens, and Olympus, all without resupply. In 2006, Ryan attempted the longest wilderness traverse in America (624 miles) without support, from the Chukchi Sea (west coast of Alaska) to the Alaskan Oil Pipeline Highway with Roman Dial and Jason Geck. More information about that trek can be found at Arctic1000.com.
Ryan and Stephanie Jordan founded Backpacking Light (http://www.BackpackingLight.com) in the fall of 2000. Since that time, Backpacking Light has been recognized as a leading authority in the area of ultralight backpacking and has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times, Associated Press, Travel Channel, and the Christian Science Monitor. Ryan is a co-author of both Lightweight Backpacking 101 and Clothing and Sleep Systems for Mountain Hiking, as well as several articles on the subject of lightweight backpacking that have appeared in various outdoor industry trade publications.
Ryan teaches ultralight mountain hiking seminars and guides clients into the field on a regular basis, with a focus on training Scout leaders, search and rescue personnel, land management agency staff, the media, outdoor program leaders, and adventure travelers. Seminars and field outings focus on self-sufficiency and solo travel, skills for managing ultralight gear in inclement conditions, increasing navigation and travel efficiency in complex terrain environments, and long-distance ultralight hiking with less than five pounds of equipment.