Watch the Intro
In the Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp Online Course, you will learn:
- Fundamental Principles and Philosophy of Ultralight Backpacking
- Ultralight Trekking and Camping Techniques
- Managing Inclement Weather with Ultralight Gear
- Ultralight Trekking Case Studies
- Applying Ultralight Gear and Techniques to Other Activities
If backpacking is your passion, why don’t you do it more often?
We have some theories, based on our experience in educating thousands of backpackers over the years with online education programs and guided treks:
- “My pack is too heavy and it’s just not fun.”
- “It takes too long to plan and prepare a trip – my gear and logistical process is too complicated.”
- “I don’t have time – family, job, yard work, etc. – all of these responsibilities!”
- “I don’t have the money – travel, supplies, and equipment are expensive!”
- “I can’t get the time off work to go on long trips, and the short trips don’t seem worth it to me.”
- “I don’t have any hiking partners, and I don’t like to go alone.”
- “I don’t have enough experience or confidence to plan and go out on my own trips.”
Believe it or not, this is the shortlist. You may have other reasons, too.
But we’re here to help:
- This online course addresses all of these issues, and so much more.
- For the price of one or two months of high-fat, high-sugar designer coffee concoctions, you’ll transform yourself into a passionate expert and aficionado of lightweight backpacking philosophy and skills!
- In fact, we’re confident that the cost of this course alone will be saved immediately just in the gear you were about to buy, and then regret later (hint: take the course, so you can make smarter purchasing decisions!).
Our goal is simple: we want to give you the confidence to live your passion!
Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp will develop your equipment knowledge and skills, and give you the confidence to explore wild places with an ultralight pack.
Learn About Lightweight Backpacking at Your Own Pace
When you enroll in the Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp Online Course, you get immediate access to all modules. However, feel free to take it at your own pace, or skip ahead, or view a lesson again in more detail.
Your course, your way.
Core Principles of Ultralight Backpacking
An introduction to the course and an overview of the core principles that drive the ultralight backpacking ethos.
What’s in my pack?
Provides examples of the types of gear and gear systems used by lightweight backpackers.
Learn the process of creating a gear list, and how to use it effectively so you can use it as a tool for lightening your pack weight.
Trekking Styles: Solo, Group-Solo, and Groups
Learn about the different styles of traveling in groups and solo, and how these styles may impact your decision on what type of gear to bring and how and what types of gear to share with others.
Trekking Styles II: Case Study
A case study looking at group vs. group solo shelter and cooking systems.
Minimalist Footwear 1: Shoe Terminology
Learn the terminology of minimalist footwear, what it means, and why it’s important.
Minimalist Footwear 2: Backpacking Shoe Categories
Overview of types of backpacking shoes and what their applications are.
Minimalist Footwear 3: Traditional vs. Ultralight
What’s the difference between traditional and minimalist footwear systems? How does minimalist footwear solve problems that traditional footwear systems have?
Minimalist Footwear 4: Socks and Gaiters
Learn the ultralight approach to socks and gaiters as part of your footwear system.
Minimalist Footwear 5: Can Footwear be Too Minimalist?
Ryan Jordan and Andrew Marshall explore the million-dollar question: at what point is footwear too light?
Minimalist Footwear 6: How to Choose Footwear
Ryan Jordan and Andrew Marshall walk through their rationale for choosing different types of shoes for different types of terrain and trips.
Backpacks and Packing Systems 1: Types of Packs
Learn the difference between the three types of packs most often used for backpacking.
Backpacks and Packing Systems 2: Common Pack Features
What are some of the features I should be looking for in a pack?
Backpacks and Packing Systems 3: Pack Materials
What you want your pack to be made out of depends on what you need it to do.
Backpacks and Packing Systems 4: Interior Storage
Stuff sack selection is just as important as what pack you choose.
Backpacks and Packing Systems 5: How to Pack a Frameless Backpack
Frameless packs are lighter, and often, more comfortable (less stiff). In this module, we’ll show you how to stabilize heavier loads in frameless packs so they don’t shift and maximize the ability to transfer pack weight between the shoulders and hips.
Backpacking and Packing Systems 6: Case Studies
In this module, we’ll talk through a few case studies and discuss issues related to when frameless packs, lighter-weight backpacks, and expedition backpacks are appropriate.
Shelter Systems: An Overview of Lightweight Shelters
Types of shelters, their advantages and disadvantages, and appropriate usage contexts.
Shelter Systems: How to Pitch a Tarp with Trekking Poles
Rigging and pitching a tarp with trekking poles.
Shelter Systems: Tarp Pitching Options & Advanced Techniques
Exploring various options for pitching tarps in the context of terrain and inclement weather; techniques and gear systems for inclement conditions above the treeline using ultralight shelters.
Ultralight Clothing Systems
Clothing parts and ensembles, layering principles, how to build clothing systems for inclement conditions.
The Backcountry Bed (Sleep Systems)
Unconventional sleep systems, strategies for sleeping bag-pad-ground cloth systems.
Overview of cooking system types, advantages, and disadvantages; comparing the efficiency of lightweight cooking systems; solid fuel vs. alcohol vs. gas vs. wood; lightweight cooking systems for solo hikers.
Water Treatment Systems
Overview of various types of water treatment, field demonstrations.
Inclement Weather (Rain & Wind)
Dealing with wind and rain using ultralight gear – strategies for safety and comfort on the trail and in camp.
How to deal with bugs that bite (clothing, shelter, repellents).
Types of devices for emergency communications and for staying in touch with friends and family.
Ultralight techniques and gear for cold temperatures and snowy ground cover.
Ultralight gear and techniques for backcountry fly fishing.
An Introduction to Packrafting
Using packrafts to safely travel lake chains, rivers, and more.
Putting it all together: what it looks like in the field.
Long Distance Backpacking (Case Study)
Comprehensive case study of the Arctic 1000, a 100-km (600 mi) expedition across the Brooks Range without resupply.