Backcountry Leadership – Wilderness Conservation, Navigation & Risk Management

Returning in 2024

Whether you are a beginner or advanced backpacker, this expedition week has tons to offer.  You will learn how to pack for efficient travel; how to navigate using map, compass, GPS, and with natural orienteering tools; how to work through challenges as a team; how to set up camp; how to cook over open fires and mini stoves; how to stay safe in the wilderness, and much more.

Herbal Expedition 1
Captivated by Mt. Rainier

We will be traveling from sagebrush canyonlands, through wilderness pine forests, toward Mt. Rainier.  These ecosystems run along the edge of our closest Wolf Pack territory so we can monitor for pack expansion.

Along the way, you will learn how to track animals, use wild edible and medicinal plants for healthy travel, and travel with guides who know how to survive in the wilderness without modern gear and technology.

Course Goals and Skills:

The primary goal of this session is to prepare participants to be future outdoor leaders.  Much of our time will be spent discussing safety, education, and how to create a successful expedition.  In addition, participants will learn:

Zombie 2
Practicing Emergency Evacuation Protocol

Click Backcountry Leadership Sample Itinerary for a sample weekly itinerary.


Designed for young adults with no prerequisite, while teens may also be accepted in the Teen Leadership & Backcountry Conservation overnight camp running simultaneously.


Adult & Overnight Programs Director Patrick Wiley leads this course along with Lead Instructor & Herbalist Hannah Hynes-Petty.

Arrival, Departure, & Transportation Options:

We offer arrival and departure options at Umtanum Creek Recreation Area Campground in Yakima Canyon, North Bend, Bellevue College, Puyallup Wolf Campus, Seattle Amtrak, and SeaTac Airport.