WOMEN'S BACKCOUNTRY SKILLS

As low as:

$595.00 / person

(at 4:1 ratio)
  • STRENUOUSNESS
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  • TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY
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Add-ons

Camp Kit $45.00

Includes a 3-season tent and a sleeping mat.

Cook Kit $50.00

Includes a camp stove, fuel and a pot.

Navigation Kit $30.00

Includes a map and compass

About 


The Women’s Backcountry Skills course was designed by women for women, and is suitable for beginner- to intermediate-level hikers. We'll begin with a pre-trip planning session, and then head out for three days and two nights to explore iconic Vancouver Island areas. Along the way, we advance confidence and competency in backcountry skills. 

Participants will hone their ability to plan, prepare and pursue future adventures ranging from alpine day trips to multi-week expeditions under the wing a female ACMG-guide.

Sample Curriculum  *content may vary depending on the instructor and/or weather conditions. 

Outdoor Skills
  • Leave No Trace 
  • Pack fitting & loading
  • Campsite selection
  • Tent and tarp pitching
  • Sanitation 
  • Personal hygiene
  • Stove use and care
  • Wilderness cooking 
  • Food & medicinal plant identification
  • First aid
  • Survival skills
  • Wildlife – identification, use of spray & other deterrents, food storage

Wilderness Travel
  • Trail technique
  • Risk mitigation
  • Hazard evaluation
  • Route planning
  • Route finding
  • Map reading
  • Compass & GPS navigation
  • Weather
  • River crossings

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details about our booking and cancellation policy, and other commonly asked questions.

Location


Typical trips leave from the Raven Lodge at Mount Washington and explore the area around Paradise Meadows and Forbidden Plateau. From here, we will hike peaks such as Mount Albert Edward, Castlecraig, and Mount Frink. 

Note that the exact destination and location will be determined by weather conditions, time of year, your instructor, as well as group desires and needs. If the location of your trip differs from what is noted about, it will be stated on the booking tab.

Exact meeting details will be provided in a pre-trip email sent one-week prior to your course. 

Itinerary


This trip will run over 3 days and 2 nights, with an evening trip planning session held one-week prior. 

Evening session:

A 90-minute virtual pre-trip planning meeting will be scheduled approximately one-week prior to your course over Zoom. In this session you will discuss route planning and selection, food logistics, gear requirements, and other important considerations. Typically sessions go from 18:30 to 20:00, unless otherwise stated. 

Day 1: 

Meet your instructor at 08:30 at the specified location. Here you will sign waivers and go through an orientation. Once everyone is ready, you will set off towards your camp. Curriculum delivery and schedule will be determined by the group and the instructor.

Day 2:

Curriculum delivery and schedule will be determined by the group and the instructor, but typically groups pick a peak as an objective for the day. 

Day 3: 

Curriculum delivery and schedule determined by the group and the instructor, aiming to return the to the cars by 16:00.

Exact meeting details will be provided in a pre-trip email sent one-week prior to your course. 

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details, or send us an email. 

Requirements


This course is suitable for beginners and intermediates, and is almost entirely field-based. 

Please be prepared to:

  • Spend three days and two nights outside in variable conditions — including in rain, snow, and hot weather (see gear list)
  • Travel uphill, covering up to 700 metres of vertical gain while carrying a load of approximately 30 lbs over sections which may include bush, snow, and rough terrain 
  • Spend up to 6 hours on your feet

Questions about the suitability of this course? Send us an email. We’re happy to help you find or customize courses to suit your needs. 

Gear List


Temperatures on this trip could range from -5°C at night to around 25°C (+) during the day. 

Please ensure all clothing and equipment are in good repair, and that your boots and backpack are fitted properly to you. We encourage you to reach out with any questions you have about gear: 

Clothing

  • Long underwear (top and bottom), poly-pro, wool or silk
  • Mid-weight jacket, wool, fleece, synthetic or down
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • Toque, wool or fleece
  • T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt (white or other light colour), synthetic
  • Lightweight hiking pants, nylon or similar
  • Gloves

Footwear

  • Hiking boots (suitable for carrying a 30 lb. load over rough terrain - make sure these are properly fitted)
  • 2 x pairs of socks, wool or synthetic blend
  • 2 x pairs of liner socks, poly-pro or silk (optional)
  • Gaiters that fit your boots (optional)
  • Lightweight camp shoes (optional)

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (warm to -5°C)
  • Therm-a-rest or other sleeping pad (available for rent)
  • 3-season tent (available for rent)

Cooking

  • Small cooking pot (available for rent)
  • Fuel canister (available for rent)
  • Stove (available for rent)
  • Lighter
  • 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, various snacks (meal planning covered in pre-trip).  For tasty, nutritous and locally pre-made dinners check out https://wildedgeketo.com/
  • Eating vessel and utensils

Pack

  • 50L+ backpack with waist belt (please make sure this is properly fitted)

Other

  • Topographic map (available for rent) - 92F/11
  • Mirrored compass (available for rent)
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses with 100% UV block
  • Sunscreen
  • SPF lip balm
  • Toothbrush and a small container of toothpaste
  • 2 x 1 litre water bottles (or a 2L bladder)
  • Water purification system
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pocket knife
  • Stuff sack (big enough to hold all your food and toiletries - this will be used for a bear hang)
  • Paracord (50ft)
  • Head-lamp with spare batteries
  • Small first aid kit  (blister kits, medications, etc.)
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Reading material (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Feminine hygiene supplies (if needed)
  • Spare prescription glasses (if needed)

Your instructor will carry emergency gear, medical supplies, and a communication device. 

Rentals


The following items are available for rent as an “Add On” when you book (or upon request). These are available on a first come, first serve basis:

  • Camp Kit (includes tent and sleeping mat) - $45.00
  • Cook Kit (includes pot, stove and fuel) - $50.00
  • Navigation Kit (includes map and compass) - $10.00

If you require items that are not on this list, you might also consider checking out Sports Rent in Victoria: sportsrentbc.com

Questions? Check out our FAQ page for details, or send us an email. 

Testimonials

The woman’s backcountry skills trip was by far one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done. As a beginner in backpack camping I was a little nervous, but our guide Sofia made everyone comfortable and confident right away. I can’t thank her enough for sharing her knowledge and love for the outdoors and adventure! I discovered that I was able to push my body further than I ever thought I could. Having an awesome group of ladies and a strong guide made this trip amazing. Ashleigh,
Such an epic women's backcountry skills course this past weekend at Forbidden Plateau in Strathcona Park. Thanks to Meaghan Buisson for being an amazing guide, going above and beyond to help this newbie find her feet on the mountain. I met some amazing people and learned so much. More trips like this please! Sharyn Alexander,
I have to say I absolutely loved the Women's Backcountry Skills! It was probably one of the most amazing things I've ever done. It was both mentally and physically challenging and very informative for someone new to this kind of thing. Sofia was a great guide and we really enjoyed her company and appreciated all of her knowledge! We couldn't have asked for a better guide. Jen Wynia,