We get a lot of questions about how much experience is needed to participate in one of our guided group backpacking trips. We also get a lot of questions about how fit someone should be to join us. The answer is... it depends on the trip!

We describe our trips in terms of both of experience level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and fitness level (on a scale of 1-10). 

Experience level refers to camping/backpacking experience.  Trips described as “beginner” are designed for folks who have little to no prior hiking, camping, or backpacking experience.  These trips are ideal first trips!  They usually have lower mileage and elevation change, are in less remote areas.  Trips described as “beginner friendly” often list additional information as well – like “beginner friendly for hikers with a high level of fitness”.  These trips are higher mileage or elevation change, or are in more remote areas than our normal beginner trips.  Trips listed as intermediate or advanced are designed for hikers with previous backpacking experience.  These trips may be longer mileage or in very remote areas, where it isn’t possible for us to get a hiker off trail if they realize backpacking isn’t a good fit for them.  These trips may also be on trails that are not well marked, so it is important for hikers to be comfortable on trail and with skills like reading maps.

Fitness level describes your personal physical fitness level.  We have trips available for all fitness levels – whether you’re rarely active, exercise a few times a week, or are always training for the next race.  By nature, hikers are often up and active most of the day on a backpacking trip.  On any trip, you should plan to be walking for at least several hours, and camp chores – setting up your tent, filtering water, cooking, etc – are all active as well.  So for most of our group trips, the ability to be active most of the day is critical. 

Our private trips are fully customizable!  So if you don’t see a group that suits your needs – whether you want something easier (maybe just a short walk in to a beautiful campsite) or harder (a high mileage, rugged trail) – we can plan the perfect trip for you! Reach out to our Private Trips Consultant, Melissa, for more information.