Into the Woods Backpacking Camps are all about getting your child to wander through nature as a naturalist, observing the world around them and recording their findings, while also learning essential outdoors safety skills. Our group of 12 kids will be divided into two groups of 6. While both groups report to their own trail guides, everyone travels together throughout the trip.
Into the Woods, LLC backpacking camps are designed to enhance your child’s endurance as an individual while also enriching their ability to work as a member of a team as their group tackles miles of wilderness terrain every day. Campers will challenge themselves physically and mentally-interpreting topographical maps into the landscape before them. Campers will learn to become comfortable carrying and living out of their pack.
Backpacking has the ability to take people to some of the most remote, beautiful places in the world. Gaining a strong foundation in the essentials of backpacking as a youth will enable your child to enhance their abilities and go anywhere in the world for the rests of their lives. Backpacking increases your child’s resilience, confidence, and sense of responsibility to others and the world around them. Into the Woods backpacking camps are designed to show campers that here in Anchorage we have wilderness just ten minutes from our front door—they will appreciate what the Anchorage area has to offer while also gaining a remote backpacking setting.
Your child’s backpacking expedition will teach them about overcoming challenges. They will learn that by choosing their path, instead of letting it choose them, your child can go further than they ever imagined. Your child will discover their true abilities and potential—and gain a genuine sense of accomplishment.
Campers will begin their trip at a trail head in the Anchorage area, where they will enter the wilderness and hike to a base camp. Once there, campers will learn how to set up camp and how to safely cook in the wilderness. Over the course of the following 3 days, depending on location, campers will either embark on long day hikes exploring specific destinations, or they will pack up camp and move further along the route, into the woods.
As campers delve deeper into the wilderness, their day will be informed by two main themes: science, and outdoor safety skills. Our guides will lead campers in scientific exploration of the area through which they are travelling; topics will range from the geologic history of the area to the flora and fauna that surrounds them. Campers will take periodic breaks throughout the day to record their observations and get a more in-depth look at what surrounds them. In addition to learning how to safely backpack in the remote wilderness of Alaska, campers will also dedicate a portion of each day to learning an outdoor survival skill, such as water filtering, flagging for help, building shelter, recognizing signs of hypothermia, keeping warm, staying hydrated, staying well fed, how to ration food, how to read maps and route find, bear safety, and much more.
Where will my camper sleep? Campers will learn how to set up a tarp. The camp will be divided into two teams, and each team will have its own cook stove, gas, and tarp (provided by into the woods). Trail guides will not sleep with the campers-they will sleep in strategic positions to watch over campers, keeping them safe, while also giving them space. Each camper team will sleep under a tarp under the watchful supervision of the guides.
Below is a general list of what comprises a typical week in our backpacking camps. Once you register, we will send you the itinerary, gear list, and maps for the specific week you selected via email.
Curriculum and and Itinerary
The itinerary below is a general guideline for our backpacking camps—they are subject to vary depending on location and extraneous factors (trail closures sometimes occur, in which case we will do our best to inform all participants immediately and have a back-up plan ready to go).
The Saturday before camp starts: Into the Woods founders Dan and Kristina invite you to our house for a cookout, an information session about the upcoming week, and gear drop-off: we will go over your campers pack to make sure they have the requirements for the gear list.
Monday morning: 7:30 to 9:00 am: Campers are dropped off at the trail head. We will do a gear check once more. We may redistribute pack contents between camp teams as necessary.
9:00 to 9:30 am: Circle up. Discuss Into the Woods camp rules and expectations. Discuss the route for the day. Divide campers into “teams” for each trail guide.
9:30 to 10:00 am: Begin hiking toward base camp. Take breaks during hike to lead scientific exploration.
TBA: Arrive at base camp, set up camp, begin learning outdoor skills.
TBA: to bed at a reasonable hour.
Next day: wake up at a reasonable hour, break camp, and start the day!
Tuesday - Friday:
follow the general outline each day, diving deeper into the science of the area, learning outdoors skills, and growing in confidence and responsibility.
5- 6 pm: Pick up at trail head-if it is an out and back journey, then pick up is at the same location. If it is a wider loop or “through” hike, pick up at a different trail head.
Safety is paramount.
Safety is of utmost importance to us. In the unlikely event that an adult or student requires urgent care, our trip leaders follow policies and procedures that meet industry standards for field medicine. Our lead guides are all Wilderness First Aid Certified at a minimum; some are certified at the higher level of Wilderness First Responder. All personnel at Into the Woods, LLC have background checks and references. All guides will have appropriate radios and communication equipment. All guides will carry bear spray for bear safety and follow bear safety standards.
Ratio of Campers to Guides: 6:1
Openings for 12 Campers per Session
Session 1 - June 24-28
—South Fork Eagle River Trail head
Session 2 - July 8-12
—Williwaw Lakes Loop
Session 4 - August 5-9
—Williwaw Lakes Loop