Save time and money. Enjoy your next backpacking trip more. And get experience-backed advice that is tailored for you — your trip, your preferences, your experience level, and your budget.

I offer a personalized backpacking coaching service, conducted through email, shared files, and phone/video. Among other things, I can help you:

  • Select the right clothing & equipment for 3-season and winter backpacking;
  • Create a meal plan with hearty, simple, and calorically dense foods; and,
  • Plan the details of your next trip, like the location, transportation, route, permits, and maps.

If you live within a reasonable driving distance of Boulder, Colo. or are traveling through, I am available for in-person meetups as well. These are ideal for:

  • Showcasing gear, so that you can try (or at least inspect) before you buy; and,
  • Learning general and gear-specific skills, like map-reading basics and shelter set-up.

There is almost no limit to the scope of my offerings. I have backpacked tens of thousands of miles on my own, in all types of locations and seasons. And on my guided trips I have instructed over 400 clients, who have ranged from beginner to expert, and from weekend warriors to aspiring thru-hikers.

To discuss your needs, contact me.

Past and current clients

Among those I have coached include:

  • Jessica, who needed to refine her gear list for a Colorado Trail thru-hike;
  • Bill, who needed his gear list evaluated and who had multiple questions about his upcoming Appalachian Trail thru-hike;
  • Sven, a German who needed help with gear, skills, logistics, and maildrops while thru-hiking the Hayduke Trail;
  • Elizabeth, who needed logistical and gear help for a section-hike of the Colorado Trail with her teenage son;
  • John, a new Coloradoan who needed help in assembling a gear list for him and his wife that would be appropriate for weekend trips in the Rockies and eventually the John Muir Trail;
  • Matthew, who tasked me with planning a 5-day route in the Wind River Range (with prospective campsites and a printable set of topographic maps) for his Pennsylvania-based group;
  • Steven, who asked for assistance with gear, logistics, and skills for thru-hiking the John Muir Trail with his college-aged son after an exceptionally snowy winter in California;
  • John, who needed wide-ranging help in preparing for a thru-hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail;
  • Rod, a recent retiree who needed me to review his gear list for a John Muir Trail thru-hike in August;


My goal is to efficiently provide you with accurate and relevant advice. Depending on your preferences and on the nature of your needs, we can communicate and share information via:

  • Email
  • Phone or video chat
  • Google Drive

Geographic specialties

I have backpacked extensively in every ecosystem in North America (and, by extension, most of the ecosystems in the world), specifically the Eastern Woodlands, Mountain West, Pacific Northwest, and Desert Southwest. I have a handful of favorites, however, and can offer very specific information for these locations:

  • Alaska (Alaska Range, Brooks Range, Lost Coast)
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante
  • Glacier National Park and The Bob
  • High Sierra (Yosemite, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, John Muir Trail)
  • Wind River Range

I have also completed or hiked a considerable way on many long-distance trails, including:

  • Appalachian Trail & Long Trail
  • Colorado Trail
  • Continental Divide Trail
  • High Routes: SHR, KCHBR, WRHR, and Pffifner Traverse
  • John Muir Trail
  • North Country Trail, inclding the Finger Lakes Trail, Buckeye Trail, and Superior Hiking Trail
  • Pacific Crest Trail
  • Pacific Northwest Trail


I charge $55 per hour, and expect that your time- and cost-savings will be a multiple of this.

Time estimates for common projects:

  • Provide feedback on a completed gear list: 1 hour
  • Create a gear list template and collaborate on its completion: 2 hours
  • Create a complete gear list: 3 hours
  • Plan a menu of breakfasts, snacks, and dinners for trips up to 1 week: 1 hour

Payment instructions

If you have not done so already, contact me so that I can better understand your needs and give you an estimated cost. Normally I respond to emails within one business day.

To make a payment:

Unused amounts will be fully refunded.