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Coaching

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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;

Communication

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

Pricing

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.

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