Since founding this program in 2011, my primary goal has been to empower individuals with outdoor skills and knowledge so that they can confidently undertake trips of their own and informally lead family and friends in the backcountry. Thousands of clients have joined our guided trips and have completed our Plan Like A Pro online course.

In 2022 we launched a needs-based scholarship program to create more opportunities for individuals whose outdoor access has been hindered by limited financial resources, lack of generational or communal outdoor knowledge, or discrimination.

Who can apply?

This is a needs-based scholarship. We use Living Wage to evaluate the financial barriers of each applicant.

If an applicant demonstrates financial need, then we consider additional factors. We are particularly seeking candidates who are committed to engaging with the material, improving their backcountry skills, and sharing those skills with others. 

As with non-scholarship applicants, we will consider a scholarship applicant’s backpacking experience and fitness in placing them on a trip.

For what are you applying?

In 2023 scholarship recipients are eligible for:

The scholarship award is equal to 80 percent of the trip fee. The scholarship recipient is responsible for the remaining 20 percent.


The remaining spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, until all available spots are filled.

To apply

1. Complete the Scholarship Application Form.

  • You’ll be asked for your household income and your living wage. For the living wage, write the hourly wage provided in the living wage calculator for your state. There are different options for single adult, two adults (one working), and two adults. Choose whichever applies to you.
  • The scholarship application includes long-form written responses, and we recommend that you prepare answers beforehand. To preview it, download the form as a PDF.

2. If you’re applying for a guided trip, you MUST also complete the standard Trip Application Form.

  • Guided trip applicants that do not complete the standard Trip Application will not be considered. 
  • The $25 application fee will be refunded if you’re not selected for a trip. 
  • Guided trip recipients will receive access to a pre-trip planning curriculum as well as our gear library.

Have questions?

Contact me.

Are you interested in donating?

If you are interested in donating time (e.g. mentorship), money, or gear, please sign up.

Most common reasons that applications are not approved

  • Incomplete or inadequate answers, rushed responses
  • Intentionally unemployed
  • In school and on cusp of lucrative careers
  • Not following instructions, specifically not completing both applications
  • Not paying the application fee