Backpacking and Canoeing Information

Note: This web page and its sub-pages contain important information. If you are planning a trip with Big Wild, please read this information thoroughly!

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Frequently Asked Questions A Typical Day Connecting and Lodging Information

For Beginners Bears In The Big Wild Packing LightPhysical Fitness Trip Ratings

Backpacking (Wilderness Trekking) and Canoeing are the most basic ways to wilderness adventure. On all of our adventures, including backpacking in Yellowstone, you will be camping in a tent in a primitive undeveloped area, in real wilderness, led by some of the most experienced guide/naturalists in America. We get folks off the beaten path into truly wild and remote terrain! This includes our Missouri River canoe trips, which is on a big gentle river with no rough whitewater.

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Montana Beartoothers

Logistical Basics:

  • List prices include our complete gear package: a comfortable backpack & rain-cover + daypack, sleeping bag & pad, tent, cup/bowl/spoon. If you bring all of these items, you’ll get our $300 gear discount. For detailed information on what you need to bring, please see our Backpacking Clothing/Personal Gear List or our Canoeing Clothing/Personal Gear List.  As outfitters, we supply the best gear that money can buy!
  • We supply 3 hearty meals/day plus snacks. The guide will organize the food prior to the trip, and every hiker will be given a portion of the group food to be carried in their backpack. There is no need to bring any extra food. For more information on food, please scroll down this page.
  • Each trek begins and ends at a motel that accommodates our group requirements. It is up to you to make your own pre-trip and post-trip reservations. While we are in the wilds, each motel will store your luggage and if need be, your vehicle. We supply transportation from the motel in town to and from the trailheads. Please see Connecting & Lodging Information for details, including motel, airport & ground transport information.
  • The pre-trip orientation & safety meeting (including food/gear handout) is at 6 PM the evening prior to the first trip day, unless we inform you otherwise. Meet us at the motel lobby.
  • We’ll pick you up at the motel early in the morning of day 1 (the guide will specify the time), and we’ll return you to the motel by late afternoon of the final trip day.
  • We do all of the trip planning and logistics, and secure all required permits. Just show up with a fit body, the desire for a great wilderness experience, the proper clothing and gear items, and leave all the details to us!
  • We also strongly recommend that you visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Lone Star GeyserWe require no prior experience. Scheduled trips vary in difficulty, so you can choose a trip that suits your fitness level. However, physical fitness is important: If you have any doubts about your health or fitness, we strongly recommend that you see your physician before the trip. For more information about fitness requirements and conditioning, and about our trip ratings, please consult our physical fitness page.

Custom and Family Trips

LAYOVERS and LEISURE: Most scheduled trips have at least one layover (two nights at the same camp), and all trips will include some “down time”  so folks can explore, fish, day-hike, or just enjoy a beautiful location daydreaming and watching the clouds float by!

FISHING. Although we are not official fishing guides, we can advise you on fishing prospects for any of our trips (bring your own fishing gear), and where to get a license (always required). Some Yellowstone backpacking hiking tours have fishing opportunities, and a few of the other Montana backpacking and Wyoming backpacking treks also have great angling. In general, Utah backpacking and our other Southwestern adventures have few fishing opportunities.

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Contact Us

Campfire HumansFOOD: We supply three hearty healthy meals each day: hot breakfast and dinner, a nourishing trail lunch and plenty of calorie-filled snacks plus hot drinks in the morning and evening. The needs of coffee addicts will be met! We are also happy to accommodate the needs of vegetarians and those with food allergies. Our guides organize all of the food prior to each trip, and each participant is given a bag to carry in his/her backpack with a portion of the group’s food.

We do all of the cooking and supply all of the cooking gear! And, except where prohibited by regulations, we cook over campfires.

Although we utilize some freeze dried food to minimize pack weights, we emphasize fresh foods with plenty of healthy produce. Much of the food we supply is organic and/or natural with no chemical additives! Hot whole grain cereals with fruit or nuts are typical breakfasts. For lunch we have various sandwiches including PB & J, bagels with cream cheese and salmon, salami and cheese with cucumbers; also tuna, hummus and crackers and more. Dinners are usually pasta, rice or bean-based with fresh vegetables, spices and sometimes with chicken, beef, tuna or salmon for our omnivorous guests. We also supply a variety of energy bars, dried fruit, high-energy trail mix and various other snacks. These are just a few samples of our nourishing and tasty trail diet.

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Note: Many of our clients ask us if they should tip the guide/assistant after the trip. That’s up to you; don’t feel obligated. We realize that not everyone can afford the extra expense. However, if you feel that your guide has done a good job and you wish to express that sentiment with a tip, it is appreciated! As a suggestion, 5-10% would be appropriate.

HAVE A GREAT TIME!

Annual Trip Calendar

 

Capitan Lake - photo from one of our backpacking treks

List prices include our complete gear package and there is a $300 discount if you bring your own (see Canoeing ListBackpacking List, and/or
Questionnaire for details). Also, we offer a $300 discount for the second trip in a calendar year. Scheduled trips are for persons ages 14 and over. Exceptions to the age requirement will be made by us on a case-by-case basis.