Group 1: July 12th-July 29th

Group 2: July 19th-July 29th


Video made by Wild Guide, Noah Pomeroy.

General Trip Framework

In 2018, we will have two beginner trips and an advanced trip.

Beginner Trip

The beginner crews will head into the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness and cross paths part way on their journey. The Cabinet Wilderness regulations limit groups to 8 people total. The entire beginner crew will start in Missoula together, prepping their food and bags upon arrival. Then, they will drive together to the trailhead and set off on two different routes, which will meet in the middle. Everyone will meet up again in Missoula at the end of their trips for a day of relaxing and cleaning up before heading back to Hawaii.

Advanced Trip

The advanced crew will trek into the Bob Marshall wilderness on a 75 mile journey to the iconic Chinese Wall. The Bob Marshall wilderness regulations limit groups to 15 people total. This group will start in Missoula with the beginner crew, prepping food and bags upon arrival. Then, they will drive to the Elbow Gorge trailhead in the Bob Marshall. Everyone will meet up again in Missoula at the end of their trips for a day of relaxing and cleaning up before heading back to Hawaii.

Pre-Trip Preparation

All campers will need to complete a minimum of two training hikes with the group prior to heading to Montana. All campers must also pass a Pack Test in May, which requires everyone to carry a 45-50 pound pack and finish a 3 mile hike in 45 minutes. For this test, we use Lanikai Loop.

Basic Calendar

Group 1:

July 12th Arrive Great Falls, acclimate, ranch life

July 13th Ranch Life

July 14th Head to Pow Wow on Blackfeet Indian Reservation

July 15th Glacier Day Hike at Two Medicine

July 16th Glacier Day Hike to Iceberg Lake

July 17th Going to the Sun Road to Polson (spend the night on the lake)

July 18th Day in Missoula

Group 2 (Joins Group 1 in Missoula):

July 19th Arrive in Missoula by noon, acclimate, review safety and leave no trace ethics

July 20th Prep bags and food for backcountry (head to trailhead campground in the evening)

July 21st Hike into first backcountry campsite

July 22nd Day 2 backcountry

July 23rd Day 3 backcountry

July 24th Day 4 backcountry

July 25th Day 5 backcountry

July 26th Day 6 backcountry

July 27th Day 7 backcountry (hike out in afternoon and return to Missoula by late evening)

July 28th Fun day in Missoula, evening hot springs

July 29th Fly back to Hawaii (mid-morning or afternoon flight--no early morning flights)




Backpacking  Trip Gear List

Click here for a printable PDF of the gear list. 

Safety Note: Having the right gear is a safety issue and is absolutely critical to the overall success of the trip. However, this does not mean you need to spend a fortune on brand new backpacking equipment. Unless you intend to take similar trips in the future, please try to borrow gear or find used gear. If you are unsure about an item, contact our team and we will help you make the right choice.

Email Wild Kids Montana with a list of what you need and we will do our best to help round it up!


Gear Tips!

SIZE: 60-75 liters (smaller students can use a 55 liter pack)
MEASURE: Torso before buying (How to Measure Torso Video
Backpack Guide from Sierra Trading Post (useful!)

•Hip Belt
•External H20 Pockets
•Ability to Tie Stuff on Outside
•Adjustable Torso

GREAT BRANDS: Osprey, Mountainsmith, Black Diamond, Gregory, Arcteryx

Rain Gear
•GoreTex Shells (lasts much longer, can be re-waterproofed)
•Breathable (we recommend "pit-zips")

GREAT BRANDS: Outdoor Research, Gore, Polartec, Mountain Hardware

Sleeping Bags
•Warm, Light, Compact
•20 Degrees or Lower Rating
•Must Have Waterproof Compression Sack (Size Med. should work for most bags, but you can check by putting your sleeping bag in the sack) 
•Mummy Bags are Preferable
•Look for bags that are around 3 lbs

Sleeping Pads
•Self-inflating (example) or Closed Cell Foam (example)
•Check Weight (lighter is better)
•There are Gender Specific Pads (not necessary, but can be nice)
•Thermarest is Best   

Note: A sleeping pad is what keeps your body warm, as the cold ground is responsible for sucking away your body heat. It is important to get a sleeping pad that can pack very small, but will also be warm. 



 1-2 Pair Quick-dry Hiking Pants (no jeans, one pair can be non-cotton yoga)

☐ 1 Pair of Sweat or Fleece Pants for around the ranch (optional)

 2 Pairs Shorts (board shorts are great!; 1 pair will stay in van for around town)

 1 Fleece Top (medium weight)

 1 Long Underwear Bottoms (polypropylene or wool)

☐ 1 Long Underwear Top (polypropylene or wool)

 2 Long sleeve shirt (1 lightweight button-down for sun/bug protection; 1 base layer-smart wool, etc.)

 2-3 non-cotton T-shirts or tank-tops  (1 will be for bear clothes, 1 will stay in van)

 Rain Jacket and High Quality Poncho

 Rain Pants

 6 Pairs Socks (crew cut or mid-calf ; non-cotton)

 3-6 Pairs Underwear/Boxers (optional; recommended: quick-dry underwear: example)

 Swimming suit/trunks (can count as one pair shorts)

 Belt (if needed)

 Hiking Boots (or running shoes with good tread) 

 Slippers for Around Camp

 Winter Beanie

 Gloves (small fleece gloves, not large ski gloves)

 Baseball Cap (or other sun cap)

 Camp Towel (small quick dry towel, click here for example)



☐ Backpack (must have waist belt, 60-80 Liters; 55 liters for those under 115 lbs)

 Sleeping Bag (20 degree or below; 3 pounds or less) 

☐ Compression Sack

☐ Sleeping Pad (Thermarest or similar, click here for example) 

☐ Camp Pillow (click here for example)

☐ Headlamp with extra batteries

☐ Sunglasses

☐ Mess Kit & Camp Mug (Chopsticks are great! Small, light collapsible bowl: example.)

☐ Whistle (many packs have a built-in whistle)

3 Bandanas

2 Water Bottles (35-40 oz; Camel Backs can replace 1 bottle.)

☐ Multi-tool/Pocket Knife

☐ 2-3 Carabiners (examples)

☐ Wrist Watch and Compass



☐ Sunscreen (small travel size) & Bug/Tick Repellant (we have a mandatory brand)

☐ Chapstick (very important due to dry climate, pocket size)

☐ Comb (Unless the brush is very small, don't bring one. Packing light is the key on a backpacking trip.)

☐ Toothbrush (We provide biodegradable toothpaste in accordance with wilderness laws.)

☐ Deodorant(natural, preferably unscented)

☐ Feminine Hygiene Products


Extras (Optional)

☐ Camera  (light weight)

☐ Binoculars  (light weight)

☐ Magnifying glass  

☐ Field guides

☐ Down Jacket/Vest

☐ Camp chair (highly recommended; example)

☐ Additional Toiletries, Vitamins, Medications

☐ Personal Snacks per Dietary Needs


Do not bring!

These items will be provided by Wild Kids:

☐ Soap, Shampoo/Conditioner   

☐ Matches

☐ Tents

☐ Tarps

☐ Backpacking Stoves and Cooking Equipment

☐ Safety Line

☐ First Aid & Safety Kit (one for each camper)

Important Note: Personal electronics are not allowed once you arrive to Montana. You are welcome to bring them for the plane ride. We will collect them upon arrival and return them on departure. Cell phones will be kept in a group bag and used only for set parent communication days.