Scouting magazine

Three things every Scout can learn from this ultralight-backpacking Montana crew

Crew 2001 doesn’t shy from adventure. The members of this Bozeman, Mont., crew frequently challenge themselves with long-distance hikes, glacier traverses and in 2014 the crew completed a 100-mile packrafting trip in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness.

The crew members share three steps, below, that every Scout can do to amp up their outdoor adventures.

1. Train.
Shaving weight from your pack doesn’t negate the need to shave weight from your body. In preparation for wilderness expeditions, Crew 2001 members train rigorously — up to several times a week — to become stronger, faster and more resistant to injury. Our training motto: “Increase our indestructibility in the mountains” through weight training, building a giant aerobic base and training for the muscular endurance required to carry packs up mountains. Our training bible is Training for the New Alpinism by coach Scott Johnston and world-class alpine climber and Eagle Scout Steve House.

2. Practice.
You can’t paddle a packraft through Class III rapids, cross a crevassed glacier, scramble up Class 4 rock or weather a storm in a light tarp without mastering these skills first. We solicit experts to teach us skills in a safe environment, and then we practice them ruthlessly until they are mastered enough that we can then teach them to others.

3. Dream big.
The 50-miler is a hallmark achievement in Scouting high adventure. When we were considering our goals during one annual planning session, we set out to do what no other high-adventure crew had accomplished: 100 miles without resupply or support. We dreamed big. We trained. We practiced skills. And we did it! So can you. Don’t short sell what you think your Scouts can accomplish.


Members of Crew 2001 include (from left, at top): Ryan Jordan, chartered organization representative and author; Chase Jordan; Nikolas Torgerson; Walker Roy; Justen Torgerson, adult leader; Aiden Fink; Andrew Meyer; Frank Meyer, adult leader; Erick Lawrence; and Eric Vann. Check out the crew’s website at crew1.org.


Read more about ultralight backpacking, including how to plan, what to pack and how to train.


RYAN JORDAN, an Eagle Scout, is the program director of the Montana High Adventure Base and the chartered organization representative of Venturing Crew 2001 in Bozeman, Mont. He is a licensed wilderness skills instructor and guide, and the founder of backpackinglight.com.