Tackle a rugged winter environment with a team of expert Instructors and hard-working sled dogs that thrive in these conditions and can’t wait to hit the trail each day.
Dogsled, ski and snowshoe over magical, pristine lakes and snowy forests on this exhilarating dog sledding and cross country ski expedition. Experience the beauty and learn the techniques of winter travel and camping in order to be inspired and refocus on your priorities. Develop outdoor skills, greater self-reliance and increased self-confidence as you unplug and disconnect from the stressors of your normal daily obligations. Learn to harness, mush and care for a dog team as you work together with the dogs to move the expedition gear from camp to camp. Instructor-facilitated discussions around key concepts of life/work balance, coupled with time for personal reflection, add a valuable dimension to this wilderness expedition. No prior winter knowledge or experience is necessary; skilled Instructors and energetic sled dogs provide all of the training you will need.
This course starts within the next week. Please call us at 866-467-7651 to assess the possibility of applying for this course!
APPLY NOW This means a course has several open spots and is actively processing applications.
APPLY NOW – Almost Full This means there are three or fewer currently available spots left on a course. To secure your spot click Apply Now to begin an application!
JOIN WAITLIST Once a course has reached capacity, three waitlist positions become available. To join a course’s waitlist, click “Join Waitlist” to begin the application process. A $500 deposit is required. This $500 deposit includes a $150 non-refundable application fee and a $350 tuition payment. The $350 tuition payment is refundable only if you cancel your waitlist application or if an open position does not become available. If a position does become available, the applicant will be applied to the open position and the Application and Cancellation Policies of the Regional Outward Bound School will be followed, including forfeiture of the $500 deposit if you cancel 90 days or less prior to the course start date.
Waitlist applicants are encouraged to complete all required admissions documents while awaiting an open position. Positions may become available up to two weeks prior to the course start date. Applicants may only apply to one course. We recommend applying to a course with open positions instead of a course that is accepting waitlist applications. If you have questions, please call 866-467-7651 to speak with one of our Admissions Advisors.
CALL TO APPLY This means a course is very close to its start date. Although it is unlikely to secure a spot this late, you can call the National Admissions office at 866-467-7651 to discuss your options.
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Course start, meet group, organize gear, camp under the stars
Travel days: dog sled, ski, camp in the Boundary Waters
Travel day: dog sled, ski, camp in the Boundary Waters
Do you ever want to unplug, step away from your daily responsibilities, and face new challenges? Adventure is calling! Outward Bound’s Classic expeditions for adults are designed to help you hit the reset button by breaking your routines and radically changing your surroundings. This is an opportunity to build new skills and remind yourself (or discover for the first time) what it feels like to crest a mountain peak, hear the echoes at the edge of a vast canyon, or feel the rush of whitewater. Put some “firsts” in front of you and you’ll find that the moments of unexpected discovery linger long after you return home.
Build skills, form connections: Meet like-minded peers and make connections as you work through priorities and adventures together, learn outdoor skills at the hands of expert Instructors and earn every good night’s sleep.
Value strengths and strengthen values: Re-discover your inner strength, renew your natural leadership abilities and practice adapting to new environments. Tap into your trust and compassion as you tackle obstacles with a support crew standing beside you.
Demonstrate mastery: As you awaken your wilderness skills and dig deep to rise to the physical and mental challenges, the bulk of the expedition’s leadership and decision-making responsibilities transfer from the Instructor to the crew. Work together to achieve team goals, solve problems and succeed both individually and together.
What you’ll learn: By allowing yourself to focus beyond daily responsibilities and obligations, you’ll master more difficult skills and open yourself up to new directions and opportunities you never thought possible. You’ll find clarity in the life changes you’re facing, you’ll uncover inspiration in the wilderness, and you’ll renew your sense of adventure to take on the next challenge in front of you.
Return home with newly expanded wilderness acumen, an energized outlook, a rekindled allowance of empathy into situations and relationships and an eye toward the future.
Together with a team of expert Instructors and loveable sled dogs, students experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with nature, working animals and each other in thrilling, challenging and utterly stunning wilderness environments. Using map and compass, students learn to navigate a route over frozen lakes, rivers and the overland portage trails between them. Participants develop skills in dog mushing, cross-country skiing, ice reading, winter camping and sled dog care. Students take turns mushing the dogsleds and skiing or snowshoeing throughout the course.
Take part in a beautiful winter choreography as skiers serve as advance “scouts,” carrying their own supplies for the day in backpacks or towing a small personal sled known as a “pulk.” While skiers navigate, check for safe ice conditions and track out a trail, mushers help guide the loaded dog sleds to follow. The group comes together to maneuver the dogsleds over obstacles and steep terrain and at the end of each day, make and enjoy camp.
Students learn what it takes to construct a winter camp and live comfortably in the depths of a Minnesota winter wonderland. Instructors teach students techniques for harvesting water from beneath the ice, dressing properly for freezing temperatures, felling trees for firewood, cooking over an open fire and setting up shelters and cozy winter sleeping systems. A hearty dinner and enriching conversation with fellow group members around an outdoor fire or the wood stove in a large, canvas-wall tent rounds out each day. Students often enjoy clear evenings stargazing before drifting off into a well-deserved sleep. Students learn that not only can they survive, but truly, they can thrive in an extreme and remote winter environment.
Service is a cornerstone of every Outward Bound experience. From the seemingly small daily acts of service to the environment to the regular tasks of being part of an expeditionary team, participants have ample opportunities to experience the value of giving back to the larger community. On the expedition, participants are encouraged to practice environmental stewardship in the form of Recreate Responsibly ethics. Participants also practice regular acts of service for their team, including the hard-working sled dogs, by preparing and serving meals, securing drinking water, breaking trail and giving the dogs plenty of affection.
At one point during the expedition students are provided a secluded spot to reflect alone, with all the food, skills and supplies they need, and are monitored by staff throughout the experience to maintain safety. We call this part of course, Solo. The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition and gives students the opportunity to reflect on their Outward Bound experience. Many students use this reflection time to make decisions about their future, journal and enjoy the beauty of their surroundings unencumbered by the constant external stimulation of modern life. The duration of Solo depends on the course length and type, as well as the competency and preparedness of the student group. Students find that Solo provokes profound and powerful learning in a short period of time and often becomes one of the most memorable parts of their Outward Bound course.
Outward Bound courses vary in length from four to 85 days. On shorter courses, participants will receive an introduction to leadership skills, strength of character and a desire to serve while activities fill most of the time and the pace is quick. With longer courses, the same outcomes and benefits are achieved with the opportunity to reach a more profound level of mastery as there are more chances to develop technical skills, receive and implement feedback and further personal development. However many days the expedition lasts, the strength and impact of the experience lasts a lifetime.
Dog sledding, cross country skiing, winter camping and wilderness navigation techniques are great practice for the essential skills and habits that help prepare for new challenges at work, home and in the community. Outward Bound expeditions encourage students to:
Remain engaged and present, giving every challenge their best effort, even when the goal seems beyond reach.
Form a team and focus on the team effort.
Share responsibilities, communicate and lead. Leadership roles are shared within the group, and responsibilities rotate each day find reserves of tenacity and compassion.
Find reserves of tenacity and compassion. Outward Bound courses are designed to expand and stretch your limits so that every expedition is a true accomplishment and a memorable journey.
Established in 1978, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a labyrinth of lakes and rock that has been specifically protected as a true American wilderness. No roads, power lines or motorized craft may enter its borders. Therefore, the Boundary Waters wilderness has changed little since its unveiling when the glaciers melted 10,000 years ago.
Over one million acres in size, the BWCAW extends 150 miles along the Minnesota/Canadian border. With over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, nearly 2,200 designated campsites and more than 1,000 lakes and streams, the BWCAW is a truly amazing place to experience the wilderness. It contains portage-linked lakes and streams, interspersed with islands, forests and crags. It has no piped water, prepared shelters, or signs to point the way. Within these borders you can canoe, portage and camp as the native peoples and French-Canadian Voyageurs did before you. The Boundary Waters' paddling routes offer outstanding opportunities for solitude, remoteness, teamwork, adventure and challenge.
In the winter, the Boundary Waters transforms into an even more severe and remote wilderness. While more difficult, winter enthusiasts travel over frozen lakes and rivers by dogsled, cross-country ski and snowshoe. Winter in the Boundary Waters is mesmerizing, peaceful and exhilarating. It is a place of spectacular extremes, trackless snow, bracing cold air, glowing warm embers and powerful silence. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ and Očeti Šakówiŋ (Sioux) nations.
If you are ready to enroll on a course click the enroll button next to the course you wish to select or you can enroll over the phone by speaking with one of our Admissions Advisors (toll-free) at 866-467-7651.
To secure your spot on a course you must submit an enrollment form and $500 deposit that is applied toward the total cost of the course and includes a $150 non-refundable enrollment processing fee.