“This trip was an experience of a lifetime that I will not take for granted. I met lifelong friends and we all developed a strong and trusting friendship. I overcame so many obstacles like my fear of spiders, heights, and large bodies of water. I can say I feel like a brand-new person. There were many times where I felt like giving up because things got so difficult, but my group held me up and helped me get through it. Honestly, when I finished the hiking portion, it felt like the greatest accomplishment and now I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to.” Shirley-age 16
Maine sailing and backpacking expeditions traverse a variety of wild and rugged environments: from granite shores, intricate rivers and dense islands of the Maine Coast; to the peaks of the northern Appalachian mountain range. At sea, a 30-foot open sailboat serves as both home and classroom. In the mountains, you will learn to camp and travel across the wilderness, relying on your group, the supplies you have on hand and the skills you learn as you go. With both sailing and backpacking on the agenda, you’ll learn coastal navigation, small boat seamanship and woods craftsmanship, weather observation, anchoring, and campsite selection. Leadership and responsibilities become shared during the journey, and group communication grows as each day’s plan is decided and challenges are discussed. Every crew member is integral and by living and working closely together trusting bonds are formed alongside independent accomplishments.
This course is closed for the season. 2019 courses coming soon.
Are you ready to take a journey that will change your life? You won’t look at day-to-day drama the same way after you’ve conquered a high mountain ridge, made a boat obey your command in windswept waves or slept under the stars watching bats swoop overhead. Joining an Outward Bound expedition changes you. Your crew, your Instructor, your route and your adventures will have a profound and lasting impact on you as you rise to meet exhilarating natural challenges in some of the country’s wildest places.
After you come home, many of the character, leadership and service traits you uncovered on your expedition stay with you, helping you navigate your daily life with more resilience and success.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, the group will live closely together using only wind and oars to power their way. As they rotate responsibilities during this expedition, students learn the crafts of maneuvering under sail, coastal navigation, rowing and living aboard a small open boat. At night, students sleep on deck under a tarp, taking turns at anchor watch under brilliant night skies.
On this course, students:
Backpacking is an ideal combination of team and individual elements. The mountains of Maine are jagged and densely wooded, and the trails are remote, narrow and often steep. Students travel on wilderness footpaths; navigating on and off trail throughout the journey. From atop the mountain peaks, if the weather cooperates, the group’s hard work is rewarded with spectacular views. Living and traveling with just a backpack is a simple existence, in which small choices can make deceptively great differences. To live well in the wilderness, all crew members must share the chores that turn a camp into a home, including setting up tents and tarps, creating a kitchen area, taking turns fetching water and cooking satisfying meals.
Students spend a day rock climbing or rappelling from the sea cliffs or one of many granite mountain crags. They learn to use climbing equipment, tie knots, climb and belay each other while Instructors provide guidance and supervision. Climbing develops balance, coordination, flexibility and grace on the rock faces that you’ll cross. Climbing also presents many individual challenges alongside what the whole group must accomplish by working together to set systems up, communicate clearly and support each other throughout the climb.
Service projects are often incorporated into Outward Bound courses through coordination with local land managers, conservation groups, government agencies or social service agencies. While in the wilderness, students are encouraged to practice service to the environment and their team by sharing responsibilities and following Leave No Trace ethics throughout the expedition.
The Solo experience provides an important break from the rigors of the expedition to give students quiet time to reflect on the Outward Bound experience. With the basics of food and equipment, and with safety a top priority, students will take some time away from the group to be alone at sites of their own, using the wilderness skills learned during the first parts of the course. Often located along beautiful lake shorelines or peaceful rivers, Solo sites are chosen to offer as much solitude as possible (yet be within emergency whistle-signaling distance of other group members). Most students spend their Solo time journaling, drawing or just thinking and resting as they process lessons learned and focus on their goals for the future. Instructors check on each participant at regular intervals. The time students spend on Solo depends on the length of the course. On courses longer than three weeks, Solo is up to 72 hours long.
The coast of Maine, with its intricate and indented shoreline, is a unique segment of the North Atlantic seaboard. It is renown among sailors for its picturesque beauty, iconic lighthouses, abundant bays and harbors, rocky islands and quiet coves. Our sailboat cruising area covers nearly 200 miles of the Maine coast, with countless rivers, bays and islands to explore. The rocky, spruce-covered islands are the summits of a prehistoric mountain range, and generations of inhabitants have made their livelihoods here. Evidence left behind on the islands reveals the historic presence of indigenous Abenaki camps, pre-colonial fishing communities, post-colonial timber and farming operations and early 20th century granite quarries. Cold, nutrient-rich waters flow from the Canadian Maritimes, making the Gulf of Maine home to a wide range of sea birds, seals, porpoises and whales.
The mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire comprise the northern end of the Appalachian mountain range. Within this region, the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, the Carter-Mahoosuc Range, the Grafton Loop Trail and in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness all offer classic backpacking terrain. These spruce, fir and hardwood forests are home to hundreds of species of birds as well as moose, deer and black bear. Rushing waterfalls, clear twisting streams and spectacular views from rocky summits reward backpackers ready for adventure.
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.