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In the summer of 2018 eleven people ventured into Montana’s Absorka-Beartooth Wilderness on Backpacking Light’s guided Whitetail Trek. They faced snow, hail, high temperatures, exposed conditions above treeline, and unstable footing. On top of all that, they were off-trail almost the entire way.

The point of the trip was to gain the skills and confidence necessary to route plan and navigate off-trail in the mountains. Today’s episode examines navigational strategies and tools through the lens of the Whitetail Trek.

Ryan and Andrew get things started by giving you a brief rundown of the trip before introducing this episode’s guest. Chris Shultz is an M.D., a hockey player, a most importantly (to us!) an ultralight backpacker who participated in the trek.

After the interview, the guys cover a range of navigational topics: tools and resources for finding your way, books, apps, maps, and getting lost. Ryan touches on the planning for next year’s trips, and Andrew introduces a new podcast segment. The boys wrap up the show with a brief discussion of risk management, and Andrew plugs a great book he’s been reading lately. Spoiler alert: it’s a scary one.

This podcast is brought to you ad-free by the subscribing members of backpackinglight.com.

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