Back Country create the space for the application of genuine masculine initiation. It’s designed as an intensive experience for both father and son. God the Father used the wilderness as the context for this Son’s preparation for ministry, and we believe there is not better place to help your son discover who he is becoming as a man. The aim of the adventure is to have the boys head into the wilderness but return as initiated men.
Back Country is truly a backpacking experience in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness area near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We’ll hike above tree-line, fish pristine mountain lakes, and enjoy the rugged beauty of the Colorado Rockies. This is completely primitive with no facilities but the woods, however our wilderness guides provide delicious meals and outdoor skills-building so there is no need for prior backpacking experience. Ability to walk with a large 50 lb. backpack for 3-4 miles at a time at 10,000 feet elevation is required of both boys and dads.
In addition, fathers and sons will have separately facilitated times with our trained trail guides, inviting them deeper into the categories of Godly masculinity. We will be challenged to share our stories, consider how each man uniquely reflects the image of God, and utilize the elements of risk to usher the young men into true manhood. Our time together will culminate in a blessing ceremony during which each boy will be clearly called into manhood.
If you have any desire whatsoever to initiate your son into Godly manhood, then use this trip to catalyze the process. It is a great kickoff, culmination or somewhere in the middle of your son’s rites of passage experience. Father will receive pre-departure material, guided conversation suggestions, and trail guides to prepare for the journey.
Father will also receive a copy of The Man Maker Project: Boys are Born, Men are Made, so they are resourced and prepared to think intentionally about the Rites of Passage year for their sons. Prior to the expedition, a member of the Restoration Project team will connect with each father individually in order to best support him in our process of initiating his son.
No outdoor experience is necessary, through all participants must be physically able to carry a 50 lb. backpack and hike 3-5 miles a day. There will be other physical challenges included in this experience as well, though participants may opt out if needed. We provide all group gear, all meals, and back country guides, thus creating the space for any father-son pair to participate. Camping gear is NOT provided, though we can assist in finding rental if needed (you will receive a specific gear list in your welcome packet). Throughout the experience, we will share responsibilities amongst the group, including pitching tents, purifying water, cooking meals, etc.
Back Country Backpacking will begin in Fort Collins, Colorado, where we will gear up, load up and travel together to the trailhead in the Zirkel Wilderness. Transportation from Fort Collins to the river and back will be provided.
Upon registration, you will receive registration receipt. In the coming weeks, you will receive a gear list, trail and conversation guides, and preparation ideas. Bring your own gear is required (for tent-camping). No gear needed for food preparation. If you are out-of-state, please consult with us before booking your flights or arrange other travel. Contact us if you need assistance with any camping gear rental.