Yellowstone Backcountry Skills
June 22 - 24
Lamar Buffalo Ranch
Debra Dirksen, Ph.D, John Dirksen, M.S., Orville (Butch) Bach, Jr. Ed.D
Backcountry Skills, Outdoor Recreation
This course will introduce you to the skills necessary for exploring and enjoying Yellowstone's backcountry. You will learn about the proper gear and equipment, how to navigate by map and compass, hiking and camping in grizzly country, no-trace camping techniques, the proper use of a campfire where permitted, cooking techniques, and you'll also receive an introduction to some delicious meals courtesy of your camp cook extraordinaire, Dr. Dirksen.
About the instructors
Orville Bach has worked for the National Park Service as a Seasonal Interpretive Ranger for 47 years, mostly in Yellowstone, and is currently serving as a backcountry volunteer and Fire Lookout in Yellowstone. He is the author of Exploring the Yellowstone Backcountry, Tracking the Spirit of Yellowstone: Recollections of Thirty-One Years as a Seasonal Ranger, and Reflections from Yellowstone and Beyond. He has traveled Yellowstone’s backcountry during all seasons, including an 18-day wilderness ski trip through the park.
John and Debra Dirksen have spent almost every summer in Yellowstone’s backcountry for the past 40+ years, often serving as volunteers. The two met at Old Faithful Inn in 1984 and married 8 months later. They have had many Yellowstone backcountry adventures in the following 38 summers in Yellowstone. Dr. Debra Dirksen is the Dean of Education at the University of Western New Mexico. She is well known for her backcountry cooking skills and style. John Dirksen has taught classes in backpacking and has spent 55 summers backpacking the trails of the Yellowstone ecosystem and many trails of surrounding forest lands. The summer of his 73rd birthday, he reached a total of 25,000 miles backpacking in Yellowstone! John and Debra have been volunteering for the Yellowstone Backcountry Office for the last 15 years as “Backcountry Cabin Specialists” and enjoy every moment they get to spend time in the park.
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