You Have Questions, We Have Answers.

FAQs

Is Backcountry Unlimited For Me?
Backcountry Unlimited participants are fun, enthusiastic and respectful individuals who are excited to try new things! Our small group sizes (maximum of 13 participants and 2 Trip Leaders) ensure that our community is cohesive and safe. The Backcountry Unlimited way of life is incredible, fantastic and phenomenal. Our goal is that your Backcountry Unlimited outing will become the best decision of your life.
How Do I Sign Up?
Contact Backcountry Unlimited: Seven days a week, we encourage your calls or e-mails to answer your questions. Or simply click on the Escape Now button to register.

Interview: A ten-minute phone interview is required. This ensures your best experience.

Contact Us Again and Again! We understand and embrace our responsibility to answer your questions. It is our goal to exceed your expectations for communication.
What Is Included In Tuition?
There is no need to be a Gearhead to successfully travel with Backcountry Unlimited. You should be able to fully participate with very little to no additional expense. Enrollment includes accommodation, activities, transportation, meals, and group and specialized gear such as tents, stoves, cookware, climbing harness, PFD’s etc.  Some of the best raincoats are simple trash bags. Our clothing list (included in each trip’s participation packet) do differ from one trip to the next. A complete packing list specific to your trip will be sent to you.
What Is Not Included?
Round trip airfare, personal medical insurance, Trip Leader and Adventure Partner tips and personal items listed on the packing list are not included with the tuition cost.
What About Spending Money?
You should bring $50 for every week you’ll be on your Backcountry Unlimited Trip. Spending money will cover souvenirs, personal items, gratuities, and impulse purchases. We recommend you bring cash, or an ATM card. Yes, ATM machines are accessible on every Backcountry Unlimited trip. We will assist anyone who needs currency conversion upon arrival.
What Will My First Day Be Like?
Your Backcountry Unlimited Trip Leaders will meet you and your fellow adventurers at the airport of your arrival city.  Please wear your Backcountry Unlimited tee shirt to make connecting in the airport easy. Many of our teens meet each other during their layover between flights. Once at your final destination there will be lots of new faces but don’t worry, after a few silly ice breakers and a good meal together you’ll have made new friends. The first night all Backcountry Unlimited participants will stay near the arrival city airport (in case of flight delays) either in a hostel or a beautiful campsite.  We begin by learning about each other and introducing the new skills necessary for our first adventure: climbing, hiking, rafting, etc. Regardless of what that first adventure is, we will teach and empower you to learn awesome skills that might even develop into a newfound passion.  On all of our trips, we’ll start with introductory activities and as you progress and gain greater comfort, we’ll teach you more technical skills.  Every day of your trip will have a new adventure and be devoted to activities such as rafting, kayaking, bicycling, and rock climbing.  Backcountry Unlimited will teach you the skills necessary to be successful and help you perfect those you already have.
What Experience Do I Need?
No experience is necessary for Backcountry Unlimited programs. Backcountry Unlimited’s mission is to show people the wonders of the outdoors while teaching new skills and creating a deep connection to our wild places. We pride ourselves on our ability to accommodate all experience levels and make our adventures fun for everyone. As long as you are willing to try new things Backcountry Unlimited Trip Leaders will enthusiastically meet you at your experience level.
What Kind Of Skills Will I Need?
Activities that require special instruction are led by our professional Adventure Partners. Our Adventure Partners join our groups with the expertise and equipment necessary to provide the highest level of safe, fun instruction suitable for all skill levels.
Are Backcountry Unlimited Trip Leaders Trained?
Once hired all our Trip Leaders take part in a detailed training program to continually develop their skills. Our staff’s professionalism and dedication to safety is a point of pride for Backcountry Unlimited! Here at Backcountry Unlimited we believe you can never be too safe. Before our staff is hired we screen and background check everyone in detail.
What If My Family Needs To Contact Me?
Our office is reachable by phone and e-mail 24 hours a day. All problems are handled immediately and the family is always contacted directly. Participants call home upon arrival and again mid-way through the trip to check-in.
What Are The Safety Standards?
Backcountry Unlimited is certified by all state (Arizona) and local agencies. We also have all the correct permits and insurance required to operate.
What Is The Group Size?
Small group size is what makes Backcountry Unlimited special and allows for bonding and meaningful connections. Most of our programs enroll between 8 and 13 teens. If it happens that your child is the only male or female teen on a trip, we will advise you of this prior to the adventure. If there are a small number of teens on a trip, we will contact participants and seek to place them in an alternative appropriate trip. If an appropriate alternative is not found, all fees will be refunded.
Do You Ever Change Trip Itineraries?
Our intention is to follow our itineraries as precisely as possible. However, various factors may necessitate a schedule change. If an activity or area is altered for any reason, it will be replaced with a comparable substitute. The Backcountry Unlimited staff has put a massive amount of effort into planning fun, adventurous, appropriately challenging, and eye-opening experiences for our participants. Every effort will be made to run trips as planned but alterations are sometimes necessary and unavoidable for the health, safety, and enjoyment of the participants. We expect our teens, and their families, to be flexible in the face of unforeseen changes and to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities that might arise.
How Will We Travel?
Backcountry Unlimited travels from place to place in new passenger vans with equipment trailers. We may also occasionally use ferries or planes as well depending on the trip. Regardless of how we travel, our goal is to spend the majority of our time adventuring not traveling from one place to another.
Where Will We Sleep?
Sleep? Sleeping is easy and you’ll sleep like a baby because you’ll be so busy doing fun daytime activities. All our trips are a mix of sleeping in our two to three person tents and staying in hostels. All tents and hostel rooms are single gender.
Personal Electronics?
In an effort to eliminate distractions among the group and to promote engagement in the Backcountry Unlimited experience, personal electronic devices, such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, handheld gaming devices, cell phones, etc., are prohibited on all of our programs. Digital cameras and GoPros are acceptable. If your teen travels with a cell phone, it will be collected by their leaders and held until the end of the program. We do encourage teens to bring a cell phone if they are traveling alone in order to easily communicate with their parent(s)/guardian(s) and the Backcountry Unlimited office should their travel plans change. Backcountry Unlimited will not be held responsible for any electronic devices that are lost, damaged, or stolen.
What Will We Eat?
Without a doubt, great food is essential. Cooking as a group in amazing places is an experience filled with laughter.  Every few days we will shop as a group. Participants will be divided into cooking teams and you and your new friends will have the opportunity to make a tasty meal for everyone to enjoy. Common meals made include: chicken/vegetable fajitas, burritos, pizza, pasta, pancakes and even Dutch oven brownies.
Food Allergies?
Backcountry Unlimited recognizes that the number of people with life-threatening allergies has increased considerably over the last few years and protecting them from exposure to allergens is the most important way to prevent life-threatening anaphylaxis. Most anaphylactic reactions occur when a person is accidentally exposed to a substance to which he/she is allergic, such as foods, medicines, insects and latex. Because of the life-threatening nature of these allergies Backcountry Unlimited has created policies to ensure the safety of every person who attends a Backcountry Unlimited trip.  

It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians/participant with food allergies to inform Backcountry Unlimited of the allergies.  

Backcountry Unlimited staff is very skilled when handling allergies/food restrictions and we are able to accommodate most food allergies. However, not all restrictions can be addressed due to the complexity of certain allergies. There are inherent food risks that are associated with adventure travel that should be carefully considered before enrolling.  If the food allergies are severe and food purchase is limited, Backcountry Unlimited may require the teen to provide additional food at their expense.

All participants with life-threatening allergies must bring medications including an epinephrine auto-injector. The epinephrine auto-injector must accompany the participant at all times while attending Backcountry Unlimited.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARENTS/GUARDIANS/PARTICIPANTS WITH A FOOD ALLERGIES

- Provide a clear list of foods and ingredients to avoid.

-  Consider providing a medical alert bracelet.

-  Provide the Backcountry Unlimited with medication orders from your licensed provider.

-  Provide Backcountry Unlimited with two (2) up-to-date epinephrine auto-injectors.

-  Provide a bag of "safe food".

RESPONSIBILITIES OF BACKCOUNTRY UNLIMITED

- Observe and evaluate food labels from each food served when manufactured products are used.

- Backcountry Unlimited management will communicate with parents about allergies and when parents need to provide safe foods.

- Backcountry Unlimited personnel have received education on life-threatening allergy conditions and are trained in emergency response procedures.
What Is Expected Of Participants?
Backcountry Unlimited wants you to have the time of your life on the trip of your choice. To do so, you will need to arrive both mentally and physically prepared. How much you enjoy your experience will be directly related to how well conditioned you are. If you are not playing sports currently, we strongly suggest you prepare with a regular jogging, bicycling or swimming program.

We expect you to arrive with an enthusiastic and positive attitude. You must be prepared to share and contribute to your fellow trip mates unselfishly, be excited about participating in all group activities, and be ready to make great new friends. The most important aspect of your trip will be your group experience and if you arrive both mentally and physically prepared, we are confident you will have the adventure of a lifetime.

Our adventures are community-focused with structured environments and we have high expectations of our teens’ behavior.  All teens are expected to participate willingly in all program activities and take on trip responsibilities with a positive attitude. We pride ourselves on the superior quality of our program itineraries, subcontracted Adventure Partners, and Trip Leaders. In order to create successful programs, participants must recognize their personal responsibility to this success. It is up to each individual to ensure the quality of his/her adventure by respecting our simple trip expectations and rules.

Our programs are all well within the ability range of the vast majority of average young adults who have the desire to participate. We make every effort through our screening process to be sure that those accepted into our programs are capable of handling both the mental and physical challenges offered. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to assess the appropriateness of these programs for his/her child. Our rules and guidelines are implemented to ensure a positive group experience. While the majority of a Backcountry Unlimited trip is structured and supervised, teens will not be constantly supervised. Group members must be able to assume responsibility for their actions and decisions.
Will I Need A Passport Or Visa?
A passport is required for all international trips (outside the USA). Make two photocopies of your passport, leave one at home and carry one tucked away in your luggage. Your original passport will be held by your Trip Leader for safe keeping. Visa requirements vary by country and Backcountry Unlimited will notify you if one is required. Non-USA students must check local visa requirements.
Will I Need A Physical And/Or Country Vaccinations?
Contact your family physician or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information. We will tell you about any required vaccinations or precautions for the country that you are visiting.
Can I Attend Sequential Trips?
If you would like to attend two sequential trips, (ending and beginning in the same city) our Trip Leaders are delighted to hang out with you for the layover days before the next trip begins.  Simply register for the two separate trips, pay the small layover fee and we will take care of the rest. Please be sure to book the correct flights.
What Are The Terms Of Payment And Refund Policy?
Once your Backcountry application is approved a $900.00 deposit is required to complete enrollment. Backcountry Unlimited is unable to secure your reservation until both the application and deposit have been processed. Your $900 deposit will be applied directly towards your total tuition. Final tuition payments are due on or before June 1st. Participants enrolled after June 1st, are required to submit final payment within five business days of application submission. Backcountry Unlimited reserves the right to cancel unpaid applications wherein their tuition is more than 30 days past due, with no return of fees.

Cancellation charges reflect the many expenses Backcountry Unlimited cannot recover, even if you cancel due to illness, injury, or personal emergencies. These fees are not meant to be punitive. The charges made reflect the expenses Backcountry Unlimited has incurred in administering your reservation and planning for your participation. We recognize that the majority of those who cancel their reservations do so out of necessity. Please note that we do not make any refunds for any unused portion of your trip, not arriving, arriving late, or leaving the trip early.

To qualify for any refunds, we must receive notification in writing, by emailing info@backcountryunlimited.com or by mailing a letter to Backcountry Unlimited at 385 Chaparral Drive, Prescott, AZ 86301. Your cancellation date is the date the notice is received by Backcountry Unlimited in writing by email or letter. Exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason.

In the unfortunate event that you must cancel your trip, your refund will be determined according to the following formula:

Days prior to departure                           Refund
90+ days                                               All but deposit
90 - 46 days                                         75% of trip fee
45 - 30 days                                         50% of trip fee
30 days or less                                    No refund
 
Backcountry Unlimited reserves the right to cancel or alter a trip due to unforeseen weather, unsafe conditions, low registration or other circumstances. On the rare occasion that Backcountry Unlimited must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be refunded, including the non-refundable portion of your deposit. Backcountry Unlimited is not responsible for expenses incurred in preparation for any canceled trips, including airplane tickets.
What About Travel Insurance?
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND TRIP CANCELLATION/TRIP INTERRUPTION INSURANCE, which covers your cost if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for medical reasons, trip delay, lost baggage, and other unforeseen emergencies.  In order to avoid disappointment and expense in the event that you must cancel your trip we strongly urge you to purchase some type of insurance coverage. You can sign up for it online through our application process with Trip Mate or online with Travelex Insurance or another company of your choosing.