Wilderness Program

Embark on a journey into the Pali Outback.

While carrying all of their own gear required to sustain in the wilderness, students work together as a team while learning about themselves and what they are capable of in the San Bernardino Mountains. Over the course of the expedition, qualified trip leaders guide the students through this immersive experience full of challenges that will strengthen their understanding of the environment, others, and themselves. Students are able to develop an authentic appreciation of nature and grow into self-sufficient empowered versions of their former selves.

Where do we begin?

Our trip begins at Pali with an introduction to outdoor survival, Leave No Trace (LNT), as well as backpacking tips and best practices. The students will then take an introductory hike to the first campsite to set up and have dinner with the second day consisting of select teaching materials, visiting Deep Creek, and a higher-level hike to the final campsite. Each day the students will enjoy backpacking meals of hot breakfasts, cold lunches, and hot meals for the evenings.

Preparing your Students

The Pali Outback trip is ideal for students in 7th grade and up. The trip covers approximately 10 miles of terrain with moderate elevation changes, in travel groups composed of 15 students and 2 Pali Instructors. Our highly skilled Outback staff provide around the clock care and instruction for students during their trip.

Our Outback leaders have extensive outdoor and backcountry experience as well as a Wilderness First Aid certification, with many possessing a Wilderness First Responder certification. These instructors are equipped with two-way radios during the trip as well as a GPS Tracker. Visiting school teachers will also join the students during their hike to take advantage of the bonding experiences that backpacking can offer.

View across forest floor of three Pali students
Pali instructor sits on log to address student group in woods


In addition to clothes, students should pack bedding (sleeping bag and travel pillow), at least 2 liters of water storage, any toiletries they require (don’t forget sunscreen and lip balm!) and a flashlight for evenings. Pali Institute will provide all required technical equipment, including tents, hiking backpacks, foam sleeping pad, additional water storage, cooking tools, food and navigational equipment. (See our full packing list for details!)

Clothes for the trip should ideally be of synthetic fibers, especially layers that are close to the body. Cotton can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and once damp doesn’t act as a good insulator.

Interested in more than one class?