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Wilderness Volunteers

Who Can Volunteer?

Who Can Volunteer? 

Whatever your level of experience, if you are physically fit and healthy, one of our trips should be right for you. The minimum age to participate is 18 or 16-18 with a family member.

Assess Your Fitness Level 

We welcome your questions and encourage you to fill out the application form as completely as possible so we can determine if the trip is right for you. All trips require physically fit participants who are willing to work at conditioning to be in shape before the trips begin . See the information under Get in Shape For Your Trip . You will not have a good time on the trip if you are not prepared physically. 

We use the Body Mass Index (BMI) when looking at height/weight ratios. You can find your BMI here . If you have a BMI over 28, you will probably be turned down for most of the trips although we do look at your experience and what you do to stay in shape on a regular basis.


Project Difficulty Ratings

* Easy - short walks on level terrain, work project with minimal bending and lifting. (We don't have any easy trips!)

** Active - Shorter backpacks, car-camping or lodge/dormitory living with long day hikes often on uneven ground. Work projects requiring lifting, bending and working several hours each day with tools. These trips are for people in good shape ready for a full day of activity.

*** Strenuous - Long backpacks on established trails. Also, car-camping or lodge/dormitory trips with long day hikes and demanding physical work. These trips are for energetic, fit people and may involve high altitude and remote areas. The work projects may include heavy lifting, lots of bending, shoveling, picking, chopping, and/or sawing.

**** Challenging+ - Strenuous with longer backpacks, off-trail backpacks, sometimes with significant elevation changes. Also trips with camping and work at elevation, or canoeing with portages. These trips are very challenging and require excellent aerobic conditioning, past experience in outdoor settings and familiarity with backcountry camping. Not for beginners.

Your Responsibility

Service trips are cooperative endeavors. Participants need to be accommodating of each other and supportive of group efforts. A sense of humor, an adventuresome spirit and appreciation of the outdoors are always welcome! Many trips require participants to hike in groups of at least three on the off days due to the remote area and changeable weather.

You are responsible for selecting a trip (with the aid of our staff) that is appropriate for your abilities, reading the materials sent to you to prepare you for the trip, bringing appropriate camping equipment as advised by Wilderness Volunteers, acting courteously to other participants, and following Leave No Trace camping practices as taught by our leaders.

All volunteers must have the ability to live in remote areas where there are few amenities and the weather is unpredictable, must be willing and able to work throughout the day on the project and on camp chores, and maintain a positive attitude in a group setting throughout the week.

Food and Equipment

Food is provided for all trips along with cooking gear. Participants bring their own camping gear. The sponsoring agency supplies tools and equipment necessary for the work project. A detailed list of recommended clothing and personal equipment will be made available to each participant, and is also accessible from the individual trip pages on this website (gear list.)

Please note that the food for each trip is planned and bought by the volunteer leaders on each trip. They have lots of experience and most trip participants are pleased with the menu selection, quality and quantity.

If you have an allergy to common food ingredients, it might not be possible to accommodate you on the trips. Please let us know your food concerns and restrictions on the trip application.