Informed, not lucky
Preparing for your outdoor time puts you in a better position to respond to surprises.
KNOW WHERE TO GO
Module 1: Route planning. Plan ahead and prepare by drafting an intended route—replete with points of interest and bail-out options. This is the longest module in the course.
- Google Earth
- Documenting the trip plan
KNOW WHEN TO GO
Module 2: Near-real-time satellite imagery. Use day- or week-old imagery to make the best guess at current conditions. Is there still snow? Are the lakes frozen? Has the vegetation leafed out?
- NASA Worldview
- Sentinel Hub Playground
- Sentinel Hub EO Browser
- EOS Landviewer
KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
Module 3: Weather. Weather forecasts and history help you determine what to expect and when to visit.
- Meteogram forecasts
- Choosing a departure date and direction based on seasonal trends
- Getting weather updates during the trip
Module 4: Modern navigation. Your smartphone serves as a powerful GPS unit that can show your location on a topographic or satellite basemap.
- Gaia GPS
- Avenza Maps
- Importing a route to a GPS unit
- Printing maps
- Map and compass essentials
CREATE AN EMERGENCY PLAN
Module 5: Risk and the emergency plan. An SOS button is not an emergency plan. Take the time to evaluate what could go wrong and how you will respond.
- A risk assessment framework
- Documenting an emergency plan
- Satellite communication
- Evacuation insurance
Module 6: Stewardship. Let your love for wild places inspire you to reduce your impact. Impact is easy, recovery is hard.
- Leave No Trace ethics
- Sharing routes and geotagged locations
- Visiting Native lands
Meet the instructor, Luc Mehl
Hard-earned experience and skilled instruction
Luc Mehl is an award-winning outdoor educator based in Anchorage, Alaska.
Luc's unique trip-planning process was developed during geology programs at UCSB and MIT, followed by a decade of work in the GIS sector.
Incorporating modern GIS resources to his personal trips has enabled Luc to travel over 10,000 miles of remote Alaska by foot, packraft, ski, bike, and ice skate. These resources will revolutionize what you think is possible in the outdoors.
Former participants and clients
Mountain Guide and Former US Special Forces Detachment Commander
I have planned and executed high-level Special Operations combat missions as well as complex backcountry guided tours and I will outright say that taking a course from Luc has made me a better operational planner. And as an Alaskan Native, I appreciate the thought and care he puts in his approach to stewardship of the land and his sincere desire to be a good neighbor.
If you want to take your backcountry planning to the next level, spend some time with Luc.