Back 40 Outdoor Events offers nature-based programs for mature adults who want to gain confidence and build skills in the outdoors. Our all-inclusive multi-day programs include introductory hiking, backpacking, paddling, and wilderness preparedness.
We also offer Hike ‘N Sleep programs which combine shorter hikes with accommodations at our Back 40 basecamp.
Our motto is “You Belong Here” and this ethos is woven into the fabric of our program and hospitality design.
Hailing from Alberta ranch country and no stranger to the outdoors, Katherine was in her mid-40s when she set aside her usual cowgirl routine to tackle the Yukon’s Chilkoot Trail and has been “hitting the dusty” ever since. She has “climbed way too many ladders” on the West Coast Trail, followed a trail of bear poo on the Juan de Fuca, dodged mule trains on the Manaslu Circuit in Nepal, and braved end-of-season weather on Europe’s Tour du Mont Blanc and Kootenay National Park’s Rockwall Hike. She doesn’t believe in age-related restrictions on pretty much anything, and at age 47 became the first Canadian female to compete in the 1000 kilometer Mongol Derby. She has ridden horses in the Canadian Rockies, the Ecuadorian Andes, the Wild Coast of South Africa, and Drakensberg Mountains of Lesotho (and has the cankles to prove it.) She is certified in wilderness first aid, holds Interpretive Guide and OCC Field Leader accreditation, and keeps her hiking boots warmed up on trails in the Rockies, Purcells, and the Columbia Valley. She makes a mean pot of campfire soup, knows the value of ibuprofen, and specializes in remaining calm under pressure.
Adrian brings over 30 years of military, outdoor, and leadership experience to the camp table. Originally from the UK, he was enticed to Canada by Kathy and the idea of a life in the Canadian Rockies, where he continues to indulge his love of skiing, paragliding, paddling, hiking, and riding. He has qualified as a ski, paragliding, climbing, diving and paddling instructor, mountain leader and offshore sailing skipper, holds wilderness first aid and swift water rescue certifications, and has skied, hiked, dived, sailed, flown, climbed, and ridden in some of the most spectacular places in the world. He is pretty good at telling Dad jokes and can (literally) talk you off a ledge (if you happen to find yourself stranded on one.) He is getting better at “Canadian lingo” but still uses the odd “British-ism”, which means we occasionally don’t know what he’s talking about. No matter; he’s still the guy to know when it comes to finding your way around the trails.
Roxy, a blue-eyed husky/golden lab joined the team in 2018 and is in charge of the wildlife early warning system. She is skilled at running, retrieving deer antlers, and sniffing out bear scat.
Islay (pronounced Eye-lah) is a black lab and our newest team member as of spring 2020. She is in charge of team morale and bone disposal.
Back 40 programs are based at Highland Bear, a privately-owned property on the slope of Brisco Mountain north of Radium Hot Springs in the Columbia Valley BC. The property is accessible from BC Provincial Highway 95 but still features secluded camping with stunning views of the Rockies, Purcells, and the Columbia Wetlands. We have summer and winter trails, access to the backcountry, and abundant wildlife thanks to our proximity to the Columbia Wetlands and the Luxor Pass – an important wildlife migration corridor between the Rockies and the Purcells.
If you’re looking to build confidence, expand experience, and play outdoors in a non-judgmental inclusive environment, this is for you. You belong here! See you soon.
“Our friends and I camped in the bell tents at Back 40 on Brisco mountain, which was also the inaugural camping trip for our 10 month old daughter (and one of our best sleeps in a long time). The photos don’t do the views justice. The property is easy to access, yet you find yourself in the true wild, with all the basic (plus some) needed for a comfortable stay. Kathy and Adrian are approachable, fun, and were great at tailoring our experience so that no one felt out of their depths! We’ll be back often! Thank you so much!” Natasha, Darren & Zara
“A wonderful place in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, on the Brisco Mountain Range, with a view of the grandiose Columbia Valley. Hikes are offered here in a wide variety of difficulty levels, so that everyone can find their own taste and choose the respective trail according to their conditions and experience. The guide is at least (depending on the trail) equipped with a GPS device and of course bear repellants, the bears are not uncommon here! The campsite has three large tents for 3 or 4 people which are equipped with very comfortable beds. Each tent is at a sufficient distance from the other tents so that you can spend the night here undisturbed. The wooden platforms on which the tents stand also offer seating to relax in the fresh mountain air. A fireplace with enough firewood, a toilet house and a covered kitchen with running water, electricity, tables and benches make this place heaven on earth. We really enjoyed our activities and the subsequent stay and can recommend the services without reservation.“
Ilja & Anna
“You couldn’t ask for a more gorgeous setting, or more supportive, helpful, and good-humoured guides! The accommodations were great, with a nice mix of glamping and back country isolation. Some highlights of the campsite include the real beds inside the beautiful tents on their fancy decks, the well-appointed kitchen hut, and the fanciest loo with a view you’ll ever see. Everything was super clean and organized, with large bear-proof bins available for storing food and other items attractive to wildlife. When it comes to hiking and outdoor activities, the guides are very knowledgeable and encouraging, helping you take some baby steps outside your comfort zone and teaching you how to safely have a blast in the great outdoors. I can’t recommend this place enough!“
Jordan, Roshan & friends
“The PERFECT glamping experience. Booked for a group of women fairly last minute so we could SUP the Columbia River. They provided everything to make our experience comfortable and enjoyable including great river advice. So very clean and private with outstanding views. The outdoor kitchen with cooking appliances, pots, and running water even housed a charging station and had beautiful lanterns for night and lighters for the fire. Kindling and chopped wood were ready to go and the bathroom was so clean. Bear lockers were huge and easy to use. Best part was sleeping on an actual bed in the gorgeous teepees . We might never be able to go back to wilderness camping.”
Tanya & friends