Since the beginning we’ve enjoyed spending time on the trail with friends. We call these Full Tang Expeditions, and as a few of them have made their way on to our calendar I think it’s time they got a formal definition and description.
A Full Tang Expedition is a minimally-guided trip for friends, colleagues and other experienced folk. It is an opportunity for us as instructors and guides to get out an enjoy life on the land without the work that comes with professionally guiding a trip. We do not take care of every detail like on a guided trip. You need to be skilled, self-reliant and prepared to participate. For us at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School, they are a chance to get out and enjoy the experience without having to manage a group or be constantly teaching.
The idea is that for people who have developed their skill level such as alumni, other guides, etc., they get to enjoy the camaraderie of a group of peers experiencing life on the land.
Types of Full Tang Expeditions have included canoe trips, snowshoe trips, fishing trips, sea kayak trips, hiking trips, and more.
In order to participate you need to have a high level of skill and be self-sufficient. On some of these trips we do group meals. On some we don’t. We don’t loan any gear and we do very minimal instruction that is usually specific to the trip that we’re on. Usually these trips are by invitation-only.
These are not trips to develop your skill set. We offer courses for that. They are a way to get into the back country with other experienced folk for the sake of camaraderie and enjoying life.
In a nutshell, these trips are a way for us to enjoy the backcountry with friends while not having to wear our guide or instructor hats the whole time. We don’t mind wearing these hats, in fact we really enjoy it. But we like to balance that experience with the love of just being out on the land and not wrangling people and sweating the details. We will continue to offer fully guided trips.