Please note: FOP will not be conducting wilderness trips in 2021. For an updated description of 2021 programming, see the "Program Overview" Tab. The following information decribes the usual breadth of FOP wilderness trips in non-pandemic years.
FOP's original trip type, wilderness trips, travel self-supported through woods, across lakes, and over mountains. Each night, the trip will camp in a new location. There are three types of wilderness trips:
Wilderness Backpacking trips are six-day hiking trips in the mountain ranges of either Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. Backpacking FOPpers and their leaders spend each day hiking from one site to another and experience a variety of mountainous terrain.
Wilderness Service trips are six days long and combine backpacking with trail work service projects. These trips allow FOP to give back to the national forests we visit through trail work and maintenance while providing a great opportunity for a FOP group to build teamwork and cooperation.
Wilderness Switch trips are six-day trips during which FOP groups spend three days canoeing and three days backpacking in Maine. By "switching" from hiking to canoeing, FOPpers are able to see the beauty of the areas we visit both by trail and by water.
We offer trips of varying levels of difficulty so that we can provide fun and challenging experiences for anyone. When you fill out your preferences for trip type, you will be asked to rank your difficulty level preference from 1 to 10. As a guide, this is what those numbers mean:
• A difficulty rating of 1 means we will try to place you on a route that does 3-5 miles per day with elevation changes of 1000' - 2000'.
• A difficulty rating of 5 means we will try to place you on a route that does 5-8 miles per day with elevation changes from 2000' - 4000'. You may also be placed on a trip with above-treeline exposure, meaning that you might hike in high-elevation mountainous areas above the woods.
• A difficulty rating of 10 means we will try to place you on a route that does 7-10 miles per day with elevation changes up to 6000'. You might be placed on a trip that climbs some of the highest peaks in New England!
When preferencing what difficulty you want, think about things like:
- Would you rather spend all day long hiking, or do shorter distances and have more time for other things during the day?
- How physically fit do you think you are?
- Do you want to be pushed out of your comfort zone physically?
There are many ways to have a fun, challenging, and productive FOP experience. Challenge can mean different things for different people. Also, remember that any one trip probably combines more difficult and less difficult parts and this number is simply a guideline for when we are considering where to place you.