Become a proficient wilderness hunter with this deep dive into planning, environmental precautions, hydration & nutrition, clothing, and caring for yourself to meet the demands of a multi-day backcountry hunt.

Course Info
Instructor Biography

Backcountry Mission Planning

John Barklow stands on a ridge in full backcountry gear.

Learn survival skills from someone who's spent the last 2 decades teaching the U.S. Special Operations Forces. John shares his knowledge and practical training to help you better plan, prepare, and survive any situation the backcountry throws at you.

John Barklow
Class Length:
16 Chapters
Survival, Hunting, Backcountry

Lesson Plan

Chapter 1

Introduction: Backcountry Mission Planning

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Meet your instructor, U.S. Navy veteran John Barklow. John lays out his course for effective backcountry hunt planning.

Chapter 2

Being a Student of the Game

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A true hunter is never satisfied, and is a student - continually learning and always honing their craft.

Chapter 3

Backcountry Hunting Physical & Mental Training

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When your hunt goes sideways in the backcountry, we don’t rise to our expectations, but rather fall to the level of our training.

Chapter 4

Building Strong Hunting Partnerships

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John details the importance of forging strong partnerships to achieve safe, fulfilling & consistent success in the backcountry.

Chapter 5

Lowering Risk in the Backcountry

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Going into the backcountry is inherently risky. Risk can change based on the team, their collective experience and skills.

Chapter 6

Route Planning in the Backcountry

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Knowing your rate of movement on-off trail over various terrains, with weight on your back, is critical for hunt planning.

Chapter 7

Altitude Safety

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Altitude is the great equalizer and can hurt, or shut down, your hunt quickly. No matter how tough you are, you cannot gut-out the crushing effects of altitude impairments.

Chapter 8

Backcountry Weather

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Weather can make or break your hunt if you’re ill prepared with poor clothing or shelter selections.

Chapter 9

Backcountry Hydration

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Water is more essential than food. John details water sources, filtration and storage for maximum performance and survival.

Chapter 10

Crisis Nutrition for the Backcountry

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Fueling the body with food to maintain reasonable performance is essential to backcountry success - even when nauseous.

Chapter 11

Backcountry Stoves

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Stoves can bring your hunt back to life with warm food, heat source, and water purification.

Chapter 12

Backcountry Hunting Clothing System

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A solid technical clothing system for most conditions and hunts only require eight pieces of clothing.

Chapter 13

Backcountry Shelters

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Not all shelters are created equal. John breaks down the options based on experience level, terrain, and weather.

Chapter 14

Backcountry Sleep System

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John considers your sleep system an extension of your clothing system. It is your last line of defense from the cold.

Chapter 15

Postseason Hunt Lessons Learned

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The backcountry is harsh to the unprepared. Document the highs and lows, equipment, food and clothing issues throughout your season.

Chapter 16

Top Ten Backcountry Prep Tips

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John lays out ten important tips to make you a better Student of the Game.

About John Barklow

Retired U.S. Navy Diver John Barklow spent over two decades teaching U.S. Special Operations Forces the skills and mindset required to survive and thrive in austere mountain environments.

John has also taught professional rescue groups and first responders how to be habitually proficient in the most grueling and dynamic wilderness environments.

John currently develops clothing and equipment systems at Sitka Gear for the hunting industry.

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