teen adventure programs since 1973

Teen Outdoor Adventure Gear

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Packing For Your Adventure

One of most fun aspects of a Wilderness Ventures trip is assembling your gear and clothing. While we realize equipment can add up easily, we are committed to saving you money.

Click Below to Access

Wilderness Ventures' Online Store


Wilderness Ventures Online Store

The WV online store will allow you to shop for most of the clothing and equipment required for your upcoming adventure. In addition, you will find the latest and greatest "WV" logo gear available for purchase. Before you begin shopping please keep the following in mind:

  • Reference the itemized Packing List you received in your Adventure Planner. This is the complete list of items you will need. Some of these items are not available through our online store. On the lists you will find some of our recommendations for the core items you will need. We have chosen one or two good options for sleeping bags, footwear, and clothing, with additional options available.
  • Take advantage of our affordable Rental Program on most of our domestic trips for the following items: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and backpack. For our biking trips we also offer a bike and pannier rental program.
  • Please use gear you already have! Borrowing items from family and friends is a great way to recycle items and put them to good use!
  • Finally, 15% of all purchases made through the Wilderness Ventures Online Store will go to "The Hole Idea Scholarship Project Fund," an annual scholarship fund for students who would not otherwise be able to afford a Wilderness Ventures experience.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: (800) 533-2281.

Gear Rental Program

In an effort to keep equipment costs down, Wilderness Ventures offers a rental program for our students on a few select items. Any student enrolled in a domestic program has the option to rent a backpack, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad from Wilderness Ventures. This does not include Hawaii trips or any international trips. Due to the logistics of gear distribution, our rental program is only available for our domestic programs.


Bicycle Rental Program

In an effort to keep equipment costs down, Wilderness Ventures/Crossroads Bicycle Tours offers a bicycle and pannier rental program for our students on our road touring trips.  Students on our mountain biking trips can rent a mountain bike from Wilderness Ventures/Crossroads Bicycle Tours. 


Local Preferred Retailers

In order to assist our students in locating appropriate gear for our trips, Wilderness Ventures has identified preferred retailers around the country. Employees at these retail stores will be familiar with the equipment needed for your Wilderness Ventures trip and be able to assist you in choosing the right gear for your trip. Click here to view a comprehensive list of local retailers around the country.

Preparation Notes

Body Conditioning and Care: It's fun to plan out your gear for your trip, but gear is only half the preparation. The other half is you! Your enjoyment of the trip will depend on several factors.

  1. Fitness: Any reasonably fit and active teen will be able to handle one of our trips.
  2. Motivation: It will not always be easy - you must be motivated!
  3. Teamwork: Our trips require compromise, patience, and selflessness. If you support your trip leaders and your trip mates, you will have a great experience.

Your trip will be significantly more enjoyable if you have a basic level of fitness. The training guidelines below are designed to help you develop a solid fitness basis.

For Hiking Trips

For hiking trips you will also need well broken-in boots. There have been students who have had to leave their trips because of blisters from boots that were not broken in. 

Four weeks before your departure day:

Wear your boots for 15-30 minutes a day to walk around your house or neighborhood so your boots will begin to conform to your feet.

Three weeks before your departure day:

Take three half-hour hikes or walks in your boots.

Two weeks before your departure day:

Take three 45-minute hikes or walks in your boots.

One week before your departure day:

Take three hour-long hikes or walks in your boots.

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   Reservations & Info: 800-533-2281 or email info@wildernessventures.com
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Teen Summer Camps at Wilderness Ventures!

If you’re searching for traditional Teen Summer Camps or Teen Adventure Programs, you’ve come to a place where traditional turns into Exhilarating! Since 1973, Wilderness Ventures has been conducting unique Teen Summer Camps in many of the finest areas for teen summer camp activities in the world. Our teen summer camps and international adventure programs for teens combine an enriching group living experience with Outdoor Adventure and leadership skill training in a fun, non-competitive Wilderness Camp environment.


As the pioneering teen summer camp, Wilderness Ventures has been conducting adventure tours in the American West for 39 years. We conducted our first teen summer camp in 1973, visiting all of the most splendid wilderness areas in the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest. Today, we take great pride in running the best teen adventure camps in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and in several international destinations, including Central and South America, Europe, Australia and the South Pacific. Because of our vast teen adventure experience, our exclusive destinations, and the enviable degree of control that we have over the quality of our adventures, we are largely considered the best teen summer camp available to today's teens.

Teen Summer Camp Destinations

When we conducted our first teen summer camp in 1973, we wanted to bring our teen summer campers to the best, most beautiful and most inspiring environments on the planet. Some highlights of our first teen summer camp consisted of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Three Sisters Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park and Olympic National Park. Back in the early 1970s, permits to our nation's treasured wilderness areas was still possible to obtain. With tremendous foresight, our founders Mike and Helen Cottingham were able to aquire permits to the best and most beautiful teen summer camp environments in the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, California and Hawaii. Affectionately, we refer to these environments as “Our Last Best Places,” and the exclusive permits that we hold to these treasured environments allows us to conduct teen summer camps in the most beautiful locations on the planet. For example, we are the only teen summer camp with the authority to lead teen backpacking trips in Grand Teton National Park and Oregon's Three Sisters Wilderness; we are the only teen adventure camp allowed to lead sea kayaking expeditions onto the high alpine lakes of Yellowstone National Park, where our own adventure camp sea kayaking specialists.

Teen Summer Camp Safety

Because of our self-managed permits in these teen summer camp destinations, we have a high degree of control over who leads our expeditions. Our teen summer camp leaders are the most highly qualified, most extensively trained staff members in the teen summer camp industry; see “Our Leaders.” But another important distinction between Wilderness Ventures and other teen summer camps is the level of control our leaders have over the adventures they are leading. Many teen summer camps must, for example, subcontract their important outdoor adventure activities to permit holders so that they can conduct teen backpacking trips and teen hiking trips; this process often dilutes the quality of the leadership in charge of the health, safety, enjoyment and general well being of the teen summer camp activities. Since we operate under our own permits, we have the assurance that only our own highly qualified and trained leaders are conducting our teen summer camps.  Wilderness Ventures is an equal service provider.