TAPS and Outward Bound Backpacking Expedition

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar August 18 - 22, 2021
Sierra National Forest, Fresno, California
Entry Form Open from April 1, 2021 to April 21, 2021


All participants will be required to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination(s).

All adult survivors 18 and older are invited to join TAPS and Outward Bound California on a backpacking expedition through the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Our shared experience will have us breathe deeply amidst the pines and soaking in breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. What awaits is a fresh perspective on life's challenges and cherished memories with fellow survivors.

TAPS Expeditions are outdoor skills-based events that require dedication, preparation and a real sense of adventure. Our route along the rugged alpine Sierra Nevada takes advantage of scenic views over streams, lakes, and the same scenery that inspired the likes of John Muir and Ansel Adams. As we hike along this stunning California terrain, we’ll be led to consider what we really can control as we learn to trust our gear, our team, and ourselves.


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Leading up to the expedition, we'll gain familiarity with each other through virtual team meetings to discuss preparation, gear lists and more. Your team will be a source of encouragement as you prepare for this adventure and an ongoing support network long after the expedition is complete.

While each expedition is unique and rewarding, they can also be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. Each expedition offers an opportunity for exploration or revisiting valuable experiences in the outdoors. We hope you’ll apply to join us after you’ve taken some time to consider your current physical and emotional strength and resilience. 

This expedition is being put together in partnership with Outward Bound California.



The tentative schedule provided by Outward Bound California is due to change or minor adjustments for a number of reasons, including weather and participant skill level.


There will be team meetings via conference call or video chat that are mandatory for participants. You will have access to our Facebook group, which will include participants from this expedition, as well as those who participated in previous expeditions so you can ask questions and learn from their experience.


This backpacking adventure will begin and end near Fresno, California. The first day will include travel to our start point, a gear check, an overview of the potential routes, and stepping off at the trail head. Over the next four days, we’ll face the adventure and challenge of navigating the wondrous terrain of the Sierra Nevadas, work as a team to select and set up camp, and learn a lot about each other - ultimately creating a bond and fellowship that only time spent in nature can provide.


We fully expect your team members to become your family and an ongoing support network long after the TAPS Expedition is complete. You'll be provided with a directory following the expedition to keep in touch with each other.



This expedition requires no backpacking experience but does necessitate that you be physically fit and healthy. This physically demanding expedition that will include backpacking from 4 to 8 miles per day. Even if you don't have backpacking experience, if this adventure excites you then we encourage you to submit an entry form by April 21, 2021.

The TAPS Expeditions team will make sure you are prepared and well informed of the nature of this trip.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest you engage in a regular exercise regimen leading up to the trip (simple stretching does wonders!). Prior to the trip, we'll have a conference call and online video meetings to go over training, gear lists, and more.



Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, TAPS will cover the backpacking expedition costs, with the exception of your transportation to and from the start point, and any lodging expenses and desired meals prior to and after the expedition. 



Entry forms will be open from April 1 to 21, 2021 (look for the blue button at the top of this page at that time). Entry forms will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so you can expect a call within a week after the application window closes.  If more entry forms are received than we have slots available, we will do a random selection from qualified entries.

If you have any questions, please email expeditions@taps.org or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).

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