What you will learn
At the Matanuska Outdoor Institute, Alaska is the classroom.
You’ll live on our mountain-side campus attending classes, work sessions and seminars all while integrating that knowledge into your daily living. Alaska is authentic and we strive to be as well. Our environment can be basic and raw and that’s where you’ll start your learning with MOI. How to take care of yourself in the weather and how to communicate with others in addition to hard skills like how to build a fire and read a map.
You’ll become more reliant on yourself, and less reliant on your phone.
Your 3 week semester is packed with adventurous learning, taking advantage of all your days under the midnight sun. Two weeks of focused skills training, knowledge and day adventures to prepare yourself and your community to accomplish a 5 day true backcountry wilderness trip.
Your first week you meet your new crew and actively get involved in building camp, building community and getting intimately familiar with our valley between the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountain ranges.
During this week you start your journey into wilderness medicine, navigation, Alaskan field studies, gear/equipment examination, meal planning and the critical elements of living outside. Everyday our studies are integrated with hikes, trekking, climbs, and backcountry rambles.
The 2nd week we dive deeper into core skills and collaboration, putting concepts into practice, traveling into the field to test out practical group leadership, river crossings, scree scrambles, and reading the landscape. This week you will spend a lot of time planning and preparing for your 5 day wilderness expedition.
This is the trip you have planned for. With your new skills and your crew you embark on a 5 day backcountry outing. No defined trails, no designated campsites, the team decides the route, you all plan your destination. Accompanied by our experienced wilderness guides your team calls the shots for where your trip will take you.
At MOI you’ll have the opportunity to gain:
- Navigation with map and compass
- Basic rope and anchor systems
- River Safety
- Wilderness First Aid
- Preparing for weather
- Managing cold challenge
- Alpine travel and scrambling
- Fire building
- Understanding resilience and it’s applications
- Group communication
- Wildlife of Alaska
- Geology and Geography of the Matanuska Valley
- Community meal planning
- Expedition planning
- The confidence to “figure it out”
- The confidence to communicate honestly
- The confidence to keep going when things are tough