Explore with Confidence

At Mountain Shepherd, we believe every person, regardless of their background and level of experience, can learn to appreciate and navigate the outdoors.

Mountain Shepherd provides the training and skills you need to embrace your next outdoor adventure. Each course and adventure we offer is focused on safety and preparedness in the outdoors.

Through education and outdoor recreation, Mountain Shepherd aims to introduce people to new outdoor activities, to build planning and preparedness skills, and to inspire everyone to learn more about the environment and themselves. Our experiences are tailored to each group of participants so every adventure is safe, personalized, challenging and exciting!

Enjoy exploring the

Mountain Shepherd Experience!

Why Choose Us?

Our Team

From Appalachian Trail thru-hikes to paddling, caving, and mountaineering expeditions, our instructors have decades of cumulative experience exploring the region and the world. Our diverse interests have led us to pursue advanced training in skills like first aid, bushcraft, land navigation and plant identification. We’re bonded by our love of wild places and our appetite for adventure, and driven to share that passion with new friends.

Our Community

Check your assumptions about who you’ll meet in these southern Appalachian mountains. We are delighted to welcome participants from around the world, whether they’ve been camping for decades or are brand new to the outdoors. Everyone is welcome at Mountain Shepherd, and the diversity of our participants creates a rich learning environment and enduring sense of community.


Try out a new type of recreation or gain valuable safety and preparedness skills in our adventure courses. Experiences include backpacking trips, canoeing, rock climbing, caving outdoor fitness courses, and even a summer camp for adults! Survival skills are always included. Adventures are available for families, women only, and co-ed adults.


Whether you’re looking to learn something new in a girls-only zone, to meet some other adventurous women, or to boost your confidence in the outdoors, we’ve got a unique women-only experience for you! Options for women to connect with and learn from other women include single-sex Survival Essentials, local backpacking trips, and even a grown-up summer camp.


Survival priorities and skills are the foundation of every Mountain Shepherd adventure. For the individuals and families looking to try their hand at more than just the basics, we offer several survival-focused courses. Learning and practicing wilderness survival is not only fun; our training provides you with the knowledge and confidence to adventure responsibly!


Girls Empowered by Mountain Shepherd (GEMS) gives girls in middle and high school empowering opportunities to learn survival skills, explore outdoor recreation, and learn about themselves while surrounded by supportive peers and positive role models. GEMS come to camp to expand their comfort zones in the outdoors, and grow into courageous, confident, compassionate leaders!


Surviving in the wilderness is strikingly similar to surviving in the workplace, especially when you’re navigating high-pressure, stressful situations. Teamwork in outdoor scenarios translates well into the office! Our leadership and team-building experiences include our core wilderness survival curriculum and can be customized to help your group meet their goals.


Get creative with your Mountain Shepherd experience! Do you want to design an educational course for a group? Are you looking for help planning and preparing for an upcoming outdoor adventure? Do you need a location for an exciting, off-the-beaten-path celebration? Contact us to propose your plans and begin customizing your experience! Custom experiences are subject to scheduling and space availability.


Our partner non-profit organization fundraises to provide empowering outdoor experiences for girls and women. Wilderness Inspirations aims to ignite courage, confidence, and compassion in women and girls through outdoor adventures and experiential education. Scholarships for our Girls Empowered by Mountain Shepherd (GEMS) program are provided by Wilderness Inspirations.


Our programs for students, teachers, teams, and clubs provide opportunities for learners to engage with their community and the natural environment to make learning real. Environment-based education encourages student engagement in all school subjects and improves students’ ability to problem-solve, think critically, and make decisions. Experiential education programs are tailored to each group’s interests, needs, and goals, and can include our wilderness survival curriculum.

Course Spotlight – Custom Courses

We’re wrapping up our Course Spotlight Series with a spotlight on our Custom Experiences. From school retreats to leadership training to family reunions to custom outdoor adventures, Mountain Shepherd is ready to host your group. We can provide programming and meals...

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Course Spotlight – Women’s Courses

We hope you enjoyed our last blog highlighting our Survival Courses. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Next up in the Course Spotlight Series is our amazingly empowering women’s courses. These courses are open to anyone who identifies as a woman, and...

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