What we're about

Want to spend more time in nature, learn new skills, and meet great people? This is the biggest outdoor adventure meetup in WI. All skill levels are welcome. We have free social events at least once per month that focus on things like backpacking skills, wild edibles, cold weather adventure, day hikes, gear, or just sitting around the fire sharing stories.

We hold a variety of classes and trips based on member interest including Wilderness First Aid certifications, backpacking and canoe camping trips, survival courses, cooking classes, firearms training and more. We also offer very unique and one of a kind international expeditions. From Mt. Everest to the Arctic to the Amazon Jungle these trips are organized and guided by NOW Outdoors.

We help people become more skilled, more experienced, and more confident outdoors. We never want to exclude anyone from classes or trips so please contact us with any questions or concerns so we can help you to be fully equipped for any adventure.

If you have a trip or event idea that you'd like to see, please email us at info@nowoutdoors.org.

Check out our NOW Outdoors website (http://www.nowoutdoors.org/)

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See you on the trail!

Upcoming events (4+)

3-Day Beginner Backpacking Trip

Needs a location

$325.00

Escape the busy campgrounds and join us for a more remote experience! Let's go backpacking on the Ice Age Trail and put a few miles under our boots.

This 14-mile stretch has several small lakes and streams. We will make our own camp each night or use one of several primitive sites already scattered along the trail. This trip not only gives you that "backcountry feel" but also offers countless opportunities for real wilderness and backpacking skill development such as hanging bear bags, purifying water, rigging a group tarp if it rains, and fire building!

We will meet at the designated trailhead about 4 hours north of Milwaukee on Friday and shuttle a few cars with everyone to the start location. The pace will be relaxed and the trail is well-marked. We will hike about 4 miles on Friday, 8 miles on Saturday, and just 2 miles out Sunday. The types of skills gained on our trips not only help develop a deeper connection with nature but they strengthen confidence and general awareness in the outdoors.

NOTE: This trip is in a different location than our June trip. This will be a beginner trip based on miles/terrain, ease of water access, and expected weather conditions. The trip will be adjusted as needed to accommodate group size, foul weather, etc. It is very common for a beginner to NOT have all of the gear necessary for a trip like this so we're going to make it a little easier for you. Don't worry about food, stoves, pots, pans, or water filters. We have you covered!

Meals are included and here's why: It's not just about planning your meals right for high activity in the woods but also how you plan to cook your meals. You can cook over a fire, on a stove, or in a bag with boiled water. By including meals on this trip, you don't have to make these decisions or purchase a camp stove and fuel or a proper mess kit. That's $100+ in savings right there! A simple plastic Tupperware with a fork, spoon, and cup is all you'll need for this trip. We will have hearty group meals cooked over a fire or prepped on the trail every day. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know well in advance so we can make accommodations.

Group water will be available in camp and on the trail at all times. If you need gear items such as tents, hammocks, backpacks and more, we have some items available for rent at just a few dollars a day. Quantities of these items are limited so make your rental requests early.

AS ALWAYS >>> A recommended gear list and other pertinent info will be sent out upon payment.

Price: $325.00 due July 5th

> Make payments on the NOW Outdoors website at https://www.nowoutdoors.org/event-details/3-day-beginner-backpacking-trip-1
> Spaces are limited and filled in the order payments are received. An RSVP on Meetup without payment will not hold your spot. The trip may fill before the payment deadline.
> Cancelations made within seven days of payment and on or before the payment deadline are eligible for a refund. Other cancelations will be converted to a credit to be used within one year for another Now Outdoors event.

Included:
• Friday dinner - Sunday breakfast
• Group tarp
• Comprehensive medical kit
• Purified water at all times
• Endless campfire stories :)

Not Included:
• Personal gear (sleeping bag, tent, clothes, etc.)
• Snacks

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at [masked].

Meet Your Guide: Nick Gordon, Wilderness EMT, is the owner of NOW Outdoors. He teaches adventure recreation at UW-Milwaukee and teaches certification courses for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine and the American Heart Association. Since 2009, Nick has been helping people gain more skills, more knowledge, and more confidence outdoors throughout the Midwest and abroad including Nepal, Canada, Cambodia, Peru, Brazil, and deep in the Amazon Jungle.

3-Day Beginner Wilderness Canoe Camping

Needs a location

$335.00

Have you ever wanted to go on a multi-day canoe trip? Perhaps you want to visit the Boundary Waters but you've never portaged a canoe before or paddled a loaded canoe. This is the perfect introductory trip to wilderness canoe camping.

The Plan: We will meet at a designated location and do a gear shakedown before loading up canoes. We will paddle a series of 3 lakes and navigate portage trails to reach our site for the weekend. From there, you'll have lots of free time to paddle, swim, fish or just kick back and relax. There is also a substantial trail system for hiking that is accessible right from our campsite. The initial travel time from our put-in spot to camp is roughly 3 hours.

Difficulty: Beginner
While this is a great beginner trip, participants MUST be comfortable in the water. Paddling and backpacking experience is a plus. You should have your own personal gear (pack, mess kit, sleeping bag, clothes, etc.) or the ability to acquire it. We have some rental gear available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants should be in good physical health, able to carry their personal gear, and able to help portage group gear including canoes. The longest portage trail is 1,400 feet and the shortest portage is just 200 feet.

AS ALWAYS >>> We will send you a full gear list once your payment has been received.

Price: $335 due Friday, July 8th

> Payments can be made on the NOW Outdoors website at https://www.nowoutdoors.org/event-details/3-day-beginner-wilderness-canoe-camping-2
> Spaces are limited and are filled in the order payments are received. An RSVP on Meetup without payment will not hold your spot. The trip may fill before the payment deadline.
> Cancelations made within seven days of payment and on or before the payment deadline are eligible for a refund. Other cancelations will be converted to a credit to be used within one year for another Now Outdoors event.

Includes:
• Fantastic meals: Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast
• Canoes
• Paddles
• Life jackets (PFDs)
• Water filtration for the group
• Tableware
• Group tarp
• Group medical kit
• Paddle and portage instruction
• Axe and saw

Not Included:
• Personal items (tents, sleeping bags, packs are available for rent)
• Fishing license (optional)

Please email us with any questions at [masked].

Meet Your Guide:
Nick Gordon, Wilderness EMT, is the owner of NOW Outdoors. He is an experienced winter trekker and guide who has traveled hundreds of miles by snowshoe and camped in the harshest winter conditions both here in the Midwest and overseas. He teaches adventure recreation at UW-Milwaukee and teaches certification courses for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine. Since 2010, Nick has been helping people gain more skills, more knowledge, and more confidence outdoors throughout the Midwest and abroad including Nepal, Canada, Cambodia, Peru, Brazil, and deep in the Amazon Jungle.

7-Day Boundary Waters Trip

Needs a location

$1,150.00

Join NOW Outdoors for a paddle through the vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in Northern Minnesota. This will be an epic trip with incredible scenery including waterfalls and pristine lakes. Wildlife includes moose, otter, beaver, wolves, eagles, and more.

This trip starts in Grand Marais, MN. Plan to meet on August 13th at the designated location by 5 pm. We will stay the first night at a cabin and go over gear and the finer details of our route. There is a local shop that can provide any gear or last-minute items such as snacks, camping/fishing gear, batteries, etc. In the morning, we will head on down to the put-in.

This is a loop route with 5 long paddle days and 1-2 layover day(s). The itinerary may change due to weather conditions or group interest. We will paddle and portage well over 40 miles in remote wilderness.

Menu items: We believe cliff bars and ramen soup have their place but not on our trips. We love a varied menu that includes fresh-made breakfasts like French toast and sausage, tuna salad or sandwiches for lunch, and hardy dinners like shepherds pie, chicken and broccoli, and BBQ pork spaghetti.

Difficulty: Challenging (long paddle days, few short portages, larger lakes can be tough in poor weather)
Total miles: 40+
Number of portages: 18
Total portage distance: 4.4 miles
Longest single portage: 120 rods (1,980 feet)

This trip is not for first-time campers or paddlers. You should be very comfortable in a canoe and in the water. You should be able to provide sufficient clothing and personal gear as per the gear list. Everyone will be expected to help around camp and on the water including portaging gear and canoes between waterways. Expect to carry 50 to 60 pounds on portage trails consisting of gear and/or a canoe. The longest portage of the entire trip is about 1/2 of a mile. The shortest portages are just a couple yards. The pace will be relaxed at times and challenging at others. Expect to paddle several hours on paddle days and portage over land when necessary. We plan to have at least one zero travel day weather permitting.

AS ALWAYS >>> A gear list and other details will be sent to you upon payment.

Price: $1,150 due August 1st
A $300.00 non-refundable deposit can be used to hold your spot
Use coupon code PADDLE by May 1st and save $150!
> Payments can be made on the NOW Outdoors website at https://www.nowoutdoors.org/event-details/7-day-boundary-waters-trip-2
> Spaces are limited and are filled in the order payments are received. An RSVP on Meetup without payment will not hold your spot. The trip may fill before the payment deadline.
> Cancelations made within seven days of payment and on or before the payment deadline are eligible for a refund. Other cancelations will be converted to a credit to be used within one year for another Now Outdoors event.

Price Includes:
• BWCA permits
• All meals from put-in to take-out
• Tandem canoes
• Canoe packs
• Paddles
• Life vests
• Canoe packs for your gear
• Comprehensive group med kit
• Lodging fees
• Group kitchen
• Purified water
• Camp shower
• Group tarp
• Axe and saws

Not Included:
• Personal gear items
• Transportation to/from the BWCA
• Trip/rescue insurance (recommended)

Please send all questions to [masked].

Meet Your Guide:
Nick Gordon, Wilderness EMT, is the owner of NOW Outdoors. He is an experienced winter trekker and guide who has traveled hundreds of miles by snowshoe and camped in the harshest winter conditions both here in the Midwest and overseas. He teaches adventure recreation at UW-Milwaukee and teaches certification courses for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine. Since 2010, Nick has been helping people gain more skills, more knowledge, and more confidence outdoors throughout the Midwest and abroad including Nepal, Canada, Cambodia, Peru, Brazil, and deep in the Amazon Jungle.

Wilderness Survival Labor Day Weekend

Needs a location

Save the date! Full details should be available by the 4th of July. Check back soon.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at [masked].

Meet Your Guide: Nick Gordon, Wilderness EMT, is the owner of NOW Outdoors. He teaches adventure recreation at UW-Milwaukee and teaches certification courses for the SOLO School of Wilderness Medicine and the American Heart Association. Since 2009, Nick has been helping people gain more skills, more knowledge, and more confidence outdoors throughout the Midwest and abroad including Nepal, Canada, Cambodia, Peru, Brazil, and deep in the Amazon Jungle.

Past events (151)

7-Day Boundary Waters Trip

Needs a location

$1,150.00

Photos (507)