Wild Rockies Field Institute

Before you come

Travel to/from Course

Because WRFI particpants come from across the continent, they are expected to get themselves to and from the course meeting place. When possible, we encourage students to share transportation to/from the course. All of our courses are located in safe locations for students arriving alone.


WRFI tuition covers instruction, fees and permits; group camping and cooking gear; kayaks and canoes (if required) and related equipment; dinner meals; and incidental supplies like maps and field guides. Students must provide their own clothing, breakfast & lunch meals, and download and print the course text (see individual course sites for details).

For information on refunds, please see below.

Wildlands Travel

Wilderness travel is usually a source of joy and inspiration. At times, though, it can be frustrating and strenuous – whether hiking with a heavy backpack or kayaking in a bracing crosswind. We will teach you how to travel efficiently and how to care for yourself in the backcountry, and then you will be expected to take responsibility for yourself. All students will prepare meals, pitch tents, and carry the necessary personal and group gear from camp to camp. Our courses require self-discipline and motivation in order to complete assignments and take part in class activities while traveling through the backcountry.

Gear and Course Texts

Each course has its own particular equipment needs, but you'll generally need to supply the following: sleeping bag and pad, packable camp chair, backpack for hiking courses, headlamp, appropriate outdoor clothing, eating utensils, pocket knife, pens/pencils, blank journal, and toiletries. Once you are accepted into a course, we will send you an information packet that includes detailed information about the course and its particular equipment and clothing needs. Students will need to download and print course texts before coming to the course; occasionally students will purchase additional books from WRFI.


WRFI provides vegetarian dinners on all our courses, but students are responsible for providing their own breakfasts and lunches. We have found that students have very different preferences for these meals so we allow them to choose their own. More information on what makes suitable (and tasty) breakfasts and lunches is included in the course packets that are sent to students after they have been accepted.

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol and recreational drugs are grounds for expulsion on all WRFI courses. Alcohol and/or drug use in wilderness settings can cause personal injury and/or compromise the safety of the group. Safety is our top priority. Any student expelled from a course will be sent home immediately at his/her own expense and without a course refund.


WRFI reserves the right to expel anyone for behavior, which, in the opinion of the Institute or our staff, indicates the individual is unable to complete the course requirements safely. There will be no refund in these cases.

Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy

If you must withdraw from your WRFI course, please let us know immediately and in writing. The following policies exist to encourage commitment when applying for a WRFI course, as well as to cover the costs incurred by WRFI when a student withdraws from a course for any reason.

Students who withdraw 60 days prior to the course start date will receive a refund of 85% of tuition paid. 

Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a course and/or change a course location or duration. If we cancel a course, all tuition paid by students will be refunded. WRFI is not responsible for additional, associated costs in these cases. If a course is significantly shortened due to conditions within WRFI's control, WRFI will provide an equivalent experience to complete the academic work. If that is not possible, we will offer enrollment on another WRFI course or provide a partial tuition refund. 

Refunds will not be issued:
1. To students who withdraw within 60 days of the course start.
2. For "no shows" at the course start.
3. To students who choose to leave or who are dismissed during the course for any reason (including injury or illness).
4. Application fees are nonrefundable. 

We recommend that you obtain trip insurance. Trip insurance can cover a broad variety of expenses, from plane tickets to course tuition.  Every year, we have students who need to unexpectedly withdraw due to illness, injury, family emergency etc. Please see the blue box below for more information.