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Why go on a guided backpacking trip?

Joining a guided trip versus exploring the park on your own

If you are trying to decide whether to go on a guided trip or research and explore the park on your own, here is a list of our pros and cons to each!

Joining a guided hiking trip—


  • All of the gear is provided for you! You don't have to worry about going out and buying all the gear that you will need; Nomadic by Nature provides tents (single or 2-person), backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, cooking equipment, bear spray etc. for all guided backpacking trips. Our gear is top-of-the-line, from brands like Deuter, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, MSR, and more! You can read all of the gear that is provided on our Gear Checklist.

  • You are led by a knowledgable guide! Our guides love Yellowstone and love people, and are great at sharing both of those passions with their guests. They know all of the ins and outs of Yellowstone, and also know the best places to see wildlife.

  • Guides help keep you safe. All guides have up-to-date CPR and Wilderness First Responder certifications. They also know how to hang food properly in bear country, expel bear spray, treat blisters and more.

  • You don't have to worry about obtaining permits. Yellowstone's permitting system is a little difficult to navigate and secure the campsites that you want. But, if you go with a guiding company, we have those permits locked in, and all you have to do is show up.

  • Make new friends and have fun! As cheesy as it was for me to write that, it's actually really true—backpacking trips with an assortment of people are really fun! Our guides are pros at making the team feel like a family, and by the end of the trip, you'll feel like you've known each other for more than just four or five days.

  • If you're a beginner, this is a great way to try it out. By having the gear provided, and having a group of people supporting you, a guided backpacking trip is a great way to get your feet wet.

  • Guides make all of the food! (And it's good food too!) Nomadic By Nature guides are expert camp chefs, and know how to pack food so that it's light, but also fresh and nutritious. We dehydrate all of our own fresh vegetables, and pack each meal intentionally, so we know exactly what goes into each one.


  • The team is a team. We stick together on the trail. There is safety in numbers in bear country, so fast hikers won't be able to go ahead of the group. The team is only as fast as the slowest hiker.

  • The trips are limited to what we get permits for. Because we have to apply for our permits months in advance, it is unlikely that we will be able to adjust the trip dates or itinerary after March. (However, if you are interested in a specialized trip, reach out to us the fall before, and we may be able to customize something for you.)

Exploring the park on your own—


  • You can do what you want to do. Pretty self-explanatory here; you can choose the trails and campsites that you want. If you want to sleep in until 10 am, it's your vacation. If you want to spend 4 hours photographing a dragonfly, it's your vacation.

  • You get to do all of the planing and researching. If you are a planner, or you love sitting down with a map and laying out all of your ideas, this may be the best option for you.


  • You are in charge of all the logistics. That includes doing the research, obtaining the permits, buying the gear, prepping the food.

  • You will need to be comfortable in bear country. Some backcountry campsites have bear boxes, where you can store your things, others have bear hangs, so you will need to provide your own rope and bag to hang all smelling objects. You will also need to carry bear spray with you in the backcountry, you can purchase it at multiple locations in and just outside of the park. Please do your research on camping safely, and read the National Park Service's article about how to camp in bear country.


We hope you join Nomadic By Nature on a guided backpacking trip through Yellowstone. It really is the trip of a lifetime!

Featured Trip: Dunanda Falls

This 3-day guided backpacking trip to Dunanda Falls is great for people with limited time, but want to experience one of the most incredible waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park.

The trip allows us to backpack into our campsite, and leave it set up for two days, as we go explore Dunanda Falls. Since we have camp already set up, we can spend as much time as we want soaking in the warm hot springs, as Dunanda Falls pours over the side of it's cliff in the background.

Come check out waterfalls and hot springs on this epic backpacking trip!

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