The Forge

Dates: June 4th-8th, 2020

Location: Northern New Mexico

Cost: $400

This is an invite only event. Invites will be sent on April 1st, 2020. 


The Forge is the 3rd tier of our competence series.


Held in various wilderness areas in the Western United States, the Forge is a 5 day land navigation and backcountry experience. Attendees can expect multiple blocks of instruction per day along with practical exercises.


The majority of training blocks will be specific to moving and surviving in the outdoors with minimal equipment. Additional training blocks are added based on the cadre members attending.


This event is physically demanding and held at an altitude of 8,000 to 12,000 feet of elevation. Attendees will be expected to carry 35-50lbs of weight over distances ranging from 6-12 miles per day.


The Forge will most likely have you doing things you never have done before, and test not only your physicality but your mental toughness. But it’s not all hard work. Expect to enjoy evenings around a group campfire telling stories, drinking whiskey, and looking at more stars than you’ve ever seen.


An extensive packing list is provided on our blog, you can read more about it HERE.


How do I get an invite? 
Due to the nature of this event, we do not take individuals into the backcountry that we have not worked with before. If you’d like to attend this event we suggest coming to The Awakening or The Vanguard and demonstrate that you are a good fit by having a good attitude and working hard.


How do we get to training area?
We will carpool from Austin to the designated training area if it’s in New Mexico. For Colorado events we will fly into Denver and rent a vehicle. Transportation costs are not associated with the registration fee. Expect to pay your share of fuel / vehicle rental costs.


What time will we leave / return?

Departure will be early Thursday morning. We typically meet at our HQ location in South Austin. Travel time is 11 hours to the trailhead, expect to hike in 2-3 hours that evening. We will hike out 2-3 hours the following Monday after the 4th night in the field. Certain groups choose to drive back to Austin immediately after hiking out while others will stay the night in Santa Fe and return Tuesday.


What will the weather be like?
Weather will vary based on location and time of year. In general expect evenings to be in the 40’s and daytime temps in the 60’s. Mountain weather is unpredicable and inclement weather can bring drastic changes in temperature. Last year we experienced snow at higher elevations. Come prepared for a wide range of temps.


Do I need every piece of gear on the packing list?
Certain pieces of equipment can be shared such as shelter, camp stove, and medical kits. That being said, you will spend one night alone in the wilderness away from all other attendees so we suggest having all required gear. One of the main purposes of this event is to learn how to use your gear. If acquiring all the required items is cost prohibitive then we suggest borrowing it from friends and family.


If I sign up but cannot attend what happens? Is there a return policy?

  • 60+ days = 100% refund
  • 30 – 60 days = 50% refund
  • < 30 days = 25% refund
  • < 14 days = 0% refund