The Forge is the third tier of our Competence Series. Held in various wilderness areas in the Western United States, the Forge is a five day land navigation and backcountry experience. Attendees undergo multiple blocks of instruction each day along with practical exercises.


The majority of training blocks are specific to moving and surviving in the outdoors with minimal equipment for extended durations. Additional training blocks, such as medical, combatives, and/or communications are added based on the cadre members attending and the needs of the client/organization.


This event is physically demanding and conducted at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. Attendees are expected to be physically prepared prior to the event, to include the capability to carry 35-50 lbs. through mountainous terrain.


The Forge will most likely have attendees doing things they have never have done before. It tests your physicality and mental toughness, yet it is not an assessment. Although the course demands much, it isn’t a selection course, nor is it designed to be. Camaraderie, teamwork, and scenarios are integrated into the course.



Duration: 5 days

Dates: Females will be July 15-19, Males will be July 22-26.

Location: Maroon Bells Wilderness, Western Colorado

Group Size: 8 first years, 4 Team Leaders, 2 Cadre, 14 total people.

Required Equipment: Full Packing List HERE.


2021 Specifics

This year will be the first year we fly to our destination in Western Colorado. Our launch point will be Redstone, Colorado, a 3.5 hour drive from Denver International Airport. We strongly suggest you fly in the evening prior (7/14 and 7/21 for female and male event dates) to 1) acclimate a night and 1) ensure you are at the launch point in time. Grand Junction is closer but will require you to connect flights.


After registration is full, we will send a roster allowing you to coordinate travel plans with other attendees. You are responsible for airfare to and from Colorado and transportation to and from the launch point. We suggest getting a rental car with others on the trip and driving from Denver Airport.


You will need to be at the Launch Point by 4:00pm on Day 1 (Thursday, 7/15 and 7/21). 


We will hike out on Day 5. Expect to return to the vehicles by 12:00pm on Day 5. This will allow you to fly back the same evening, if needed. We suggest booking airfare at 5pm or later to be safe. Usually, a group will stay an additional night at an Air B&B and relax with some amenities. This will be coordinated after registration is closed.


Although the event is only 5 days, we suggest flying in a day early and a day later for the best experience.


Is this a regularly hosted event?
Yes, we will host 1-2 of these per year on an invite only basis. Military and Law Enforcement organizations will be scheduled independently.

What is the minimum number of attendees to schedule a Mil / LEO event for my unit?

We require a minimum of 6 attendees.


What additional blocks can we add to the event?
Medical, combatives, edged weapons, and communications are available options depending on instructor availability.


How do I get an invite to one of the regularly scheduled events? 
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 and rent a vehicle. Transportation costs are not associated with the registration fee.


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.


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