Empowering Tomorrow’s Outdoor Leaders: Backcountry Squatters

Backcountry Squatters is a nationwide coalition of college clubs committed to fostering participation, leadership, and inclusivity among women and gender-queer folks within the outdoor industry and community.

about us

Run by ‘Squatters alumni, this 501c3 nonprofit uplifts women and gender-queer folks at a pivotal moment in their lives by connecting them in the kinship, growth, and empowerment of shared outdoor pursuits.

our chapters

We are opening the door to outdoor opportunities that women and non-binary folks have historically been excluded from. With chapters established accross the nation, Backcountry Squatters is rapidly expanding. 

join us

Your support helps shape the next generation of resilient, empowered leaders. Together, we can make a difference, creating a more inclusive, resilient, and environmentally conscious future.



Backcountry Squatters Nonprofit is seeking a hard-working and dedicated professional to serve in a multi-year term as the Board Secretary on the Board of Directors. The Secretary is responsible for official communications with board members, scheduling meetings across multiple time zones, and keeping accurate records for the nonprofit.

The position is a great fit for someone who is driven, detail-oriented, can track and prioritize tasks, has strong communication skills, and enjoys working with team members to contribute to the sustainability of Backcountry Squatters. This position is not exclusive to Backcountry Squatters alumni. We encourage women and non-binary folks who wish they had this community during their college experience to apply!

We are looking to fill this position immediately. For more information and the details on applying, please download the job description below. We will begin reviewing applications March 1, 2024. 

on the blog

Swift Water Rescue w/ Emily

Swift Water Rescue w/ Emily

Emily reflects on her experience of taking a Swiftwater Rescue course with the funds she received from the Backcountry Scholarship for Outdoor Education.

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AIARE 1 w/ Kenna

AIARE 1 w/ Kenna

Kenna is the first ever recipient of the Backcountry Squatters Scholarship for Outdoor Education. Here she reflects on her experiences taking an AIARE 1 course in Jackson Hole WY.

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why you should be doing yoga

why you should be doing yoga

Many of us find a lot of calm in high intensity sport, but there is something to be said for finding your zen. Mediation and yoga are proven to reduce stress and increase self-awareness.

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girl, lead the pack

girl, lead the pack

I’ve talked with many girls on this same subject: if we are skiing with a group of guys and are in front, we almost feel uncomfortable being there. Like we shouldn’t be the ones leading the pack.

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Backcountry Squatters’ Response to the Killing of George Floyd

Part of Backcountry Squatters’ mission is to increase women’s participation in spaces that have historically lacked a female presence. We are aware that women’s groups that look like Backcountry Squatters (predominantly white) have not been present in racial justice movements like the one occurring today. Backcountry Squatters aims to increase women’s participation in racial justice, too.

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It’s About WE not ME

It’s About WE not ME

We want to talk about a raging debate in the outdoor community right now: What sort of activities should we be participating in to maintain our personal health, as well as the health of our community? Here’s our two cents: The outdoor community at large should check their privilege at the door and think about WE not ME.

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What our community says:

From the beginning this movement has never been about how fast we can ski, how hard we can climb, or how far we can run–it has always been about pushing the boundaries of what women perceive as possible for themselves in outdoor culture, and in-turn, society. Through my own experience with Backcountry Squatters, I’ve found a meaningful sense-of-place in my community and have gotten to do so alongside women with an array of interesting backgrounds and stories–an experience I believe every woman should get the opportunity to have.


Montana State University

The Backcountry Squatters were a pleasure to partner with for avalanche education. The turnout for the classes was always high and the women were excited to learn. It’s great to work with a club that is eager to offer educational opportunities, as well as fun experiences.


Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center Education Coordinator

I am always inspired by the women I have met through Backcountry Squatters. This community has introduced me to strong, confident, and amazing women who all share a collective enthusiasm for the outdoors. By maintaining a supportive atmosphere to pursue unique goals and have fun doing it, ‘Squatters has helped me build confidence in the mountains, on the river and even in school. 


Montana State Univerity

I got involved with the Backcountry Squatters  at DU when it first got up and running because I wanted to not only inspire girls to join the outdoor community but also help other like-minded girls to find more gal pals to go get after it with. That’s why it has been so important to me: because we need more girl support in the outdoor community and an inclusive environment where we can grow and learn from each other.


University of Denver


Backcountry Squatters is a vibrant community that empowers college women and non-binary folks at a pivotal moment in their lives. We are dedicated to fostering growth, leadership, and kinship through shared outdoor pursuits.

Our vision propels a new generation of leaders to thrive through college and beyond, making a lasting impact on the world. With a nationwide network of clubs, we prioritize community, leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion, education, and outdoor recreation, ensuring everyone can access the transformative power of the outdoors.


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