Northern Tier requires every crew to have at least one adult currently certified in Wilderness First Aid (16-hour minimum course length) and CPR (WOW Crews may substitute Standard First Aid for WFA). For more information on how to become certified and find recognized courses, visit the BSA’s Health and Safety page regarding WFA here. Additionally, Northern Tier offers WFA, WFR and CPR courses through recognized providers occasionally. Be sure to check out our Training Center page regularly for information on those offerings.

No. Scouts BSA program integrity required single gender units. Scouts BSA male troops and Scouts BSA female troops cannot combine Scouts and adult leadership into a single troop or National High Adventure Base “crew”. They must register separately and provide separate two deep leadership as required by Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse.  Linked Troops can attend together if the crew size allows, each troop must provide it’s own leadership, meaning a minimum of 4 adults would be required.

Northern Tier provides all trail and base meals, sleds, snowshoes, winter clothing (other than base layers and hats) and communication equipment. For a full list of what OKPIK Participants should bring, check the participant handbook. We also provide trained staff (i.e., interpreter) to assist your crew in having a great Scouting experience with a fun trip appropriate to the experience and abilities of your crew. The interpreter will enhance your Scouting skills along the way and deliver a memorable experience.

There is no minimum weight requirement, however, those weighing less than 100 pounds will have a very difficult time and are discouraged from attending (not applicable to Cabin Stay and WOW programs). No participant in any program may fall above 295 pounds (250 pounds for dogsledding programs). Participants who fall within the recommended weight limits are much more likely to have an enjoyable trek and avoid incurring injuries and health risks.
Extra weight puts strain on the back, joints and feet. Traveling in the winter can be very strenuous and taxing on the body due to varying snow and ice conditions. General safety is another major concern. In the rare event where someone does need to be pulled off of the ice due to injury or illness, extra weight can provide very real difficulties.
On the scheduled day of arrival crews should arrive between 4pm and 7pm. Departure is after lunch on the last day.

For OKPIK weekends, Treks and Dogsledding Programs, participants must be age 14 OR age 13 and currently be enrolled in eighth grade by the time of arrival. 

Cabin Stay participants must be age 11 or above by the time of arrival.

The Okpik Advisors Guide contains all the information you need to help plan you next expedition!

Depending on the OKPIK adventure you choose to participate in your travel will be different. Expect to travel 1 to 2 miles on a day trip, but the more ambitious crews undertaking treks may travel 3 to 5 miles a day traveling from one campsite to another.
  • WEBELOS OKPIK WEEKEND – 6 partner pairs (6 WEBELOS and 6 parents)
  • OKPIK TREKS – 8 people
  • OKPIK DOG PROGRAMS – 7 people

Visit our Winter Individual Programs page to learn about opportunities for individuals to attend Okpik

For emergency communications, all Interpreters are issued a radio to communicate with the base.
Yes, our OKPIK Musher Camp and Dog Sled Trek are full immersion programs.

There are a few different awards that may be earned at Northern Tier during OKPIK. These are specific to Northern Tier programs and may not be earned anywhere else. Information on all available awards may be found here.

All crew cabins are heated and have electrical outlets. Summer weight sleeping bags work well in our cabins.