Michelle Schroeder, President & Lead Backpacking Instructor, along Kimball Creek after breakfast



Michelle Schroeder, President and Lead Backpacking Instructor at Backpack the Trails LLC, has extensive experience backpacking and preparing for it.

She has backpacked for 25+ years around the globe, including Grizzly Bear territory in the Canadian Rockies, the deep North Woods of Minnesota, the Pacific Northwest of Canada to the Lost Coast of California, the magnificent trails in New Zealand, and the remote trails of the Grand Canyon, as well as a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail.  She gives presentations nationally about those trips, sharing detailed instructions about permits, food storage, terrain, how to prepare for success, and more.

Michelle has also led multi-day canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and overnight kayak trips on the Water Trail along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  She has also kayaked overnight trips with friends in Voyageurs National Park, the Broken Group Islands off of the West Coast of Vancouver Island, the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, and in Thailand.

For four years, she worked at Midwest Mountaineering, an outdoor gear store in Minneapolis that in 2009 won the SNEWS / Backpacker Retailer of the Year Award for Best Growth of Outdoor Sports. She was also recruited to be a footwear tester for Vasque, helping develop their product line of performance hiking boots and shoes.

Michelle is a NOLS-Certified Wilderness First Responder and has been teaching on-trail backpacking skills independently for more than 5 years.  Through her business, Backpack The Trails LLC, she enjoys helping first-time backpackers navigate gear lists, trails, and their own assumptions about what to expect.  She also organizes logistics for longer hikes throughout the world for backpackers who have acquired basic experience.

Michelle’s ultimate goals are to inspire others to believe in themselves and to create more peers on the trail.