Vermont's Long Trail Backcountry Caretakers
Posted: August 06, 2019
Location: Southern and Northern Vermont
Time Commitment: August 9th – October 18th, 2019
Caretakers employ hiker education and backcountry stewardship at our most popular hiking areas in order to promote Leave No Trace principles and to protect our natural resources. Caretakers work throughout the state, either in conjunction with the other caretakers on the mountain or as solo agents (see location descriptions below).
During the months of peak hiking activity, caretakers are stationed at overnight campsites associated with vulnerable natural areas. Caretakers live at their assigned sites five nights a week from June to October and have two days and nights off a week. Work days are divided between trail maintenance and summit or pond “duty.” Each caretaker is assigned ten to twenty miles of trail to maintain, which includes including clearing drainages, cutting branches back from the trail corridor, clearing fallen trees and brush, and repainting signs and blazes. During summit or pond duty, caretakers station themselves at their respective day use area and engage the hiking public in conversations about the fragile natural areas and about low-impact practices.
Caretakers are responsible for their own food and transportation to/from the trailhead and days off. Green Mountain Club provides tents or shelters, stoves, stove fuel, tools, field guides, maps, and informational resources.
- Educate hikers about fragile ecosystems at high-use sites along the Long Trail.
- Maintain assigned backcountry facilities, including privies.
- Maintain 10 – 20 miles of hiking trail adjacent using hand tools (including saws).
- Staff designated overnight site, including collecting use fees and acting as knowledge resource for campers.
- Collect visitor use data at overnight site and at pond or summit.
- Submit weekly shift reports and group use feedback forms.
- Write formal End of Season report if leaving in October or informal mid-season report if leaving in August.
- Encourage and model Leave No Trace practices and low impact behaviors on trails and at summits, ponds, camping areas, and backcountry shelters.
- Serve as professional backcountry representative of the GMC, both as knowledge source and as behavioral role model.
- Carry first aid kit and sufficient supplies to travel safely in the backcountry at all times.
- Voluntarily participate in Search and Rescue operations.
- Strong backpacking and outdoor skills
- Ability to live independently and work in a remote area with little supervision
- Comfort working multiple days outdoors in sometimes adverse weather conditions
- Comfort with basic hand tools
- Knowledge of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics
- Basic knowledge of Long Trail/Appalachian Trail system
- Public speaking experience preferred
- Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups
- Environmental and/or outdoor education experience
- Wilderness First Aid certification (class available during training)
- Must be willing to work weekends
Salary and Benefits
$440/week, plus housing for days off
Online application here.