Frequently Asked Questions

Who can nominate a veteran?

Anyone can nominate a veteran, whether you are a friend, family member, civilian, or military member, or you can nominate yourself.

How can I nominate a veteran?

To nominate a veteran, fill out the information requested on the nomination form.

What happens after I submit my nomination?

After you submit a nomination form, your nominee will be notified via email to apply to one of our expeditions. Information will be provided to the nominated veteran about our organization and upcoming expeditions. A nominated veteran must complete an application to be considered for selection, though they have the option to not apply.

If I need some assistance with my application, who can I contact?

If you need assistance filling out an application, or require a paper copy of the application, please contact the Warriors Service Coordinator via phone at (970) 484-3633 ext. 321 or email warriors@nobarriersusa.org.

Who is eligible for a No Barriers Warriors expedition?

We serve all veterans from all branches of the military and from all conflicts and campaigns. We require a confirmation of service and VA disability status. While the application does not require these documents, you will be required to produce these as you move forward in the process so please have these ready to produce upon request. If you have questions concerning these documents, please contact the Warriors Service Coordinator at warriors@nobarriersusa.org or call (970) 484-3633 ext. 321.

In addition, each expedition has a set of Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC). You can view the EEC here.

What is the No Barriers Warriors team looking for in an applicant?

We ensure every application gets the time and review it deserves. Each application is reviewed and scored by our team. Chosen applications demonstrate a need for the program, a positive attitude concerning the experience, and a willingness to overcome physical challenges.

How long does the application process take?

Our application process is a multi-month process and selection begins 4 months prior to each expedition. Applicants are contacted, interviewed, asked to participate in our medical screening phase, and then selected 8 to 12 weeks before an expedition. (Not all applicants who go through the screening process are selected.)

For instance: If you are interested in an expedition in May, the application review process begins in January. If you apply in January for an expedition in October, selection will begin in June.

Learn more about the selection process »

What occurs during the application process?

Once an applicant has been contacted by the Warriors staff, the applicant will interview with staff, complete a registration form, and speak with the Warriors team doctor for the medical screening phase. Applicants will be selected based on this process and their need for the program, a positive attitude concerning the experience, and a willingness to overcome physical challenges. It is a multi-month long process and we appreciate all applicants’ patience.

If I applied when applications initially opened, when can I expect to hear about my application?

Our Warriors Service Coordinator will strive to maintain communication with all applicants via the email address warriors@nobarriersua.org (to allow communication, please make sure this email address is not included in your spam). Applicants can expect to hear back in regards to each specific expedition they showed interest in as well as expedition selection updates throughout the season.

Can I apply for more than one expedition?

Yes! Please select any expedition that interests you. Please pay attention to the difficulty of the expedition and make sure you are willing to take the time to prepare physically if you are selected. New expeditions will be released throughout the expedition season. Contact the Warriors Service Coordinator at (970) 484-3633 ext. 321 with any changes you want to make to your application.

If I am an alumni, and have already attended an expedition, can I attend a second No Barriers Warriors expedition?

Our alumni are important to us; they are the foundation of our No Barriers Warriors community. Each expedition season, our goal is to serve new applicants so that we can increase our alumni community. Each season we offer one alumni-specific expedition, open only to alumni. We look for alumni who have made progress toward completing their pledge, have stayed involved with the No Barriers community, live a No Barriers Life, and have a positive attitude and the physical fitness to accomplish the expedition.

Alumni are also encouraged to apply for other expeditions that interest them but please note that we will place priority on new applicants. At times, we may still call on our alumni to help us fill expeditions, most often when a selected participant vacates an expedition slot last-minute.

I applied for or attended a No Barriers Warriors trip in the past, can I apply again?

Yes! If you use the same email address, some fields of your application may be pre-populated, making the application process a bit speedier. If you are not sure what email address you used in the past, please email us at warriors@nobarriersusa.org. Please note that applicants who have not attended an expedition before will have priority over those who have already attended a No Barriers Warriors expedition.

Do I need any prior experience, skills, or training to attend a No Barriers Warriors expedition?

Nope! No prior experience is required for our expeditions. We ask that you come with an open mind, a ready-to-learn attitude, and a willingness to take direction from our Expedition Leaders and be open to new experiences with fellow veterans. We encourage each of our applicants to read through our Essential Eligibility Criteria (Make link) and make sure they can accomplish the physical demands of the expedition.

What is the difference between Basecamp Adventures and Backcountry Adventures?

The designation of Basecamp and Backcountry is meant to separate expeditions by difficulty level. In general, backcountry expeditions are more physically demanding than basecamp expeditions.

Basecamp expeditions are multi-sport expeditions that incorporate white water rafting, rock climbing, and hiking in Northern Colorado, all from our Colorado Campus, which is one step away from nature. Activities include white-water rafting the Poudre River, climbing our exclusive rock formations, and trekking through the Colorado backcountry. While at our rural camp, the team will cook together, rest up from each day’s challenge, and spend time with fellow veterans.

Backcountry Expeditions are more physically challenging and require participants to carry everything they will need with them on their backs for a minimum of 3 days over challenging terrain. They include sleeping in a tent or under the stars for a minimum of 2 nights. On these expeditions, selected participants are often covering somewhere between 15 and 40 miles of hiking while carrying a backpack that can weigh up to 50lbs. Teams will trek together and learn mountaineering skills at elevations ranging from 7,500 to 14,000 feet. All experiences are designed to push participants to their physical limits and encourage team camaraderie.

Please read through the Essential Eligibility Criteria specific to each expedition to gain a better understanding of each expedition.

What is a VetAdvance?

VetAdvance is a one-day adaptive rock climbing opportunity where veterans can experience the transformative power of the No Barriers Life. Veterans who attend will learn the basics of rock climbing, experience the No Barriers Life, hear an inspirational speaker and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow veterans. These one-day opportunities are state-dependent and veterans interested in attending will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the event.

If I get selected for an expedition, will No Barriers Warriors provide a fitness plan for me to follow?

Selected applicants are responsible for their own fitness and being prepared to conquer the physical difficulty of the expedition. If participants are bringing their service animal, they are responsible for the physical fitness of their service animal as well. Our Expedition Leader team reserves the right to change the itinerary of any expedition based on the fitness capabilities of a selected team.

How much do these expeditions cost for veterans?

These expeditions are offered at no cost to veterans. This includes airline transportation to and from the expedition location, meals, any ground transportation, lodging, and group camping gear (e.g. stoves, tents, sleeping bags, rain gear, etc). We ask participants to independently get from their house to the airport and upon return, from their airport back home.

Can family members, spouses, partners, caregivers, or service dogs come along?

We do not currently serve families or have space for caregivers or spouses. Service dogs are welcome on all expeditions, however some expedition environments are more challenging for a dog. Please check the specific Essential Eligibility Criteria for each expedition description of physical requirements. Service dogs are discouraged but not prohibited from attending expeditions with white water rafting, mountaineering, or canyoneering. If you have specific questions related to caregivers or service dogs, please feel free to contact our Warriors Service Coordinator at (970) 484-3633 ext. 321 or at warriors@nobarriersusa.org.

If I am selected for an expedition, what happens next?

If you are selected for an expedition, you will work with the Warriors staff to book your travel and discuss any questions concerning the expedition. You will learn more about the No Barriers curriculum and how to prepare both mentally and physically for the expedition.

You will have personal contact with the Warriors Service Coordinator who can help to arrange any specific accommodations you may need and answer personal questions. Before departing, there will be a team conference call where the Expedition Leaders, the Warriors Service Coordinator, and your fellow team members will discuss specific expedition details, packing preparation for the expedition, and answer any other remaining questions.

Are there any training guidelines to help me get in shape?

Once selected, participants should always discuss their expedition with their personal doctor. We do have suggested training tips that can be discussed with the Warriors staff after being selected to an expedition, but we cannot provide a fitness plan. We encourage our participants to talk openly with staff as they prepare for the expedition about any concerns or questions they have, but all participants are responsible for their own physical fitness training.

Mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation. Our expeditions are designed to challenge and push participants outside their comfort zones both physically as well as mentally. Some moments may present more challenges than others and there will be variability in each day. We ask our participants to embrace the journey as it comes and be open to new experiences with fellow veterans.

Can I bring my service animal?

Service animals are allowed on all expeditions, however some expedition environments are more challenging for a dog. Service dogs are discouraged but not prohibited from attending expeditions with white water rafting, mountaineering, or canyoneering. Please check the specific Essential Eligibility Criteria for each expedition description of physical requirements. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the conditions on each expedition, please contact the Warriors Service Coordinator at warriors@nobarriersusa.org or call (970) 484-3633 ext. 321.

Who leads the expeditions?

Our expeditions are facilitated by leaders with knowledge and training in the outdoors, disability, risk management, working with veterans, and the No Barriers curriculum. Some of our Expedition Leaders have climbed some of the highest peaks in the world, such as K2 and Everest. Others have fought tirelessly on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Learn more about our Expedition Leaders >>

How many veterans are on a team?

The number of participants on each team can vary. The team make up is dependent on permit quantities and sponsor requirements. Generally, our teams range from 8 to 12 veterans with 4 Expedition Leaders.

I am coming from sea level — how will the altitude affect me?

Many of our participants come from sea level and our leaders are well trained in the effects of altitude. You will have an evening at a lower altitude in the front range of the mountains before moving higher into a higher elevation. It is important to drink water and stay hydrated during these transitions. From the moment you arrive, your leaders will encourage you to drink water and will be monitoring everyone for signs of altitude symptoms.

What is the weather like in Colorado in the summer?

Weather in the mountains of Colorado has a reputation for being variable and can change within the same day. Temperatures can range from 30° F to 80° F, or higher, depending on the time of day and elevation. The outdoor elements can be part of the challenge we meet in the backcountry. We prepare for both sun and rain with proper rain gear, warm layers, and plenty of sunscreen.

Where will participants be staying?

Locations vary per expedition.

If selected for a Basecamp expedition, participants will spend the first night in a hotel. The rest of the expedition will be spent at our basecamp in the Red Feather Lakes region. It is a facility that we consider “one step away from wilderness.” Participants have access to restrooms and sleep in platform tents on the property.

For Backpacking expeditions, participants spend the first and last night in a hotel. The remaining days are spent in the field, sleeping in tents or the open air.

What does a typical meal include?

Backcountry meals vary, though some examples of favorite meals in the past have been quesadillas, fajita soup, and spicy sausage spaghetti. If you have any food allergies, please list them on your registration form. You will also receive a variety of snacks to keep fueled throughout the day. And of course, there will be coffee and tea!

What happens if I do not have any of the appropriate gear?

No Barriers provides the majority of camping equipment and clothing. Gear lists are provided to each individual with specific gear for each expedition. When participants complete their registration form, size information is gathered for boots, rain gear, and trekking clothes. Typical camping equipment provided includes, but is not limited to: tents, sleeping bags, pads, trekking poles, backpacks, cutlery, water purification pens, gravity bags, and more.

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