Wilderness Safety Class

On Thursday evening, April 16, 2015, 101 students participated in the first Jon Francis Foundation Wilderness Safety Class held at Joe's Sporting Goods in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Many who attended commented that it was excellent and valuable learning. The big turnout gave our instructors a challenge but also an opportunity to "EDUCATE to save lives and reduce incidents of injury and loss by teaching others about wilderness safety."  

One student wrote: "I attended and enjoyed your safety training held at Joe's Sporting Goods this week. The review of the real and local incidents was especially a good reminder of the need to be thoughtful of the choices we make as we are all susceptible to poor ones. The stats at the beginning were also an eye opener; I will know to be more attentive nearing the end of a journey now. Thanks for a good presentation and the treats!"

Educate/Advocate/
Empower/Guide

Our Mission

The Jon Francis Foundation is dedicated to saving lives through wilderness safety education,   empowering families who have suffered the loss of an adult loved one in the wilderness

Learn more about us

Wilderness Safety Training

Did you know...

That every day more and more people, many of them children, travel into the wilderness poorly informed and prepared? Many incidents of loss, injury and death could have been prevented had the person been better trained and better prepared.

Backcountry Safety Mountain Rescue Resources

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An Award Winning, Inspirational Memoir

By David Francis

Hundreds of readers have been inspired, moved, and engaged by this Award Winning Memoir:

Stillwater, Minnesota – Bringing Jon Home by David Francis was selected National Finalist of the 2011 Indie Excellence Award in the category of Memoir Writing.

On May 11, 2011, the book was recognized as a Silver Finalist in the Inspiration/Gift Book category of the Midwest Book Awards. 

Read More

Wetterlings Receive Award

Patty and Jerry Wetterling were honored at the 1st Annual Event for their exceptional service to the Jon Francis Foundation.

2nd Annual Event Info

Why a Cairn?

A cairn is a manmade pile of stones, often in a conical form. They may mark the summit of a mountain or a memorial. Placed at regular intervals, they indicate a path across barren terrain or climbing routes. The Jon Francis Foundation (JFF), like a cairn, provides knowledge and acts as a guide to others who find themselves unwilling travelers on an unfamiliar path.

Wilderness Safety Education (WSE)

Did you know…
That every day more and more people, many of them children, travel into the wilderness poorly prepared?  Many incidents of loss, injury and death could have been prevented had the person been better trained and better prepared. 

We are in the business of educating to save lives because there is an unmet public need and a national public health problem. There are no local, state or federal public education courses on backcountry safety and loss prevention. 

With the help of our community partners, JFF serves an at-risk population of backcountry enthusiasts (hikers, climbers, campers and hunters) who continue to go out into the wilderness inadequately informed and poorly prepared. 

Read more about our Wilderness Safety Classes.