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. 
  • Jon Francis Foundation provides educational materials and hands-on training FREE to increase the knowledge, preparation and safety of wilderness campers, climbers, hikers and hunters. 
  • Currently in youth wilderness training, there is a focus on camping and survival skills. There are excellent wilderness training camps in the U.S., but only a small minority of youth attends them. 
  • Less safety training is available at the local level. We stress prevention. If you go out into the wilderness safely that will lessen the need to employ survival strategies. This is where JFF makes a difference.
  • The inexperienced will gain valuable (and potentially life-saving) wilderness knowledge and skills.  The experienced will benefit from a great refresher course.

Why do we do this?

The Jon Francis Foundation (JFF) honors the brief 24 year life and memory of an amazing young man. Jon Francis loved and respected the beauty and serenity of the wilderness. His death, while mountain climbing, was heartbreaking, devastating and avoidable. 

We are dedicated to passing on Jon’s legacy of community service by saving lives through wilderness safety education.  The Jon Francis Foundation is the community’s most knowledgeable source for wilderness safety education.

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. 

Since 2008 JFF has provided over 6000 wilderness Safety Kits and 70 presentations to nearly 3000 people at outfitters, scout troops, libraries, colleges, and faith based and civic organizations. 

This FREE Training is made possible by the generous supporters of the Jon Francis Foundation.

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 and advocating for legal protection for missing adults.

Our Standards for Wilderness Safety Training

  • From the 600 member National Parks Retired-Rangers' Association 
  • From the National Hiking & Mountaineering Society
  • National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR)

We Teach Basic Wilderness Safety

  • 1-2 hour classes
  • Individual study guide and workbook
  • Handouts & Practice Exercises
  • Experiential Challenges

Basic Wilderness Safety is a hands on class to help outdoor enthusiasts, camping families and those who enjoy hunting and fishing to learn the basics of backcountry and wilderness safety.  

Coursework includes equipment and clothing, the “Ten Essentials”, wilderness preparedness, accident avoidance, what to do if you get lost and avoiding the hazards of nature.  

Helpful JFF Links to On-line Resources:

Basic Wilderness Safety Guide

NPS Rangers PSAR

The JFF Recommended Survival Kit

Backcountry Safety Mountain Rescue Resources