Leading X

Backcountry Expedition for Adults with Hemophilia A

 'Leading X: San Juan Islands' is a weeklong backcountry adventure for adults with Hemophilia A.  This trip is fully sponsored and free for accepted applicants! Learn the fundamentals of traveling by boat, navigation, and camping while gaining leadership skills, developing personal responsibility, and forming community bonds that will serve you for years to come. Carry everything you need as you navigate sea currents to break camp at new island destinations every night. 

You should be prepared to challenge yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally with the task of living outdoors with a small group for a week, but no previous experience is required. In fact, we love finding creative ways for nearly anyone to be successful on their trip!

Make nature your classroom, and immerse yourself in new breathtaking environments with a group of your peers.  Enjoy hiking, fishing, talking by campfires, and some of the most satisfying work you’ll do this year. This is the kind of trip you’ll never forget.

If you are have hemophilia A, and you can get yourself to Seattle, WA on the course dates, the rest of the trip is free! Learn more below.


San Juan Islands, Washington State

Ocean Sea Kayaking Expedition

Nestled between the three great cities of Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria, British Columbia, are the San Juan Islands. Encompassed by the waterways of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Rasario Strait, these islands are often referred to as the “Rain Shadow” of the Olympic Mountains, offering an average of 247 days of sunshine annually. With over 200 rocky, forested islands to explore, the area has become a world-renowned kayaking destination. These pristine waters are host to over 85 resident orca whales. Other treasured wildlife sightings may include minke whales, harbor and Dall’s porpoises, seals, river otters, and a variety of birds including auklets and herons. The region also boasts the second-largest bald eagle breeding population in the continental United States. The temperate climate, marine wildlife, and dynamic shoreline make the San Juans a paddler’s dream. 


Example Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Seattle

  • Arrive into Seattle mid day

  • Stay the night and intro to program

The Expedition

  • Sea Kayaking Expedition around the San Juan Islands

  • Itinerary will be dependent on weather and tides.

  • We will move camp each day, with a possible layover day

  • Fishing, crabbing, kayaking, hiking, and more…

Returning Home

  • AM departure for the ferry

  • Return to Anacortes by 10 am

  • Arrive in Seattle to fly out in the afternoon


• Trip Cost Per Person: This Leading-X program is fully funded. Participants are responsible for their own travel accommodations to and from the course area.

• Limited Space: These highly desirable trip can only accommodate 10 participants. Interested individuals should send their applications in immediately! 

• Trip Includes: Lodging, expedition food, guide service expenses, leadership training, tents, waterproof bags, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and some other camping gear.

• Guides: Qualified guides will provide a safe, fun, and meaningful adventure.

• Medical: A medical professional with bleeding disorders experience will attend every trip. Several of the guides and programmers have Wilderness First Responder certifications. Participants are responsible for supplying their own bleeding disorder treatment and extra emergency doses. We carry a medical kit.

• Participants: Adults 18 + years of age

• Tents: We sleep in 2-3 person high quality tents.

• Clothing: A guide will go over the clothing that you bring and supply you additional items, if appropriate.

• Cuisine: Healthy fresh food, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and meats. We accommodate some dietary needs. This is seriously good backcountry food, folks.

• A documentarian will attend each trip. Your experience will help inspire others to take on new challenges and adventures!


Application Process

  • Submit your application through CampDocs, including medical forms.

  • If accepted, you will be contacted by GutMonkey, the trip's medical staff, and a guide from Breakwater Expeditions.

  • Submit your travel plan to GutMonkey for review. If you are flying to Seattle, include your flight itinerary.

  • Your spot on the trip can be revoked if you do not submit a travel plan or flight details in a timely manner. Please reach out and contact GutMonkey if there are any complications. Your spot is not secure to this otherwise free trip until you submit your travel plan. Prepare and submit your travel plan quickly, before your spot goes to another participant.

Expedition Behavior

Leading X is an intensive backcountry expeditions. Once we enter a course area, we expect that every group member will complete the trip. Evacuations are reserved for necessary circumstances. If a group member sustains a small injury or common illness, they may need to finish out the week. 


Prepare a Medical Plan

You may only attend a Leading X program if you arrive with an appropriate treatment plan and medication for the trip. Leading X trips will involve many hours a day of repetitive motion (including walking, bicycling arm motion, bending at the waist, squatting, torso twisting, etc...). This may mean enough factor to assure coverage for 6 consecutive days of sustained moderate intensity activity (6 hours each day) and treatment of 1 to 2 joint bleeds and a head injury. We assess this preparedness together with our attending nurses. Anyone arriving at the course area without enough medication may not be admitted into the backcountry as a part of the Leading X group. We want to work with you beforehand to make sure that every interested person has access to Leading X. There is inherit risk in any expedition, and we make this requirement to protect the safety and wellbeing of the entire group. After applying to Leading X, you will be contacted by a program nurse to make a plan. It can sometime take a long time to gather enough medication to be adequately prepared for a trip like Leading X. Please reach out to us if you're having trouble preparing or if have any questions.  

Expedition Staff



GutMonkey is proud to work with Breakwater Expeditions to outfit and collaborate on all of our Leading X expeditions.