Back to Earth has safely guided thousands of clients on hundreds of trips since its founding in 2001 by longtime friends Eric Fenster and Ari Derfel. They launched the company to realize the vision of a community space where people would gather to eat delicious food, exercise their bodies and minds and share inspiring explorations of the natural world.

During their tenure as lead guides, Eric and Ari worked with a range of individuals, non-profits and corporate partners to take groups into the wilderness for life-changing and community-building experiences. They developed a collaborative model in which they partnered with expert instructors to bring healing and creative arts - from qigong to watercolor - into the backcountry classroom. Cooking on small backpacking stoves, they pushed the bar in backcountry cuisine, demonstrating a passion for food that eventually led them to open the restaurants Gather and Reverb. Eating healthy, nourishing food remains a central value of all Back to Earth trips.