Building what will eventually become a 3,000km trail network is an enormous project. Volunteers both local and international will play a core role in helping to design, build, test and maintain the trail. Please read this section of the website carefully, and then decide which of the volunteering opportunities is the best fit for you. If you do apply to join the effort, we expect you to understand and agree to the conditions and rules of the various programmes.
Our teams in Georgia and Armenia can offer a variety of no-frills experiences for those interested in taking on the challenging work that supports the creation of the trail. We hope participants will enjoy themselves, make new friends, learn new skills, and immerse themselves in the cultures and landscapes of the Caucasus, but the primary purpose of volunteering is to offer your help with the massive project of building the trail. We ask volunteers to understand the realities of this, which means being flexible, open-minded, adventurous, and willing to work hard. We will continually strive to improve these opportunities based on your feedback.
If you do join the project, we want you to have an enjoyable and productive experience, and to understand what you are committing to before you arrive in the Caucasus. The beautiful photos and stories you’ll find throughout this website will give you part of the story, but we want applicants to understand the challenges and limitations as well.
Please take a look at the following opportunities to see what we currently need help with, and to decide which is the best fit for you.
2018 Trailbuilding Camps (Georgia & Armenia)
For summer 2018, we are excited to offer opportunities for volunteers to join the trail crew in Svaneti, Georgian and Dilijan National Park, Armenia. Both settings provide spectacular scenery and interesting cultural highlights. The volunteer program runs in 14-day sessions in July, August and September, with between eight to ten participants in each group. The exact schedule of fieldwork is different in Svaneti and Dilijan, but on both programs, volunteers spend roughly 8 nights in the field and 5 nights at the basecamp in the towns of Dilijan (Armenia) or Mestia (Georgia).
Casual Skilled Volunteering (Armenia)
We will be welcoming skilled volunteers to our basecamp in Dilijan to participate in a variety of tasks from June thru September 2018. In return for contributing your creativity and practical skills to the local project in Dilijan, you’ll be able to take advantage of free accommodation and food for up to two weeks at a time at our headquarters in the heart of Dilijan National Park. This opportunity will be available via the Workaway volunteering platform.
Scouting & Mapping Unexplored Routes
While much of the Transcaucasian Trail’s future route has been identified in principle, there remain many unexplored areas for which we need experienced, self-sufficient trailblazers to conduct exploratory scouting and mapping missions. If you’re up for designing and executing your own scouting expeditions based on limited information, you’re skilled and proficient in operating in remote backcountry environments, you can read maps in Russian (or learn how), and you’re OK tracking your hikes with a GPS unit, get in touch!
Mapping The Trail Remotely
A good map is critical when heading into the mountains. To this end, one of our goals is to improve the map data around the TCT using the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform, which is an open source map of the world, developed by a global volunteer community. You can help us from home by donating an hour or more of your time to help us make maps. This typically involves tracing satellite images with your mouse – drawing forests, rivers and more that will feed into our maps. If you’re already familiar with OpenStreetMap editing, so much the better.