Summer - Logistics

FLBS Bookstore

Textbooks and basic course supplies may be purchased at the FLBS Bookstore. You are provided with a list of necessary items upon acceptance to our program. Cash, personal checks, traveler's checks, money orders and credit cards (Discover, MasterCard and Visa) are accepted in payment for books and supplies.

Banking and Telephone Services

Either traveler's checks or a debit card offer added convenience for the duration of your stay . The nearest bank, for cashing personal checks, and ATM is 15 miles north of the Bio Station in Bigfork.

A telephone credit card or prepaid phone card is useful as most calls are long distance and must be placed using pay phones.

Cell phone service is available in the area, but coverage is spotty.

Climate and Dress

Generally, everyone dresses casually. Typically the last two weeks in June can be somewhat chilly and damp, so it is suggested you bring a cold-weather jacket and warm clothes (layers image indicating link to external site content are recommended). Items-to-bring checklist. Average temperatures for Kalispell are included below. Note that mountain temperatures are generally lower than those in the valleys.

Average temperatures (°F)

June:     71 / 44
July:      80 / 47
August: 78 / 46


Student Mailing Address

You will be assigned a box for mail and messages. Outgoing mail may be sent on normal mailing days; incoming mail should be addressed using the following address:

Your Name
32111 Bio Station Lane
Polson, MT 59860-6815

Computers / Internet Access

All students are required to bring a laptop. FLBS will work with students unable to bring a laptop due to financial hardship. MS Office is also recommended for optimal collaboration with faculty and peers. See individual course syllabi for specific laptop requirements.

A laptop will allow enrolled students to access:

  • Wireless internet
  • Classroom printers

Get to FLBS

FLBS is in a remote area. There are no on-demand taxi or transit options. Prior planning and reservations are essential to reach FLBS on time.

 Driving Directions to FLBS


Many students drive their own vehicles to the Bio Station. Students without their own vehicle will need to network with other students to get to town and/or for weekend adventures.

If you want riders or need a ride, an option is to visit the Student Ride Board (available after you apply).


If you are flying, we strongly advise Kalispell/Glacier International Airport (FCA) as your destination, arriving before 4 pm the Sunday before your courses begin. The Kalispell/Glacier airport is ~42 miles north of FLBS.

Students may find it cheaper to fly into the Missoula airport (MSO) which is ~85 miles south of FLBS. You may save money on a flight into Missoula, but there are significant additional time and money expenses involved in getting to FLBS from Missoula (and back).

In addition to your flight, you must prearrange ground transportation (taxi/shuttle) to the Bio Station. See transfer options below.


Amtrak makes a daily stop in Whitefish (~47 miles north of FLBS). The Westbound train arrives late pm, while the eastbound arrives early am. However, you must then find ground transportation from Whitefish to FLBS. See transfer options below.

Ground Transfer Options by Arrival/Departure Location

If you are not driving directly to FLBS, getting the last few miles requires prior planning. Here are the ground transfer options to FLBS, by location.

Kalispell/Glacier Int.
Airport (FCA)

  1. Find a driver on the FLBS Rider Board. Note that FLBS does not mediate arrangements between drivers and riders.
  2. FCA Airport Car Rental
  3. Shuttle/taxi (prearrange pickup with 48-hours or more advance notice)
    • Arrow Shuttle Prearrange shuttle pickup online or call 406-300-2301. One-way fare is ~$160 plus $10 each additional person.
    • Kalispell Airport Taxi Prearrange shuttle pickup by calling Kalispell Airport Taxi at 406-250-3603. One-way fare is ~$170 (one or more passengers).
    • Search internet on keywords Kalispell Montana taxi for other services.

Missoula Int.
Airport (MSO)

  1. Find a driver on the FLBS Rider Board. Note that FLBS does not mediate arrangements between drivers and riders.
  2. MSO Airport Car Rental
  3. Shuttles (prearrange pickups with 48-hours or more advance notice)
  4. Grayhound Bus - there is only one daily bus from Missoula to Polson from where you must prearrange a taxi to the Bio Station. Plan for an additional overnight stay in Missoula plus meals costs. One-way costs are estimated as follows:
    • Taxi from airport to Missoula Greyhound terminal or hotel: ~$25
    • Overnight stay in Missoula and meals to make bus schedule connections: ~$175
    • Greyhound bus ticket Missoula to Polson or call 406-549-2339: starting at ~$19 one-way
    • Prearranged taxi from Polson to FLBS, search internet using keywords Polson Montana taxi service or Polson Montana Uber: ~$45

Whitefish Amtrak
Train Depot

  1. Car rental at Amtrak Station (Hertz)
  2. Arrow Shuttle Prearrange shuttle pickup online or call 406-300-2301. One-way fare is ~$200 plus $10 each additional person.

Summer Session Checklists

Required Items Checklist

Students are required to bring the following items for their stay at FLBS:

  • Bed linens: standard pillow case, standard twin sheets, and blankets
  • Towels
  • Toiletry articles
  • Proper clothing (layers recommended)
  • Full raingear (waterproof coat and pants) plus umbrella
  • Hiking boots (broken in! and not too stiff)
  • Hot mug
  • Water bottle (e.g., 32oz Nalgene or similar)
  • Lunch pack-up container (small divided Rubbermaid container, or two small containers; recommended as lunch is packed every day)
  • Mess kit for field trips and weekends (plate, cup/mug, utensils)
  • Flashlight/headlamp, batteries
  • Laundry soap and quarters for pay machines
  • Alarm clock
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, and cap/hat
  • Daypack and backpack
  • Camera (optional)
  • Laptop computer (required; contact FLBS if this is a problem)
  • Prepaid phone card or cell phone
  • Money/ATM card

Required Overnight Field Gear Checklist

All field courses require the following items. Contact your instructor if you have any questions on whether your gear is appropriate for three season mountain camping.

  • Sleeping Bag - rated down to 20 °F (preferably 0 °F), and no bigger than a ~5 gallon (19L) bucket, due to limited vehicle space
  • Sleeping Pad or Self Inflating Air Pad to put under the sleeping bag (any standard sleeping pad - does not have to be carried)
  • Layered Clothing to hike and sleep in
  • Warm Hat and water resistant Gloves - useful if the weather gets bad and it can get bad year-round, at any time, in the high country
  • Good Rain Jacket and Rain Pants - ESSENTIAL! Rain jacket must be breathable for hiking; rain pants should be breathable. Nonbreathable pants are okay but will be less comfortable.
  • Day Pack required to carry water, food, extra clothes, camera, GPS, binoculars, headlamp, field guides and any other personal gear - lots of different day packs available so find one that is easy to hike with for a long ways - roughly 1500-1800 cubic inches (do not bring a book pack) Note: (students do not need a heavy duty backpack for the courses, but may want a backpack for personal hiking/backcountry camping)
  • Good Hiking Shoes or Boots - Essential! These must support off trail bushwhacking. It is recommended that hiking boots be broken in and waterproof. Everyone should be prepared to treat their own blisters.
  • Headlamp - with extra batteries

Optional Backpacking Checklist

We provide this list for backpacking in your free time. These items are NOT required by FLBS courses but may make backpacking more comfortable. Plan for altitude, wet, and possibly snowy conditions. You are not required to bring all of these items, but they will make your backpacking experience more enjoyable: 

  • Backpack tent, with rain fly and footprint/ground tarp (all tents leak from the bottom in wet conditions - which means a wet sleeping bag)
  • A backpack large enough to carry the items listed below (a smaller rucksack or day pack is useful for day-long field trips)
  • Wool or dual-layer hiking socks
  • Long underwear (wool or synthetic)
  • Undershirt (light polypro or wool)
  • Insulative mid-layer jackets (fleece or active down)
  • Rain/wind shell (pants, jacket, hood). Full rain gear is essential! Rain jacket must be breathable for hiking; rain pants do not need to be breathable material, but will be less comfortable.
  • Cold weather hat
  • Gloves or mittens with shells (water resistant handware is recommended)
  • Hiking boots / Goretex light hikers (broken in! and not too stiff)
  • Sleeping bag - good to 20 degrees, preferably 0 degrees
  • Sleeping pad, self-inflating or cell foam
  • Stove and fuel (one per 3-4 individuals)
  • Mess kit (plate, cup, storage container, eating utensil)
  • Food & drink mix (both hot and cold types)
  • Power Bars / Energy-dense snacks
  • Water bottle (e.g., wide-mouth Nalgene or similar)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen, cap
  • Flashlight/headlamp, batteries
  • Compass and/or GPS
  • Map(s) of your destination
  • Pocket knife
  • Bear spray (can be purchased at FLBS bookstore)
  • First aid kit - personal size; everyone should be prepared to treat their own blisters, and minor cuts/scrapes
  • Ditty bag (pencil, note pad, spare medicine, prescription glasses, etc.)
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