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SUNY New Paltz Three Day/Two Night First-Year Outdoor Trip - Campout

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The State University of New York at New Paltz is proud to announce the 12th annual First-Year Outdoor Trip in August 18-21, 2019!

Welcome to New Paltz! The First-Year Outdoor Trip Program is without a doubt one of the best ways to start college. As you begin to start an exciting new journey in your life, why not start at New Paltz by making new friends before school begins and learning about life at New Paltz on a fun-filled three day, two night hiking and camping trip pre-Welcome Week program. It will be one of the best parts of your first year at New Paltz, and one of the most memorable of your entire four years.

When is it?

August 18-21, 2019

* Sunday, August 18, 2019: 6 p.m. - Packing and gear meeting
* Monday, August 19, 2019: 8 a.m. - Trip departs
* Wednesday, August 21, 2019: 4 p.m. - Trip returns


Catskill Mountains in the Hunter/Phoenicia area (about an hour from campus)


36 First-Year State University of New York at New Paltz students


Cost Includes:
-3 days and 2 nights of camping
-Meals from August 21–August 23
-Bus transportation to and from trip
-Most camping equipment
-Loan of technical equipment for team-building activities
-Dri-fit First-Year Outdoor Trip shirt

If you’re interested in adventure, please check out the How To Register section below and register by June 30, 2019. Registration will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis up to 36 students based on registration time and date stamped as received. A wait list will be constructed as needed.

Trip Schedule

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Arrive at New Paltz and check in to your campus residence hall and move in. Yes, you will move in at this time to your actual assigned room for the semester.

Sunday, August 18 – 6 p.m.

Meet at the Athletic & Wellness Center for a gear check, packing and discussion/review of trip.
Pizza will be provided for dinner at this meeting.

Monday, August 19 - 7 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.

Breakfast provided

Monday, August 19- 8 a.m.

Meet at the Athletic & Wellness Center to load the buses and drive to the Catskill Mountains.

Monday, August 19 – Tuesday, August 20 – Wednesday, August 21

Head into the Catskills on one of the many trails. To help reduce our impact in the outdoors, we will limit our group sizes and break up into different groups on different hikes, then regroup at a campsite to stay for the nights and do some team building events and other outdoor activities. The hikes into the campsites will vary in ability level so we can provide a challenge to everyone.

The emphasis on the trip is teamwork and developing relationships with other students. No hiking day will exceed 8 miles per day. We will hike everyday, regardless of weather, unless the safety of the group is at risk. Please be sure to bring adequate rain pants (we provide rain poncho) and waterproof your boots.

During the trip, we will discuss and develop the following skills:

o Leave No Trace Principles
o Water Purification Methods
o Preparing Camp
o Campsite selection
o Tent set-up
o Backcountry sanitation
o Cooking
o Stove set-up
o Cooking meals
o Clean-up
o Land Navigation
o Reading a map
o Using a compass
o Route planning
o Tracking your progress on the map along the way

Wednesday, August 21 - 1:30 p.m.

End the trip at the trailhead for pick-up.

Wednesday, August 21 - 3-4 p.m.

Arrive back at the State University of New York at New Paltz campus

What is provided for you:
- Food
-Transportation to campsite and back to campus
-Rain poncho
- Tent
-Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
-Bear keg for food storage
-Water filter system as/if needed
-Cooking stove and utensils
-Any technical equipment for the team building elements

What you need to bring:

-Ankle High hiking boots (REQUIRED)
- Headlamp, extra batteries (Black Diamond, Petzl, etc)
- Sunglasses
-Water bottles (2 one liter nalgene wide mouth bottles)
- a camelbak hydrating system is highly recommend in addition to the 2 water bottles.
-Pocket Knife- folding knives only, no sheath knives longer than 3 inches
- Waterproof matches and/or lighter
- Personal first-aid kit with any prescription medications you may need
-Tissues/Toilet paper
- Sunscreen
-Bug Spray
-Camera and film (optional)
-Plastic Mug, bowl and utensils
This year we will be at a campsite that has running water and showers. If you would like to shower, please bring the following:
- Pack towel and a small amount of biodegradable soap (Dr Bronner's, CampSuds, etc)
- Flip Flops (optional)


Clothing must be appropriate for the season and something to keep you comfortable that you can move comfortably in. Layers are a great choice. Here are some suggestions. Keep in mind that “cotton kills.” Try to wear clothing made out of synthetic materials. Stay away from cotton!
-ANKLE HIGH Hiking boots- REQUIRED - sturdy footwear suitable for hiking with aggressive sole, preferably waterproof.
-T-shirt (preferably a synthetic like coolmax, capilene, bergaline, etc.)
-Long-sleeve t-shirt (to protect your arms from sun and bugs)
-Shorts & pants (preferably nylon)
-Rain pants (gore-tex or comparable material)
-Fleece sweater (will depend on the weather)
-Hat & Gloves (will depend on weather. Could be cool at night)
-Socks (Hiking specific synthetic socks such as: Bridgedale, Smart Wool, Thorlo, etc.)
-Gaiters (small gators to help keep the mud and rocks out of your boots [optional])

Be sure to try as many models of hiking boots as possible and go for which one fits the best. Be sure they fit properly, and after you purchase a pair; be sure to hike a good amount in them so they are broken in before arrival. We can not stress this enough. If you buy a pair of boots of the Internet, plan on them not fitting - unless you buy a good size range and try them ALL on. If they do not fit right, you WILL GET BLISTERS, and that will end your trip. Blisters can be extremely painful and debilitating, they take a good amount of time to heal. In-field recoveries are slim to none.

Sneakers, sandals, and/or clogs are not allowed.

What you are NOT allowed to bring:
-Alcohol and other drugs (including cigarettes and chewing tobacco
-Firearms, swords, survival knifes, fixed blade knives, or pocket knives with blades more than three inches long
-iPods, TVs, cell phones, electronic games
-Curling iron or hair dryers
-Clothing and equipment not listed on the "What to Bring" list (extra layers, jeans, etc.)
-Chewing Gum
-Deodorant, anti-perspirant
-Bad attitude (leave negative thoughts and attitudes at home)

Check out the 2011 webinar to give you more information the trip!

First-Year Outdoor Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Note for Parents:
Please do not register your son or daughter unless he or she wants to go on the trip. We have had parents in the past register their child without consulting with their child. These students usually have not brought a good attitude to the trip. This trip is a big committment and all parties should be on board priort to registering.

Will we hike every day?

Yes! A lot! This is a hiking trip and a camping trip so be prepared to hike each day. This is a “Wilderness Orientation” and it is our goal is to not only introduce you to your classmates but to also introduce you to a part of life that we find very special – the outdoors! We will be working as a group everyday to accomplish some basic but necessary tasks, such as cooking, preparing camp and filtering water. It is our goal to provide you with as much outdoor experience as we can.

You will learn new wilderness skills and use them.

Will I be able to shower?

Yes! This year we will be at a campsite that has running water and showers. If you would like to shower, please bring the following:
- Pack towel and a small amount of biodegradable soap (Dr Bronner's, CampSuds, etc)
- Flip Flops (optional)

What kind of experience do I need?

There is no experience necessary for our Outdoor Pursuits Program First-Year Outdoor Trip. The group will be divided into a Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced sub-groups on the trip. Each group will hike and camp separately on the trip. Once the group is set, a detailed itinerary and location of your groups trip will be discussed during the pre-trip meeting.

Your guides will teach you all that you need to know about gear, low-impact hiking, packing, water purification, land navigation and nutrition in the backcountry. The Outdoor Pursuits Program has a “Challenge by Choice” philosophy, which means that we present you with a challenge, and it is your choice to accept or decline it. We present these challenges in a positive learning environment where individual ideas and choices are respected.

How strenuous is my trip?

You will be hiking each day and depending on fitness level, it could be strenuous. To help reduce our impact in the outdoors, we will limit our group sizes and break up into different groups on different hikes. The hikes will vary in ability level so that we can provide a challenge to everyone. The emphasis on each trip is teamwork and developing relationships with other students. No hiking day will exceed 8 miles. We recommend that you partake in moderate aerobic activity prior to your trip. Keep in mind that you will be hiking with a 35-45 lb. pack and ascending some of the most beautiful peaks in the area. While no trip is designed to push students beyond their ability, being in good physical shape will make for a more positive experience.

How does weather affect my trip?

We will hike everyday, regardless of weather, unless the safety of the group is at risk. Please be sure to bring adequate rain gear and waterproof your boots!

What will I be eating?

The Outdoor Pursuits Program provides all students with foods high in carbohydrates and fats. Some of the options are Macaroni and Cheese, burritos, oatmeal, granola, hummus, and pancakes. We provide more than enough food for all students. We can make certain meals vegetarian if needed. If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please notify us prior to your trip so that we can provide foods more appropriate for you.

What if I get sick or injured on the trip?

Guides are certified in Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT’s and trained to handle medical emergencies in the backcountry.

Who will guide the FIrst Year Outdoor trip?
The camping trip will be conducted by Alpine Endeavors. Alpine Endeavors will provide experienced guides who are concerned with making your outing as safe as possible. They are accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association and the guides are certified by the American Mountain Guides Association. They are trained in First Aid, and they are licensed to guide in New York State for rock, ice, camping, canoeing, hiking, and/or fishing. Safety is their first priority.

Testimonials from from past First-Year Outdoor Trips

"The trip was great! I became close with the people in my group and the guides were very nice. It made my first hiking trip an unforgettable one." Bella, New Paltz '15

"The guides were prefect, they knew what to do, how to do it, and could help with everything." Emily, New Paltz '15

"Thank you for the awesome opportunities you gave me. All I ask is that you continue the program and let other first year students see what I saw and learn what I learned." Kathleen, New Paltz '15

"The experience was simply amazing!" Leah, New Paltz '14

"This trip was fantastic. It was a lot of fun and allowed me to get to know future classmates and also to know just how much hiking there is near New Paltz. I would definitely recommend this trip to all incoming freshman who feel up to the challenge." Robin, New Paltz '14

"I had an absolutely amazing time. The people I met on the camping trip so far have been my best friends."
Alexandra, New Paltz ‘12

"The trip was simply amazing. I enjoyed having a small, closed off from the world environment where I got to know my fellow classmates very well, almost too well. I met my best friend on this trip and I still talk to and see others from it. The guides were the best; funny, entertaining and always tentative towards everyone's needs. Whether it be hunger or blisters they knew everything."
Kyle, New Paltz ‘12

"On the last day none of us wanted to go back."
Chloe, New Paltz ‘12

"...an extremely enjoyable experience and introduced me to an activity that I otherwise would never probably have been a part of..."
Shane, New Paltz ‘12

"I love the friends that I met and setting up the tents and filtering the water and just BEING in the woods. I also liked the games that we played. It mades us feel more like a collaborative group!"
Lana, New Paltz ‘13

"It was fun and challenging and I made friends on this trip. It was everything I thought it would be and more."
Kerry Robinson ‘

Any questions, please contact:
Christina Cordier

No upcoming schedule