Do I need to be an outdoor "expert" to enjoy the Backcountry Odyssey?
No. The Backcountry Odyssey is open to all incoming first-year and transfer students and is designed to accommodate any level of experience. Beginners are welcome. Backcountry Odyssey participants will spend the entire week outdoors.
What if I already have a lot of outdoor experience?
The program is not so much about what you do as it is about who you do it with. Even if you have a lot of personal experience with service, hiking, or paddling, you have never done them with this group, the members of your first-year class. Join us for the chance to share skills you enjoy while you build lasting connections with your classmates.
What kind of shape do I need to be in?
You will enjoy the program more if you are fit. Forty minutes of aerobic activity 3 to 4 times per week for at least one month prior to the Odyssey should be adequate conditioning. In addition, we conduct a medical screening process to help you determine which trip is appropriate.
What equipment will I need?
You will have to bring some specialized clothing and a good pair of hiking boots. Wear boots sized for your feet, that you have broken in before the trip. Davidson Outdoors can provide your pack, sleeping bag and pad, and all other group gear. You can probably borrow or buy inexpensively most of the personal clothing you'll need. See the what to bring list for your session.
Why is Session III shorter?
We wanted to offer an Odyssey experience for folks who were not able or willing to take a full week out of their summer. We hope that the shorter and more affordable nature of the third session will be attractive to those folks.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. Financial aid is available to students who have qualified for aid from Davidson.