Please read our frequently asked questions to help address some of the common questions we are asked.

Should your inquiries be more specific, don't hesitate to contact us at 704-894-2522 or email We will be happy to assist you.

Do I need to have prior outdoor experience to enjoy the Outdoor Odyssey?

No. The Outdoor Odyssey is open to all incoming first-year and transfer students and is designed to accommodate any level of experience. Beginners are welcome. Outdoor Odyssey participants will spend the entire trip outdoors.

What if I already have a lot of outdoor experience?

Even if you have a lot of personal experience with hiking, camping, 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.

How challenging is Outdoor Odyssey?

Outdoor Odyssey is designed to be challenging. We believe that experiencing challenge, both individually and as a group, is part of what makes Outdoor Odyssey a meaningful and valuable program. So please come to Odyssey prepared to be challenged and to support other members of your group in working through challenge. With this in mind, we work hard to help you make informed choices about the challenges you take on and support you through your experiences. Outdoor Odyssey is open and accessible to all skill levels in the outdoors - no previous experience is needed - but we ask that you show up excited to lean into the physical challenges of spending a week being active outdoors and the social and emotional challenges of meeting new people and working closely with others in a group setting. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns about the challenges of Odyssey or how to prepare. 

Can I request accommodations on Outdoor Odyssey?

The short answer is yes, absolutely! We're committed to working with you to meet your needs so you can participate in Outdoor Odyssey if you would like to do so. We can provide accommodations in a range of areas including but not limited to dietary restrictions, physical needs, religious observances, and mental health needs. We're also happy to talk with you about what to expect on Outdoor Odyssey so you can make an informed decision about if our program will meet what you're looking for in a pre-orientation experience. We want you to be safe, happy, and healthy as you make your transition into the Davidson community and we would love to help you figure out the best way to make that happen. Feel free to contact us at

What if the weather is bad?

We have alternate plans for severe weather issues, however, if the weather is mild, we will continue with Odyssey as normal. Trip Leaders are trained to help participants navigate weather effectively and still have a great experience! If you have questions or concerns about weather issues, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 704-894-2522. 

What bathroom and hygiene facilities will be available during Outdoor Odyssey?

Supporting your hygiene and personal care needs during Outdoor Odyssey is a priority for us. Campsites that we use vary in the level of facilities available. Some will have running water with flush toilets and showers. Others will have pit toilets available and others may be backcountry sites with no facilities. Our trip leaders are prepared to help you maintain good hygiene in all of these environments. Flush toilets and showers will be available to you several times throughout the trip, but they will not be available every day. 

What equipment will I need?

Davidson Outdoors does not want you to buy any technical gear you may only use once. You will have to bring some clothing and might have to provide footwear appropriate for your activity. What-to-Bring lists are included for each activity in the paperwork that follows registration. Please read through your trip's equipment list on our Equipment & Gear page. Davidson Outdoors can provide your sleeping bag and pad, and all other group and activity-specific gear.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Substantial financial aid is available to students who have qualified for aid from Davidson. If you are not eligible for financial aid at Davidson, but still have financial need to participate in the Odyssey, please contact us at to explore your options with us. 

Can I participate in Outdoor Odyssey and other pre-orientation programs?

Outdoor Odyssey is designed to be compatible with STRIDE, Bonner, and international student pre-orientation for students who would like to participate in both. If you plan to participate in one of those two programs, please indicate that on your registration form. If you plan to participate in the Humanities Sapere Aude pre-orientation, please only register for session one or two of Outdoor Odyssey. For other pre-orientation programs you are interested in, please check program dates to confirm that they will not conflict and feel free to reach out with questions. 

When does New Student Orientation start and how can I find out about move-in dates and details?

To help your transition to Davidson, we've compiled a list of the tasks new incoming students need to complete before arriving on move-in day, including dates and a handy checklist.