Below is a sampling of typical trips and classes offered during the academic year.

During the academic year, current students can find a list of active trips and classes on WildCatSync in the Davidson Outdoors Portal.


Trip Leader Training (known as TLT)

This is an eight-week course to prepare students to be trips leaders for Davidson Outdoors or other outdoor adventure businesses.

Top Rope Rock Climbing Instructor Skills Course (known as PCIA)

This is an intensive 18 week course spread out over a full academic year to prepare future Davidson Outdoors Rock Climbing Trip Leaders to lead climbing trips independently. Students will have the opportunity to test for the Professional Climbing Instructor's Association Top Rope Instructor Certification at the end of the year. No previous climbing experience is needed to enroll, but a commitment to leading at least one DO climbing trip each year during the remaining time at Davidson is required.

Water Leader Skills Course (known as WLSC)

A great introduction to leading paddling, learn to teach basic maneuvers and principles of rolling a kayak in the pool and at the lake campus, then test your new skills on some North Carolina whitewater.

Cave Leader Training Workshop

After taking TLT, come learn how to lead a group in underground environments. This is a weekend long workshop covering both basic caving techniques and cave trip planning and leadership.

Typical Trip Types

Day Hike

Trip Leaders will introduce you to the beautiful piedmont or mountains of NC for a short, but gorgeous and relaxing day of hiking and making new friends.

Standup Paddle Board Day

Spend a few hours learning the basics of balance and paddle strokes while splashing around at Lake Campus.

Beginner Whitewater Kayaking

A great introduction to paddling, learn basic maneuvers and principles of rolling a kayak in the pool and at the lake campus, then test your new skills on some North Carolina whitewater. This is a wonderful trip for first-time kayakers.

Rock Climbing

A great introduction to rock climbing outdoors: learn about climbing movement, belaying and navigating at a local crag. Make new friends in this highly social environment. Beginner to Advanced trips and day trips and weekend trips are offered.

Appalachian Backpacking

Join us for some backpacking in the western North Carolina mountains. Get out and see the night sky in the mountains with us.

Smoky Mountain Backpacking

Join us for a backpacking trip in the Smoky Mountains National Park. We will spend a weekend to four days on school breaks hiking and enjoying the amazing views and wonderful biodiversity.

LeConte Backpacking

Looking for spring green, robin-egg blue skies, and possibly a bit of the white stuff? Join us for some beautiful hiking for Easter Break and Fall Break. Four full days will give us time for an extended hike into the less traveled parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Mountain Biking

Learn the basics of safe single-track technique while enjoying a weekend of excellent mountain scenery.

Fly Fishing

Experienced guides will teach you the ins and outs of this graceful and relaxing form of fishing. Casting instruction are included.

Canoe Camping

Navigate flat water in Davidson's 26-foot clipper canoes. Often these canoes are taken out on break trips to places such as Caper's Island, SC or the Florida Everglades.