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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our frequently asked questions to help address some of the common questions we are asked. Should your own inquiries be more specific, don't hesitate to contact us at 704-894-2522 or email odyssey@davidson.edu. 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 service, hiking, rock climbing, 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 fitness level is recommended?

You will enjoy the program more if you are fit. Forty minutes of aerobic activity three to four times per week for at least one month prior to the Odyssey should be adequate conditioning. We are available by phone at 704-894-2522 if you would like to discuss the recommended fitness levels for Odyssey. 

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 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.

Why is Session 3 longer?

We hope that the first, second and third short sessions offer a shorter and more affordable option. The long version of Session 3 includes multiple activities: backpacking, whitewater paddling, and a service project. Sessions 1 and 2 and short Session 3 offer three days of a single outdoor activity such as Backpacking or Whitewater Paddling, or a Basecamp option with three different activities over the three days away from campus. 

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 odyssey@davidson.edu to explore your options with us. 

For Sessions 1 and 2: How do I receive my travel allotment?

You will receive an email detailing your trip assignment two to three weeks after you submit your registration form. This email will contain your financial aid information, including the travel allotment. It is your responsibility to make your own travel arrangements and pay for all travel expenses up front. Your travel allotment will be credited to your college account. 

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.