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Outdoor Action

Leadership Starts Here

A Day on OA

Group of people sitting at top of Mount Tammany with river visible in background

Types of Trips:

For Frosh Trip, you will be placed in a group with 10-12 of your classmates and 2-3 upperclass OA Leaders. All trip types are an excellent way to bond with your group as you explore the outdoors. The primary activity for most trips will be hiking, but that will be broken up throughout the day with breaks, activities, and conversations with your new classmates and the upperclass student Leaders. After a full day of outdoor activities, it’s great to enjoy a hot meal with new friends while talking about the day and what to expect at Princeton. You can also look forward to playing games and talking together before the group goes to sleep. For all trips, OA provides all of the food as well as the group gear (including tents, as needed) and most specialized outdoor equipment (e.g. canoes, sleeping bags, backpacks). Individuals are responsible only for their own personal items, like clothing layers and water bottles. We will provide personal equipment lists in early August after we place you on a specific trip. Two of the most common questions about camping have to do with bathrooms and bathing. Please read below for information about bathroom access for each different trip type. Since there will be times when you are away from bathrooms, your Leaders will explain the proper methods for reliving yourself outside. We know this may be a little different from what you are used to, but Frosh Trip is all about trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone.

Campus-based Day Trips:

Campus-based groups will be exploring the natural areas in Princeton and other parks in the tri-state area. Some days you'll be exploring outdoor locations within walking distance from campus and with other days traveling via bus. There will be a variety of different activities including hiking, canoeing, biking, trail maintenance and rock climbing.  For the day activities, you will only carry a light backpack (water, lunch, etc.). For a Campus-based trip, you will sleep in your own dorm room each night. Some meals will be eaten in the dining halls on campus and others will be picnics outdoors. While on campus, you will have access to your normal dorm bathrooms and showers. There may be more limited bathroom access during the day while outdoors.

Base Camp Trips:

Hiking Basecamp trips stay at group campsites in the middle of a state park.  Each day, you will head out for a new adventure, doing day hikes through the park, only carrying a light backpack (water, lunch, etc.). You may also spend a day canoeing/kayaking on a lake near the campground. You will sleep under a tent and do all of your group cooking outdoors at your campsite.  Everyone in the group works together with all of the camp tasks.  There will be toilets, running water, and some may have shower facilities.

Backcountry Trips:

Most of these trips will be hiking with a full backpacking backpack. There also will be some canoeing trips and some trips that combine canoeing and backpacking. Each day, the group will travel to a new campsite, transporting all of their belongings—either hiking along established trails or paddling down calm rivers. Many of the trips hike along sections of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The mileage varies by group and by day, but typically 6-8 hours a day are spent hiking. If backpacking, you’ll carry all of your personal gear and a portion of the group equipment and food in an internal or external frame backpack, which allows you to carry weight more easily. OA is able to provide the backpack, or you can bring your own. Similar to basecamp trips, you will sleep under a large tarp and do all of your cooking outdoors as a group at your campsite.  Everyone in the group works together with all of the camp tasks.  At most of the backcountry campsites, there are no outhouses or bathrooms. You won’t have access to showers during the trip, but you will be able to wash your face and hands. Sometimes there are also streams or lakes to swim in. 


Within each of these different types of trips, there are a number of different activities that we offer including:

  • Hiking
  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Biking
  • Trail Maintenance or other outdoor-based community service
  • Outdoor Mindfulness Activities