We look forward to having you on course with us soon! If you have questions about the application process, submitting forms, or anything else, please contact Matthew Rosky, Veterans Program Manager, by phone on 828-239-2117 or by email at email@example.com.
We are pleased you have begun the process that will lead you Outward Bound. We promise you an extraordinary outdoor adventure and bonding opportunity.
Veterans programs are designed to be fun, fast and challenging. We make the most of the organizational and teamwork skills you learned in the military to get you straight into the wilderness. Your leadership skills will be tested as you and your crew-mates take on the responsibility of route planning, navigation, camp site selection and meal preparation all the while helping one and other overcome the physical obstacles of being in the wilderness and the emotional challenges of transitioning back to life at home.
At Outward Bound you will have the opportunity to discuss your service experience in a supportive, non-confrontational setting surrounded by fellow veterans while experiencing the beauty of the country you have served.
The wilderness is our classroom. We operate in all kinds of weather and travel a variety of terrain. There will be times when you can expect to be hot or cold, wet, tired and sore. You will push your limits both physically and mentally on Outward Bound. Our staff, sometimes veterans themselves, have extensive wilderness experience working with groups. You can rely on their ability to manage risk on your program. However, personal health, safety and well-being in the wilderness is the responsibility of each and every member of your crew.
Outward Bound is not a vacation or retreat. An Outward Bound course is a back country wilderness expedition. You will be carrying a heavy backpack over broken terrain, camping outside under tarps or in tents in a different location every evening and and will not have access to showers or bathrooms. As explained above we operate in all types of weather conditions and your course could involve cold days with rain or snow.
This course web page contains all the information needed to prepare for your wilderness adventure. Please bookmark for future reference. It is your “go to” location for all forms, gear lists and information specific to YOUR course. Take the time to read the information and complete and return all your required forms. Failure to fully complete your forms and return them by the due date can delay your application. Without all relevant data, it is difficult to adequately plan schedules and logistics necessary to provide a quality Outward Bound experience.
To complete an Outward Bound course is an achievement. People of all ages remember their Outward Bound experiences for a lifetime and frequently report, "Outward Bound was the best thing I ever did." On behalf of Outward Bound, we thank you for your service to our nation and look forward to seeing you in the wilderness.
COURSE PAPERWORK: To participate on Outward Bound, each applicant must submit all requested medical information, the signed risk and liability release form and, if applicable, be interviewed by the Veterans Program Manager. Forms are accessible below in PDF format. Make sure you refer to your Registration Email to determine what paperwork is required of you in order to move your application forward.You need the most current edition of Adobe Reader's free software in order to access and complete these forms.
All applicants must adhere to the due dates listed in their Registration Email for return of required forms. If due dates are not met, you risk losing your position on course.
We look forward to seeing you Outward Bound!
For over 30 years, Outward Bound has run wilderness expeditions specially designed for war veterans and service members. Outward Bound draws on the healing benefits of teamwork, challenge, friendship and the natural world. These courses provide a unique opportunity for self-discovery that can help veterans with their transitions back into civilian life.
Specifics: During your course, you will be backpacking up to three days.
During this component you learn safety precautions for backcountry foot travel, how to find campsites, how to navigate terrain as well as how to use a map and compass. Equally important will be time spent learning conflict resolution, communication styles, leadership and team building. After practicing these skills, your instructors will step back and let you and your crew work together to collectively navigate through the wilderness. Since your crew’s navigation depends on individual and group decision making, your crew could make some navigational errors along the way. You may hike 12 to 15 hours in one day to reach your destination or you could go three miles uphill one day and 12 miles over varied terrain the next day. The backpacks can weigh 55+ pounds. Remember, PHYSICAL PREPARATION IS KEY!
Specifics: Weather permitting, and due to the course length, you may spend a day either rock climbing, rappelling or on our high ropes course.
With a focus on the practice of safety, your lessons will start with the basics, such as working with ropes and learning to tie knots used for climbing and rappelling.
SOLO - SELF REFLECTION
Solo typically occurs more than halfway through your course and may last up to 24 hours. Your instructors will assign each participant an individual campsite within a designated area. Your instructors will teach you procedures to follow during solo and monitor you during this experience. You will know the location of your instructors’ campsite should you need to contact them; otherwise it is essential that you remain in your designated area. If your course has an overnight solo you will have your clothing, food and water. In addition, you will have Outward Bound issued gear: including rain gear, shelter, sleeping bag, compass and whistle. Due to a decreased need for caloric intake, you will have less food available than you would have during your other course activities. Solo is a not a “survival test.” You will not be physically active during solo, as solo is a time for rest, recharge and reflection. Solo is also a good time to write in the journals we provide. If you have questions or concerns, please discuss with your Student Services Representative or your instructors.
FINAL CHALLENGE EVENT
At the end of your course, you will participate in a personal challenge event. This is a great time to see how much your physical fitness and endurance have improved since you began your course. This event will be a running activity. It is not a race. Your instructors set a certain route for your crew and you complete the route at a level that will challenge you the most.
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS, NC
Because the Appalachians were once one of the largest mountain ranges in the world they have many different geologic landforms, climates and soils. This long evolutionary history and temperate climate create an area which is teeming with life. Participants can expect to share the wilderness with over 700 different kinds of trees, more than 50 types of mammals, 150 different types of birds and about 40 species of amphibians.
This course area is situated within a million acres of national forests, federally-protected wilderness areas, and other public lands. Its diverse landscapes have been featured in many motion pictures, including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. <Click to learn more about this course area.>
While in the mountains, each crew will be given large tarps to set up as shelters. You will also be given a ground sheet and a foam sleeping pad to place under your sleeping bag.
Here are some books that we encourage you to read as you plan for your course:
The history of Outward Bound serving veterans dates to 1971 and the “Spartan Pathfinder” program run by the John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance. The purpose of the program was to use Outward Bound techniques to reorient soldiers with drug and disciplinary problems and “promote self-confidence and self-awareness through controlled stress in a wilderness environment.” From 1975 - 1981, the Dart-mouth Outward Bound Center and the Department of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School began serving veterans working through Post Traumatic Stress and other mental health diagnoses.
In 1981 Dartmouth Outward Bound Center merged with Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and by 1983 Outward Bound for Veterans was born.
Since 2006 Outward Bound has served close to 10,000 Veterans and Active Duty service members. While the majority of the participants are veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, we welcome veterans from any era to attend one of our courses.
The founder of the Vietnam veterans program and a guiding hand through many iterations of Outward Bound for Veterans was Army Colonel Bob Rheault. Colonel Rheault commanded both the 1st and 5th Special Forces Groups. He became an Outward Bound instructor after he left the Army, “because it was the closest thing to Special Forces that he could find.” For 32 years Colonel Rheault served as an Instructor, Program Director and President of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, retiring in 2001. Colonel Rheault passed away in 2013.
While you do not have to be a gifted athlete or in peak physical condition to attend an Outward Bound course, you do have to prepare for the challenges of Outward Bound.
There are two kinds of strength necessary to complete your course; physical and mental. Your body needs to be strong, but you must also come with an open mind, willing spirit and a cooperative attitude. Whether you paddle a canoe or kayak for six or eight hours, expedition with a 50+ pound pack for 10 miles or scale a rock wall, you will be pushed and rewarded on many levels.
Note to caffeine drinkers: If you drink coffee or caffeinated teas you will have access to these items on course. However, they will not be available in the amounts that you may be used to. You may want to cut back a bit before course because you will not be able drink these beverages on your regular schedule.
Note to tobacco users: If you smoke, chew or dip, you will be able to engage in these activities at times and places determined by the instructors. You may want to taper off a bit before course because you will not be able use tobacco products on your regular schedule.
Have fun and enjoy the adventure of preparation while training for your course! This is an excellent opportunity for you to get outside, get fit and explore your neighborhood's parks and recreation areas.Your attitude of commitment and willingness to try new things are two of the most important contributions you can bring to your course. Prepare yourself to take on new challenges and try new activities.
Your ability to interact well with a group is also important to successfully completing your course. Plan to be patient, to persevere, to expand your limits and to have a positive and memorable adventure! We strongly suggest that applicants who are overweight or have high blood pressure, family history of heart disease, diabetes, a prolonged sedentary lifestyle or smoke more than one pack a week consult with their physician to establish an exercise program.
You DO NOT have to be an athlete or highly-trained to attend an Outward Bound course.
You DO have to be physically capable and active. Our courses are demanding. You will use your muscles in new and challenging ways or ways that you have not used them in a while!
It takes strength and fitness to carry a 50+ pound pack for 5 miles or climb a rock wall. If you aren’t already involved in a fitness program, now is the time to start. Your efforts will pay off in enjoyment, comfort and fun.
THE BEST EXERCISE THERE IS
For most people, the best and most accessible exercise is jogging—a combination of walking and running compatible with your current level of fitness, ability and interest. Why jogging? It’s the simplest, cheapest, least encumbered, most available and most efficient way to use your large leg muscles—requiring the heart and circulatory system to pump large quantities of blood and oxygen.
The most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. While exercising three times a week for thirty minutes is the minimum, five times a week is optimum physical preparation for your course.
Build in 15-30 minutes every other day for light weight training. Weight training helps build strength which will complement your aerobic fitness.
PREPARATION FOR BACKPACKING
Hike with a weighted backpack. Start with 20-30 lbs., then build to 50+ lbs. If you do not own a backpack, you may be able to borrow one from a friend, family member or rent one from an outdoor sporting goods store. If none of these options are available, try a smaller "book bag" style backpack with approximately 15 lbs. in it. Start out hiking just a couple of miles on hilly terrain or stairs and increase your intensity and mileage as you gain strength and endurance. On course, you can expect to carry a backpack that weighs approximately 40 to 55 lbs. and you may be hiking for distances of five to 15 miles per day.
PREPARATION FOR ROCK CLIMBING
Climbing indoors at your local rock climbing gym is the best way to prepare for climbing outdoors. If climbing at a gym is not available, substitute pull-ups, sit-ups and strength training with weights. On course, you will practice knots, climbing and belay techniques as well as safety procedures.
Due to Leave No Trace camping ethics, we seldom build fires. You will be cooking on gas camp stoves. With coaching from your instructors, you learn backcountry cooking techniques and are responsible for helping with the preparation of all meals. Your diet will be a mix of dehydrated foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. We use rice, beans, tortillas, granola, oatmeal, crackers, salami, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, pasta and trail mixes.
The amount of physical activity you experience during your course demands a nutritious diet to help fuel your body. Junk food is not available on course. To prepare, we suggest you cut down on candy, soft drinks, coffee, pastries and other junk foods. There will be coffee and tea available on course. You will also be able to smoke chew or dip at times designated by your instructors. However, moderating caffeine and tobacco consumption is essential as you will not be able to consume caffeinated beverages or use tobacco products on your normal schedule. Alcohol and drugs are not permitted on Outward Bound courses. If you are overweight, don’t go on a crash diet to shed extra pounds; you will only deplete the strength you want to develop. Please check with our Medical Screener to set a realistic goal for weight loss and stay committed.
The following list represents common meals at Outward Bound (this is not a menu)
Drinks (other than water)
The North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) strives to accommodate applicants who have dietary restrictions.
Our courses are backcountry, wilderness-based programs. We purchase our course food in bulk. Prior to course start, your instructors plan your crew’s meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). We travel expedition-style with approximately a week’s worth of food at a time. All course food must be packable and non-perishable. You prepare and eat meals together as a crew in a camp setting, under the supervision and guidance of your instructors. You will not have access to a dining hall or cafeteria. We do not permit participants to bring their own food or snacks unless authorized to do so by NCOBS.
Be prepared to try new foods. It is imperative for your well-being to replenish the calories you are expending each day.
Please complete the Dietary Allergen Questionnaire to inform Outward Bound of any dietary restrictions. This information will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by our Medical Screener.
Food Allergies: Eight kinds of food cause most food allergies: cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. Signs of a food allergy include a rash, or red, itchy skin; stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing, or itchy and teary eyes; vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea; angioedema or swelling; hoarseness, throat tightness or a lump in the throat; wheezing, chest tightness or trouble breathing. Some people with food allergies can have a serious reaction called anaphylaxis.
NCOBS cannot guarantee there will be no exposure to known allergens. If the applicant has had an anaphylactic response related to a dietary allergen, we must consider our remote wilderness area as we determine the appropriateness of our programs for the applicant.
Food Intolerance or Sensitivity: A food intolerance or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a food item. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea. If you are able to tolerate the food item in limited amounts, please let us know. It may broaden the range of foods we are able to provide.
Food Preference: Food preferences are choices that are made for reasons other than allergy, tolerance or sensitivity. We sincerely request that you think through your practice of limiting your food options while you are on course. Our primary goal is to meet students’ dietary allergies or intolerance/ sensitivities. The addition of food preferences could further influence the menu items we can provide.
Our staff members, who have had years of experience in the field, find that once students with food preferences engage in our rigorous backcountry, wilderness-based activities, those same students tend to (at least temporarily) broaden their food choices. We believe students may find these foods surprisingly appealing during their course due to their bodies’ increased need for calories.
Maintaining personal hygiene in the wilderness is important and is taught on every course. You will be outside while on course and won't have access to a shower or bath. You will be able to do basic cleanup every day: brush your teeth, wash your face and comb your hair. At the end of your course, you will be able to do a more thorough cleanup.
Since North Carolina Outward Bound is an outdoor program, you can expect to learn and use Leave No Trace camping techniques. Know that it is natural to have questions regarding sanitation in an outdoor setting. Your instructors will answer your questions and will teach you the hygienic and environmentally safe way to dispose of waste as well as techniques for basic cleanliness - don't hesitate to approach them with any questions or concerns
Cell phones, tablets, GPS devices and all other electronic devices (exception-digital cameras) are not permitted on course. Electronic devices can be distracting and disruptive to the wilderness experience. Stepping away from these devices encourages participants to focus on their experience and their crewmates.
Cell Phones: Although cell phones are not permitted on course, traveling to and from your course with a cell phone and a charger is encouraged. At course start, you will be asked to turn off your cell phone and store it in your personal luggage. Your luggage will be locked in a group storage bin at our facility while you are on course.
Cameras: Cameras are welcomed at North Carolina Outward Bound. We recommended waterproof disposable cameras. If you elect to bring a non-disposable camera, we advise that you store it in a small “dry bag ” or plastic zip lock-bag. Our courses are rigorous and there is a risk of losing or damaging your camera. Cell phone cameras, tablets and any other Wi-Fi enabled electronic devices with built-in cameras are not permitted on course.
Mail delivery is not available on 4-9 day courses.
Safety is our number one priority. At all levels of our school, we demonstrate our dedication to participant safety by our words, actions and values. Outward Bound has been a national leader in wilderness safety for over 50 years and frequently advises and assists other organizations in outdoor adventure risk management. Living and traveling in a remote wilderness setting exposes you to risks different than those you may encounter in your daily life. We believe that accepting appropriate risks and training and preparing participants to manage those risks, provides invaluable life experience. Regardless of precautionary measures, risk and uncertainty are central to the concept of challenge and adventure. The intent is not to avoid activities involving risk but to recognize, prepare for and successfully manage risk. In order to identify any potential hazards and update best practices, our programs are regularly reviewed by outdoor professionals from inside and outside the Outward Bound system.
Outward Bound instructors receive regular training in the activities and environments in which we deliver our courses. They are trained to anticipate and manage risks inherent in remote areas. They are also trained in first aid, search and rescue and emergency management. Our instructors are certified Wilderness First Responders; some are Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians or equivalent. Outward Bound maintains a minimum staff-to-student ratio of approximately 1:6. Instructors work in teams of two or three with six to 12 students. Instructor teams are usually co-ed but balancing skills and teaching styles is our primary staffing focus. One instructor in every team is a lead instructor with multiple seasons of training and experience. The lead instructor has single point accountability for the safety and effectiveness of the course in the field as well as mentoring their staffing team. For more information on our instructors, please check out our staff profiles page or our careers page for instructor requirements.
As a participant, you must take responsibility for yourself by following instructions and practicing the skills taught by your instructors.
If a family emergency occurs while the course is in progress, emergency messages can be relayed by calling our toll-free number (800-878-5258) on weekdays 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM eastern time. Prior to course start, you will receive an email that provides an after-hours and weekend emergency phone number.
North Carolina Outward Bound supplies the technical equipment needed for course. Depending on the course activities, we provide: backpacks, canoes, sea kayaks, rock climbing gear, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, shelter, rain gear, compass, food, water bottles, cooking equipment and eating utensils. Refer to the Clothing and Gear List categories below for the items you are to bring to course.
Because our courses are characterized by unpredictable weather, obtaining the proper clothing is crucial. Please bring the items on the Clothing and Gear list as described. You can find these items at camping, outdoor and thrift stores, Army/Navy surplus, outlets, and mail-order catalogs. Clothing and gear can be expensive. Shop around before you buy. Buy last year’s model; don’t worry about colors or style. Your choices should be governed by whether or not the piece of clothing or gear will meet our requirements, not if it is the best looking or newest! Many students use the following websites to shop for clothing and gear:
When you arrive for course start, you will not have an opportunity to purchase forgotten items!
Our courses are characterized by changing weather conditions; bring everything on the list. Pack your clothing and gear in a duffel bag or soft luggage container. When you arrive, you will receive the items Outward Bound provides (see “What We Supply” section). Before your expedition, your instructors will assess your clothing and gear with the route and the anticipated weather in mind. We suggest leaving the tags on any items you purchase in case you don’t pack them for expedition. Please check with the sales person to confirm their return policies. You will keep personal items such as clean clothes (for your return trip home) and valuables (cell phones, electronic devices and wallets) in your duffel or soft luggage container. These items will be stored at our base camp facility in a locked storage bin while you are on course. Leave expensive items at home.
All medications (prescription, non-prescription and over-the-counter) must be listed in the applicant’s Medical Record booklet, approved by our Medical Screener prior to course and must accompany the participant on course.
All medications (prescription, non-prescription and over-the-counter) must be in their original containers with the prescription label intact. The prescription label is documentation of the dosage directions. If possible, bring a double supply. The container should not include other medications, vitamins, etc. Do not bring non-prescription medications such as aspirin, Advil, etc., unless they are listed in your Medical Record booklet. We have a medical kit that contains these medications.
Participants will not be permitted to begin their course without their required medications OR with new medications not approved by our Medical Screener.
After your Medical Record has been approved, if you start taking a new medication, stop taking an existing medication or change the dosage of a medication, the action (s) could affect your status on course. Contact the Student Services Department with any medication changes.
For participants on youth courses, our instructors carry all prescription medications with the exception of birth control and emergency medications such as EpiPens or rescue asthma inhalers.
For participants on our Intercept programs, instructors carry all prescription medications.
During travel, pack essential medications in carry-on luggage.
You must notify Outward Bound should any medical, psychological, behavioral or legal situations occur after the application and medical review process have been completed. Certain situations may affect the applicant’s course status.
North Carolina Outward Bound staff recommends glasses with a holding band versus contact lenses. It is more difficult to maintain adequate hygiene when wearing contact lenses in a wilderness setting. Wearing contact lenses may put your eyes at risk of infection or corneal ulcers. These conditions can develop very quickly and can be very serious. In rare cases, these conditions can cause blindness. If you do choose to wear contact lenses, bring both a backup pair of contacts and glasses. Be sure to bring enough contact lens solution and be diligent in your contact lens routine. For more information please visit the FDA website: Food and Drug Administration - Contact Lenses.
Remember – you will be outside the entire time you are on course. Keeping yourself protected against insect bites, sunburn and other types of skin irritation is important to your comfort and safety on course. It is your responsibility to follow your instructor’s directions and monitor how your skin is reacting to the environment. We don’t want you leaving course sunburned or covered with insect bites. It is clear to wilderness enthusiasts that the best protection from biting insects, bugs and sunburn is the physical barrier of clothing. Therefore, we emphasize that you bring the required clothing and gear listed. DO NOT bring “short” shorts! If you do, you are only exposing your skin to insect bites, sunburn and abrasions
as you expedition.
To protect against bacterial infections including MRSA, we ask you to consider not shaving one week prior to course start. Open hair follicles are potential points of entry for bacteria.
If you are traveling by air, be aware of TSA guidelines. To avoid TSA taking items out of your carry-on luggage (like insect repellent and sunscreen), pack these items in your checked luggage or do not exceed size specifications. For more information please visit the TSA website: Transportation Security Administration - Carry-ons
Prevention of Tick and Mosquito-Borne Disease
Tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases are a risk throughout the Southeastern United States. Fortunately, there are prevention steps that are very effective. In the case of infection, early diagnosis aids in treatment and recovery. Students and their families should educate themselves on the risks, prevention measures, signs and symptoms. For health advice, please consult your physician.
Lyme disease is the most well-known disease spread by ticks. Lyme disease is most common in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US and is highly unusual in both North Carolina (less than 200 confirmed and probable cases per year) and Florida (less than 100 cases per year). Other tick-borne diseases with reported cases in the areas used by NCOBS include Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Anaplasmosis. There are treatments available for these diseases but prevention is by far the best first step!
Mosquitoes are another potential vector for disease. In North Carolina, La Crosse encephalitis and West Nile virus are present but exceedingly rare. The region of Florida in which NCOBS conducts courses includes subtropical and tropical environments favorable for mosquitos. Mosquito-borne diseases found in the state include West Nile encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, chikungunya fever, and dengue fever. The state of Florida is highly active in monitoring and controlling the spread of these diseases and publishes weekly surveillance reports.
Signs and Symptoms
There are many symptoms associated with tick- and mosquito-borne diseases. Infected people may not have all of these symptoms and many of these symptoms can occur with other diseases as well. Some common symptoms of infection include body/muscle aches, fever, headaches, fatigue, rash, and joint pain. Seek medical attention if signs and symptoms of an illness appear. Tick- and mosquito-borne diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms, blood tests, and the possibility that the person has been exposed to bites. Most cases can be successfully treated with specific types of antibiotics, especially if treatment is started early. However, some people may have symptoms such as arthritis, muscle and joint pain, or fatigue for an extended period of time.
Protocol for Treatment of Clothing with Permethrin
Permethrin is an extremely effective neurotoxin relative to arthropods (including ticks and mosquitos), does not cause significant harm to humans and, when used correctly, poses little environmental risk. The CDC and the EPA have determined that the benefits of using permethrin to prevent tick-borne disease far outweigh the risks.
Additional Permethrin Information
Permethrin is an insecticide in the pyrethroid family. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin has been used for decades in a number of ways to control insects in homes, for agricultural purposes, and in topical treatments for lice and scabies.
Permethrin is applied to clothing rather than skin because it is deactivated on skin within 20-30 minutes,not because it is more toxic than skin-applied chemicals like DEET. It has less than 1% absorbability on human skin (DEET has 20%)4, and very few people have adverse effects from contact with permethrin (other than in the eyes). Like most chemicals, there is a small risk of harm, but the risks of tick-borne illness are far greater. Permethrin can affect arthropods (such as ticks and insects) if they eat it or touch it. Permethrin affects the nervous system in insects, causing muscle spasms, paralysis, and death. Permethrin is over 2,250 times more toxic to ticks and insects than it is to people and dogs because of their much smaller size and because ticks and insects can't break it down as quickly as mammals.
You should bring some extra money with you to course as you may encounter food and lodging expenses before and after your course. In addition, you and your crewmates are financially responsible for any lost or damaged NCOB gear or equipment. See Additional Required Items for details on how much you should bring.
Increased physical activity during Outward Bound may cause a change in your menstrual cycle.
Prepare by packing the following items even if you don’t expect your cycle during course:
Pack the above items in a large zip-lock bag. Instructors will distribute small opaque bags for discrete storage of used and unused supplies.
We practice Leave No Trace camping techniques. Therefore, we pack out what we pack in. You will dispose of any used items either during re-supplies (which occur approximately every three to seven days) or at course end.
To protect against bacterial infections including MRSA, we ask you to consider not shaving one week prior to course start. Open hair follicles are potential points of entry for bacteria.
Your instructors are very experienced in addressing menstruation care questions or concerns while on course. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions.
Points to keep in mind while planning and shopping:
Proper footwear is essential for your safety and enjoyment. Shopping for outdoor footwear can be confusing for even the most experienced hiker. You should be able to find good boots at reasonable prices. Take the following information with you when shopping.
The best boot for our terrain is a light to medium weight boot that has ankle support, leather, nylon or Gore-Tex upper, and a hard rubber lug sole (looks like a tire tread). Crepe soled boots, “approach” shoes and “trail” shoes are not acceptable. Do not buy mountaineering boots or high boots that constrict the calf. Your boots should be waterproof and comfortable.
FITTING YOUR BOOTS
A proper fit is essential. You are unlikely to judge this walking around a store. Some retailers will allow you to purchase your boots with the understanding that if you wear them indoors for several hours and they do not feel comfortable, you may return them. Experiment with lacing the boots in different ways to get the most comfortable fit. Boots should have a snug-fitting heel to prevent excessive heel lift which can cause blisters. There should be plenty of toe room, even when walking downhill. Try your boots for fit on both an incline and a decline. Fit your boots with the socks you will wear on course. A light, wicking (polypropylene, sheer wool or nylon) sock next to the skin, combined with a wool sock, provides both cushioning and protection from friction.
TEST TO ENSURE A PROPER FIT
Fit your boots with the socks you will wear on course.
Test 1: With the boots unlaced and your toes touching the front of the boot, the boot should be large enough to place your forefinger between your heel and the heel of the boot.
Test 2: With the boot laced, your heel must be firmly lodged in the heel cup with very little lift when you walk.
Test 3: The boot should fit snugly around the ball of your foot so that when you twist your foot it does not move or slip inside the boot. Test 4: When on a steep incline, or when tapping the front of your boot against the floor, your toes should not hit the end of the boot.
BREAKING IN YOUR BOOTS
Begin wearing your boots long before your course starts. Wear them around town and at home as much as possible every day for several weeks. You should put 10+ miles on your boots to break them in, walking on both level and rough terrain. If you start feeling any hot spots, treat them immediately using moleskin to protect against the hiker’s worst enemy: the blister! Be kind to your feet.
WATERPROOFING YOUR BOOTS
After you are certain your boots fit properly, make sure they are waterproofed. Some boots are already waterproofed when they are purchased; but if not, follow the sales associate or manufacturer’s recommendations concerning the type of waterproofing to purchase.
Hiking Boots: The best boot for our terrain is a medium weight boot that has ankle support; leather, nylon or Gore-Tex upper; and a hard rubber lug sole (like a tire tread). Crepe soled boots, approach shoes or trail running sneakers are not acceptable hiking boots. Do not buy mountaineering boots or high boots that constrict the calf. Your boots should be waterproof and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Camp Shoes: A Croc-style, fast drying sandal with a heel strap is the ideal camp shoe for our courses. Your running shoes may double as camp shoes but be prepared for them to get wet, as camp shoes often serve as your stream/river crossing shoe. Camp shoes must fit securely to the foot, have a hard sole, be closed-toed and enclose the majority of the foot. Crocs and Keen sandals are ideal examples of camp shoes that can also be river crossing shoes.
River Crossing Shoes: A Croc-style, fast drying sandal with a heel strap is the ideal river crossing shoe for our courses. River crossing shoes must fit securely to the foot, have a hard sole, be closed-toed and enclose the majority of the foot. Crocs and Keen sandals are ideal examples of shoes that can be both a river crossing shoe and camp shoe.
Running Shoes: Running is a course component on most of our courses. A sturdy pair of running shoes with a supportive sole is ideal for running in the mountain terrain. These should be shoes you feel comfortable running in on pavement, gravel roads and trails. Barefoot running or minimalist style shoes are inappropriate for these areas.
It's nice to go light, but many past students also recommend bringing the following items:
To participate on Outward Bound, each applicant must submit all requested medical information, the signed risk and liability release form and, if applicable, be interviewed by the Veterans Program Manager. Forms are accessible below in PDF format. Make sure you refer to your Registration Email to determine what paperwork is required of you in order to move your application forward.You need the most current edition of Adobe Reader's free software in order to access and complete these forms.
Travel to and from the course will be provided by 23rd Veteran.
ARRIVAL: 10/12/19 - No later than 2:00 PM Eastern Time at Charlotte International Airport.
Information on where to meet our staff at the airport will be provided at a later date.
DEPARTURE: 10/17/19 - Participants will be returned to Charlotte International Airport no later than 12:45 PM Eastern Time.
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North Carolina Outward Bound School is a registered 501(c)(3). Contributions are therefore tax-deductible to the full extent provided by the law. Financial information about North Carolina Outward Bound School is available from the NC State Solicitation Licensing Branch at (919) 733-4150.