We look forward to having you on course with us soon! If you have questions about the application process, submitting forms, or anything else, you may contact your student services representative directly, call the Student Services General Line ,(800) 878-5258 or email us at, email@example.com.
Now that you have enrolled, this Course Page is your “go to” location for all forms, gear lists and information specific to your course. Bookmark it for future reference! Below you will find the page divided into 5 blue tabs. Each tab has multiple expandable sections. Familiarizing yourself with the information on this Course Page is an essential part of preparing for course.
It is natural to have questions when preparing for the adventure ahead. Many answers to your questions can be found on this Course Page or within our Frequently Asked Questions. Additionally, you can always contact the Student Services Department.
We look forward to seeing you Outward Bound!
Participants discover what it’s like to live, work and play in the great outdoors of Western North Carolina on this classic, multi-activity leadership course. The journey will take students deep into some of the oldest mountains in the world, over rocky mountain faces, and through racing rivers.
Please have the student's name, course number, course start date and balance due when using this payment option.
In most cases, a $500 deposit has been paid when you applied. Please refer to your Registration Email to confirm your balance. If you are unsure of your balance due, please call 1-800-878-5258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your payment is not received by the due date listed in your Registration Email, you will risk losing your position on the course and your $500 deposit. Please review the Application & Cancelation Policies.
Specifics: During your course, you will be backpacking approximately nine to 12 days.
These days will be divided into three phases–training, main and final. During the training and main phases, 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. During the final phase, your instructors may allow your group to travel independently (without direct instructor supervision) provided you and your crew have demonstrated personal and crew responsibility and necessary wilderness skills.
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, you may spend up to three days rock climbing and rappelling.
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. You will progress to:
You may progress to:
Specifics: Weather permitting, you may spend up to three days canoeing on the French Broad or Tuckaseegee Rivers
Occasionally we may also use the Chattooga, New and Nantahala Rivers. You will be using tandem (two person) canoes. Some of the topics you may cover during this portion of the course include:
It will be necessary for you and your crewmates to perform a rapid swim assessment; as well as a flip and swim (or canoe capsize) assessment in the river. This activity is closely monitored by your instructors and river specialists. It is critical for us to determine your whitewater paddling comfort as you and your crew maneuver challenging rapids. Even if you are a non-swimmer or weak swimmer, you will still participate in this safety assessment. All students will be wearing safety helmets and personal floatation devices (PFDs) during the assessment. Helmets and personal floatation devices (PFDs) are required apparel anytime students are on the water.
Solo typically occurs more than halfway through your course and may last up to 72 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.
Service will be a continuous theme throughout your course. The ethic of service is practiced through Leave No Trace camping techniques, reaching out with compassion to your fellow crewmates and working together as a team to overcome the challenges of Outward Bound.
On your course, the ethic of service is practiced in greater depth and often includes a service project. Projects range from campsite restoration and maintaining hiking trails in the wilderness to supporting the surrounding communities by assisting families in need, sharing outdoor activities with disadvantaged children or helping in local wildlife restoration centers. Service projects typically last 6-8 hours. Alert your instructor AT COURSE START if you need written verification or documentation of service project hours.
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:
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 smokers and caffeine drinkers: If you smoke, it's essential to quit before you arrive. Using your course as a means to quit smoking is NOT recommended. You will be put in a number of stressful situations and a person suffering from nicotine withdrawal may not be able to effectively deal with those situations. If you drink caffeine, it is also essential to significantly reduce your level of consumption prior to your course start. Caffeine withdrawal may cause severe headaches which can hinder your progress on course.
Consider and be prepared for:
Teamwork: Be ready to be part of a team. Think about other team experiences you may have had in the past. Remember what helped your team be successful. Plan on being a positive contributor during your course.
Living with Less: Look around and think about what you have and what you truly need. Things we may take for granted like hot running water, upholstered furniture and sidewalks will not be part of your experience. When you get into the routines of wilderness living, you may notice that life in the wilderness and life at home are similar in that they are ultimately about food, clothing, shelter and the relationships you have with those around you. Because the wilderness lifestyle is simple, you will leave behind non-essentials like deodorant, make up, electronic devices and books.
Being Away from Home: Whether it is the first or the 20th time you have been away from home, you might not have been this “out of touch.” Don’t be surprised if you feel homesick at some point. Please use your instructors and teammates as resources for support.
Compassion: Compassion is a pillar on which Outward Bound was built. Compassion can be shown in kind, thoughtful actions and can be practiced during course through active listening and understanding of other perspectives. You may find that you need to make compromises as you support your team. It is always important to remember that your attitude and actions affect everyone.
Group Discussion: Your instructors will lead group discussions as you debrief each day. Through coaching from your instructors, your group will practice positive communication and conflict resolution techniques. These skills help your group maintain respect for individual opinions no matter how they may differ. Hopefully, these lessons will extend to your everyday life. Be prepared to share your perspective and gain insight from others during these discussions.
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.
Adopt Healthy Habits: A great way to physically prepare is to adopt healthy habits. Reduce consumption of fatty foods, excessive alcohol and caffeine as these substances require a lot of water and oxygen to metabolize. Eat plenty of unrefined carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains). Drink water regularly instead of juice or soda. If you drink or use tobacco or tobacco products, it is essential to quit before you arrive. And last, but not least, arrive at course start well rested.
FITNESS AND TRAINING
• 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.
• It takes strength and fitness to paddle a boat for six or eight hours a day, carry a 50+ pound pack for 5-10 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.
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 WATER ACTIVITIES
Endurance train at least three times a week on a rowing machine. If a rowing machine is not available, supplement with strength training three times a week by including sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups or weight training that concentrates on your shoulders, stomach and back.
As always cardiovascular exercise like running, walking, swimming or riding a bike will get you heart pumping and set you up for success on course!
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. Moderating caffeine, alcohol and tobacco consumption will contribute to your fitness. These products will not be part of your Outward Bound course; a clear head and fast reflexes are essential to safety and success on course. 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.
Depending on the length of your course and course area, mail may be delivered to you. Delivery can take up to one week from the time it reaches our base camp. Please do not have packages sent to you unless they contain emergency items - no candy or food please! All correspondence must be clearly addressed with the participant’s name and course number. Letters received near the end of the course may not be delivered on time and will be returned to sender. You will be notified of your base camp mailing address and emergency numbers prior to your course start. If your course allows for mail delivery (criteria below), remember to bring postcards with stamps attached as you can write to family and friends while you are on course.
Mail can be sent and received in the NC Mountains. Delivery may take up to one week from the time it reaches our base camp. You will receive address information prior to your course start. Remember to bring postcards or stationery and envelopes with stamps attached so you can write to your family and friends while you are on course.
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.
The Student Services Department of the North Carolina Outward Bound School is committed to supporting you through the enrollment process. If you have comments or feedback to share regarding your experience with us, please contact our Director of Student Services, Lynda Brackett at email@example.com.
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.
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:
Each applicant must submit all forms requested in the Registration Email.
You need the most current edition of Adobe Reader's free software in order to access and complete these forms. MAC USERS: if completing forms electronically, do not use Preview. Use Adobe. Our forms are not compatible with Preview.
All applicants must adhere to the due dates listed in their Registration Email for payments and forms. If due dates are not met, you risk losing your position on course as well as your financial commitment.
If you need to make a payment using a credit card please visit our Online Payment Portal.
If your enrollment process includes online forms, they will be linked in your Registration Email. These links are unique to your enrollment. If you misplace your Registration Email or have trouble accessing any online forms, please notify your Student Services Representative immediately.
For the online Medical Record, plan to complete the entire form in one sitting. Navigating away from the page will cause you to lose your progress. If the applicant is under the age of 18, or applying to a course with an age range of 16-18 or 17-21, a parent/guardian must provide their e-signature. Also, if the applicant is a resident of Alabama and is under the age of 19 OR if the applicant is a resident of Mississippi and is under the age of 21, a parent/guardian must provide their e-signature. When the form is complete, be sure to click submit. If any required fields are still blank, it will prompt you to go back and complete. Please ensure you have confirmation of a successful submission before navigating away from this page.
You have two options for completing PDF forms.
Option 1: In the PDF Forms section of your Registration Email, click each link. This will prompt your computer to download the PDF files. Open the PDFs using a PDF reader like Adobe and save the files to your hard drive. Type your responses directly into the fields provided. You can choose to print these forms and sign with blue or black ink and return OR you can use an electronic signature. See the Instructions for Creating an Electronic Signature. (EXCEPTION: Participant Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Liability Release and Indemnity Agreement)
Option 2: Print each form and complete with blue or black ink. When applicable, the applicant and parent/guardian MUST sign as indicated.
*Mac USERS: Use Adobe. Do not use Preview, the Mac Reader software.
Option 1 (preferred): Email completed PDF forms to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please SCAN printed forms and include as email attachments. Be sure to provide applicant name and course number in subject line of email. We do not require paper copies of PDF forms. Keep printed copies for your records.
Option 2: FAX printed forms to 1-828-298-8660. Keep printed copies for your records.
Option 3: MAIL to:
North Carolina Outward Bound
Attn: Student Services Department
2582 Riceville Road
Asheville, NC 28805
Keep printed copies for your records.
ONLY MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AFTER:
We typically need 6 firm enrollments in order to confirm the course as “GO.” If you purchase airline tickets before notified to do so, make sure you either purchase refundable/transferable tickets OR purchase trip insurance covering the cost of airfare in the event your course is canceled or if you are not cleared to participate. North Carolina Outward Bound is not responsible for refunding the cost of airline tickets, clothing and gear, etc.
YOUR COURSE WILL BEGIN AT THIS LOCATION WHETHER YOU ARE ARRIVING BY PLANE OR CAR.
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) – www.flyavl.com
61 Terminal Drive – Fletcher, NC 28732-9442
This is our only pick-up location/time.
Traveling to and from course with a cell phone and charger is encouraged. Upon arrival and check in with our staff at the airport, we will remind participants to call their families immediately, as cell phones are not permitted once the course has officially begun. At that point, all cell phones will be turned off and stored in personal luggage until course end.
If you are delayed while traveling, call us immediately at 800-878-5258. We work diligently to accommodate unforeseen travel delays. However, in certain cases of extreme delays, it may not be possible for you to join the course.
Be dressed in items from the clothing list, make all necessary calls and have eaten lunch prior to departure from the airport.
Review current government regulations regarding carry-on items at www.tsa.gov. Many airlines charge for each checked bag. Check your airline’s baggage policy and pay any fees for you or your child’s inbound and outbound ﬂights.
An Outward Bound representative will meet ALL arrivals in the main seating area in front of the security checkpoint; labeled as the “Grand Hall” on the map below.
Staff will be wearing an Outward Bound shirt or hat and/or carrying an Outward Bound sign. They will have a list of all student names and will note your arrival.
Our supervision officially begins when students depart the airport by NCOBS vehicle or charter transportation.
YOUR COURSE WILL END AT THIS LOCATION WHETHER YOU ARE DEPARTING BY PLANE OR CAR.
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) – www.flyavl.com
61 Terminal Drive – Fletcher, NC 28732-9442
This is our only drop-off location.
Airlines define an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) as a child flying without a parent, guardian or another trusted adult. Your airline may designate your child as an Unaccompanied Minor. The airline’s Unaccompanied Minor policy may NOT be clear to you if you purchase your child’s ticket through an online travel site. If applicable, confirm the airline you choose allows Unaccompanied Minors to board connecting flights.
Plan carefully to avoid your child being stranded at a connecting airport!
Airlines are extremely strict about payment of the UM fee. The North Carolina Outward Bound School is neither responsible for paying the UM fees nor determining which individuals are required to pay the fee. Airline representatives have refused to board UMs whose families have not paid the required UM fees, causing students to miss their departing flights.
Before you book your child’s airline ticket:
Review the UM policies for each airline before choosing an itinerary – each airline has their own policy and age requirements:
At least two weeks prior to course start, provide the following to your Student Services Representative via their email address, FAX: 1-828-298-8660 or email email@example.com. Any of these options will get the information to us.
We highly recommend you purchase Trip Insurance to cover your investment (e.g. course tuition, airfare and/or emergency evacuation). You may use a vendor of your choice or Gennifer Hogan of All Ways Travel. Gennifer is knowledgeable about our programs, has access to multiple trip insurance options and is dedicated to helping you find coverage that’s best for you.
Gennifer Hogan: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOTELS NEAR THE AIRPORT
If you or your child’s travel plans require an overnight stay before or after the course, there are hotels near the airport. Prior to booking, conﬁrm any minimum age requirements and availability of shuttle service to/from the airport (if applicable).
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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.