First-Year Trips


Outdoor Adventures First-Year Trips are peer-led, adventure-based experiences that prepare students for life at UM. Trips offer participants diverse opportunities to meet other first-year students, learn about themselves, and connect with UM. First-Year Trips are four (4) day wilderness adventures in groups of 10 participants led by upper-class student trip leaders from Outdoor Adventures.

Pre-orientation trips are designed for beginners, no experience is necessary.

Summer 2024 Trips


  • July 18-21

Register Here



All First-Year Trips will start and conclude at Knoxville McGhee Tyson Airport. Staff will be on-site the day before assisting with early arrivals. Staff will also be on-site through the day after to assist participants with delays. We will also distribute the phone number for the professional staff on-call supporting these trips with other pre-trip details this summer.

More Information


Register Here

Gear List

The below list is subject to change in the weeks prior to the trips as specifics are finalized based on weather, group size, and trail conditions. Personal gear is allowed subject to approval from the Outdoor Adventures team. Please communicate with us prior to the arrival of the trip if you plan on bringing your own gear. Outdoor Adventures tents must be used.

Gear List

Personal Belongings

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  • Clothes

    • 3 synthetic or polyester/nylon shirts for hiking (please no cotton)
    • 2 pairs of pants or shorts made of synthetic materials or polyester/nylon
    • Light weight soft shell jacket made of synthetic materials or polyester/nylon (e.g. fleece) 
    • Additional layer for cooler weather (i.e. lightweight puffy, long sleeve shirts, flannel shirts.)
    • 5 pairs of non-cotton socks (thin wool or synthetic materials)
    • 5 pairs of non-cotton underwear/undergarments
    • Hiking shoes or boots (please be sure to wear them for at least 10 hours prior to the trip)
    • Rain jacket
    • Synthetic, fleece, wool beanie (may also bring a baseball style hat in addition)
    • Travel shoes

  • Travel Clothes

    • Clean set of clothes for departure flight from Knoxville
    • Clothes for traveling to Knoxville
    • Shoes for traveling
      • We recommend something that can also be packed down into the backpack and used as a shoe in camp. This allows your feet to take a break from your hiking shoes in the evenings. This is usually a sandal.

  • Toiletries

    • Unscented, alcohol-based gel hand sanitizer
    • Travel size toothpaste
    • Toothbrush
    • Floss
    • Hairbrush/comb
    • Soap (environmentally friendly) – (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s or Kirk’s Original Bar Soap)
      • There will not be showers on the trail and any bathing will be in streams or lakes.
    • Unscented moist towelettes or baby wipes
    • A menstrual cup (if necessary) or feminine hygiene products and a sealable plastic bag to carry them out.
    • Microfiber towel
    • Bandana or washcloth (can be cotton)

  • Miscellaneous

    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray
    • Sunglasses
    • Kula cloth
    • Small journal with pencil
    • Baseball hat or visor

  • Camping and Backpacking Gear

    • Backpack (minimum 65 liters)* 
    • Two (2) water bottles 20 ounces or larger*
      • Please no heavy metal water bottles (i.e. HydroFlask, Yeti, etc.)
    • Headlamp*
    • Plate, cup, bowl, spork*
    • Sleeping bag (rated 32-45 degrees F)*
    • Sleeping pad*

  • Outdoor Adventures Provides (in addition to items with * as needed)

    • Four (4) person tents
    • Tent ground trap
    • Stove & fuel
    • Pots & pans
    • Food after the trip start through the trip conclusion


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For Parents

First-year students will learn and grow in the following areas throughout and after their trips:

  • Time management
  • Social competence
  • Intellectual flexibility
  • Task leadership
  • Emotional control 
  • Active initiative