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IU Outdoor Adventures offers full range of gear, programs

With nicer weather inviting people outdoors, Indiana University staff, faculty and students have a key resource for turning trip ideas into exciting experiences. For 51 years, Indiana University Outdoor Adventures has outfitted people with gear for a variety of adventures, from hiking and camping in Colorado and Michigan to kayaking in Croatia.

It also offers discounts on rentals for staff, faculty and students, and provides educational programs and experiences to boost outdoor skills.

One of IU Outdoor Adventures’ upcoming events is Get Outdoors Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 10 at the Switchyard Park Pavilion Lawn. The program has partnered with Bloomington Parks & Recreation and Hoosier National Forest for this free open house event that teaches people about local outdoor opportunities.

“There are countless instances of shop staff, student trip leaders, adventure specialists and administrators having helped me learn and taught me invaluable lessons, both in outdoor recreation and leadership and outside of the field,” said Emery Hightower, one of the program’s trip leaders.

Indiana University Outdoor Adventures advocates for outdoor adventure activities that promote leadership, experiential education, conscious living, and diversity, equity and inclusion. It focuses on “personal growth, creating compassionate and socially just communities, and generating stewards of the earth,” said Josie Frey, senior adventure specialist for the program.

Indiana University Outdoor Adventures has helped equip people for rafting trips, among many other... Indiana University Outdoor Adventures has helped equip people for rafting trips, among many other experiences. Photo courtesy of IU Outdoor Adventures

It offers a variety of outdoor activities and rental packages that cater to a wide range of adventures, such as climbing, paddling and backpacking. IU Outdoor Adventures guarantees the safety and maintenance of its rental equipment by training adventure specialist personnel in handling, sanitizing and storing the gear it offers. It also provides a 10% discount on gear rentals and hosts an annual discounted gear swap for items it’s retiring.

For students living on campus, IU Residential Programs and Services offers an Outdoor Adventure Community in the central residential neighborhood, where students who share an admiration for the outdoors can participate in activities such as hiking and camping in nearby state parks or help organize a trip.

IU Outdoor Adventures provides free consultations for outdoor trips and holds events throughout the year for students to enjoy. Any member of the public or affiliate of IU can email, view upcoming events or visit the shop at Eigenmann Hall Room 020 to ask questions and get more information.

Participants in IU Outdoor Adventures programs can choose their type of activity, budget and location. For example, free on-campus outdoor programming is available through the IU Outdoors series, such as the mobile climbing wall and yoga sessions in Dunn Meadow held throughout the year.

In addition to organizing outdoor trips and activities, IU Outdoor Adventures also offers a three-credit, eight-week academic course, SPH-W 305: Intro to Outdoor Leadership. The course focuses on the dynamics of leading a group in the outdoors and includes two separate weekend backpacking trips. The program also provides resources like a free outdoor clothing library and the Student Engagement Fund, which may cover course expenses and other trip-related costs.

For updates on programs and events, follow IU Outdoor Adventures’ Instagram account, or submit a newsletter request.

Nisha Lalria is an intern in the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Marketing.