Support HERO RECHARGE and Extend the Healing Power of Adventure to Frontline Healthcare Workers

Join Us Donate

Adventure Creation Resources

Now that you've joined OLIP, hit the ground running by checking
out all of the exclusive FD resources to help you plan an adventure!

We’re stoked that you registered your adventure with the Out Living It Project. Below you’ll find tips, tricks and other resources for planning a successful adventure. Still have questions? Reach out to an adventure specialist by contacting [email protected]!

Connecting with Outfitters

close icon

Finding an Outfitter

  • Do you need an outfitter? Outfitters are a great resource when planning an adventure. To decide whether or not you want to work with an outfitter, ask yourself these questions:
    • Do I have the necessary gear/equipment to do the activity? 
    • Do I know how to do this activity safely on my own? 
    • Do I need or want instruction on how to do this activity?
    • Do I have any permits that may be required to adventure in this area?
  • If you answered Yes to any of the questions above we highly recommend utilizing an outfitter for your activity. If you have decided to work with an outfitter, here are some of the things we recommend asking about and looking for:
    • Credentials – Does this outfitter have any permits and certifications?
    • Google reviews – What do other people say about the outfitter?
    • Physical and mental Adaptive needs – Are they able to accommodate any specific accommodations you or your group may have?
    • Cost – Do they charge a reasonable amount within your budget? How does their cost compare to other outfitters?

Check out FD’s list of vetted outfitters, or research outfitters in your area. Remember to ask them if gear, instruction, food, transportation, and lodging are included! It’s also worth asking about private vs group offerings, and what their cancellation/refund policy is.

Lodging and Camping

close icon

Lodging and Camping

  • When exploring your overnight accommodations for an adventure, there are many different options to fit what you or your group are looking for. 
  • Camping VS. Lodging
    • Camping is always a unique experience to connect with nature and enjoy the fresh air. A night under the stars or around the campfire is unlike anything else. When evaluating your camping options, think through the following things to decide whether or not this is the best option for your overnight experience:
      • Do you have the gear to be safe and comfortable while camping? (Consider the local weather, temperature, bugs, and animal life)
      • Is there a campsite available or close to the location of your activity?
      • Do you need to make reservations or payments in advance?
      • Will you feel comfortable and safe camping? 
    • If camping does not feel like the right option for your overnight stay, there are an array of other lodging options to explore:
      • Hotel / motel
      • VRBO / Airbnb
      • Hostel
      • Glamping / lodging facilities
      • RV / adventure van
    • To find the right accommodation for your stay, think through what amenities you would like, and simply start by searching what you are looking for. It never hurts to communicate with the lodge before booking to ensure they offer everything you are looking for in your stay.

Adventuring During COVID-19

close icon

Send it Safely

  • Planning an adventure during a pandemic can be tricky. Whether you’re planning a local outting with a couple of friends soon, or scheming up a bigger trip when this storm has passed, check out these resources to make sure you know how to #RecreateResposibly when you get #OutLivingIt!

Gear and Equipment

close icon

Gear and Equipment

  • Knowing what gear is needed for an activity can feel confusing and overwhelming. Check out our guiding questions below to start the gear navigation process. When in doubt, stop by your local outdoor store or call an FD adventure specialist to talk to an expert.
    • WHAT? – Understand the reasons for why you need gear and what it is for
      • Gear is meant to keep you safe, so figure out what gear is needed to keep you safe on an activity, and what will keep you comfortable.
        • If it keeps you alive, buy or rent it new – ropes, helmets, pfd
      • Do you know how to use it? Knowing how to properly use gear is just as important as having the right gear. If you are not proficient in using gear safely, opt for adventuring with an outfitter. 
    • WHERE? – How to find the gear you need
      • Check out REI’s Expert Advice page for endless info on gear
      • Ask a “gearhead” (website expert, friend, shop owner, research)
      • Search local shops & ask for discounts
      • Check used sites and consignment
    • HOW? – Do you know how to use it? 
      • Knowing how to properly use gear is just as important as having the right gear. If you are not proficient in using gear safely, opt for adventuring with an outfitter to start.

Adventure Inspiration

close icon

Adventure Inspiration

  • Need some inspiration? We’ve got your back. Our Adventure Specialists pulled together a few epic ideas to get the wheels turning as you plan your next outing. From single days to week-longs, there’s no shortage of opportunities to start out living it! Check out the sample adventures to get the wheels turning.
  • Want more guidance? Our partners at 57hours provides a 5% discount for all First Descents members. Click here to check out their amazing selection of adventures! 

Training

close icon

Training for Your Adventure

  • First Descents has partnered up with a TrainingPeaks coach to help you get Out Living It on your next adventure or race. Our coach has created training plans for athletes of all abilities, and have catered special regimens for the FD community. From chemo recovery to rock climbing, we’re excited to offer five free training plans for every OLIP participant! 
    • Active Lifestyle
    • General Fitness
    • Training Foundations
    • Kayaking level 1
    • Rock climbing level 1
  • Get started on a training plan by exploring our resources at this link!

Budgeting

close icon

Budgeting

  • When planning adventure, It’s good to have a budget so you can prioritize expenses and manage resources. When budgeting for an adventure, there are a few different ways to break things down. 
  • Group budget
    • Understand what the group budget will be by coming to an agreement on what each participant can contribute. Talking about budgets can be uncomfortable, so always make sure you and your group are supporting honesty, transparency, and respect during those conversations.
    • Let outfitters know the budget you’re working with, and see if they can honor that. 
  • Family budget
    • Begin with an overall budget, and list out the cost of each component of your adventure. 
    • Make sure everything is in line with your budget, and take out any unnecessary costs if you need to balance the budget a bit. When cutting costs, remember to prioritize safety: if you need to spend the money to stay safe, it’s always worth it.
    • Do some price shopping! Figure out where your dollar can stretch the farthest, while still keeping the quality of experience or gear you need.
  • Want to check out a sample budget? Contact an adventure specialist to learn more about line items and cost estimates in your activity or area!

Group Management

close icon

Group Management & “Making it FD”

 

  • When planning a group adventure, it is important to be intentional with why you are there and inclusive of everyone with you. For guidance on group dynamics, check out some of FD’s notes on inclusion and communication to make your adventure safe and meaningful for everyone:
    • Inclusivity
      • One of the most important ways to promote and facilitate inclusivity is by knowing everyone’s name, and everyone knowing a bit about one another. 
      • Try sending intros/bio’s before the trip, starting a group chat, or beginning the adventure with group introductions and ice breakers
      • As the group leader, make an effort to check in with everyone and be intentional about promoting inclusivity throughout the program. If this is overwhelming, delegate! Ask a member of your to help with checkins. 
    • Communication
      • Communication can be the key to a successful trip. Be aware of how you are communicating with others, and be honest with your group about expectations and intentions for the adventure. Don’t forget to keep checking in throughout the adventure, too – things change around each river bend!
    • Campfire
      • Campfire is a longstanding FD tradition that we love for vulnerability and connection. 
      • Whether you are around a real campfire or not, this tradition is about creating space and allowing for reflection, conversation, and connection. 
      • Plan ahead with some questions you think would allow the group to open up and connect, and leave space for silence, reflection, and emotional vulnerability. Want some inspiration? Contact an adventure specialist and we can send you some of our favorite campfire Q’s!

Food

close icon

Meal Planning & Food

  • Planning for meals can be daunting for an adventure. To break it down, begin by determining: 
    • Length – The number of days & meals/snacks you will need on your adventure
    • Number of people and dietary restrictions
    • Storage & transportation – What resources do you have to store and transport food throughout the trip. How much space does your food take up, and how much does it weigh? 
    • Teams – If you’re adventuring with others, how can you share the responsibility of planning, storing/transporting, and sharing meals?

FD has tons of delicious recipes thanks to our program Chefs. For lots of healthy meal options, check out all of our amazing First Descents recipes HERE

Safety & Risk Management

close icon

Safety & Risk Management

  • It’s important to have a safety plan in place before starting your adventure. This can mean a lot of different things, but we recommend starting with these 3 basic concerns and adding more to your safety list depending on your unique adventure!
    • Cell coverage
      • Check in to see if you will have cell coverage, and make a game plan for backup communication if you do not have it.
    • First aid
      • Bring a first aid kit with you! Does someone in your group have basic first aid skills? Ask around to know what your experience level is.
      • Not sure which one you need? Check out THIS outline to help you choose the right one.
    • Communication
      • Let someone you know where you are going and when, and when you’ve safely returned.

Locations & Permits

close icon

Locations & Permits

  • Depending on your adventure activity, location, and group size, you may be required to obtain a permit or park usage fee. Make sure to do your research ahead of time by googling your trip and location to see if you need any permits, reservations, or payments in advance.
  • Pro tip: outfitters and guides often have permits, so if you can’t acquire the permit you need you can try booking your adventure with a local outfitter instead!

Out Living It Blog

READ THE BLOG

Find Your Program

Get Started