Summer Trips: Frequently Asked Questions

YLA 8 NE

Note: for questions related to COVID-19, please see our COVID policies page.

What’s a typical day like on a summer backpacking trip?

Reconnect Earth’s summer trips involve a mix of hiking with fully loaded backpacks, participating in activities and workshops at camp, and hiking without packs. On some days our main focus will be hiking to the next campsite and getting camp set up. On other days, depending on the trip, we might stay in and around camp getting to know the local area and doing workshops and activities focused on building grassroots advocacy skills, exploring environmental and social justice topics, and more. At still other times we’ll leave our heavy packs at camp and spend a few hours hiking to a viewpoint or other destination.

What does tuition cover?

The amount you pay when you register for a trip covers tuition for all of the workshops and activities we’ll be engaged in, in addition to vegetarian food for the entire time we’re in the field; group gear including water filtration systems, cooking equipment, and first aid supplies; and any necessary permits associated with camping on national public lands.

What if I can’t afford the tuition?

A limited number of scholarships, covering up to about 80% of tuition, are available for those for whom the full cost is a genuine financial hardship. You will have a chance to request a scholarship when you submit your application to join a trip. We also encourage you to consider seeking out additional sources of funding; for example, many college departments in environmental studies and related fields offer financial assistance to students attending trainings or other educational opportunities. While we welcome scholarship applications, we ask that you only apply for a scholarship if you truly need it.

Are there other ways to get a discount?

Yes, if you encourage someone else to apply to a summer Reconnect Earth trip and they list your name on their application, you’ll get a $25 discount applied toward your own tuition payment! You can get another discount for each additional person you inspire to apply (make sure they put your name in the appropriate field on their application).

If I sign up for a trip and have to cancel, can I get a refund?

Depending on how close to the trip start date it is when you cancel, you may be able to receive a partial refund (the farther out from the start date, the larger the refund you will receive). While we of course hope you won’t have to cancel, if you do need to do so we request that you let us know as soon as possible so we can make your space on the trip available to someone else. See our full refund policy here.

Do you have gear available for loan?

Yes! We have sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and other essential backcountry gear available for loan if you don’t own one. You should not need to make any major gear or equipment purchases in order to participate in a Reconnect Earth trip.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Reconnect Earth will gladly accommodate common dietary restrictions or preferences such as vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, and allergies to specific food ingredients. You will get a chance to inform us of any dietary restrictions when you officially register for the trip. All food served on our trips is vegetarian, although you are welcome to bring your own meat if you would like.

What if I don’t have experience camping or backpacking?

No problem! Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or have never slept in a tent before, we’ll help make sure you have everything you need for a successful stay in the back country. We’re committed to making our trips accessible to participants of all experience levels.

Will I be safe on a Reconnect Earth trip?

Like countless activities we engage in every day, hiking and camping in remote wild areas involves certain inherent risks. That said, Reconnect Earth is committed to managing and minimizing risk and you are probably much safer camping on one of our trips than during many other common activities such as driving and playing sports. You’ll be accompanied in the field by two instructors, both trained in wilderness medicine and emergency response. We carry emergency communication systems and a well-stocked first aid kit with us at all times.

What makes Reconnect Earth trips unique?

While many organizations take groups of people into “wilderness” areas–whether for educational or recreational purposes–very few include training in activism and grassroots advocacy, or encourage participants to look through a critical lens at issues like colonialism, resource extraction, Indigenous sovereignty, and environmental justice. Reconnect Earth trips are different: we’ll be actively engaging with all these topics and more during our time together. Be prepared to see wild landscapes in new ways you may never have imagined before!

Still have questions? If we didn’t answer your question above feel free to email us at trips@reconnectearth.org

Ready to apply? You can do so here!