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How to Choose a Trip

You will experience many new things in college, and OA is a great place to begin that exploration. Feel free to try out something you have never done before and that could be a challenge. No adventure requires previous experience, but several do require you to be in good cardiovascular condition, and some trips may leave you mildly sore from repetitive motions such as paddling. Your choice should be tempered by a realistic assessment of your fitness level and background. Please note that the L.A. based trips have a lot of walking throughout the Los Angeles basin and may be strenuous.

Chances are that several OA trips appeal to you. Which ones would you enjoy the most? To help you compare adventures and make a more informed decision, we have provided summary information about different aspects of the trips in charts below.

When you sign up, you will have the opportunity to rank each trip in order of your preference. It is important to find at least three trips that you would enjoy rather than setting your heart on a single adventure, as we cannot guarantee placement on your first-choice trip. We do guarantee the placement of students with mobility or other limitations on trips that allow them to participate in OA and are happy to make necessary accommodations wherever possible.

Activities Planned

Notes: Only activities common to several adventures are shown below. Please see trip descriptions for more information about planned activities.

Adventure Hiking Swimming CLIMBING Biking Snorkeling Paddling
Camp OA Possible** Yes* Yes* Possible** No No
Climbing Yes Possible** Yes No No No
Community Engagement L.A. Yes Possible** No No Possible** Possible**
River Adventure Possible** Yes No No No Yes
Lake Adventure Yes Yes No No No Yes
Sequoia Yes No No No No No
Kayaking Yes Yes No No Possible** Yes
Beach Possible** Yes No Possible** Possible** Possible**
Surfing Possible** Yes No No Possible** Possible**
Backpacking Yes No No No No No
Arts & Culture L.A. Yes Yes* No No No No
Discover L.A.  Yes Yes* No Possible** No No

* Swimming is optional on these trips and can be unobtrusively avoided.
** "Possible" indicates that an activity is either at the group's discretion or may be included.

Amenities Available

Notes: For trips utilizing sleeping bags, we recommend bringing along a thin foam or inflatable pad for additional comfort and insulation. Sleeping bags and pads are available free of charge to participants in the Backpacking and Camping trips if requested during the sign up process.

Adventure Sleeping Arrangements Showers Toilets Electricity Store*
Camp OA Bed in Cabin Yes Yes Yes No
Climbing Sleeping Bag in Tent No Yes No No
Community Engagement L.A.  On Campus Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sequoia Sleeping Bag in Tent Yes Yes No Yes
River Adventure Sleeping Bag in Tent No Yes No Yes
Lake Adventure Sleeping Bag in Tent No Yes No Yes
Kayaking Sleeping Bag in Tent No Yes No No
Beach Sleeping Bag in Tent Yes Yes No Yes
Surfing Sleeping Bag in Tent Yes Yes No No
Backpacking Sleeping Bag in Tent No No No No
Arts & Culture L.A. On Campus Yes Yes Yes Yes
Discover L.A. On Campus Yes Yes Yes Yes

* "Store" in this context indicates any place where you can buy basic goods that you may have forgotten to bring along, such as lip baum or personalized snacks.

Difficulty and Hazards

Notes: This is only a guide and not definitive. Many factors may change these slightly as the trips are created.

Adventure Cardiovascular exertion (1-5) Musculoskeletal exertion (1-5)* Altitude Sickness** Motion Sickness Heat Sickness***
Camp OA 3 3 Moderate Moderate Low
Lake Adventure 3 3 Moderate Moderate Moderate
Community Engagement L.A.  2 2 Low Low High
Sequoia 3 3 High Moderate Low
Climbing 4-5 3 Moderate Moderate Moderate
River Adventure 4-5 3 Low Mod-High High
Kayaking 4 4 None Mod-High Moderate
Beach 3 3 None Low-Mod Moderate
Surfing 3-4 3 None Low-Mod Moderate
Backpacking 3-4 4 Mod-High Moderate Low
Arts & Culture L.A.  2-3 3 None Low High
Discover L.A.  3-4 4 None Low High

*Activities requiring significant musculoskeletal exertion include carrying a pack, paddling a kayak, surfing and negotiating a challenge/ropes course.

** Symptoms of altitude sickness can include light-headedness, headache, nausea and/or vomiting. Hydration and good cardiovascular conditioning reduce the risk of sickness. In the past, roughly one in 10 students on high altitude trips experienced mild to moderate altitude sickness, with symptoms subsiding after traveling to lower elevation.

*** Symptoms of heat sickness can include fatigue and cramps. Hydration, good cardiovascular conditioning and proper attire can help reduce the risk of heat-related symptoms.


Notes: The ratings below are necessarily subjective and may vary from your own preferences. Driving times are subject to traffic conditions - welcome to Southern California!

Adventure Wild and Scenic Views (1-5) Rustic Experience (1-5) City/Town Experience (1-5) Transportation drive time on the Road
Camp OA  3 2 1 Charter Bus 3-4
Lake Adventure 4 4 2 Charter Bus 1-2
Community Engagement L.A. 2 2 5 Van & Bus 4-5
Climbing 5 5 1 Charter Bus 1-2
River Adventure 4 4 2 Charter Bus 4-5
Kayaking 5 5 2 Charter Bus 4-5
Beach 3 3 3 Charter Bus 2-3
Surfing 3 3 3 Charter Bus 3-4
Backpacking 5 5 1 Charter Bus 3-4
Sequoia 5 4 1 Charter Bus 4-5
Arts & Culture L.A. 1 2 5 Public Transit 4-5
Discover L.A. 2 2 5 Public Transit 4-5