First Tracks

What could be better than starting your college career knowing you already have a community of friends at WSU? Perhaps building that community while backpacking or kayaking the summer before your first semester? We agree. That’s why we’re pleased to offer the First Tracks: Outdoor Orientation Program exclusively for incoming first-year students.

This program allows you to explore northwest wilderness areas, bond with a small group of your future classmates, develop skills with experienced leaders, and take on an exciting new adventure before embarking on the biggest adventure of all – college.

 First Tracks helps you…

  • Start making life-long friends before you start your first semester.
  • Explore your new home, the Palouse, in new and exciting ways.
  • Gain technical skills in backpacking or kayaking, camping, and backcountry cooking. 
  • Practice problem solving, collaboration and communication in safe, adventurous, and outdoor space.
  • Reflect on who you are and who you want to be as a WSU Cougar and beyond.
  • Meet experienced outdoor experts and learn more about what the WSU Outdoor Recreation Center has to offer.

We built this program to improve your WSU experience. We think spending time outside, with fellow new Cougs is a great way to start. Check out our FAQ page for more information about the program and details about the trips. If you have more questions, please contact us at orc@wsu.edu. 

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Registration Ends June 1

First Tracks: Backpacking

Jun 21 - Jun 27 in ORC Lobby
[W] 5:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[Su M Thrs F Sa] 12:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[T] 12:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$275
 
 
Did you know that you can access several different mountain areas just a few hours from Pullman? Let us show you one of these pristine areas near eastern Washington in the First Tracks: Outdoor Orientation Program. Aside from bonding with your future classmates, you’ll learn backcountry camping and travel skills such as how to purify your drinking water, how to cook on a backpacking stove, and how to hike/camp utilizing “Leave No Trace” principles. Trip rating is level 2. Good physical conditioning is needed; no experience necessary. Participants can expect to hike anywhere between 3-12 miles per day with an overnight backpack on. Cancellation Policy: In order to minimize our environmental impact, maintain facilitator-to-participant ratios, meet permit criteria, and transportation logistics, ORC trips are often programmed for small groups. Late cancellations can seriously impact our ability to accommodate others and recover costs. • Cancellations made up until 2 weeks prior to the registration deadline will receive a full refund. • Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the registration deadline receive 50% refund. • Sorry, no refunds are given past the registration deadline.
 
 

First Tracks: Kayak Touring

Jun 21 - Jun 27 in ORC Lobby
[W] 5:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[Su M Thrs F Sa] 12:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m.
[T] 12:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$275
 
 
First Tracks: Outdoor Orientation Program is designed specifically for incoming first-year students to experience a kayak tour on one of the beautiful lakes just a few hours from Pullman. In addition to bonding with future classmates, you’ll learn key kayak touring skills such as how to safely exit and re-enter your boat, pack a kayak for touring, purify your drinking water, cook on a backpacking stove, and camp utilizing “Leave No Trace” principles. Trip rating is level 2. Good physical conditioning is needed; no kayaking experience necessary. Cancellation Policy: In order to minimize our environmental impact, maintain facilitator-to-participant ratios, meet permit criteria, and transportation logistics, ORC trips are often programmed for small groups. Late cancellations can seriously impact our ability to accommodate others and recover costs. • Cancellations made up until 2 weeks prior to the registration deadline will receive a full refund. • Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the registration deadline receive 50% refund. • Sorry, no refunds are given past the registration deadline.