Skip to main content

First-Year Trips

For Current Students

Connect with First-Year Trips


Frequently-Asked Questions

We know you might have some questions about the DOC Trips program, so we've put together some answers to the most common ones. However, if you have other questions or want to speak with one of the directors about the program, don't hesitate to contact us!

What will the trip be like? Trips is a great way to meet other incoming Dartmouth students and get excited for your time at the College. Trips will introduce you to the outdoor activities available at Dartmouth and in the First year tripssurrounding area. But more than that, it will provide an opportunity to get to know your classmates and older students who will welcome and support you in your time at Dartmouth. Trips gives incoming students some common ground with which to begin their college experiences.

What’s the deal with the schedule? The schedule for Trips 2020 isn't set yet. But in general, Trips runs from late August until early September. You're not on Trips for a month, don't worry. Individual trips are only a few days long, and they are divided up into sections. We'll have more specific information for you in May, so don't go buying any plane tickets until then!

Will I get the Trip I ask for? What are the most popular Trips? We offer a wide variety of trip types so we hope you will find some trips that sound exciting and interesting! Every year, we do our very best to assign you to a trip that you prefer, but sometimes that is not always possible. In general, the more flexible you are with dates, the more likely we can put you on a trip of your preference. The most common trip types are hiking (at various levels of intensity) and cabin camping - these trips are incredibly fun and include exploring some beautiful parts of New Hampshire. We encourage you to be open minded about what trip activities you are interested in. Trips is a great time to try something new, and many of the best parts of Trips are not related to the actual activity you're doing.

Are Trips assigned first come - first served? No - everyone who registers for Trips by the deadline is on a level playing field when it comes to receiving a trip type and section.

How can Trips manage specific accommodations? We are very dedicated to making Trips accessible for everyone. We recognize that some students may need additional accommodations related (but not limited) to religious practices, disabilities, dietary restrictions, allergies and medical needs. While many students manage their own health/accessibility needs, we would prefer that you put any and all of your needs in your registration so we can assign you to an appropriate trip. In the past we have worked well to accommodate any student need; we work both with individuals and with Student Accessibility Services to best plan Trips so that it is accessible to everyone. We encourage you to elaborate on any of these things on the registration form, or if you would prefer to explain over the phone, give us or Student Accessibility Services a call.

What equipment do I need to bring on Trips? When you are assigned a Trip, we will provide you with an equipment list. Yes, bring everything on the list. New Hampshire can be cold in August and September, especially when you are out on the trail. In particular, having a raincoat is very important in keeping you both dry and warm. If there is equipment that you don't have and can't find without purchasing, you can borrow equipment from the Dartmouth Outing Club - we have sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and backpacks that you can rent at no cost. Once you are assigned a trip, we will send you a link to request this equipment. Once you have everything, try not to bring too much more—extra weight adds up fast!

What about buying equipment? Will I look like an idiot with my grandma’s old frame pack from 1935? You don't need to go buy lots of new equipment! Old-school gear is MUCH cooler, more sustainable and affordable than something with the tags still on it – don’t waste lots of money getting gear that looks sweet, when you haven’t been out in the woods a whole lot. Wait until you’ve done some hiking in the fall before you invest in a new frame pack. Make sure your boots don’t give you any blisters, make sure you have some warm fleece or other non-cotton clothes, grab your rain gear, and you’re set! 

Beyond equipment, is there anything else I need to do to prepare? You should come ready to expect the unexpected, and you should prepare yourself for talking to a lot of people you have never seen before. That's what coming to college is all about — meeting a lot of people and eventually finding some people and some issues you really care about (you may forget some names along the way, too—that's ok! We certainly did). Trips wants to do the best it can to help you with that first steps towards finding your place and your passions. (Remember that everyone else is just as nervous as you about coming to a new place and meeting new let go of your fears and get ready for an exciting trip!)

Where can I find cheap non-cotton clothing? It is very important that you have non-cotton clothing! Cotton clothes do not dry quickly and we want you to stay dry and warm no matter what the weather conditions might be. Exploreequip used clothing shops, Army/Navy surplus stores, and other thrift shops for inexpensive, non-cotton clothing. If you have questions, please let us know!

Should I bring food with me? Feel free to bring a snack or a lunch for the very first day, because check-in does not start until 2pm. After that, food is provided by us until you get back to campus, so don't bring any other food with you--we promise you will have tons of yummy food to eat! 

Should I bring my cell phone along on my trip? Cell phones aren't allowed on Trips – you won't have service anyway. Our Hanover support crew members will store them in a safe place until you return from your trip. Please let your parents know that they will not be able to reach you while you are on your trip. If they have questions, they can call us from 9am to 5pm at 603-646-3996. 

Where do I shower and go to the bathroom during my trip? Access to showers and bathroom facilities differ by trip type. If you have a medical concern, contact us or Student Accessibility Services, and we will work with you to make sure any needs you have are met. Facilities available on each trip type will be detailed in your registration form, and online (once registration is available).

When does my trip really start? Your Trip starts when you register in Hanover on the afternoon of the first day of your section. The first evening you will be in Hanover, playing games, eating dinner, doing a pack check, and spending the night with your trip group. Bright and early on the second day, you’ll head north to get outdoors and start the adventure away from Hanover.

Where do I go once I get to campus? We should be pretty hard to miss once you make it to the Hanover Green. If you are worried about getting your bearings, make your way to Robinson Hall (fifty feet south of the Admissions Office, McNutt Hall), and we will show you where to go from there. Or, look at the campus map for where to register for Trips (Robinson Hall).

If I’m driving, where can I park during my trip? If you are driving yourself to campus for your trip, please park your car in A-Lot, which is a 10 minute walk from campus. The address to A-Lot is: A Lot, Smith Rd., Hanover, NH 03755. We suggest using Google Maps to find it. 

What if I can’t get a flight early enough to arrive on time the day of my trip? If you are concerned, please reach out to us before booking any flights. In most cases we can work with late arrivals, but again, please speak to us before assuming this. Keep in mind that students will not be able to access their dorm rooms before their Trip. lodge fun

If I have trouble on my way to Dartmouth, who can I call? Please call the Trips office at 603-646-3996 if you have any trouble getting to Hanover. We will be on the phone from 9am-5pm during the day and we will be checking voicemail periodically as well. If your plane is late, if you need help, or if you cannot make it to Hanover on your specified date, call and let us know. We want you to come, so we’ll do our best to accommodate any last minute setbacks.

Last Updated: 12/11/19