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Explore the outdoors with us! Join us on an upcoming expedition like paddleboarding, rock climbing, caving, camping, and more. View our upcoming expeditions and register on Stay Active.

Spring Expeditions 
Date Trip
January 1 Wintergreen Ski Trip
February 10 Tawney’s Cave
February 11 Pilot Mountain Climbing
February 23 Occoneechee Grad Hike
February 25 Moore’s Wall Bouldering at Hanging Rock
March 2-3 Black River overnight kayaking
March 9-12 Spring Break backpacking trip in the Foothills
March 8-12 Spring Break climbing trip to the Red River Gorge
March 23 Day hike at Stone Mountain
March 23-24 Overnight climbing at Pilot Mountain
March 29 Sunset hike and stargaze in Saxapahaw
March 30-31 New River overnight canoeing trip
April 5 Sunset SUP at Jordan Lake
April 6 Great Arch climbing at Stone Mountain
April 12 Sunset SUP at Jordan Lake
April 12-14 Backpacking trip at Grayson Highlands
April 19 Sunset SUP at Jordan Lake
April 20 Tawney’s Cave
April 26 Sunset SUP at Jordan Lake
May 3 Sunset SUP at Jordan Lake

Carolina Compass

This program gives incoming students the opportunity to challenge themselves and grow as individuals through the process of experiential education. Research has found outdoor orientation programs to be a crucial factor in developing support systems early on that lead to student success. You’ll make new friends, learn valuable, transferrable skills that will help you with your first year at UNC, and get to experience several outdoor activities in areas that make North Carolina so great! Scholarships are available (see below). This trip is offered for incoming new students only once per year, typically in August before the semester starts. Learn more on Stay Active.

Outdoor Leadership Series

The Carolina Adventures Outdoor Leadership Series (OLS) is a weekend packed with experiential seminars, leadership discovery opportunities, an overnight campout with outdoor living skills sessions, challenge course participant day and more! Plus, it is the primary route of employment for Carolina Adventures’ Challenge Course and Expeditions programs. OLS is typically offered once per year, in January. Learn more on Stay Active.


Scholarships are available for longer trips  and activities for those that cannot pay the full amount. Please contact us at for scholarship information or other questions.

We’re proud to also offer the Susan P. Cole Scholarship that covers up to half of the registration fee for all new students interested in participating in Carolina Compass. Learn more about the Susan P. Cole Scholarship and if you’d like to apply or have any questions please contact us, at . 

Registering for a Trip

You may register and pay with a credit card on Stay Active. To pay with cash or your One Card expense account, visit the Campus Rec Main Office (SRC 101).

Trip Fee: The trip fee covers transportation, trip leader instruction, and activity-specific gear (this excludes personal clothing and footwear).

Difficulty Level: Expeditions can be physically demanding. For most trips, no previous experience is required. Trips are rated 1-5 based on perceived difficulty level. This can be viewed on the registration page on Stay Active. Trips are designated depending on exertion and potential for challenging weather conditions.

Pre-Trip Meeting: A mandatory pre-trip meeting for full day and multi-day trips will take place the week before the trip. Your trip leaders will be in touch with the exact date and location of your pre-trip meeting.

Waitlist: If a trip is full, we encourage you to enroll in the waitlist. Spots that open on the trip will be offered to the first person on the waitlist and so on. For more information or to be placed on a waitlist, email us at .

Refunds: Please read the following policies carefully before signing up for a trip. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. Please email us at  as soon as possible to begin a refund. 

  • For all trips, NO refunds will be given to those that drop less than a week before the trip start time. (If a trip starts at 5pm on a Friday, the last chance to drop with the possibility of getting a refund is 5pm the previous Friday.)
  • There is a $5 processing fee for trips costing up to $100, a $10 processing fee for trips costing up to $200, and a $20 processing fee for trips over $200.
  • Full refunds are provided if the trip is cancelled due to low enrollment, weather conditions, or extreme circumstances.

Weather & Emergencies: Please review our Weather Guidelines. Our emergency action plan and trip leader training aligns with AEE industry standards for wilderness trips. 

Experiential Education

Our expeditions will be structured to require the group to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for the results. After presenting the necessary skills, our Instructors step back and allow the group to take ownership over their trip and learn from natural consequences, mistakes, and successes. The group must rely on one another; forcing leaders to emerge, individuals to collaborate, and participants to gain a greater understanding of themselves and others. Our Instructors are not guides, but fellow students who are passionate about sharing their experience, and trained to teach essential technical skills, ensure physical and emotional safety, and facilitate the learning process.

Outdoor Education Center

The Outdoor Education Center (OEC) is a Campus Recreation facility located conveniently close to campus and houses the Expeditions and Challenge Course programs. Learn more about the OEC and get walking or driving directions.

Outdoor Gear Rental

Interested in exploring on your own? We have all of the gear you will need to make your camping trip happen at an affordable rent. From tents and sleeping bags to stoves and paddle-boards. You can reserve your gear online and pick it up at the Rams Head Recreation Center. To learn more about Outdoor Gear Rental, click HERE.