FAQ

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We’re here to answer them. Take a look here for the responses to some common questions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact us at [email protected].

Signing Up

Do I need to be a Discover Outdoors member to sign up for a trip?

You’ll need to create a free Discover Outdoors membership to sign up for a trip. All members have the ability to keep track of their adventures and earn 5% back in rewards points on all bookings. You’ll also get access to great content, specials, and trip updates via our newsletter.

Peak membership is a great option for those who find themselves on DO adventures often. A $20 annual membership fee unlocks discounted pricing and special perks like invitations to events and discounts with our brand partners.

Can I sign up a friend or guest on my account?

Of course! You can book as many spots on your account as you like. We do ask that once your booking is complete, you fill out your guest’s information so they don’t miss out on important trip updates and communication from the guide team.

How do I redeem my trip credit or points?

You can see your total trip credit and points on your member profile. These can be redeemed on any trip booking. During the registration process, you’ll see an option to apply all or part of your total points to your purchase. Be sure to do this before you submit your payment information.

Can I save my spot with a deposit?

Many trips do have a deposit option or payment plan so you can save your spot and pay in a way that’s best for you. Final payment for adventure travel trips is usually due by two months in advance, but that may vary based on the trip. Please see our policies page for information on refunding credit for deposits.

I have a disability, can I still sign up for a trip?

We do our best to make sure that we have an outdoor activity for everyone, but we also want to make sure you’re safe and taken care of. When you register for your trip, you’ll see an option to request a modification. If you select this option, you’ll be contacted by one of our team members who will help find a way to accommodate your needs.

What if I need to cancel a trip?

Trip modifications and cancellations can all be made from your account page on discoveroutdoors.com. You can see all of our cancellation policies for different trip types at www.discoveroutdoors.com/policies.

What should I expect when I sign up for a trip?

When you complete your registration, you will receive an e-receipt immediately (please check your junk filter). As your trip date gets closer, you will receive correspondence from our office and your lead guide confirming details and asking for any additional required information. For adventure travel trips, you can expect an introduction three months before your trip. For multi-day weekend escapes, we’ll say “Hi” between one month and six weeks out. For local day trips, we send a reminder email by the Thursday night before your trip. Remember, you can always view trip details by looking at the trip page on the website or learn more by contacting us directly.

We recommend that you add [email protected] to your contacts so you can make sure important messages don’t get filtered out.

Preparation

What should I wear and bring?

Each trip page has information on any required items that you should pack and guidance on what you should wear.

In general, you should be prepared for a variety of conditions and dress in layers to account for changing weather. You should avoid cotton or denim for any outdoor activity and opt for fabrics that are moisture wicking for base layers (layers that are first against your skin. When it’s cool out, your mid layer is your chance to gain some insulation with a fleece or down jacket. When it’s rainy, windy, or cold out, you should also be sure to have a waterproof and windproof shell jacket to protect you from the elements.

Hiking boots are highly recommended for all hiking and backpacking trips, as they provide ankle and foot support and are made to grip the surface of the rocky trails we visit. During winter and spring months in mountainous areas, waterproof boots are required to keep your feet dry and warm. In the warmer months, sturdy sneakers or trail runners are acceptable on easy to moderate hikes in dry conditions. If you have questions about footwear, please contact us for more tips and recommendations.

Where can I find appropriate gear or clothing for the trip?

We have lots of great partners who know just what you need to get ready for your trip. For a list of some of our favorite brands and stores, check out discoveroutdoors.com/partners

What if I have questions about a trip?

No problem! Our office team is made up of senior guides who know the ins and outs of all of our trips. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or 212-579-568 with any questions. Note that our offices are closed in the evenings and on weekends, but if you send us an email, we’ll be happy to answer as soon as we get back in.

How hard will my trip be?

All of our trips are rated on a scale of 1-10. You can find any trip's intensity on its main page, along with a detailed description. We recommend that you review this information so you can be prepared for your day. We consider a 1 to be the equivalent of walking a couple of hours in a city park and a 9 to be Mount Kilimanjaro - so there’s a whole lot of room in between. Keep in mind that ratings can be subjective, but we’ve done our best to rank trips appropriately based on mileage, terrain, elevation change, and conditions.

If you have any doubts about a trip, please call or e-mail our office and we can provide more information on any trip's difficulty.

On Trip Day

How many people will be there?

Our groups for hikes usually range from 8-14 people. Your group will have either one or two DO guides, depending on the trip. Your fellow adventurers will likely come from a variety of backgrounds and locations but the one thing that everyone will have in common is a desire to get outside, meet new people, and have a great time!

Will I be the only solo traveler?

No way! Many individuals sign up to join our trips solo. The best part of a DO trip is meeting new people and being part of a group. Even if you show up as a party of one, you'll be leaving with lots of new friends.

What if I’m late to the meeting location?

Each trip page has that adventure’s departure listed. We try to stick to these as closely as possible in order to respect everyone’s time and to avoid impacting the planned day. If you’re running late to your meeting location, please contact your guides directly (you’ll receive their contact information via email before your trip), as the office may be closed, but note that there are no refunds or credit available for trips missed due to a late arrival at the departure location.

What if I'm the slowest one?

We hike, trek, and paddle as a team, but sometimes people move at different paces - and that's completely ok. Our guides will always have your safety in mind and be keeping attentive track of the group. On longer or more difficult trips, we'll have a sweep guide as well. As long as your group is keeping on schedule, there's no pressure to move fast; enjoy the trip!

Will there be bathrooms?

That depends on the trip but in general, when you’re on the trail, nature is your bathroom! Your guide will brief you on Leave No Trace guidelines for using the bathroom responsibly. Always tell someone when you're stepping off trail to go.

What if I don't feel well?

Our guides receive medical training and are all certified Wilderness First Responders, so you're in good hands, but communication is key. Please notify your guide if you don't feel well, are worried about a blister, or any other concerns. Also notify them in advance if you have any medical conditions or allergies.

What if there's rain in the forecast?

Forecasts change often in the mountainous areas we visit, so we keep a close eye on multiple weather forecasts leading up to any trip. We don't let a little rain or wind ruin a chance for an adventure. In most cases, the trees will provide quite a bit of cover from passing rain and, as long as you are dressed appropriately, you'll still have a great day. Please note that your guide may alter your trip itinerary in the case of inclement weather. If we decide that the weather is unsafe, we'll notify you by the afternoon before a trip via email. Please note that, unless the cancellation is made by DO, there is no credit or refund due. If we do cancel, we’ll happily transfer your credit to a future trip.

What happens for a snowshoeing trip if there’s not enough snow?

If we schedule a snowshoeing trip, we make every effort to select a trail that has adequate snow for a great trip. If this is not possible we will change the trip to a winter hike and use either traction devices like micro-spike or just “bare boot” while we enjoy the beautiful time on the trail.

How much should I tip our guide?

If you have a great day, a tip is a great way to thank your guide for their work. On our trips, a tip of 10-20% is customary.

About DO

What can I expect on a DO trip?

We make a promise that on every trip with Discover Outdoors, you will learn something new, get exercise, meet new people, feel safe, supported, respected, and encouraged, and have fun! Learn more about our promise to you at discoveroutdoors.com/promise.

How do you protect the areas you visit?

We work closely with the parks which we visit to ensure that we’re using trails and itineraries that are not impacting already overused lands. We like to go to places that are slightly off the beaten path and less crowded. We also train our guides in Leave No Trace practices, which they’ll share with every group.

Discover Outdoors supports local and national charity partners and a portion of all Discover Outdoors trips helps fund the Discover Outdoors Foundation, which helps instill a passion for outdoor spaces in teens from underserved communities.