Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

    • First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips
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What does FOOT Cost?

Just $200! This covers food, transportation, housing, the use of group equipment such as stoves and tents, and an AWESOME FOOT T-shirt! (Equipment rental is an extra small fee).

When are the FOOT applications due?

June 30. No applications will be considered after this date.

Is it OK if I don’t have all the equipment on the list?

No worries! On FOOT you’ll get dirty and sweaty so there is absolutely no need to have all new equipment and clothes. Having comfortable and functional equipment is all you need to be prepared. Don’t buy a new fleece! Bring hand-me-downs or the one that your dad got for his birthday but never wears. No need to buy new Nalgene bottles! Empty Gatorade bottles will do.

Do I have to bring everything that is on the list?

In order to be safe it is important that you bring the items on the packing list. We know you are adults and trust you will use your common sense when deciding what to bring. A rain coat, for example is an absolute must. Things like insect repellent and sunscreen are items we will be able to share as a group. Each one of us will not want to bring these because it will be a lot of extra weight. If you know you burn easily though and want to bring your own tube of sunscreen, do!

Can I borrow equipment?

Yes! You will be able to borrow equipment for an additional fee. There is a box on the application form where you can explain what gear you need to borrow. You may get an email or call from one of the FOOT leaders to get more information on what you need. For example, if you need a backpack, we need to know your height to we make sure we have one that fits you.

What should I do to prepare for FOOT?

A bit of hiking wouldn’t hurt! However, there is no training schedule for FOOT. If you are in good shape and will be able to hike around 15 miles in a day, you will be set.

Is it OK if I don’t have experience backpacking?

Backpacking experience isn’t a prerequisite, but some experience with general hiking is important. The most important thing is to bring a positive attitude!

When/Where should I arrive?

The details of what time and where you should arrive will be included in a follow-up email later in the summer; however, all pre-orientation participants will arrive Saturday August 23rd to move into their first-year residence. See the sample schedule for more information.

Will there be other students on campus when I arrive?

Yes, students will be on campus for fall sports preseason. Students participating in the other pre-orientation program, Putting It Together in the Community (PIT) with be there as well as students participating in Project Launch.

When will we return and will our trip affect first-year orientation?

We’ll return the evening before first-year orientation; therefore, FOOT will not affect your first-year orientation at all (except that you’ll have a close group of great friends already!)

What will we be eating on the trip?

It is quite impressive what meals can be made in the backcountry!  Breakfasts are generally oatmeal, bagels, or fruit. Lunches will be PB&J or nutella on a tortilla. Dinners can be pasta, couscous and veggies, rice and beans, and much more. And of course, trail mix is a given!  

What safety precautions are being taken on FOOT trips?

FOOT leaders are trained in CPR and Wilderness First Aid. While in the backcountry, groups will be hiking on the VERY well marked Appalachian Trail and will never be far from park rangers. At each stop location, FOOT leaders have detailed descriptions of the quickest evacuation routes. Additionally, support crews back at F&M (FOOT leaders who are not on the trips) will be checking in with our group along the hike. FOOT leaders are required to carry their mobile phones at all times so that they can contact local emergency responders, support crews, and the F&M campus in any case of emergency. FOOT leaders also carry an extensive First Aid bag in which they are trained and knowledgeable in applying to specific circumstances.

I have special dietary needs. Will this affect my trip?

Vegetarians can be easily accommodated for on FOOT. In order to accommodate students wishing to keep kosher they must have their own cooking gear. Just let the summer coordinators know what your special diatary needs are and we can plan accordingly.