Explore the Great Northwest

The Puget Sound is home to amazing outdoor spaces, and it’s an excellent place for single-day outdoor adventures. With a fully-stocked gear library and expert staff, we have all the equipment and expertise to take you hiking, natural rock climbing, canoeing, or kayaking — no experience necessary! Come prepared to meet new people, try different things, have fun, and challenge yourself.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. Who are the instructors?
Our instructors are experienced outdoor educators with an extensive background working in the outdoors. All instructors are also trained in wilderness medicine. Each instructor team consists of at least one wilderness first responder with the supporting instructors holding certifications in wilderness first aid.

2. How many participants are on each trip?
There are 8 participants max on each program with 2-3 instructors.

3. What gear will I need for my expedition?
Having the right gear for your adventure will make your experience more enjoyable. Packing lists will be provided in advance, and the Y will provide all technical and group gear. Your instructors will help check all your gear at the start of the program. They may ask you not to bring something that you’ve packed or provide you with an alternative to what you have brought. This is done for efficiency and to ensure that you have the appropriate gear. If you have questions about gear, please contact our outdoor team at 206.382.5009 or campinfo@seattleymca.org.

4. What are your COVID-19 protocols?

  • Disinfection of personal gear: Items such as harnesses, helmets, and personal flotation devices (lifejackets) will be disinfected before and after use. They will be set-aside for a 48-hour quarantine before next use.
  • Social distancing: Our outdoor locations allow us to ensure distances of six feet or greater during the duration of the program. Family units will remain together when traveling in two-person boats. Buses will transport participants at less than 50% capacity, with priority given to keeping family units together.
  • Face coverings and more: Staff and participants are required to wear face coverings for the duration of the program, unless a person has a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that does not allow them to wear a mask.
  • Hand sanitizer & spray: Ample hand sanitizer will be available for cleaning hands throughout the duration of the program. We will also spray and wipe any high-touch areas between users.

5. Can I use Y bucks?
Yes! Learn more about Y bucks.

6: How challenging are the trips? 
Single-day outdoor activities are introductory and are appropriate for participants who have never been on this type of adventure before. Participants new to this type of adventure can be successful if they are very motivated, open to learning new skills, willing to work closely as a team, and are able to demonstrate leadership skills. You do not need to have any outdoor experience to participate, and you do not need to be an athlete. Being in shape and physically active before you arrive is helpful but is not required on introductory experiences. Come prepared to meet new people, try new things, have fun, and challenge yourself. 

7. Where will we travel for these adventures?
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is a permit holder for a range of public lands that include local, state, and national parks. Each adventure travels to a different location depending on the activity. Examples include the Mercer Slough Nature Park, Olallie State Park, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and more! All groups must operate within the rules of the permits.

8. What about bathrooms?
While on each trip, participants who need to use the bathroom will be instructed on the art of "Leave No Trace" outdoor bathroom etiquette in the backcountry. Additional information about "Leave No Trace" is provided below. At our arrival and departure location, our YMCA branches may be open and available for restroom use, however, hours do vary.

9. Do I need to bring my own food? 
Yes, please pack a non-perishable lunch and snacks, and bring water.

9. What happens in the event of an emergency?
The safety of our participants is our top priority. Travel in the outdoors always involves risk. The most important thing we do to mitigate risk in our programs is to be certain our instructors follow our safety policies and practices. Trip protocols have been reviewed by our Risk Management Advisory Board, which includes Y staff and industry leaders. In the event there is an emergency, we have developed an extensive Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that includes communication with Land Managers, such as the National Park Service, and provides support for all of our groups out in the field. All office staff and instructors have been trained in the EAP. Instructors are all certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid, and some have additional Wilderness First Responder training. Instructors are the first to provide emergency care and will provide initial medical care to the level of their training. Our office has medical staff on-call to provide further assistance when necessary.

Additional Information

Leave No Trace
This refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It is built on seven principles:

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors While on a Y adventure, we expect every participant to uphold and practice the "Leave No Trace" principles

Lost & Found
The YMCA of Greater Seattle is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items. Please label all belongings. We will attempt to reunite lost items with owners if items are labeled.

Questions?
Contact our Camping & Outdoor Leadership admissions team at campinfo@seattleymca.org or call 206.382.5009

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