All kayaking and backpacking gear will be provided by Franklin Pierce. We also take
care of food for the week. Personal gear such as clothing, toiletries, shoes, and
a few basic essentials are yours to provide. Please see the link ‘Gear List’ for a
specific listing of equipment necessary.
This program does not require any previous outdoor experience. Our trip leaders/guides
will teach everyone how to pack, how to cook along a wide variety of other skills
necessary for the backcountry. For any level of experience, this is a great opportunity
to learn how to travel through the outdoors well. We do ask that everyone come with
a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and the ability to overcome the physical
challenges poses by multi-day backcountry excursions.
Pick the session that works best for your schedule. Either way, participants are able
to move possessions into their respective residence hall early. Be sure to let the
program Director know if you are moving in early to ensure your room is ready.
Our student-leaders are chosen for their love of the outdoors, judgment, leadership
skills and lovely personalities! They go through two weeks of summer outdoor leadership
training, including a 2-day Wilderness First Aid certification in emergency medicine.
We will carry and prepare all of our meals for the duration of the trip. There might
be opportunity to stop back into civilization for a snack but that depends on the
routes we choose. There will be terrific meal options, but if you have food allergies
or dietary choices or restrictions, please inform us on the registration form.
Prepare by staying active this summer. Kayaking works out the shoulders and core muscles,
carrying a backpack certainly can put stress on knees and ankles. Break in new hiking
boots in advance of the trip! Plan accordingly and anticipate the occasional callus
or blister. Each day in the field is full of activity, so be ready! Our first priority
is safety and fun, but you’ll have more fun if you’re physically prepared to hike
The routes change a little each year, but we always like to stay within a couple of
hours of campus. Our traditional routes are as follows:
Backpackers: hiking from campus, backpackers head to Mount Monadnock and then either turn north
on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway or south on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. Typical
distance is 25-30 miles of backpacking.
Kayakers: water level determines the river system we use. In high water we venture down the
Ashuelot River starting in Surry, NH. In medium water we head down the Baker River
into the Pemigewasset. In dry summers we stick to the Pemigewasset the entire time.
The kayakers also venture about 30 miles.