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If you like the great outdoors, then the Outdoors Club might be the perfect opportunity to embrace it. Photo: CC, Max Pixel.

Hikes, bikes, and more!

On Sept. 23, the University of Ottawa Outdoors Club hosted its first-ever gear swap and sale. Students were welcomed to bring outdoor gear that they no longer use to trade, sell, or buy from other students.

“We’ve never done this before … (but) I know some outdoor shops like MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op), or trailhead, do gear swaps sometimes, so we tried to do our own take on it,” said Abby Caldwell, a fourth-year conflict studies and human rights student, and co-president of the club.

“This time we’ve had a couple people come—one guy brought sleeping bags that he made himself … it’s just kind of an event to bring people together,” explained Caldwell.

The gear swap is just one of many events that students taking part in the club are welcome to join in on. The club also hosts regular hiking trips, social events, and occasional camping excursions to far-away destinations.

“Basically, (the club) is just a group of people who like to do stuff outside, and are trying to get other people around the campus to get out, and get active,” said Caldwell. “I’d say that the purpose of the club is to try new things, make some friends, and be outdoors.”

All students are welcome to attend the Outdoors Club social nights, but if they want to attend the outings they must first pay an annual 15 dollar membership fee. “It’s so that we can run events, and not have everything cost money for the members, explained Caldwell. “Once you become a member, you can go on any of the trips.”

Some of this year’s events include weekend expeditions to places like Brown’s cabin in Gatineau park, and a week-long canoeing trip to Temagami, in Northern Ontario.

“All the trips that we do have a set cost, and that price covers transportation, food, and rental gear,” said Caldwell. “It (makes it) really easy to go on a trip, especially if you’ve never done anything (with the club) before, because it’s arranged for (you), and organized.”

When asked what her best experience with the club was, Caldwell told the Fulcrum that it was “(probably) going out on my first trip last year—taking a trip to Frontenac park … was super fun. We had a great group of people. It was a mixture of international students, local students, new campers, and experienced campers … It was just a great way to start the semester, make a bunch of friends, (and) get away from the city for awhile.”

In terms of her most difficult experiences, Caldwell emphasized the challenges in running the club. “I think one of the hardest things (can be) getting people out to (events), and organization,” she said.

Caldwell emphasized that, despite any obstacles they encounter, she’s had incredible memories with the group. “Every trip has something exciting that happens on it, but it’s never been a negative in the end. It always comes out positive at the end of the trip.”

If you want to get involved with the Outdoors Club, you can find details about their trips and events on their Facebook page.