Outdoor Programs (OP) Trip Policy

  • All OP trip participants must be currently enrolled students (with the exception of summer semester) or a guest* of a currently enrolled student on the same trip.
  • Trip participants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Trip participants must complete the trip registration process including assumption of risk documents and medical information form.
  • Trip participants must have their own health insurance.
  • Alcohol, recreational drugs, weapons, fireworks, pets, and non-registered persons are not permitted on any OP trip.
  • All OP trip participants and leaders must adhere to the University’s Sexual Harassment policy: “Sexual harassment of any employee, student, or recipient of the services of this University is absolutely forbidden. Anyone who feels that he/she is the victim of sexual harassment or any supervisor or manager who is made aware of an alleged incident of sexual harassment must take immediate action to resolve the matter. Any individual may contact the University's Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity (AA/EO) Office for advice, counseling, or clarification, leading to an informal resolution of the matter.”
  • Use of personal vehicles is not permitted on OP trips. Transportation is provided with OP and University vehicles. Participants must abide by all University & OP vehicle policies.
  • Many OP trips are physically demanding and some may have minimum requirements such as the ability to swim, perform a self-rescue, be proficient in specific skills, or have prior experience. Participants may be screened as to their ability to meet these minimum requirements in order to appropriately manage the risks of the activity.
  • OP trips are not commercial guided trips. They are cooperative, cost-shared, adventures for students led by students. The student trip leaders are trained and have experience in the activity (backpacking, whitewater rafting, etc.) but are not licensed or certified guides (unless necessary to fulfill specific permit requirements).
  • Due to the nature of many outdoor activities and the risks involved, the OP may not be able to safely accommodate individuals with physical and mental disabilities. Please contact greg.j.davis@usu.edu for more information on essential eligibility criteria with regard to OP trips.
  • Violation of any OP and University policies may result in immediate dismissal from an OP trip and University disciplinary action. Participants dismissed from an OP trip are responsible for their own transportation back to campus.

    *Students are allowed to bring one non-USU student guest (i.e. spouse, sibling, friend) on an OP trip. Guests must meet all eligibility requirements and abide by OP and University policies. Students are responsible for the actions/behavior of their guest while on the trip. Guests may be charged a higher registration fee.

Trip Cancellation Policy

  • The maximum refund amount is 75% of the total registration fee. 25% is non-refundable.
  • Cancellations must be made 7 days or more prior to the scheduled pre-trip meeting date or, if there is no pre-trip meeting, the trip departure date to be eligible for a 75% refund.
  • Cancellations made less than 7 days prior to the dates described above will result in a loss of all fees paid. If another individual (such as one on a waitlist) takes the cancelling participant’s place, a 75% refund will be issued after the replacement individual has registered.
  • Trips cancelled by the OP will be refunded in full. OP reserves the right to cancel trips at any time due to insufficient enrollment, weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Infectious Disease / COVID-19 Protocols

All participants on OP trips (and courses) are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated. Exposure to infectious disease is an inherent risk of participation.

Participant Screening

  • Participants and trip leaders will be screened for signs and symptoms as well as potential infectious disease exposure prior to in-person pre-trip meetings and departure on an OP trip.
  • Participants will be notified of the screening requirements during registration, with pre-trip email communication and during the pre-trip meeting.
  • Participants and trip leaders must complete the screening form before they will be allowed to participate with in-person pre-trip meetings and depart on a trip.
  • Participants and trip leaders that do not complete the screening process will not be allowed on an OP trip.

Vehicles and transportation

  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available in vehicles.
  • Pre-trip screening procedures will mitigate the inability to social distance in vehicles. Informing participants through pre-trip communication will allow for informed consent to travel in vehicles where social distancing is not a viable option.
  • Vehicles will be cleaned at the end of each trip.

Hand washing in the field

  • A portable hand wash station will be set-up at camp to allow for frequent hand washing.
  • Hand washing water will be treated with bleach when possible.
  • When it is not feasible to carry and set up a hand wash station (such as while backpacking), hand soap and sanitizer will be carried and used with available water sources in accordance with Leave No Trace principles.

Food Handling & Preparation

  • Trip leaders must have food handlers training approved by Bear River Health department.
  • Trip leaders will wear gloves while prepping & handling raw food items. Hands must be wash before and afterwards.
  • Hands must be washed and sanitized before entering the kitchen area.
  • Kitchen surfaces will be wiped with a sanitizing agent after meal preparation.
  • Dishwashing station will be located outside of the kitchen area and consist of wash basins filled the standard pre-rinse, soap water, soap rinse and bleach water.
  • Shirts as well as aprons (when feasible) will be worn by trip leaders when preparing food. Long hair will be tied back and/or under a hat.

Toilet Facilities

  • Restroom use and cleaning will be consistent with outdoor industry best practices already in place for the OP/ARC operations.
  • Users will wash hands and sanitize after using restroom facilities.
  • Trip leaders will wear gloves (when possible) when setting up and taking down portable toilet systems.
  • Sanitizing wipes will be available to be used on toilet surfaces in between uses.
  • Some trips will issue personal portable toilet systems (Rest Stop 2®) at the start of the trip. Users will be responsible for carrying their own waste until it can be disposed of after returning from the backcountry.

Incident response

General first aid

  • Trip leaders will operate within their level of medical training (WFA/WFR) and provide the appropriate care while utilizing the required PPE for close contact patient care. Only one person will provide care unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
  • Gloves worn for first aid of any patient will be collected after use in a biohazard bag and be discarded in an appropriate biohazard bin upon return from the trip.

Patient care and management for participants or trip leaders with positive symptoms of infectious disease

  • Consult with trip program coordinator who will initiate response plan and consult USU administration, local health agencies to determine availability and urgency of evacuation.
  • Person will immediately be physically distanced from others and required to wear a face covering at all times for the remainder of the trip, or until evacuated from the trip.
  • One liaison will be identified to interface with this person to provide care.
  • Follow WFR/WFA training and provide appropriate medical treatment.
  • Begin monitoring vital signs. Document and track. Provide updates to evacuating/governing agency for each area and OP coordinator arranging transportation, medical, and logistical support.
  • Keep patient hydrated.
  • Quarantine
    • Isolation tent
    • If the patient experiences worsening conditions, consider expediting evacuation or pace of trip to expedite to advanced medical care if evacuation is not immediately available.
  • Arrangements will be made for the patient to go to the closest medical facility. A vehicle and driver may be dispatched from Logan to provide transportation for just the patient to avoid having the patient in a vehicle used to transport other participants.
  • Testing will be done at the earliest opportunity. While the test is being processed, self-quarantine at home or in a local community hospital or lodging.
  • After evaluation care, notify appropriate agencies, all individuals on that trip, of results. Maintain HIPAA protection and confidentiality by using generic terms to describe a “participant”, who has a confirmed (negative or positive) test.


  • The OP Trip Coordinator will continue to assess and make revisions to these protocols as health guidelines and industry standards warrant. These protocols can change at any time without notice. Contact greg.j.davis@usu.edu for the most up to date OP infectious disease / COVID protocols for trips.