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Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures multiple trip photos

About Us...

Outdoor Adventures has been introducing Cougars to the outdoors since 2008. We offer opportunities to meet new people, see new places, and have new and diverse experiences. Whether you have hiked before or are just now becoming curious about outdoor recreation, our trips are for CSUSM students wanting to explore.

Our goal for all Outdoor Adventure trips is to build group unity through a cooperative effort by appreciating a wilderness adventure and creating friendships. We challenge students and ourselves to break away from the day-to-day routines. You can choose from day trips, to weekend trips, and to extended week-long excursions that vary in outdoor activities.

Our trips are led by CSUSM student guides, many of whom have acquired extensive wilderness training and enjoy sharing their love and avidity for the outdoors with others! So take the plunge and join in on the adventures!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @csusmrec for updates, information, and more.

You can also sign up to receive the Outdoor Adventure Newsletter for updates, trip reminders, job/volunteer opportunities, opportunity drawings, workshops, and more.


  • Please note that due to the unpredictable nature of outdoor recreation, all locations, activities, and schedules are subject to change. While we have a deep appreciation for Mother Nature, planning around her can sometimes be challenging. Factors such as weather conditions, water levels, trail conditions, road closures, and fires can alter any trip with little or no prior notice. We sincerely appreciate the patience, understanding, and flexibility of all individuals involved in our outings. In the event that changes need to be made, we will promptly update our information and notify registered participants as soon as possible.
  • It is important to mention that CSUSM Outdoor Adventures, including its employees and volunteers, cannot be held liable for any damages incurred during the outings. All participants will be required to sign a waiver and release form. Additionally, please be aware that our trips strictly adhere to a policy of no alcohol, smoking, tobacco, or illegal substances.
  • CSUSM Outdoor Adventures does not assume responsibility for any lost, damaged, or stolen equipment.

All University programs require student participants to follow standards of the CSUSM Student Code of Conduct in order to ensure a safe, respectful learning environment. As the Policy states, “The University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community should choose behaviors that contribute toward this end. Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.”

Failure to abide by these standards could result in becoming ineligible to participate in Outdoor Adventure programs indefinitely and a referral to the Dean of Students Office.

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Outdoor Adventures + 8 Dimensions of Wellness

The eight dimensions of wellness are a holistic model for health and well-being that includes emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, environmental, occupational, and financial wellness. Outdoor Adventures can support and enhance each of these dimensions of wellness in the following ways:

  • 1. Emotional Wellness

     Participating in outdoor activities can improve emotional wellness by reducing stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation, and increasing feelings of joy and satisfaction.

  • 2. Intellectual Wellness

    Exploring the outdoors can enhance intellectual wellness by promoting curiosity and learning about nature, history, and culture, and engaging in critical thinking and problem-solving.

  • 3. Physical Wellness

    Outdoor activities promote physical wellness by providing opportunities for exercise, improving cardiovascular health, and promoting physical strength, endurance, and flexibility.

  • 4. Social Wellness

     Participating in outdoor programming can improve social wellness by building relationships and connections with peers and leaders, fostering a sense of community, and promoting teamwork and collaboration.

  • 5. Spiritual Wellness

    Engaging with nature and outdoor spaces can promote spiritual wellness by fostering a sense of awe, wonder, and appreciation for the natural world, and promoting a connection with something greater than oneself.

  • 6. Environmental Wellness

    Outdoor Adventures can promote environmental wellness by fostering an appreciation for the natural world, promoting sustainable practices, and educating participants about environmental conservation and preservation. See Leave No Trace Principles below.

  • 7. Occupational Wellness
    Participating in outdoor activities can promote occupational wellness by providing opportunities for career exploration in fields such as outdoor education, recreation, and conservation.
  • 8. Financial Wellness

    Outdoor Adventures provides subsidized experiences which can promote financial wellness by providing affordable opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure, reducing financial stress, and promoting financial literacy and responsibility.

Learning Outcomes for Students Who Participate in an Outdoor Adventure Trip:

  • Develop skills for outdoor activities
    Students will learn basic skills for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, and kayaking. They will learn how to use appropriate gear and equipment, develop techniques for safety, and plan a trip on their own.
  • Cultivate environmental awareness

    Students will gain a deeper understanding of environmental issues and sustainability. They will learn about the impact of human activities on natural resources and ecosystems, and explore ways to minimize their ecological footprint while enjoying outdoor activities.

  • Promote physical fitness and well-being

    Students will engage in physical activities that promote health and well-being, such as hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and more.

  • Enhance personal growth and self-awareness

    Students will have the opportunity to challenge themselves and step outside their comfort zones. They will learn about their own strengths and weaknesses, and develop self-confidence and resilience through outdoor participation.

  • Foster appreciation for cultural diversity

     Students will have the opportunity to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds and learn about different cultures and perspectives. They will develop respect for cultural differences and build empathy and understanding through shared outdoor experiences.


Leave No Trace Principles

The 7 Principles

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Walk on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

To learn more, visit the Leave No Trace website.
Enjoy your world. Leave No Trace.

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The CSUSM Campus REC Outdoor Adventure department abides by the Leave No Trace principles. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibility. Our shared vision is to sustain healthy, vibrant natural lands for all people to enjoy, now and into the future. Every person who ventures outside puts Leave No trace practices into action.

As part of our learning outcomes, we require all participants who sign up for overnight trips to complete the Leave No Trace awareness course.