WHAT IS AN OUTWARD BOUND CANADA COURSE LIKE?
On every Outward Bound course you learn by doing. You'll be challenged as an individual and become an effective member of a team. You'll be compelled to dig deep, whether you are canoeing, mountaineering, rock climbing, sea kayaking, dog-sledding, white water paddling, or backpacking. Our highly qualified Instructors inform and inspire, then step back. As the course progresses, responsibility shifts from your instructors to you and your group as your technical and decision-making abilities grow. For more specific information on each course, you can find a course that fits your interests here or browse all of our courses here. Each course page has a detailed description with more particulars.
DO I HAVE TO BE AN ATHLETE TO TAKE PART?
Absolutely not. Participants with a wide range of physical abilities have successfully met the challenges of Outward Bound. However, the better shape you're in, the more comfortable you'll be.
HOW FIT DO I HAVE TO BE?
Outward Bound is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Physical challenge is one of the many tools we use to help you explore your personal potential. You do not have to be an athlete in order to benefit from our courses, as they are designed for the reasonably fit, active individual. However, our courses are physically demanding and a certain amount of physical preparation will ensure that you get the most our of your course.
DO I NEED ANY WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE?
For most courses, no wilderness experience is necessary. Some courses require prerequisite skills or training, or a special screening process. Details of these requirements are in the course descriptions. If you are a parent thinking of sending your teenager on a course, please read this Message to Parents.
WILL I BE SAFE?
Safety is the number one priority at Outward Bound. Our highly trained instructors make sure all activities adhere to strict safety guidelines that we have developed over more than sixty years. Safety briefings precede each new activity to help you participate safely in any of our course activities. Our methods and practices are monitored and reviewed regularly by a Safety Review Team made up of senior Outward Bound staff from schools across North America as well as independent experts. For more information on our Risk Management policies and procedures please click here. Otherwise, for more information specific to Animal Safety please click here.
WHO ELSE WILL BE WITH ME?
Groups usually consist of ten participants and two instructors. With a few exceptions, Outward Bound courses are co-educational. Our students come from across Canada and around the world. They bring with them a wide variety of skills and life experiences. Since 1969, over 80,000 people have enjoyed a wilderness expedition with Outward Bound Canada.
CAN I BRING A FRIEND?
Sure. Bring a friend. Bring your partner. Bring your cousin, sister, mother!
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR HIGH SCHOOL CREDITS?
High School credits are available for many Outward Bound Canada youth courses. Please see the High School Credits page here for details.
WHO ARE THE INSTRUCTORS?
Outward Bound Instructors are skilled, dedicated, and caring outdoor educators. These well-rounded individuals have extensive wilderness experience. They come from a variety of backgrounds: education, business, social work, camp and outdoor educational networks, or from one of our 50 Outward Bound schools around the world. Aside from formal qualifications in Wilderness First Aid and CPR, our instructors continually update their skills through independent training, personal expeditions, and staff development opportunities provided by Outward Bound. In other words, you'll be in very good hands. Find out more about our instructors on our instructor page here.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE SOLO?
The solo is designed to give you some time to yourself, away from the group, to relax, reflect, and recharge. The solo provides a change of pace. It varies in length depending on the duration of your course. You will have a campsite of your own. You'll never be more than a whistle-blow away from your instructors who will check on you regularly. Often described as the most transformative part of the experience, the solo will gives students the chance to reflect on earlier conversations from the expedition, absorb important realizations about yourself and leave behind anything that would no longer serve them going forward. That said, the solo is not a survival exercise; you'll have gear, food and other necessities with you. It's simply a time for self-exploration, rest, reflection, and some journal writing.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Unlike most other wilderness schools, Outward Bound Canada supplies all the necessary gear you'll need on your trip. This equipment includes canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets/PFDs, tents, backpacks, First Aid equipment, sleeping pads, cooking and eating utensils, stoves, helmets, ropes, harnesses and tarps.
CAN YOU ACCOMODATE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?
Yes! We can accomodate a wide variety of dietary needs on our courses including allergies and gluten free, vegetarian or vegan meals. Please note, however, a surcharge will be applied in order to help us accommodate most dietary restrictions. A surcharge will not be applied for vegetarian meals. The charge itself will depend on the individual students' dietary needs.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Have a look through our Course Finder to see which courses interest you. Once you've made your choice, either register online or call one of our course advisors at 1-888-OUTWARD (688-9273).