Frequently Asked Questions
“First-Year Trips set the tone for my time at Dartmouth...All the excitement and anticipation that builds up during the summer before coming to Dartmouth combined with the fun of Trips makes for the most amazing five days of your life.” —Pen Vineyard ’11
We know you might have some questions about the DOC Trips program, so we've put together some answers to the most common ones. However, if you have other questions or want to speak with one of the directors about the program, don't hesitate to contact us!
- What will the trip be like?
- Trips is a great way to meet other incoming Dartmouth students and get excited for your time at the College. Trips will introduce you to the outdoor activities available at Dartmouth and in the surrounding area. But more than that, it will provide an opportunity to get to know older students who will welcome and support you in your time at Dartmouth. Trips gives incoming students some common ground with which to begin their college experiences.
- Beyond equipment, is there anything else I need to do to prepare?
- You should come ready to expect the unexpected, and you should prepare yourself for walking up and talking to a lot of people you have never seen before. Because that’s what coming to college is all about — meeting a lot of people and eventually finding some people and some issues you really care about (you may forget some names along the way, too—that’s ok!). Trips wants do the best it can to help you with that first step towards finding your place and your passion. (Remember that everyone else is just as nervous as you are about coming to a new place and meeting new people . . . so let go of your fears and get ready for an exciting trip!).
- Do I need everything on the equipment list?
- Yes, bring everything on the list. If you need to borrow equipment, you can let us know on your registration form - we have sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and backpacks that you can rent at no cost. Additionally, New Hampshire can be cold in August and September, especially when you are out on the trail. In particular, having a raincoat is very important in keeping you both dry and warm. Once you have everything, try not to bring too much more—extra weight adds up fast!
- Do I need to buy new equipment? Is it okay to bring my grandma’s old frame pack from 1935?
- You don't need to go buy lots of new equipment! Old-school gear is MUCH more hardcore than something with the tags still on it . . . don’t waste lots of money getting gear that looks sweet, when you haven’t been out in the woods a whole lot. Wait until you’ve done some hiking in the fall before you invest in that $250 pack. Make sure your boots don’t give you any blisters, make sure you have some warm fleece or other non-cotton clothes, grab your rain gear, and you’re set! Besides, did you know 1935 was the first year DOC Trips were run?
- Again, don’t spend a whole lot of money on brand new equipment when decent stuff will work just as well!
- Where can I find cheap non-cotton clothing?
- It is very important that you have non-cotton clothing! Cotton clothes do not dry quickly and we want you to stay dry and warm whatever the weather conditions might be. Explore used clothing shops, Army/Navy surplus stores, and other thrift shops for inexpensive, non-cotton clothing. If you have questions, please let us know!
- What are the most popular trips?
- We offer a wide variety of trip types so we hope you will find some trips that sound exciting and interesting! Every year, we do our very best to assign you to a trip that you prefer, but sometimes that is not always possible. The most common trip types are hiking (at various levels of intensity) and cabin camping - these trips are incredibly fun and include exploring some beautiful parts of New Hampshire. We encourage you to be open minded about what trip activities you are interested in registering for as many of the best parts of DOC Trips are not related to the actual activity you're doing.
- When does my trip really start?
- Your DOC Trip starts when you register in the afternoon of the first day of your section. The first evening you will be in Hanover, playing games, eating dinner, doing a pack check, and spending the night with your trip group. Bright and early on the second day, you’ll head north to get outdoors and start the adventure away from Hanover.
- If I’m driving from the Northeast, where can I park during my trip?
- Please inquire at the registration table at Robinson Hall when you arrive. You can park in a college lot called “A-Lot”.
- What if I can’t get a flight early enough to arrive on time the day of my E-J trip? Can I come a day early?
Try to take the earliest flight possible and hop right on the bus from the airport
and www.greyhound.com for schedules).
If you cannot find an early flight, please make arrangements for the night before in a hotel,
or with friends or family in the area (Boston, New Hampshire, anywhere in between)
and take a bus to Hanover the day of your trip.
A list of local hotels is available.
All questions about accessing your dorm room should be directed to the College's housing office at 603-646-3093.
- If I have trouble on my way to Dartmouth, who can I call?
- Please call the Trips office at 603-646-3996 if you have any trouble getting to Hanover. We will be on the phone from 9am-5pm during the day and we will be checking voicemail periodically as well. If your plane is late, if you need help, or if you cannot make it to Hanover on your specified date, call and let us know. We want you to come, so we’ll do our best to accommodate any last minute setbacks.
- Should I bring my cell phone along on my trip?
- You can bring your cell phone with you, but we ask that you turn it off for the duration of your trip. It doesn’t work in most of the wilderness anyway, so it won’t be very useful on the trail (other than as a paperweight). You can leave it behind in a locked, safe location in Robinson Hall before you leave and get it back when your trip returns.
- Where do I go once I get to campus?
- We should be pretty hard to miss once you make it to the Green. If you are worried about getting your bearings, make your way to Robinson Hall (fifty feet south of the Admissions Office, McNutt Hall), and we will show you where to go from there. Or, look at the campus map for where to register for Trips (Robinson Hall), where to pick up your ID card (Class of 1953 Commons Dining Hall), and where to get your key (North Massachusetts Hall, lower level). We are looking forward to seeing you in August/September!
- What’s the deal with the schedule?
- Trips is divided up into 10 “sections” of around 100 people each, lettered A-J. The first four sections are for students from the northeast United States, who will return home after their trip and before orientation begins. Sections E-J are for students flying in who will arrive with everything on the day their trip begins and store everything but their trip equipment in their dorm while they go on their trip, moving in to dorms immediately afterward.
- How can Trips manage specific accommodations?
- We are very dedicated to making Trips accessible for everyone. We recognize that some students may need additional accommodations related (but not limited) to religious practices, disabilities, dietary restrictions, allergies and medical needs. While many students manage their own health/accessibility needs, we would prefer that you let us know any and all of your needs so we can assign you to an appropriate trip. In the past we have worked well to accommodate any student need; we work both with individuals and with Student Accessibility Services to best plan Trips so that it is accessible to everyone. We encourage you to elaborate on any of these things on the registration form, or if you would prefer to explain over the phone, give us a call. All accessibility and medical information will be kept confidential.
- Are Trips assigned first come - first served?
- No - everyone who registers for Trips by the deadline is on a level playing field when it comes to receiving a trip type and section.