Frequently Asked Questions


How much does Pre-O cost?

Outdoor Pre-O 2022 costs $350. Trip fees include food, camping/permits, transportation, and group outdoor equipment.

What forms of payment can you accept?

We accept credit cards after you complete the Hopkins Group registration.

Where do I send my forms and payment?

You will receive your Outdoor Pre O forms when the registration on Hopkins Groups closes. They should be filled out and emailed to Payment will occur on Hopkins Groups after you register.

How can I contact the Outdoor Pre-O over the summer?

Office Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM, Monday through Friday

Phone: 410-516-4417


What is the best way to open the PDF forms?

First, make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader on your computer. Second, save the PDF attachments to your desktop or another folder of your choosing. Finally, locate the saved file and open it in Adobe Reader. If you are experiencing trouble, make sure you are not opening the PDF in your web browser or browser viewer. If you are still having trouble, give us a call or send us an email.

Is there financial assistance available?

Yes. To apply, please fill out the financial assistance section on the Pre-O registration form. Once we receive your registration we will review it, and contact you with your award amount.

Is there a registration deadline for Outdoor Pre-O?

Yes, there is a registration deadline. Please check the Pre-O registration page for specific dates. After this date, we will still accept registrations but we cannot guarantee you a space. We will contact you if you are put on a wait-list.

Can I cancel my space on a Pre-O registration?

Yes, you can. Please check out the Pre-O registration page for the 100% refund deadline. After that date, there will be no refunds.

Before Traveling to Baltimore

Can I move into my residence hall before my Pre-O trip?

Yes, you can move into their first year room. However, on the off chance the room is not quite ready yet, you will be given a temporary room and your belongings will be stored in the residence hall while on the Pre-O trip. If you were in a temporary room would then move in when the return from the Pre-O trip on 20th.

What is the best way to get to Hopkins from the airport, bus or train terminal?

There are plenty of public transit options. From the airport, you can take the light rail or MARC train to the Baltimore Penn Station Train Station. From there you can take the free Hopkins bus JHMI shuttle to campus. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or shuttle to campus.

What should I bring (and not bring) on Pre-O?

Please see your trip Packing List found in your welcome packet via email for more details on what to pack.

For the Backpacking and the Canoeing & Hiking trips, you will need a large 60L+ backpack and sturdy boots or mid-top hiking shoes. Multi-Element, Whitewater Kayaking, and Climbing trip participants need a day pack along with a duffel bag.

Electronics of any kind will not be needed and can get damaged in the backcountry. We store your cell phones during the trip or you can leave them in your room so they do not get lost, destroyed or damaged. Cell phones will be secured in our office. A flashlight and a camera are allowed!

Please do not bring any shampoo, soap, make-up, deodorant, perfumes, etc. You will not be showering on any of the trips and wearing deodorant can be unhygienic if not washed off frequently.

Synthetic clothing is preferred. Cotton clothing is not ideal as it takes a long time to dry. This does not mean you have to buy lots of (expensive) top-notch outdoor clothing, but be smart when packing and choose non-cotton clothing over cotton.

Any valuables or unnecessary items that you bring will be left in a secure location while you are on your trip.

What equipment is provided? What equipment do I need? Can I rent any gear?

Most of the equipment you and the group will need is included! We do rent backpacks ($10), sleeping bags ($10) and sleeping pads ($5). We will send out a survey in the summer asking if you need any rentals. We have limited quantities of rental equipment so please fill out that form soon after your receive it. Most of the other gear you will need is personal clothing. Please see your packing list. If you get new boots, we suggest you wear them frequently to break them in to reduce blisters on the trail.

Other important reminders!

You will be outdoors for a week. Please keep that in mind when you schedule medical procedures over the summer such as wisdom tooth removals. Once on your trip, it will more difficult to follow Post-Surgery indications, so if you are having surgery, make sure it is way before Pre-O

During Pre-O

Group Size

Each trip consists of at least 2 JHU Outdoor Instructors and 6-8 first-year students.


You will be able to stay in a dorm the night before you leave. While on Pre-O you will spend the week sleeping in tents or tarps with your group.


The weather can be variable during this time of year, so we plan for a range of temperatures. Expect highs in the upper 80s, lows in the 60s, and possibly hotter days or cooler nights. Please bring the recommended clothing in order to layer and protect yourself from the elements in all conditions.

Physical Preparations

The best way to prepare for this trip is to stay active. Jogging, sports, or walking 3-5 miles a few times a week will all increase your enjoyment once on your trip.

Communication and Emergencies

Our trip locations often have cell service, but some sections may be spotty. The instructors will carry a cell phone in the event of an emergency; however, we will not completely rely on the service, and the group needs to know they may be without communication at times. We develop contingencies and have specific information for emergencies, but we are also aware that based on location and access it may take time to contact or reach definitive medical care, should the need arise. Professional staff members will also be out in the field throughout the week checking in on the groups and providing support when necessary.

If there is a family emergency and you need to contact your student please leave a message on the below numbers and we will get back to you shortly

Andrew Padilla, Assistant Director for Experiential Education, 410-516-4416

Pre-O Schedule

What does the Outdoor Pre-O schedule look like?

First Saturday

  • 9 AM: Key pickup for dorms. Go to the housing office in AMR if you are living in the AMRs and the Wolman office if you are living in Wolman or McCoy.
  • 9 AM to 3 PM: Move-in
  • 3 PM to 3:30 PM: Check-in for all Pre O groups at the Athletic Center. Please remember to bring all your equipment (on the packing list) packed to this meeting. You should have been sent a welcome packet with the packing list inside. Also, if you rented gear you will get it at this meeting
  • 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM: Outdoor Pre-O participants meet their groups and instructors. For students only.
  • 5:30 PM: You can head back to the dorm, get dinner, meet up with your parents, etc.


  • 7 AM: Pre-O participants meet for breakfast TBD
  • 8 AM: Outdoor Pre-O participants meet at the Athletic Center with equipment
  • 9 AM: All Pre-O participants depart for trips

Second Saturday

  • 12 PM: Groups arrive on campus and clean up
  • 3 PM: Groups disband and head back to residence halls (could be earlier or later depending on arrival time and efficiency of the group during clean up)

Life After Pre-O

What happens after Pre-O?

Once you return back to Hopkins after an amazing week in the wilderness, your group will clean and store all group gear, debrief, and say goodbyes! Outdoor Pre-O officially ends once all gear is stored and clean; this is usually around mid-afternoon the day you return to Hopkins. You can spend that afternoon and evening unpacking and meeting new friends at your dorm. Freshmen Orientation begins that day.

If you are excited to continue getting outdoors, join Outdoor Pursuits (OP), the Johns Hopkins Outdoor Club (JHOC), and the Office of Experiential Education on day trips throughout the year! Sign up for trips on our day trip page. During the semester the same instructors that were on Outdoor Pre-O trips also lead climbing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fly fishing, and hiking trips! Learn more about becoming an Instructor for our program in the future!