Backpacking and Hiking

Students hike enthusiastically uphill with backpacks.

There are many great hikes in and around the Baltimore area which offer great views, a healthy challenge, and a pleasant escape from the stresses of school. No experience is necessary and everyone is welcome! Past trips have gone to Gunpowder State Park, the Appalachian Trail, Catoctin State Park, Washington D.C., and many other terrific destinations around Baltimore.

Trip Information

Trip Requirements

  • Review pre-trip materials. Your instructor will email you with pre-trip information.
  • Complete all required paperwork (See ‘Forms and Waivers’).
  • Meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria for the trip:
    • Travel over uneven, variable terrain, including flat, uphill, and downhill.
    • If conditions become adverse, travel without stopping for breaks for one hour.
    • Carry personal and group gear required for the specific activity in a backpack.
    • Carry the minimum pack weight for at least two hours beyond the intended duration of the activity. Day trip approximately 10 lbs Backpacking trips approximately 50 lbs.


How to Register

Outdoor trips are open to anyone affiliated with Johns Hopkins University including Hopkins students, staff, and faculty.

To register for a trip please do the following:

  1. View the upcoming trips on our Outdoor Pursuits Hopkins Group page. Payment is accepted via, credit card and can be made online.
  2. After payment has been received and processed, you will receive a confirmation email. Attached to that email will include any forms you may have to fill out and return the Wednesday before you leave on your trip.
  3. Contact Experiential Education with any questions regarding your trip, registration information, payment options, or any concerns. We are open from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. Friday’s during the semester and can be reached at 410-516-4417 or [email protected].
  4. The week of your trip you will be notified by the instructors about trip details and if there is an in-person pre-trip meeting.

Cancellation Policy

If you are not able to go on a trip, you may cancel no later than seven days prior to the date of your trip to receive a refund. If you do not cancel your spot a week before the date of your trip, you will not receive a refund. If a trip is canceled due to weather or any other unforeseen circumstances, you will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a full refund. To cancel, please email [email protected].

Signup Policy

You will be able to purchase one participant spot per trip online. If you have a friend (must be a current JHU student) that wants to come along they will have to purchase their own spot. Please be considerate of others that may want to go on a trip and purchase what you know you will be able to attend.

What’s Included

  • Transportation (you must take the provided JHU transportation)
  • Activity-specific equipment
  • Basic instruction and coaching

What’s Not Included

  • Meals (unless it is an overnight trip)
  • Personal clothing for the activity

Forms and Waivers

To participate in an outdoor trip you are required to complete a medical form and trip waiver.

Once your order is processed, you will receive an email with any necessary paperwork. Please download and fill out the required paperwork for your trip and return it by email to [email protected] Forms and waivers must be completed and returned by 5 p.m. EST on the Wednesday before your trip. After hours, please leave your paperwork in the office door dropbox. If you do not turn in your paperwork by 5 p.m. EST the Wednesday before your trip, you will be removed from the trip without a refund.

If you have already attended a trip this academic year you do not need to fill out a new medical form and instead need to stop by the Experiential Education Base Camp and resign your form, confirming that no information on your medical form has changed since last attending a trip. You must fill out a waiver for every type of trip you attend once a year.

What to Bring

Day Hikes


  • Synthetic T-shirt
  • Synthetic shorts or pants
  • Hiking boots
  • Wool socks
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Hat with brim


  • Two 1-liter water bottles
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Sunglasses with lanyard
  • Extra glasses and/or contacts
  • Medication in waterproof bags
  • Camera (optional)
  • LUNCH!
  • Snacks, granola bars, cookies, etc.

Additional Clothing (Cold Weather Day Trips)

  • Long sleeve synthetic shirt
  • Long underwear tops and bottoms
  • Medium/Heavyweight wool or fleece sweater
  • Insulated jacket
  • Pair of synthetic gloves
  • Wool hat or beanie

Backpacking Trips


  • Synthetic pants
  • Synthetic t-shirt
  • Medium weight wool or fleece jacket
  • Lightweight long underwear top
  • Lightweight long underwear bottom
  • Broken in hiking boots
  • Wool socks
  • Synthetic liner socks
  • Change of underwear
  • Warm-weather hat with a brim
  • Wool hat/beanie
  • Lightweight liner gloves
  • 1-2 bandanas
  • Closed-toed camp shoes (Crocs or old sneakers will do)


  • 2 or 3 1-liter water bottles or equivalent Camelback type bladder
  • Backpack, 4000+ cubic inches (for rent)
  • Pack cover or large garbage bag
  • 30 o F rated sleeping bag (for rent)
  • Sleeping pad (for rent)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Bowl and spoon
  • 2-3 ziplock bags
  • 1 pair of sunglasses with keeper strap
  • 1 pocketknife
  • camera (optional)
  • Toiletries (travel sized)
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Gold Bond powder
  • Travel-sized Wet Wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal hygiene items for women
  • Extra glasses and Contacts
  • Personal medications in waterproof bags

Equipment Included for Backpacking Trips

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Group camping and cooking equipment

Trip Schedule and Registration