Whitewater Kayaking

A student focused on maneuvering his kayak in the water.

Looking for a new challenge? Join us on a whitewater kayaking program! We paddle on various rivers and creeks in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. If you’ve never been to whitewater kayaking before or want to get back into a boat, beginner trips are a great choice. Those who have been on a kayaking trip with us before and are looking for a new challenge are encouraged to sign up for an intermediate trip.

Trip Information

Trip Requirements

  • You must attend a minimum of 1 kayaking clinic in the Athletic Center Pool.
    • Kayaking clinics are every Tuesday 8:30-10:30 p.m. and Thursday 9-11 p.m. before your trip.
  • Review pre-trip materials. Your instructor will email you with pre-trip information.
  • Complete all required paperwork (See “Forms and Waivers”).
  • To go on an intermediate whitewater kayaking trip, you must have attended a beginner trip.
  • Meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria for the trip:
    • Breathe independently (i.e. does not require medical devices to sustain breathing)
    • Independently maintain sealed airway passages while underwater
    • Independently hold head upright without neck/head support
    • Manage personal care independently or with the assistance of a companion
    • Manage personal mobility independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance
    • Follow instructions and effectively communicate independently or with the assistance of a companion
    • Independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face up while wearing a properly fitted life jacket
    • Get in/out of a paddle craft independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance
    • Independently get out and from underneath a capsized paddle craft


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 with 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. Attend the mandatory pre-trip meeting the week of your trip to get the details on your trip. Your instructors will email you with the time, date and location of the 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


  • Synthetic t-shirt
  • Synthetic shorts or pants
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Closed-toe water shoes (old sneakers work great)
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Hat with brim
  • Change of clothing for the drive home

Additional Clothing (for Cold Weather Day Trips)

  • Long sleeve synthetic shirt
  • Long underwear tops and bottoms
  • Medium/Heavyweight wool or fleece sweater
  • Wool Socks
  • Pair of synthetic gloves (to help keep your hands warm)
  • Wool hat or beanie


  • Two 1-liter water bottles
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Sunglasses with lanyard
  • Extra glasses and/or contacts
  • Medication in waterproof bags
  • Nose plugs (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Lunch (plus any snacks, granola bars, cookies, etc.)

Equipment Included

  • Wetsuit
  • Splash jacket
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
  • Helmet
  • Boat
  • Paddle

Trip Schedule