Gear Rooms and Other Bits | ODC Newsletter 11/26/23


Woah! What’s that sound ODC? Is that… could it be… a bear?

I hope you all had a BEAR-y good Thanksgiving break! In this week’s email intro we’re featuring a pretty epic species that luckily (or unluckily, depending on who you ask) does not live anywhere near us: the GRIZZLY BEAR. Why? Because I said so. And because I just watched a 40-minute-long Youtube video on grizzly bear attacks in Glacier National Park in 1967. It was dramatic (but slay), so here’s the link if you want to watch too.

I personally love grizzly bears but have never gotten to see one in person (from a distance, mind you)! I’ve seen a few black bears though, and so have some of our members this semester on various trips.

Fact of the week: Grizzly bears can eat up to 90lbs of food each day! That’s like 360 quarter pounders from McDonalds. (Don’t test this fact at home though, just trust me❤️)

Here’s a photo of a grizzly doing yoga, which you can do (minus the bear) on a future ODC trip.



Fire Update

  • We’re happy to report that the Matt’s Creek Fire is 93% contained as of this morning! Recreate responsibly!

Ooh La La… Donations!

  • Thinking of donating this holiday season? Did you know that you or your parents who want to know what you’ve been up to at UVA or your grandparents who were around when backpacking was invented can DONATE to ODC at any time ?? Donate here!

Stinky Elephant Bonfuego!

  • A message from Grace: The season of solstice and merriment is upon us, and we want to celebrate it outdoors with YOUUU wondrous people!!!! So come one, come all to a very special solstice bonfuego that shall operate in THREE BOOMIN DIMENSIONS:
    • Dimension 1: Revel in the first satureve of the last month and all the life around us and within us!
    • D2: Noshin’ time—out pots shall be lucking for anyone who wants to join (aka potluck for anyone so inclined)
    • D3: STINKY ELEPHANT—like “white elephant” gift exchange except very chill, low cost/free gifts encouraged, extra points for scavenging or dumpster diving!!!
  • Word on the street is that Ed may reintroduce some of his masterful relay facilitation à la Trees/Sprouts bonfire… 😉 MORE DETAILS SHALL JIGGLE THEIR WAY TO YOU SOON!

What Have the Officers Been Workin’ On?

  • Hate stalking your inbox (like a grizzly bear) to make sure the first to sign up for a trip? We do too. The officers are in the process of trying to make trips more equitable by rethinking waitlists, so randomization will be coming to a waitlist near you soon!





  • It’s hunting season… and although ODC doesn’t hunt, other folks do and it’s important to stay seen. That means bright orange clothing or tape on your gear. Recreate responsibly!

Incident Reporting Form

  • Anything wild or crazy happened on your trips recently, but not in a good way? Fill out this form to let the officers know about incidents or near misses on your ODC trips. Incidents can include but are not limited to: major injuries, extreme/ dangerous weather, or getting lost. We’ll keep it for our records/learning and follow-up if necessary!
  • Here’s the template.

Prevent/Address Trip Incidents with this Cheatsheet!

  • A note from Grace: Are you venturing in the outdoors, or really just livin life, and things don’t go as planned? Maybe someone hits their head and needs some first aid, or you’re all huddled at the corner of Echols and a driver doesn’t show up, or maybe someone, or maybe someone’s digestive tract decides to go rawdawg themselves in the middle of the backcountry? Wellll incidents happen, and us officers are here to help YOU respond to these situations in the moment, and report them afterwards with our Incident Reporting Form. Check out this swanky new guide, aptly entitled “Incident Reporting Form Cheatsheet,” to a how-to on handling common incidents in the woods, and make sure you’re prepared for your next trip! Your submissions to this form make our club a place for safer and more sustainable shredding, so THANK YOU for using it <3

Trip Leader Emails

Overdue Gear Policy Update (We’re Crackin’ Down…)

  • Here’s an overview:
    • From now on, one week after you check out your gear, you will get a reminder email.
    • Two weeks after check out, you will not be able to check out more gear until the initial gear is returned.
    • 30 days after check-out will result in the gear being considered missing/stolen, and you will lose trip privileges until we have the gear back or receive the money from you required for a replacement. 
      • Failure to respond within a week to contact attempts at this point will result in more drastic measures (potentially an Honor Code Violation via the Honor Council)
  • Here’s the link to the 2023 Gear Handbook.
  • Long story short, keep track of and RETURN YOUR GEAR (on time)!

Important Gear Room Notes

  • Go to Monday gear rooms! Wednesday and Friday gear rooms in particular get quite crowded and Max is lonely! Go keep him company, get a jump on checking out your gear, and avoid the lines by showing up on Mondays at noon. (Max promises he isn’t scary!)
  • Also, if you read these emails, you’ll know that gear room times are posted here and on the website! Those times (and pop-up times that are sent in the GroupMe) are when you can go to the gear room. Do not show up at a random time—we will not be there❤️


  • Did you borrow something and forget to bring it back? Well, here’s your friendly reminder to return your club gear to a gear room or email the officers ( to schedule a return time.

Gear Requests!

  • From Mitch: “Hello gear gremlins! If you have items of outdoor gear that you would like to see purchased by the club, please fill out the form below!”
  • Google Form OR Microsoft Form


  • You read it right! Anyone who is a member of this lovely club can now get 10% off at High Tor Gear Exchange & Endeavor Cycles here in Charlottesville!
  • Super cool mountain-wear brand HIMALI has reached out to us with a sick discount code for 40% off all their stuff!! Check them out and use code UVASendIt40.

Are YOU in the GroupMe?




This Year’s Gear Room Schedule:

Mondays @ 12pm — Max St. Clair (617-780-1129)
Tuesdays @ 3pm — Mitch Lang (804-955-8990)
Wednesdays @ 6pm — Ed Aten (434-326-8868)
Thursdays @ 8:30am — Evelyn Needham (303-944-5484)
Fridays @ 3:15pm — Renee Erickson (703-850-9725)

If none of these times work for you, please email the officers at least 24 hours in advance to schedule a separate time to be let into the gear room. Please only do this if you really can’t make the gear room times, not just because you don’t feel like it or didn’t plan ahead.

You can stop by the gear room to check out or return gear and be reimbursed at any of the times listed above! Officers remain at the gear room only for as long as people are checking in/out gear (usually about 20-25 minutes). You may also purchase ODC t-shirts, hoo rags, patches, stickers, and more at the gear room!


  • Before returning gear, refer to the GEAR CLEANING DOC!
    • If you return damaged, dirty, or incomplete gear, you will jeopardize your ability to check out gear in the future. It is your responsibility to return your gear in the condition you received it.
  • Please refer to our reimbursement policy here.
  • You can check our gear inventory here.
  • Want to check out water sports gear or a mountain bike?
    • Please email the officers at They are stored at separate locations. We ask that you give at least 24 hours notice.
  • Gear is due one week from when it is checked out unless renewed by an officer at a gear room. Keeping gear past its due date is a UVA Honor Offense. Club trips have priority access to gear.

Directions to the Gear Room:

  • Start at Echols Dorm → go right on McCormick → turn right on Alderman Rd → take a left on Leake Drive → walk to the end of the road (there are several buildings and parking on either side) → pass a picnic table on the right → keep going! → walk straight to the first big maintenance building directly ahead → walk behind the building on the left side (if it feels like you maybe shouldn’t be there, you’re in the right place) → walk up the stairs → End: knock on the door!
  • Map to Gear Room




Leading Trips:

To become a trip leader, thoroughly read the Trip Leader Manual (resources page of the website) and send the officers an email ( letting them you know you have done so. They will then activate you on the website! Alternatively, come to a Trip Leader Workshop, lead by the officers several times each semester and posted on the website.

As a reminder, climbing, caving, mountain biking, and whitewater trips have special rules to lead! To learn more about types of trips and to become an approved trip leader for the sports listed above, feel free to contact the club’s Sport Advisors (emails can soon!).

  • Climbing:
    • Melu (
    • Abby (
  • Caving
    • Renee (
    • Aidan (
  • Biking
    • Max Titov (
  • Hiking/Backpacking
    • Grace (
    • Ed (
  • Water Sports
    • Mitch – All (
      Marion – Kayaking & Rafting (

If you have questions about how to lead trips, refer to the Leading Trips pages under Resources on the club website.

Want to lead a trip for an under-represented group in the outdoors? Lead an Affinity Trip! See the link for details and guidelines.


  • Please be aware that if you are joined on a trip, and you do not show up, or you drop out at the last minute, you are depriving another member of a spot on that trip.
  • No-shows and last-minute absences not only hurt trip attendance, but they also make logistics more complicated.
  • If a member is reported for two absences, trip leaders are permitted to take this into account when moving people off wait lists.

Sexual Harassment and Equity Reporting:

  • Outdoors at UVA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. If you feel you or another have experienced misconduct at the hands of another club member, please report it here. This is including but not limited to misconduct regarding sexuality (including sexual harassment), gender, race, ethnicity, ability, etc.
  • Outdoors at UVA’s Sexual Misconduct policy can be found here. Our policy for harassment and discrimination is here.




No adventure of the week this time 🙁 Truly unBEARable. Submit your trips!

  • How to be featured:
    • Each week we’ll feature a different adventure that happened within the previous 7 days. To be featured, send us ( a couple of pictures of you and your pals adventurin’ and a little blurb about what you did!
    • We’re stoked to see what y’all get up to, but PLEASE (please!) do not take pictures of people without their consent (and don’t submit them to us without their consent).
    • Try and submit pictures as .jpeg files if possible! (not .heic live photos!)

Who will be the next ADVENTURE OF THE WEEK???




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Peace, Love, & Dirt,

Sarah and the Officers