FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I don't know anyone else that is going.
You are not alone!  TVOP is all about creating community.  Many people show up not knowing other folks and leave with meaningful new friendships.  We strive to make everyone feel safe and included.  Let us know how we can make you feel more comfortable.

I'm 55 years old. Will I be the only person that age?
TVOP trips are open to any age and we have had past participants from ages 5-65. Typically we have courses that are specifically geared towards adults or queer youth. Many of our day trips are open to all ages.  

I don't have any of my own equipment.
TVOP will supply the majority of the gear for all courses including tents, cooking stoves, sleeping bag and pads, as well as backpacks. Individuals will be responsible for supplying their own hiking boots and clothing.

What happens if I get hurt?
Every course has a written and documented emergency protocol plan in the event of emergency. Instructors at TVOP are Wilderness First Responder certified.  These are nationally recognized standards in wilderness medicine. Your safety is extremely important to us.  All participants will be required to fill out a medical form which will be reviewed by the TVOP physician who will help make plans should any medical accommodations be necessary.

I bind and/or wear compression tops and/or bottoms. Is it safe to wear them while backpacking?
We recognize how important binding/compressing is for many members of our community.  While on a backpacking trip binding/compressing could interfere with physical comfort.  We are happy to talk through some options to help you feel affirmed without compromising your health. Please contact us for more information. 

Will there be swimming?
We often pass by ponds while backpacking and our participants have enjoyed swimming with the safety and security of swimming with a crowd.

I have a dietary restriction/special diet/allergy/food preferences. Will there be food for me?
We have created backcountry meals that can fit most dietary restrictions.  Please let us know of allergies, special diets, and/or preferences prior to the trip.  We are happy to accommodate!

Can I take my hormone shot while backpacking?
We recommend that you work with your physician to adjust the timing of your shot so you can do it before or after the trip because it is challenging to have a completely sanitary setting while backpacking.  However, if that is not possible, it is feasible to do your shot on the trail.  We ask that you carry a spare needle and syringe in case one gets broken.

Who does all the cooking?
We create cooking teams and take turns cooking and cleaning for each other.  

I hate cooking, what happens if I don't want to cook?
If cooking is just not your jam, then we'll find other tasks that will help run camp smoothly!

I'm not sure if I belong.
TVOP trips are open to queer,  LGBTQI, trans*, gender non-conforming, allies, and family members of the LGBTQI community.  If you feel that you might belong - you probably do!

Why would I pay to go hiking when I can go for free?                                                                                              You are correct, you can hike for free but we are not just offering a hike, we are creating community.  On a TVOP hike you will: meet other folks like yourself(ves), become a member of the TVOP community, share experiences with others, have someone else plan the logistics of your adventures and recruit others to join you, get to eat TVOP snacks, and have certified Wilderness First Responders on hand should you ever need one.  All of the money we collect goes towards operating costs and scholarships for our summer programs.  Last summer over 50% of our youth received scholarship money.  

I really want to go, but I can't afford the trip?
Need-based scholarships are available. Please let us know how we can help ensure that financial restraint does not interfere with your participation.

What are the credentials of the staff?
All of our staff are certified at a minimum in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.  The majority of our staff are Wilderness First Responders, all staff have undergone thorough background checks and are experienced and trained outdoor educators

Can I bring alcohol and/or drugs?
No. All TVOP trips are substance free.

How can I get in shape?
Click here for workout suggestions. 

Can I get my money back if I signed up but now can't go?
Deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferable to another trip.  If you sent in full payment for a trip, 50% of it is refundable up until 1 month before the trip start date.  Within one month of trip start date, there are no refunds.  There are a lot of upfront costs to run backpacking trips.  Thanks for understanding