What to Expect

First time backpacking or on a TVOP trip?

Prior to leaving for the trail head

  • It's okay to feel nervous! 
  • You will/will not have cell phone coverage, try and wrap up communications with loved ones as you leave the airport.  It's best to keep your phone on airplane mode, or better yet, totally off.  
  • Be sure your family/loved ones/friends have the the emergency number (413-341-0082) if they need get in touch with you while on the trail. 
  • If you discover you have forgotten something- ask us, more than likely we have it.

Packing the Backpack

  • This can feel overwhelming! We just want to be sure you have everything you need. Please bring everything on the list.  If you're unsure about something, bring it anyway and we'll let you know if it's okay to bring it. 

While hiking

  • We take frequent breaks: water, bathroom, etc.
  • We travel at a pace that everyone feels comfortable with- this may be a bit slower or faster than you usually travel, remember this is a group hike
  • We like everyone to have a chance to lead the hike
  • We encourage you to converse while hiking but please feel free to take time to yourself if that suits you better

Setting Up Camp

  • We try to get to camp in the early afternoon.  You and your tentmates will choose your spot and set up the tent as a group.
  • After picking and setting up our tents, you are free to enjoy time to swim, read, write or play games with others. 
  • There are many "jobs" that we will need help with and will ask you to volunteer.  Some of these jobs could be cooking, cleaning, managing water treatment etc. 

Tent Groups

  • Would you like to pick your tent group, or have us assign them?  We'll ask when you get here!
  • You and your tentmates will be carrying pieces of the tent. 

Food & Water

  • Each of the sites will have a water source- we will provide you with the necessary water purifying drops so that it is safe to drink
  • Three meals provided- breakfast and dinner are prepared at our site, lunch is on the trail
  • You will create a snack bag to have on the trip (Cliff bars, Lara bars, Kind bars, granola bars etc) we encourage you to take out two snack per day to have either on the hike or before/after a meal
  • If you have special snacks you like to eat, please bring them! 
  • We all contribute to carrying our food, plan to carry a meal

Leave No Trace

  • We practice Leave No Trace: an ethical code of conducted practiced by the outdoor to community to ensure the preservation of the wild. 
  • We pack out toilet paper if not using an outhouse.  We'll prepare a special kit for you and show you how to do this at the beginning of the trip. 
  • How do we brush teeth with no running water?  It's easy!  Use a little water from your waterbottle, and when you're ready to spit, spray it in many directions.  We'll give you a demo. 


  • We'll go over all of this and more when you arrive!