General Rules And Information
- Renters must be 18 years or older to rent any piece of camping equipment.
- A valid ID must be presented. This includes government issued identification cards, UW-Madison student identification card, or Wisconsin Union membership cards.
- If renting equipment for a group, the individual renting equipment is responsible for all equipment as indicated on the contract and any late, lost, repair or cleaning fees.
- Rentals are first come, first serve. Renters who are looking to rent more than 5 pieces of equipment should contact the Outdoor UW staff.
- No pets allowed on or in any of the rental items.
- Payment in full is required for all off-site rentals.
- All cleaning, damage or late fees are assessed and due at the time of equipment return. Renters are responsible for returning gear in a condition that is similar to the time of pick-up.
- All rental equipment is to be used as intended by the manufacturer. Customers are encouraged to request a demonstration in the proper use of all equipment rental items.
- All camping rental fees are per day.
We are able to accommodate individuals and groups. Contact us to discuss your group rental needs.
Late Fees, Damage Fees, and Cancellation Policy
Each item is by 7 PM the following day, Sunday-Thursday and 2 PM if the rental is due on Friday or Saturday. Extra night charge if not turned in during this allotted time period.
** During winter office hours, weekend rates apply for rentals spanning over Saturday and Sunday since the office is closed.
Each customer will be held responsible for the condition of the rental item upon its return and may be assessed a damage fee if in excess of normal depreciation. Malfunctions of equipment will be reported to the manufacturer/supplier.
While we want each customer to have the best experience, it is the responsibility of the renter to prepare for poor weather conditions. We will not refund for time lost during an individual rental session. We require at least a 24-hour advance notice for group cancellations to receive a credit with Outdoor UW for the deposit.
Group Rental Forms (2) - Please read rental information below. Must be completed and signed by every participant in the group.
Rental Information & Forms - General Information, Rules and Regulations
To be documented and submitted if injury/accident:
Logistics And General FAQs
How Do I Find Outdoor UW?
We are located on the lower level of Memorial Union, on the Lake Mendota shoreline, just west of the Memorial Union Terrace. Access Outdoor UW through the Memorial southwest entrance or from the shore.
What Should I Wear?
As always, dress for the weather! While camping and hiking, it is important to layer. Since the weather can quickly change in the winter, layering with a wicking-base layer, a warm mid jacket, and a protective outer shell will provide the best coverage and warmth while also providing the ability to lose a layer if you become too warm. Insulated and water protected boots with a wool or synthetic sock to help manage foot moisture are highly recommended.
What Should I Bring?
For any type of rental, remember to bring money and your ID! If you are camping or hiking, we recommend you bring...
- Water bottle with clip
- A snack and plenty of food depending on the length of your trip
- Plenty of warm clothes
We have some items for sale, such as sunscreen, snacks and beverages, water pouches, and lip balm.
Are Lockers Available?
Yes! There are coin-operated lockers located in the hallway right before the boathouse. If you do not have quarters, we can break a dollar. (Sorry, we cannot accept debit/credit payment in exchange for quarters.)
What If I Am Not 18 Or Want To Take My Child Out?
We apologize for any inconvenience, but tent rentals are only available to those 18 years or older.
Lake And Weather Conditions
All Outdoor UW camping rentals are subject to the discretion of the renter. We advise proper planning when taking equipment, which includes examining weather reports and preparing in the case of bad weather or conditions. Lake Mendota, as well as other bodies of water with significant depth that freeze over, are inherently dangerous and travel on frozen bodies of water is at the risk of the renter.
Ready to take your outdoor adventuring to the next level? Want to be part of a close community of other outdoor enthusiasts, from novice to experts? The Wisconsin Hoofers clubs might be just the thing you're looking for. With six different clubs catering to all kinds of different outdoor activities, the Wisconsin Hoofers have something for everyone. To learn more about these clubs or to become a member, please visit the Wisconsin Hoofers page.