winter Rentals Are Currently Closed For The Season.
|Union Member or
Renters must be 18+.
Weekend rental rate applies for equipment checked out over Saturday and Sunday when the office is closed.
General Rules And Information
- Renters must be 18 years of age or older to rent snowshoes or trekking poles.
- 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 and there is a limit to 5 pieces of equipment per person. Renters who are looking to rent more than 5 pieces of equipment should contact the Outdoor UW staff.
- 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 rentals are on a first come, first served basis and individual reservation requests are not accommodated.
We are able to accommodate individuals and groups. Contact us to set up a group snowshoe excursion and learn more about add-ons we can offer, like hot cocoa.
Group Snowshoeing and Packages
1-Night Group Option (4 pairs of each)
$24 for snowshoes only
$8 for trekking poles (add-on)
Group Weekend Option (4 pairs of each)
$40 for snowshoes only
$12 for trekking poles (add-on)
**Group reservations are on a limited basis. Please call or email our office if you are interested in a specific group outing or package.
Late Fees, Damage Fees, and Cancellation Policy
Each item is due by 2:00 PM CST on the last day of the rental. For example, if snowshoes are rented out for Friday and Saturday night, they are due by 2:00 PM CST on Monday in the Outdoor UW office. All equipment past due will be charged a 1 night rate in addition to fees at the time of pick-up.
** During winter office hours, weekend rates apply for rentals spanning 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 snowshoeing, it is important to layer. Since it is a cold weather activity, 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! We also recommend you bring...
- A quarter for a coin locker (if you are staying nearby)
- Water bottle with clip
- A snack depending on the length of your trek. Snowshoeing requires extra effort compared to general hiking, so plan conservatively!
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.)
Lake And Weather Conditions
All Outdoor UW snowshoe 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.