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Basecamp Paddling

Wisconsin Basecamp complements your SOAR experience to get you ready for life on campus. It’s an outdoor wilderness orientation trip that connects you with a small community of other new students.

  • Exercise your independence
  • Get to know people before stepping foot on campus
  • Address questions and concerns about life on campus, including:
    • Your New Home: Dorm life and the people you’ll meet
    • Academic Success: Balancing class with out of classroom opportunities
    • Managing Your Fears: Addressing worries and discussing possible solutions 

Meet our Basecamp leaders, learn more and see what past participants have said about their Basecamp experience.

Canoeing, Camping, and Campfires on the Wisconsin River

Trip Option 1: Canoeing and Camping
$410 per person
Trip begins at 8am on day 1 and ends at 4:30pm on day 4

Basecampers will spend four days paddling and exploring approximately 60 miles along the scenic Wisconsin River between Sauk City and Boscobel. You will camp on sand bars on the rivers' edge, cook, and have fun together. You will learn about UW and campus life around the campfire at night.

Trip includes transportation to river, boats, canoeing equipment, life jackets, dry bags for personal gear, food/group camping gear, and instruction. 

2018 Trip Dates:
August 9-12


Trek the Trails in the Porcupine Mountains

Trip Option 2: Backpacking and Camping
$450 per person
Trip begins at 8am on day 1 and ends at 4:30pm on day 5

Basecampers spend five days traveling to and exploring the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan, backpacking as a group near Lake of the Clouds, on hilly wilderness trails through towering virgin forests or along the shores of Lake Superior. You will cover the basics of backpacking and camping, and learn about campus life around campfires next to mountain lakes. Challenge yourself, gain trust and support from others, and learn new skills that you can use in your life on campus.

Trip includes transportation to the Porkies, ~60-70 L backpacks, food/group camping gear, and instruction. 

2018 Trip Dates:
July 25-29 (Completed)

August 1-5 (Full!)

August 8-12 (Full!)

August 16-20 (Full!)

August 24-28


Rock Climbing and Camping at Devil's Lake *New Trip*

Trip Option 3: Rock Climbing and Camping
$475 per person
Trip begins at 8am on day 1 and ends at 4:30pm on day 4

This is a brand new trip! Basecampers will spend 4 days hiking and rock climbing at Devil’s Lake State Park. You will learn the basics of rock climbing and belaying your fellow Basecampers, camping in the woods, and how to navigate college. Nights will be spent cooking good meals and talking about the transition to college. The climbing component will be led by two student leaders and our full-time climbing advisor. No prior experience is necessary.

Trip includes transportation, climbing gear/helmets, food/group camping gear, and instruction.

2018 Trip Dates:


How Do I Register?


For more information, please contact Emma Hudson, Wisconsin Basecamp & Outdoor UW Programs Intern, at ouwprograms@union.wisc.edu.

What Does the Registration Fee Cover?

The Wisconsin Basecamp registration fees include all transportation (from UW-Madison to the trip location and back again), food, specialized equipment, and two trained and experienced UW-Madison students as your trip leaders. You just need to provide personal gear and an open mind!