5 tips for your first VOC trip

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So you signed up for your first trip. Here are some tips to help you have an epic trip.

1. Get stoked!

The VOC is awesome and you are going to have a great time in the outdoors. Often having a good attitude and a willingness to learn new things can make up for lack of skill and/or fitness (to a point). Push yourself and don't be afraid to try new things with new people.

2. Make sure you can handle the trip.

Beginner friendly trips are not necessarily easy or very beginner friendly. To ensure you don't suffer or get hurt read the trip description carefully, talk to the trip organizer and seriously consider whether you can handle what the trip demands. Fully disclose your experience and abilities so that the other trip members know what they can rely on you for. It's okay to be inexperienced so long as the other trip members are aware if what your abilities are. A good attitude and a willingness to learn go a long way.

3. Be lightweight

Try and bring as little weight as possible. On most trips you will be carrying every item you bring with you on your back. The more you carry the harder the trip will be. Generally you only need to bring one set of clothing (sometimes a second dry set according to preference or conditions), just enough food to get by, and essential technical gear. See Gear List's here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Gear_lists.

4. Get important gear from the club in advance

Make sure you bring the gear you need and it is functional. Check with the Trip organiser/ask at the pretrip to make sure you know which gear is essential and which is optional. Club gear can be broken or badly fitting, check all the gear and try to take the gear out a week in advance. Wear your boots around campus for a day to see if they are really comfy. Ensure boot fit into crampons/skis. Don't fit climbing shoes too tight, comfort is more important than performance, particularly if you are just starting. Bring cash for the fully refundable deposit and take the gear out during gear hours

5. Be Proactive about blisters

Bring a roll of tape (duct tape and/or athletic tape) and pre-tape any areas you think might get blisters. If you are doing a multi-day trip and you let yourself get a blister, your trip can go from blissful adventure to nightmarish agony filled suffer fest very quickly. Blisters are usually caused by excessive friction, often due to ill fitting boots. Tape the spot when you start to feel a hot spot or irritation spot. An effective shotgun solution is to put a plastic garbage bag on your foot. This will eliminate any friction but also eliminate breathing making your foot very sweaty. Alternatively, you can wear two layers of the right socks, which will cause most of the friction to occur between the two socks instead of your foot and sock.