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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Will I be able to finish the hike if I'm not an avid backpacker?

A.  Most of our events are designed for all skill levels. Events such as the Beginner Bootcamp are probably better suited for those new to the outdoors, although we have had people with zero outdoor experience participate with no issue.

If you are unsure of your ability to participate due to a prior injury or medical condition, we advise you to discuss it with your primary care physician.

Q.  What gear will I need for the event?

A. The event description lists the gear you will need for each event—a month before the start of the event, we send out a letter explaining where to meet, what time to meet, transportation options, required gear, meals, and any other special concerns. If you want to discuss anything else, we encourage you to email us at Truenorthexp@gmail.com, and we can have the guide running your event contact you.

Q. What do I do for food?

A. We offer meal packages for most backpacking or kayaking/canoe events. Meal packages include everything you need, including breakfast bars/breakfast meals, protein/energy/meal replacement bars, jerky, nuts, lunch meals, dehydrated backpacking meals, and a dessert.

Some of our events include meals. If your event includes meals, they will be listed in the event description. We stop for food if we travel in our van for more than a few hours.

Q.  I have special dietary needs; can you accommodate my diet?

A.  Yes. We can design our meal packages for almost any diet. At the events where we provide food, we can prepare the meals to accommodate you. Many of our guides are gluten-free, vegan, and lactose-free!

Q.  Is transportation available?

A.  Transportation is available from the Chicagoland area for most of our trips. If you live close to the route we are driving to get to the event, we may be able to pick you up along the way, meeting you at a park and ride or similar location. Our guides live in different locations throughout the Midwest; we may occasionally have an ag guide pick you up on their way to meet up with the rest of the group. You may also meet us at the event location; however, if you cannot locate the predetermined meeting spot, we can not be responsible for your inability to attend the event and will not issue a refund for your admission. 

Q.  What is the average age range for your clients?

A.  The age range of our clients range between early 40's to mid 60's. We have had clients as young as 10 years old and individuals well into their 70s. Approximately 70% of our clients are female. 

 

Q.  Can I bring my child with me?

 

A.  We welcome children to our events as long as an adult accompanies them. We also ask that the child handle the conditions we often experience outdoors—extreme heat, cold, rain, and trail conditions. Please contact us before registering your child if you have any questions or concerns. 

Q.  Will someone be available to help me with my gear?

A.  Our guides will be available to assist you with your gear at all of our events; however, some of our events require that clients be self-sufficient in backcountry travel. You can visit our "Backpacking" page, which explains our different levels of events. Each event will have a description of the level of experience we suggest.

Q. What does my ticket price include?

A.  Our ticket prices include permit and parking fees, transportation, fuel, snacks/drinks during transportation, planning and logistics for the event includes safety considerations for severe weather or injury. Some events will also include t-shirts or decals, maps, items needed for the event, food, and lodging, as noted in the event description. 

Q.  How fast will I have to hike or paddle for the event?

A.  Most people paddle at 2-3 mph, especially when traveling downstream. Our paddle events are always paced so that no one is left behind. Occasionally, our guides will have to paddle ahead of the group to locate a camping location, portage, or other logistical reasons. In those instances, the guide will ensure everyone is safe, understands what is going on, and will return to the group to ensure we stay together. Wheter on land or water we ensure that no one is left behind, our group only travels as fast as the slowest person/group.

Q.  What do I do if I don't have my gear or only need a few pieces for an event?

A.  Individual pieces of gear can be rented as needed. Please get in touch with us well in advance of the event to ensure we have what you need in stock. We have a limited amount of rental gear in our cache.

Q.  Can I borrow gear from a friend?

A.  Gear can be borrowed when available; however, we encourage you to make sure the gear fits you properly and is rated for the climate, conditions, and type of event you are attending. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us well in advance to discuss this. Once you are at the event, we cannot substitute gear. If you arrive at our event and do not have the appropriate gear or appropriately fitting gear, you will have to use the gear for the duration of the event. 

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