Your course advisor will be in touch with you within one business day. If you have immediate questions about your enrollment, call 720-381-6589.
Welcome to the Colorado Outward Bound School! This is a place of challenge, learning, and community and we’re so glad you’re joining our crew. As you’re getting ready for your course experience, we wanted to share with you a bit more about what to expect. A COBS course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to face new challenges in a supportive environment; to find success through mistakes; and to navigate through adversity with compassion for self and others. The breathtaking mountains, rivers, canyons, and oceans of are our classroom. And the life lessons are as limitless as the views.rn
As in all of life’s adventures, elements outside of our control may require adjustments to the details and we often adapt our itineraries to meet dynamic environments, but one thing’s for sure: we’re going to connect with new people, try new things, and explore some amazing places together. Here at COBS, we believe there is more in you than you know and we’ll use the inherent beauty and challenge of the natural world to test our comfort zones and to discover opportunities to work hard, learn, and reflect. And the memories you’ll take home will last a lifetime. Read on and we’ll see you soon!rn
Course Code: CCGL-381rn
Start Date: 2/13/23rn
End Date: 4/18/23rn
Embark on a journey through some of the most beautiful and geologically stunning landscapes in the world on this leadership and outdoor skills focused Semester course. Develop outdoor skills. Enhance your leadership and communication abilities. Strive to increase your knowledge of the environment – all while learning wilderness travel techniques in a variety of natural environments. The ultimate goal of the Semester is to develop the confidence, knowledge and integrity essential for effective leadership. Whether you are learning how to safely tie in on belay, deciding as a group how to navigate through new terrain, or setting up a minimum-impact campsite for the evening, you’ll be reinforcing, honing and practicing skills for life.
Guided Reflection and Transference
At Outward Bound we believe there is no learning without reflection. Throughout course, you will be prompted to reflect on what you’re experiencing on course, and what it means in the greater context of your life. Sometimes this is a journaling exercise, sometimes a group sharing experience, and sometimes a moment of solitude to sit and think. You spend focused time toward course progression end exploring how your new knowledge, skills and attributes can apply to your life after course.
Depending on your course length and environmental factors, your solo may range from a few hours to an overnight experience. Solo provides an important break from the rigors of both the expedition and the distractions from everyday life. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With sufficient food and equipment, you’ll have time to journal, rest, reflect, and look ahead to future goals. Your solo site will be close enough to the Instructors in case of emergency, but far enough removed to assure your solitude. You will not travel during this time and your Instructors will check on you occasionally. Many students are initially nervous about solo, but later recall solo as one of the highlights of their entire course.
Peak Attempts present an opportunity for challenge, teamwork, and the need to pull together all of your learned skills for success. Your expedition will include at least one peak attempt. Peak attempts are major enterprises and typically require early morning starts and can take all day to complete. Weather, or other factors including group dynamics and physical readiness, may preclude even an attempt to ascend a peak.
Photo: Naomi Winard |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands
During your Nordic skiing section you'll find yourself gliding through the Colorado Rockies, surrounded by sweeping views and crisp mountain air. This section will begin at our Leadville basecamp and include instruction and day trips to develop the skiing and avalanche rescue skills needed to travel through diverse backcountry terrain. Instructors will take the time to help students develop the winter skills to travel safely and comfortably before heading out on a multi-day Nordic ski expedition. Once practiced, students will ski with light backpacks and haul sleds to move through the snowy mountains between winter camps or backcountry huts. Rest days will provide time to practice skiing and avalanche rescue skills and to build intricate snow shelters for cooking and lounging. Students will develop the skills and excellence to winter camp with comfort through hard work and collaboration.
📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands
Snowshoeing sections allow students to travel through the snowy peaks of Colorado with opportunities for peak attempts, winter camping, and developing excellence in campcraft skills. This section begins at our mountain basecamp in Leadville, Colorado, with a few days of dormitory and dining hall-supported outings. After mastering the basics of winter living skills, you’ll embark on a multi-day backcountry snowshoe expedition. You’ll camp in tents, melt snow for water, and develop resilience while enjoying gorgeous views of snow-capped peaks. Wintertime in Colorado allows students to experience the mountains without the crowds and enjoy solitude and the pristine wilderness under a blanket of quiet snow. Evening dark skies are dotted with thousands of bright stars, obscured only by the steam from your hot chocolate.
📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands
A Challenge Event may occur at the end of a student's course experience. These are opportunities to test the perseverance, endurance, and grit that you've developed on course. A challenge event might be individual, like long run or peak attempt. Your event might be a group focused challenge, including long final travel days or group challenges that require all of the skills and teamwork your groups has learned. The purpose of a challenge event is to help students realize the extent of their growth, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and to take home these learnings in an unforgettable way.
Service to others and the environment is a core value of Outward Bound and is integrated into each course. Students follow Leave No Trace ethics as service to the environment and do acts of service while leading and supporting each other. Understanding leadership through service is an outcome of activities that require working together to meet and navigate challenges throughout course.
Traditional 30-foot sailboats encourage teamwork and leadership like no other classroom. On an open boat with no cabin and no engine, the group will live closely together using only wind and oars to power their way. As they rotate responsibilities during the expedition, students learn to sail a traditional sailing vessel. On this course, students learn to:
This course will split the sailing expeditions into two main time-frames – with a final 9-day expedition.
Red Cross Lifeguard Training
This section of the course will cover CPR, First Aid and lifeguard techniques – such as rescues, back-boarding and general safety procedures. The training is a mix of theory and practice. Students will be tested using Red Cross guidelines before receiving their certification.
Scuba Diver Certification
Students will have another chance to step outside their comfort zone and explore a new environment as they earn their PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Certification. This is a unique opportunity to learn about sub-tropical ecology and scuba skills while participating in several dives to complete this certification.
Advanced Wilderness First Aid
The Advanced Wilderness First Aid (AWFA) course is a 4-day introduction to wilderness medicine that combines classroom time with hands-on practical sessions. Students will learn how to manage injuries/illnesses in the backcountry, setting them up for safe and self-reliant expeditions in the future.
In addition to the expedition itself and all of the skills and learning associated with it, Outward Bound’s time-tested curriculum includes education on the many aspects of personal growth and learning that can be found in each activity you undertake. You will learn four important Outward Bound Core Values:
You may find that the most important lessons you take home are learning about yourself and your community while acquiring backcountry skills and having an adventure. You’ll learn to protect and appreciate the unique, unspoiled environments through which you travel.
Successful completion of your course demands mastery of skills, trust, fitness, confidence, tenacity, leadership, initiative and compassion. The promotion of these qualities and the discovery of what’s in you is the purpose of Outward Bound.
Sawatch Range, Colorado
The Sawatch sub-range of the Colorado Rockies is home to Colorado’s two highest peaks: Mt Elbert (14,439’) and Mount Massive (14,429’). The range is known for expansive, rolling alpine terrain and multiple high peaks, and encompasses the headwaters of the Arkansas River. The source of the name is somewhat disputed but some source it to Ute words meaning “green place” or “blue water.” These regions are within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.
Photo: Terence Copeland |📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands
Leadville Mountain Center, Colorado
Colorado Outward Bound’s 600-acre property at the base of Mount Massive. Our base camp encompasses mountain streams, wild plants, fields and forests. Lake Fork Creek (that runs into the headwaters of the Arkansas River) runs near the east of our property and the Colorado Trail borders us to the west. If the timing is right, colorful wildflowers will brighten the trails through the LMC. You might share camp with elk, deer, chipmunks and myriad other wildlife. This region is within the ancestral lands of the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) nation.
📍Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) lands
What is a land acknowledgment?
At the Colorado Outward Bound School, we include land acknowledgments in our work as a formal way to recognize and respect the traditional territories and Indigenous Peoples as stewards of the land. It is important to understand and acknowledge the comprehensive past, present, and future of the places we travel and to seek to understand our role therein. To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation we give to the Indigenous Peoples who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. Read more about land acknowledgments at Outward Bound here.
Home to numerous birds and abundant marine life, the region owes its productivity to the confluence of water flowing out of the Everglades into inner Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The backcountry of Florida Bay offers challenging shoal draft navigation and the opportunity to explore mangrove keys, tidal flats and coral patch reefs. These warm, shallow waters provide an exciting cruising area for Outward Bound’s sailing boats and some of the best training ground for developing advanced sailing skills. The Atlantic side offers excellent open water sailing and snorkeling at the outer reefs. The course area extends to the Everglades, with beautiful sand beaches and a maze of rivers and bays to explore. These regions are the ancestral lands of the Seminole, Matecumbe, Cuchiyaga and Guarungumbe nations.
The following is an example of what your itinerary may look like. Your actual course plan will vary according to weather, your group’s skills and abilities, and Instructor preferences.
DAY 1: Course start, Leadville, CO
DAY 2-24: Colorado section: Cross Country Skiing & Winter Camping
DAY 25: Fly from Denver to Miami; drive to the Keys
DAY 26-44: Intro sailing expedition, Lifeguarding
DAY 45-47: Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification
DAY 48-51: SCUBA Diver Certification
DAY 52-63: Final expedition, Solo
DAY 64: Wrap up
DAY 65: Travel home from Miami
Click here for COBS COVID-19 Program Practices
Click here for HIOBS COVID-19 Program Practices.
Please have the student's name, course number, course start date and balance due when using this payment option.
In most cases, a $500 deposit has been paid when you applied. Please refer to your Enrollment Email to confirm your balance. If you are unsure of your balance due, please call 720-381-6589 or email [email protected].
If your payment is not received by the due date listed in your Enrollment Email, you will risk losing your position on the course and your $500 deposit. Please review the Admissions and Cancellation Policies.
Packing for Backcountry Travel
Backcountry travel means you can and, for your comfort, should carry a lot less than you do in the regular world; most experienced backcountry travelers will tell you that they bring about the same amount of gear on a three-day trip as they would on a three-week trip.
Your COBS Packing List:
What to Wear While Travelling:
We recommend you wear course clothing and boots while travelling and bring all essentials (prescription meds, insurance card copy, cash) in a carry-on. This will minimize the inconvenience in the unlikely event your luggage is delayed in transport. Being dressed for course will also further the efficiency on your first day, especially since front country bathrooms and private changing areas are rarely available.
Gear that Outward Bound Provides
Please note Outward Bound provides all other equipment including but not limited to sleeping bags & pads, backpacks, camp gear. There are no additional fees for the use of our equipment. If you have your own equipment and it meets the below criteria, you are welcome to bring it with you. Please be aware that your instructors will assess it for appropriateness and may ask you to use Outward Bound gear in lieu of your own if they do not find your gear adequate for your particular course.
If you DO wish to bring some of your own gear, here are our minimum standards for what MAY be acceptable for few common items
Information on Rain Pants and Jackets**
After footwear, rainwear is the most critical part of your clothing system. It can make or break your experience. If you have to cut costs elsewhere to invest more in rainwear, we recommend doing that. In general, you get what you pay for in rain gear.
All rainwear should be a WATERPROOF AND BREATHABLE fabric, not merely water resistant. It must have a hood. Gore- Tex, a brand name fabric that many manufacturers use, comes in differing layer amounts, from 1 to 3-layer. 3-layer is the waterproof version, and the most expensive. For this course, 2.5 layers or 3 layers are recommended. Many companies make their own version of this waterproof, breathable fabric that is of high quality. For example, REI uses
eVent; Patagonia uses H2no; and The North Face has Hy Vent. Please call your course advisors if you have any questions regarding proper rainwear for your course.
Here are some examples of acceptable rain jackets, and approximate retail prices.
• Patagonia Torrentshell - $129
• REI Rhyolite Jacket - $189
• Outdoor Research Foray Jacket - $215
• Outdoor Research Clairvoyant Jacket - $325
• Marmot Knife Edge Rain Jacket - $225
Here are some examples of acceptable pants, and approximate retail prices.
• Marmot Precip Pants - $100
• Patagonia Torrentshell Pants - $99
For more rainwear info: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/rainwear-how-it-works.html
Head & Hand Layers:
Should have a good brim to at minimum cover your face like a baseball cap or have a brim all the way around for added protection. Should be made of softer materials so it can be folded up easily if needed.
|1||Neck Gaiter or Balaclava||
Synthetic or merino wool - medium weight for spring and fall courses.
Wool or fleece – no tassels or brims as it must be able to fit under a helmet and cover your ears.
For CO section: It should have a water-resistant shell, and synthetic insulation such as thick fleece or synthetic puff. Should either fit over your glove liners or have its own liner.
|1||Liner or lightweight gloves||
For blister and sun protection in FL and as liner gloves inside you shell gloves/ mittens in CO. These should be made out of a thin, synthetic material such as polypropylene, microfleece, or thin wool. Not needed if both other pairs of gloves include their own liners.
|1||Heavy Gloves or Mittens||
This glove or mitten should have a waterproof /breathable shell and down or synthetic insulation, and should fit over your glove liners, or have liners of its own.
|2+||Face Masks - Fabric||
To be worn at course start, during social distancing, during travel days, while preparing food, while in close proximity to others, and when requested by COBS staff.
Quick-drying synthetic bra
|2-4||T-Shirts - Synthetic||
Hiking shirt worn daily. It should be sweat wicking. No cotton or cotton blends.
|2||T-Shirts - Cotton||
Nice for dry weather in Florida or for sleeping in. Not useful in Colorado.
Long Sleeve Long Underwear or Base Layer
|Materials may be wool, Capilene®, polypropylene or other synthetics; silk is less effective-NO COTTON. Light or medium weight.|
|1||Long Sleeve Fleece Mid Layer||
Medium weight wool or expedition weight Capilene®/ 100 weight fleece, etc. (REI=$) (Patagonia=$$)
|1-2||Long Sleeve Shirt||
Button up or pull-over sun hoodies; cotton or nylon materials are ok. UPF materials are suggested for individuals more prone to sunburns. (Thrift Shop=$) (Black Diamond/Patagonia=$$)
|1+||Fleece/Softshell/Thin Puffy Jacket||
200 or 300-weight fleece; or a thin synthetic puffy jacket. Options for this layer provide a variety of warmth-to-weight ratios, durability, and costs. (REI Hyperaxis Fleece=$) (Patagonia Nano Puff=$$)
For CO section only: A hooded parka (synthetic insulation only) that goes over all your other layers for backcountry skiing. Must compress well to fit in a daypack. Example: Patagonia DAS Parka (available in men's and women's models). This could be your ski jacket if it is compressible enough to fit in your backpack.
Lightweight, breathable, unlined nylon jacket for sailing.
|1||Rash Guard or Swim Shirt||
Tight fitting, long-sleeved surf shirt with a UV (UPF, SPF) protection of at least 30.
|1||Waterproof, Breathable Hooded Rain Jacket||
This layer should have a Gore-Tex or other waterproof coating that stops outside moisture from entering; must fit over all your other layers including a helmet. **See more detailed notes on rain gear (REI or Outdoor Research=$) (Patagonia/Black Diamond=$$)
Synthetic fabrics work best but cotton is okay.
Loose-fitting, quick-drying athletic shorts. NOT for swimming in. Board shorts or running shorts work well. Pockets are always nice. (What you have already or Thrift Store=$) (REI=$$)
We recommend women bring one-piece quick-drying suits, or you can swim in sports bra and lightweight shorts, instead. We recommend men bring lightweight shorts to swim in.
|2||Long Underwear Base Layer Bottoms||Materials may be Capilene®, polypropylene or other synthetics; silk is less effective-NO COTTON. Light or medium weight.|
|1||Quick Dry Pants||
Lightweight, quick-drying, nylon fabric that packs easily. These are loose fitting for ease of movement. Course environment can be rough on clothing. We recommend pants that are semi-durable, or that you won't mind getting torn. (Thrift Store or REI=$) (KUHL or Patagonia=$$)
|1||Fleece Pants||Made of Polyester Fleece. Should be loose enough to fit over a pair of long underwear or shorts. (REI=$) (Smartwool=$$)|
|1||Hard Shell Pants||Waterproof, breathable hard-shell pants with internal snow gaiters. Should be made of 2.5 or 3-layer Gore-Tex ® or similar material (lots of companies have their own proprietary fabrics). Should have no insulation, for layering. Make sure internal snow gaiters fit over your boots. Great to bring if you have it. Example: Patagonia Snow Shot Pants. If you do not have your own to bring, suitable pants will be provided by Outward Bound|
These pants can be down, fleece, or synthetic insulation. Full side zips on these pants are useful in the backcountry. Examples: Mountain Hardware Compressor Pants, or REI Polartec 100 Pants. These could be your resort riding pants if they are insulated, and compressible enough to pack easily. (Rab or Mountain Hardware=$) (Black Diamond Belay Pants=$$)
|1||Rain-Shell Pants||Similar to your rain jacket, this layer should have a breathable, waterproof coating that stops outside moisture from entering; must fit over other pant layers and ideally has lower leg zips for easy on/off without removing boots. **See more detailed notes on rain gear. (REI or Marmot=$) (Patagonia=$$)|
Heavy Weight Socks
|Heavy Wool or Synthetic - important for very cold days. Make sure new boots are fitted with the thickest socks|
Medium-weight Hiking or Ski Socks
|Medium-weight: wool or synthetic only. NO COTTON. Need to come to middle of your shin.|
Synthetic Liner Sock (Optional though recommended)
|Lightweight, flat-knit provides a close fit for preventing blisters. Worn under heavier socks. Crew height at least, no cotton.|
|For around camp, and travel days|
COBS will provide double plastic boots and footwear that corresponds to sliding equipment (skis). However, if students have a 3 season boot with a stiff shank they can bring them and staff will assess if they are appropriate for the conditions.
* Please see the additional boot document for more guidance.
|1||Sneakers||Can be a sturdy pair of running or tennis shoes.|
|1||Wet Shoes||Full-coverage, closed-toed sneakers or neoprene booties with a sneaker-like sole.|
|1||Water Sandals||Must have a heel strap. Leather straps are not recommended.
(Keen, Teva, Chaco, etc.) Note: sandals are in addition to full-foot coverage "wet shoes" and sneakers and CANNOT be used in place of either.
SPF 30 or greater. For courses 15 days or longer, consider bringing a small bottle to carry and a larger bottle to resupply from.
Lip Balm or Chap Stick
|SPF 30 or greater|
2-4 oz., plastic container. Products with Picaridan or DEET (10 - 35%) are most effective. *No sprays or aerosols.
|4-6 oz. per week for dry feet and hands|
Toothbrush, small trial-size toothpaste, floss, comb or I foot powder, biodegradable soap, hand sanitizer, anti-f1 cream, zinc oxide and aloe vera gel. Don't bring deodor, makeup.
Choose the method you are most comfortable with such as pads, menstrual cups, or tampons and include extra/supplemental supplies. Many of our staff love a reusable menstrual cup (MeLuna, DivaCup or Lena), because it reduces the amount of waste that will need to be carried. If you’ve never used a menstrual cup, we recommend you research and trial it before course. If using tampons, consider a non-applicator tampon to reduce bulk and waste that needs to be carried. Feel free to contact your course advisor with any questions. Regardless of your choice, we are able to share practices for managing periods and supplies in the backcountry and provide all the supplies to manage waste.
For extra cleaning and hygiene.
|1||Towel||For showering at basecamp.|
Large duffle bag or suitcase for travel to and from course with. Bag should be big enough to contain all of your personal items.
|1||ID & Insurance Card||
If you are covered under any medical insurance, please bring your card. The actual card is preferred, but a copy of the front and the back of the card will be okay. Store in ziplock bag.
This all-purpose piece of cotton absorbs sweat, cleans off trail-grime and offers a multitude of other camp and trail uses. 1-2 extra for female students on longer courses.
|1||Sunglasses with keeper strap||
Sturdy & dark wrap-around sunglasses for adequate protection from sun and wind. We recommend a higher quality pair for backpacking in the mountains and river travel, and a cheaper pair for daily use in the canyons and at rock camp.
For winter or spring courses with snow travel activities. Must provide 100% UV protection and some ventilation to reduce fog during exertion.
|1||Prescription Eye Wear + Extra Glasses and/or contacts||
Contacts – bring extra pairs, as well as a backup pair of glasses. Glasses - Ensure these are compatible with your sunglasses, or bring prescription sunglasses. Bring an extra set in case of loss or damage
Wide-mouth 32 oz. water bottle. A hydration bladder is not recommended for river courses or sections with freezing temperatures. Please come hydrated to course start! (Nalgene=$) (Klean Kanteen=$$)
|1||Bowl and Spoon (Mug optional for warm drinks)||
Bowl should be unbreakable plastic or metal. Spoon can be metal or plastic.
|1||Headlamp w/ Batteries||
LED headlamp with extra batteries - lithium batteries recommended. (Black Diamond or Petzl=$$)
|2||Prescription Medications including Asthma Inhalers||
THESE MUST BE DECLARED DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS. Bring 2 sets in their original containers and a ziploc bag for storage on the trail - Please bring these to course start even if you feel they are unnecessary.
Must have alarm. Water resistant recommended.
Large Zip-Lock Plastic Bags
|Heavy duty to protect cameras, etc. from sand and water|
|2+||Personal Hand Sanitizer||
Minimum of 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer contained in 3 oz bottles. Plus a larger 16oz to refill if your course is 15-days or longer.
|1||Digital Oral Thermometer w/battery||Small, lightweight, and battery powered for daily temperature checks.|
|1||Pack Towel||A synthetic, wringable towel, also called a chamois, a sports towel or a swimmer's towel. No cotton.|
|1||Sarong||A length of very light cotton or rayon (3' x 7'), preferably not white, to wrap around yourself while changing clothes. A nonfitted twin bedsheet can be used.|
|1||Swimming Goggles||Should be snug-fitting and comfortable.|
|1||Daypack||A small backpack or book bag for travel and basecamp time.|
|1||Bug Bivy||Big enough to cover one sleeping bag, with strings to hold you. The finer "nosee-um" mesh works best.|
|1||Dorm Clothes||Your course end in our dorms, with shower Comfy clothes for hanging in the dorms: sweat pants, slippers, etc. It's okay for this stuff to be cotton.|
Travel to and From Course:
|Travel Money & Snacks||
For longer courses and when traveling from afar, extra cash ($50-$200 and a credit/debit card) and snacks are recommended for first and last days of course, as well as transition days. Consider unexpected travel expenses such as luggage fees, bus fare, etc.
Emergency Contact Numbers for Travel Delays
|Carry a copy of the phone numbers to use in case of travel delays (from the travel and itinerary document)|
|2 sets||Clean Clothes for travel to Florida and for Trip Home||Please bring a set of clean clothes for your travels home.|
|1||Travel Insurance||COBS strongly recommends purchasing travel insurance to protect you in the event of an emergency cancellation or early medical departure. Please speak with your course advisor for details.|
|1||Rash Gaurd||Tight-fitting, long-sleeved surf shirt. Good for sun protection and snorkeling in Florida|
|1||Stationary, Stamps & 2 Pens||Bring stamps and envelopes if you would like to send mail. Consider pre-stamping and pre-addressing them before course. Put in a zip-lock bag with paper and pens|
|1 pair||Gaiters||COBS will provide a basic pair of gaiters. Higher end gaiters are nice to have and are easier to use. Tall gaiters recommended for mountain sections. Ensure they're fitted over your boots. (Outdoor Research or REI=$$)|
|1 pair||Neoprene Socks||Additional foot warmth for river and mountaineering sections. Warmer than wool or synthetic socks. Example: NRS Hydroskin Socks|
|1 pair||Neoprene Gloves||For river sections to help keep hands warmer and to help with blisters from paddling. This should be considered more during the spring and fall seasons.|
|1 pair||Trekking Poles||COBS provides basic poles for all backpacking sections. You may choose to bring your own pair if you experience knee problems, want more stability on the trail, or have trekking poles you prefer to use. Spring-loaded, adjustable length poles provide the best versatility and comfort.|
|1||Camera||Your cell phone CANNOT be used as a camera. You will be required to leave your phone at base. Due to the risk of damage from weather and the expedition, we suggest you not bring a camera unless it is waterproof and durable, or disposable and inexpensive. GoPro cameras are allowed. You will only be able to film or take photos with the instructors' and other students' permission. Most people bring small, digital cameras or disposable 35mm cameras. Large cameras (SLRs, for example) are heavy, bulky and difficult to protect in the backcountry. Bring multiple cameras if disposable. If bringing a non- disposable camera, consider taking extra precautions like putting it in a Ziploc bag or Pelican hard case to keep out dirt and sand.|
FOR CO SECTION: Half liter maximum. For hot drinks. Should be light and streamlined.
|1||Toys, Instruments, Books||
You are welcome to bring hacky sacks, frisbees, musical instruments, and other fun stuff - just know that for all or some parts of the course you may not have access to these things.
|1||Cell Phone & Charger||
You may have opportunities to use your phone and listen to music, or use during travel to and from course.
Recommended if you are a light sleeper. In addition, 1+ Swimmers' type; may increase swimming comfort by preventing water from entering your ears.
|1||Inflatable Sleeping Pad||
COBS provides an insulated foam pad. Inflatable sleeping pads provide more comfort and lumbar support. Must be a lightweight, backpacking pad, with the appropriate R-value for the cold. If electing to bring an inflatable pad, please bring a patch repair kit. (Therm-a-rest=$$)
|1||Crazy Creek Chair||
Crazy Creek and REI are popular brands. No chairs with legs can be brought! Must be lightweight and packable/rollable
|Hand & Foot Warmers||Long lasting air activated hand and toe warmers for cold-season courses.|
|2-3||Stuff Sacks||Made of lightweight nylon in many colors, these help to keep your clothes and gear organized.|
|1||Swimming Cap||Useful if you have long hair.|
Items not Allowed on Course:
Florida is generally warm and sunny, but in the winter months cold fronts are common and there is usually plenty of wind and rain, so you will need to bring warm clothes. Daytime temperatures range from the 60s to the 80s. Temperatures at night can drop to the 40s. In Colorado you can expect temperatures ranging from 20-35 degrees with nighttime temperatures ranging from 0-10 degrees. Despite any recommendations of what is "normal weather," our course environments are characterized by unpredictable weather. Please check the weather prior to your course for either the Florida Keys or Leadville, CO at
www.weather.com to have an idea of what to expect, but please bring everything on this list since weather patterns can change quickly. Throughout both course areas, sun can be intense making sun protection (sunscreen & clothing) very important.
1:30 PM Mountain Time
Denver International Airport (DIA) Baggage Claim –18 Jeppesen (Main) Terminal, Level 5
A Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) representative will be available at Baggage Claim 18 on baggage claim Level 5, from approximately 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM to meet students. We cannot accommodate picking up or dropping off students from other locations.
COBS representatives will be wearing clothing with the COBS logo and will have a table with a COBS banner. They will ensure everyone has arrived and will be available to answer any last-minute questions. Participants not fully confirmed by their Course Advisor will not be allowed in the van.
Please be ready to go, having eaten and made any necessary phone calls before 1:30 PM. Please send your student with cash or a credit card to use for purchasing food/snacks on travel days. Expect to be in the van for multiple hours. Again, please DO NOT MISS THE VAN. It is extremely difficult to get late participants to the course start. If your flight has been delayed call 720.381.6589 immediately.
Traveling from Colorado to Florida
On 3/10/22 students will fly together from the Denver International Airport to the Miami International Airport. Once you are approved for course and travel has been confirmed we will reach out to help you purchase these tickets so that the group stays together.
MIAMI AIRPORT (MIA), FLORIDA International Airport Miami, Florida (MIA)
Your course ends at 2:00 pm at the Miami International Airport. We will drive you to the airport from our base at Big Pine Key. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to make a flight before 3:30 pm, so please book a flight that leaves Miami after that time.
TRAVEL PROBLEMS AND EMERGENCY CONTACT:
If you encounter problems with your travel plans that will delay your arrival to Denver, we can help troubleshoot solutions so that you can get to your course start. During office hours, call your course advisor for assistance. After hours, call our 24-hour voice mailbox at 720.381.6589 and follow the prompts for a travel delay on a Colorado program. The mail boxes are checked regularly and you will receive a call back as indicated by the outgoing message. In the event of an emergency (such as a death in the family) where you need to reach a student who is on course call 720.381.6589 and follow the prompts for critical emergency for a student currently on a course. This will route to an on-call cell phone and you will get a prompt return call as indicated by the message.
If you need to arrive in Denver the day before course start or stay a day after the end of course we recommend that you book at the DoubleTree-Denver Central Park at 4040 Quebec St. This hotel offers a discounted rate for a single room to COBS participants. Before booking please reach out to your course advisor and they will provide you with a link that will allow you to access the discounted rates.
GETTING TO THE DOUBLETREE- DENVER CENTRAL PARK HOTEL:
From Denver International Airport (DIA)
Airport Train and Shuttle Service
For more information on the train service from DIA visit: https://www.rtd-denver.com/services/airport
Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for college credit registration and instructions for how to use 529 college funds to pay for an Outward Bound course
Click here to learn more
Once you submit your initial application, your COBS Course Advisor will send you an enrollment email that contains links to the forms we need you to complete and submit online
Click here to read an example of a typical day on course and what you can do to be prepared
Click here to review our COVID-19 requirements and practices
Click here to review COBS Essential Eligibility Criteria
Click here for ideas to prepare for and manage homesickness
Embarking upon multi-week expedition without most of our comforts from home can be an unfamiliar challenge, and receiving letters from family and/or friends can be incredibly encouraging for everyone on an expedition. Your mail will be delivered to you at transfers and resupplies as well as at the end of course. Your family and friends can send mail to you at the following address. Any undelivered mail received after the course will be forwarded to your home address. Please ask them to mail the letters at least 6 days before the course end. Packages are subject to opening prior to delivery to the student.
Name and Course #
c/o Colorado Outward Bound School
1930 Hwy 300
Leadville, CO 80461
Your instructors will explain the details of backcountry hygiene when you arrive. Groups carry soap and/or hand sanitizer for hand washing. Every student is given one wet wipe per day. You are welcome to bring and additional personal supply. Sometimes there are creeks, rivers, or lakes that groups can splash around in. Although showering and washing hair are not an option while on course, and there are usually no opportunities to wash clothing, it is not as bad as it sounds and we are all in it together.
Every course environment has different techniques and environmentally appropriate practices for going to the bathroom. You will learn how to dispose of human waste in latrines, cat holes, groovers, or other wilderness-area specific methods.
Getting your Period on Course
Diet, altitude, & fitness level can unexpectedly bring on your period or postpone it. You may experience irregularities while out on course. Choose the method you are most comfortable with such as pads, menstrual cups, or tampons and include extra/supplemental supplies. Many of our staff love a reusable menstrual cup (MeLuna, DivaCup or Lena), because it reduces the amount of waste that you will need to carry and pack out. If you’ve never used a menstrual cup, we recommend you research and trial it before course. If using tampons, consider a non-applicator tampon to reduce bulk and waste that needs to be carried. Feel free to contact your course advisor with any questions. Regardless of your choice, we are able to share practices for managing periods and supplies in the backcountry and provide all the supplies to manage waste.
Click here for guidance
Compassion is one of Outward Bound’s core values. Be prepared to offer it and expect it from your teammates. You will travel with and rely on a group of strangers each of whom have different reasons for attending Outward Bound and will come with varying levels of physical and mental strength. You may find that you will need to make compromises in your own expectations to support other members of your team. It is important to remember that in such a small group setting, your attitude and actions affect everyone.
Still have questions? Click here for more FAQs