Adventure Trips | Bike Shop | Challenge Course | Climbing Wall | Community Garden | Rental Shop

Outdoor Recreation is designed to expose you to the environment and encourage you to move beyond any self-imposed limitations. We teach team building and leadership skills and educate about the environment and sustainability. Students who enjoy our activities learn to think critically, identify risks and make sound decisions all while exploring and attaining new skills.


We’re Hiring!

Outdoor Recreation is currently looking to grow our amazing community. We are currently searching for:

Adventure Trips Manager
Outdoor Recreation Assistants (Rental Shop)
Challenge Course Facilitators
Bike Shop Staff

For more information, please visit us at the Part-Time Job Fair on Aug. 25 from 1-4 p.m. at the Russell House Ballroom and/or visit Handshake for job descriptions and to apply.

Due to the perceived amount of applications, the hiring committee will only be contacting you if you are selected for an interview (in early September).

Summer hours are as follows

Climbing wall: Sunday – Friday: 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Bike Shop: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. NOTE: The bike shop will be closed from July 24-Aug. 14.
Rental Shop: Mondays – Friday: 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Kayak Roll Clinics: Every other Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. starting May 17

Fall Hours:

Bike Shop: Monday through Friday, Noon-6 p.m.
Climbing Wall: Sunday through Friday, 4-8 p.m.
Rental Shop: Monday and Friday, 2-8; Tuesday through Thursday, 4-8 p.m.

Fall Clinics:

Whitewater Kayak Roll Clinics: Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.
Climbing Wall Belay Clinics: Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.
Sport Climbing Series: Sept. 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3, 10, 17
Bike Maintenance Clinics: First Wednesday of each month, 6-8 p.m.
De-Stress for Success: Friday, Dec. 8, 2-6 p.m.

Fall Trips:

Friday, Sept. 1
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Day Trip
Columbia, SC

Saturday, Sept. 9
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Day Trip
Columbia, SC

Sunday, Sept. 17
Congaree Canoe Day Trip
Columbia, SC

Sunday, Oct. 1
Beach Day Trip
Folly Beach, SC

Sunday, Oct. 8
Canoe Fishing Trip
Columbia, SC

Saturday, Oct. 14
Harbison Mountain Biking Day Trip
Columbia, SC

Sunday, Oct. 15
Bouldering at Rumbling Bald
Chimney Rock, NC

Sunday, Nov. 12
Hiking Day Trip
TBA – somewhere awesome in SC


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Ready for a little adventure? Here’s what you need to know:
• All trips offered are based on novice/beginner skill levels—unless otherwise denoted in the trip description.
• Cost includes all transportation, equipment, permits/fees, and instruction. Meals are provided for all overnight trips.
• Pre-trip meetings are mandatory—dates are outlined in the trip itinerary.
• Please be respectful of other participants and show up on time.
• Items that you are required to bring are outlined in the trip itinerary.
• In order to sign up for a trip, please visit the Outdoor Recreation Rental Shop during scheduled hours. Payment and proof of health insurance must be presented at time of sign-up.
• A full refund will be given if OREC cancels a trip due to lack of registration, weather, or other extenuating circumstances.
• One must cancel at least 14 days prior to the event date to receive a full refund. Afterwards, payment is non-refundable.

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Our Challenge Course programs are designed to provide a fun, shared experience for University of South Carolina groups. We provide programs that focus on enhancing team performance, community building, and leadership development through the use of experiential activities both on the ground or up in the air!

Groups by reservations.
At this time, we are only booking for July 18 or later.
Please fill out this form to schedule a program and contact Jarred Lilyhorn with questions.


Our facility includes a 50-foot Alpine Tower II, Swing by Choice, Team Development Course, and numerous portable elements. We are located in the Triangle Plaza, between Bates Residence Hall and the Blatt Physical Education Center. We have a Pavilion equipped with restroom facilities, running water and picnic tables.

Programs are by reservation only. We work with a variety of groups on campus including student organizations, professional groups, and academic courses. Programs are designed specifically for the group to ensure maximum effectiveness and it is our goal to have all groups leave the course with successful experiences. Please contact us to find out if our programs would be a good fit for your group.

Short Program (2 Hours)
This is designed for the group short on time, but interested in working on basics of team building. We utilize our portable elements to create a fun program that includes problem solving, challenges teams to think creatively, and develops their skills in communication. These programs can happen indoors in one of our gym facilities or outdoors in a field space.

Half Day (3-4 Hours)
Half-day programs are designed to take your group through a progression of teambuilding activities that will culminate with a peak experience, either climbing our Alpine Tower II or experiencing the Swing by Choice.

Full Day (5-6 Hours)
Full-day programs spend the first half of the day completing a series of teambuilding challenges that encourage positive group development. The later half of the day is spent progressing onto more challenging elements and includes one or both of our high elements: The Alpine Tower II and the Swing by Choice.

Challenge Course Group Programming Pricing Chart
  Program Length / Price Per Person
Group   1 – 2hrs 3 – 4hrs 5 – 6 hrs
University 101 Classes   Free Free Free
USC Affiliated Group    $8.00  $10.00  $12.00
Non USC Affiliated Group  $20.00  $25.00  $35.00

• Please schedule a minimum of three weeks in advance. This allows us to properly staff and prepare for your group.
• Minimum group size is 8; maximum group size is 30.
• Group programming is available for student, faculty and staff groups of USC Columbia by appointment only.

Please fill out this form to schedule a program and contact Jarred Lilyhorn with questions.

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Molded from real rock by Nicros, the 52-foot Climbing Wall looks and feels like real rock. Established routes are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced climbers using fixed hand holds and the actual texture of the wall.

Climbers are able to boulder, top rope, or lead climb. Current students and registered faculty, staff and guests can access the wall during scheduled hours.

Clinics and events are open to USC students, faculty and staff. Clinic registration takes place at the Rental Shop located in the basement of the Strom Thurmond Fitness Center.

Please visit our google calendar for complete clinic and event descriptions.

Carolina Crush Climbing Competition
Join Outdoor Recreation for our Annual Carolina Crush climbing competition, held during the spring semester. The top rope climbing competition will take place at the Strom Thurmond Wellness & Fitness Center climbing wall.

All levels of climbers are welcome—from novice to advance. There will be a variety of divisions based on gender and climbing abilities. As always we encourage spectators to show up and cheer on the competitors as they attempt to crush our newest routes! There will be prizes for the winners of each division.

There will be music, prizes, spectator seating areas, and new routes! The competition is for ages 18 and up and is open to current students and registered faculty, staff and guests of the Wellness and Fitness Center.

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We offer community garden plots for USC students faculty and staff. We have 20 raised beds in the Carolina Community Garden at Preston Green.

Plots are awarded through an application process. You must apply as a group with a minimum of four people in each group. We accept applications on a rolling basis, but only review them at the start of each semester.

After being awarded a plot, you will be given an opportunity to renew each semester for up to one calendar year.

Apply for a garden plot.

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The Rental Shop allows students, faculty and staff the opportunity to rent outdoor equipment at minimal costs. The equipment will accommodate the basic needs to do many outdoor activities. Equipment includes tents, backpacks, stoves, cook sets, headlamps, sleeping bags & pads, canoes, car-top carriers, and many other items.

Download Equipment List with Rental Pricing

Outdoor Recreation has over 100 books and several videos on a variety of outdoor topics that you can rent for free in our Resource Library. Stop by the Outdoor Recreation Office to check out the selection and for assistance in planning your next trip.

• Equipment is only rented to current University of South Carolina-Columbia students, faculty and staff.
• Equipment can be reserved up to one week prior to desired date.
• Reservations must be made in person during operational hours.
• A valid CarolinaCard is required.
• Payment is required at the time of the reservation to secure the rental, via cash, check, or CarolinaCard. Checks should be made payable to University of South Carolina.
• Outdoor Recreation reserves the right to limit the amount of equipment reserved and to deny reserved equipment to any individual.
• Renters are responsible for all equipment rented under their name.
• The renter is the only person permitted to pick up reserved equipment and return checked out equipment.

Rental Policy

Check Out
• Must present valid CarolinaCard.
• Renter is responsible for checking equipment rented prior to departure.
• Staff can assist with securing water craft to your vehicle but are not responsible for any damage that may occur to your vehicle while transporting water craft.

Check In
• Please allow 10-15 minutes for the check-in process. All equipment must be thoroughly checked before you are permitted to leave.
• Items checked out for the weekend are due back the following Monday before close.
• Items checked out for a week are due back seven days after the date of rental before close.
• Any items not returned on the due date are assessed a late fee. The late fee is the price of the item up to $5 for every day the item is late.
• Failure to return equipment after seven days will result in Academic Hold.
• Failure to pay late fees assessed after seven days will result in Academic Hold.
• We reserve the right to not rent to you if you abuse our service.
• Items must be returned clean and dry and in the same condition you received them.
• Items requiring any additional cleaning or repair by our staff will result in a flat $25 damage and cleaning fee.

In the event you need to cancel your reservation, we can submit a refund form to the Bursar’s office. Please allow 3-4 weeks to process payment.

Equipment Care Tips
• Do not set up tents or use sleeping bags near a sparking fire. Embers can burn or melt the nylon, resulting in a damage fee.
• Do not stand or sit on boats, surfboard, or SUPs while they are on the ground. This can result in punctures.

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