As the weather cools and fall hangs in the air, the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) prepares to bring nature-enthusiasts joy throughout the winter.
The OAC, located in room 216 of the Student Life building, provides equipment rentals for biking, camping, climbing, hiking and water activities during the summer, and for snowshoeing, snowboarding and skiing during the winter. According to Ethan Packer, an employee at the outdoor adventure center and UVU senior studying psychology, the OAC is “the cheapest in the valley” for such services—especially for students.
In addition to equipment rentals, the OAC also provides tune and repair services for bikes and wax and sharpening services for skis and snowboards. “It’s like seven bucks to get your tire fixed,” Packer shared. “The new tube, and me doing it, [costs] seven-fifty plus tax” laughed Packer as he held up grease-stained hands from a previous repair.
Beyond renting and repairing gear, the OAC is also known for its Adventure Calendar, where OAC employees host outdoor activities with student participants. According to Packer, new trip schedules are released every semester and include activities such as camping, canyoneering, hiking, and week-trip experiences.
In addition to usual activities, the OAC also hosts seasonal activities—for instance, the upcoming Halloween “spooky campout” which, according to Packer, is set to take place later this fall. “[Events] are also super cheap, too.” Packer explained. “Tickets range [from] 20 bucks to 50 bucks—maximum—for a trip.” During these events, transportation is often provided
, and food is usually included for overnight trips.
When asked about seasonal availabilities for rental gear considering the approaching fall, Packer explained, “starting on October first, we are not doing any more water rentals. So, no more paddle boards or things like that [will be available].”
The transition from summer to winter will continue through the fall until the ski resorts open, at which time the OAC will begin providing ski and snowboard rentals. “So basically, once they open, we open,” Packer shared with a grin.
Packer also clarified that although water and snow rentals are seasonably available, other gear is available year-round.
For those looking for a bargain on adventure gear, Packer shared that from September to November, the OAC participates in the yearly sale of equipment surplus. “Sometimes we sale bikes, sometimes we sell snowboards, just random things that we don’t need.” Although Packer doesn’t know exactly what will be sold or when the event will be held, he mentioned that the OAC’s Instagram (@uvuoac) will announce the details when the fall gets closer.
For students, going outside to enjoy nature brings plenty of health benefits. According to Michelle Kondo, a research social scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “There are many physical and psychological benefits of nature that scientists have observed, which can better help us understand how nature supports wellness in the body, mind, and community.” Among these benefits are increased life expectancy, improved sleep quality, reduced risk of chronic illness, increase in motivation and a reduction of stress, reported Andrew Avitt, a communication officer of the USDA.
For more information on how to experience the great Utah outdoors or where to find fun adventures, visit this OAC this fall.