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Outdoor Adventures


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Adventure Center

For over 30 years, Outdoor Adventures (OA) has been providing outdoor experiences to the Northern Illinois University community which includes students, faculty, staff and the general public.

We believe the outdoors has something to offer everyone. We welcome you to visit our rental center, peruse our resources, and get involved.

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Outdoor Adventures IS HIRING! Trip Leaders and Team Facilitators for summer employment and onward.

Adventure Trips

Outdoor Adventure trips aim to provide a variety of enjoyable and affordable positive experiences from clinics to lengthy expeditions. Trips are designed to be fun, yet educational, and allow individuals and groups to learn the skills necessary to enjoy the outdoors. Our trips promote responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. If you have a group of friends or organization looking for an adventure, see our custom trips tab and we can tailor-make an adventure suitable for your group. Join the Outdoor Adventures staff for an experience of a lifetime!

The Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Event Schedule Will Be Posted before August
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Sign up early for any of our scheduled trips and save money. To help plan our trips, we like to know you are coming. We offer early bird discounts for participants who are willing to commit in advance. For more information about registration and our cancellation polices, see our registration information page.

Rating System

The 3-tiered rating system is to help ensure safety on trips by assisting participants to decide if they are ready and capable for specific trips. The following are general descriptions of the 3 levels and may be applied differently depending on the activities and trips.

Level 1 - Moderate physical conditioning is necessary, experience and technical knowledge is not required.
Level 2 – Average physical conditioning is necessary, some experience and technical knowledge is required.
Level 3 - Good physical conditioning is required, specific experience is required, and technical proficiency is highly recommended.
N/A – This activity requires low levels of physical conditioning and no specific experience is necessary, technical skills are not necessary.

Gear Rental

We have everything you need to jumpstart your outdoor adventure trip or excursion!

Our staff can assist you with gear rental:

NIU Student Rates 

Non-Student Rates (Staff and General Public)

All gear rentals are subject to Outdoor Gear Rental Rules and Policies.

Trip Planning

The Adventure Center staff is knowledgeable about the outdoor opportunities available in the northern Illinois area, as well as outdoor skills. The staff can help plan and organize trips and adventures for any occasion. The Adventure Center is also the meeting and registration location for organized adventure trips, workshops, and pre-trip meetings.


Information on local parks and an assortment of books and videos focusing on various activities including canoeing, spelunking, backpacking, equipment repair, and skills as well as destination guides and maps, are free to view or borrow at no charge. View our online list of Outdoor Resources

Custom Trips

Develop your group through dynamic experiences!

The Outdoor Adventure program invites your group to participate in a teambuilding workshop or custom trip.

Opportunities are available for all types of groups not only NIU organizations, but also the general public.

Create your own custom workshop from a wide variety of activity options. Build personal and interpersonal skills while experiencing a new teambuilding initiative or an adventure sport, such as rock climbing.

Why NIU Outdoor Adventures?

  • Help enhance relationships
  • Learn leadership and outdoor skills
  • Work toward accomplishing goals
  • Share experiences that last a lifetime

Through a custom trip with Outdoor Adventures, our staff will help plan and take your group on a day long or overnight adventure trip. Our custom trips provide your group with the opportunity to learn new leadership and outdoors skills in a unique setting, outside of the classroom, on, or even away from campus. 


Prices vary depending on type of activity, length of trip, and size of your group. Trips typically run between $15-$50 per person.

You will be contacted with more information and a quote within a few days of submitting your Custom Trip Request Form.

We provide:

  • Transportation
  • Group and individual gear
  • Knowledgeable and trained staff

Custom Event Trip Menu

Various activities to start planning your next group adventure!

  • Environmental Ethics
  • Leave No Trace
  • Outdoor Cooking/Meal Planning
  • Orienteering
  • Outdoor Skills
Adventures Special Events Education  Teambuilding
  • Backpacking
  • Canoeing & Kayaking
  • Caving
  • Camping
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Day Hikes
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Canoe Battleship
  • Chopped Challenge
  • Crate Climbing
  • Geocache/Scavenger Hunt
  • Moonlight Hike, Snowshoe, or Cross Country Ski
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Leave No Trace
  • Outdoor Cooking/Meal Planning
  • Orienteering
  • Outdoor Skills
  • Numerous ice breakers, group games, and initiatives focused on cohesiveness, communication, and leadership
  • Click the Team Building tab for more information!


Team Building

A teambuilding workshop is your simple solution for a local group function. Our facilitators can arrange to host a workshop for your group at a campus facility, indoors or out at no additional cost. We can also travel to your on-site location. 

A typical workshop includes opening activities followed by engaging initiatives focused on your goals and closing with meaningful reflection.

Check out this list of team building activities to get started with planning your workshop.  

Or choose from other fun events such as: 

  • Chopped Challenge  
  • Crate Climbing
  • Adventure Race
  • Visit the Custom Trip tab for more information about all the great opportunities for your group

Teambuilding Workshop Rates

NIU Affiliate Rates up to 15 up to 50 up to 100
Base cost (1 hr min) $50 $100 $200
Additional per hour $25 $50 $75
Non-NIU Affiliate Rates up to 15 up to 50 up to 100
Base cost (1 hr min) $75 $150 $300
Additional per hour $50 $75 $100

Complete a Workshop Request Form today!


Christine Lagattolla
Assistant Director for Outdoor Adventures

Justin Wiewiora
Student Manager of Trips

Jessica Wind
Student Manager of Gear Rentals

Tyler Pellegrini
Trip Leader & Rental Attendant

Kamila Krupiarz
Trip Leader & Rental Attendant

Daria Porter
Team Facilitator

Ryan Domino
Trip Leader

Lucas Kuzmanic
Trip Leader

Tom Passarelli
Trip Leader 

Skyler Imhoff
Trip Leader

Megan Lundgren
Trip Leader

Shawn O'Neill
Trip Leader

Tyler Martin
Trip Leader

Esperenza Brent
Team Facilitator

Aiyana Cervantez
Team Facilitator & Rental Attendant

Eugene Ciesla
Team Facilitator

Rachel Huck
Team Facilitator

Brandi McGee
Team Facilitator

Leah Tabone
Team Facilitator