Read this important information before you fill out an application (link at bottom of page).
Many WV trips fill quickly so we encourage prospective participants to respond promptly. WV service trips are open to adults 18 and older. All 2015 projects cost $299. WV is a nonprofit organization. The trip fee covers only a portion of the program costs; we raise the rest through fundraising. Tax-deductible contributions are welcomed and appreciated. Registration in the months of October and December is limited to Supporters of Wilderness Volunteers. You can become a Supporter here.
To register for a trip, submit a completed application with payment. Wilderness Volunteers' trips are filled on a first-to-sign-up basis; however, WV reserves the right to review your application to ensure that the trip is appropriate for your level of fitness and experience. If you are not accepted for the trip, you will not be charged.
Service trips are cooperative endeavors. Participants need to be accommodating of each other and supportive of group efforts. A sense of humor, adventuresome spirit and appreciation of the outdoors is always welcome! Many trips require participants to hike in groups of at least three on the off days due to the remote area and changeable weather.
You are responsible for selecting a trip (with the aid of our staff) that is appropriate for your abilities (trip ratings are described here), reading the materials sent to you to prepare you for the trip, bringing appropriate equipment as advised by Wilderness Volunteers, acting courteously to other participants, and following Leave No Trace camping ethics as taught by our leaders. You are responsible for getting yourself to the meeting place or arranging a ride with other participants; we provide a Roster and a Trip Forum so that participants can contact each other. We encourage carpooling where possible but our liability carrier prohibits Wilderness Volunteers staff and leaders from making these arrangements.
All volunteers must have the ability to live in remote areas where there are few amenities and the weather is unpredictable, must be willing and able to work throughout the day on the project and assist with camp chores, and maintain a positive attiude in a group setting throughout the week.
Do not book nonrefundable travel until you have received confirmation of your acceptance for the trip.
Wilderness Volunteers reserves the right to cancel any trip if conditions (such as fire danger or low sign-up) make it impossible to proceed. If this happens, your full trip fee will be refunded. We are not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip (i.e. nonrefundable air fares, gear, etc.).
Trip Leaders have the right to disqualify a participant at any time during the trip if they feel the he/she is incapable of continuing without jeopardizing their own or the group's health, well-being or safety. Under these circumstances, no refund is given.
The trips are all 6 or 7 days long; no provisions are in place for folks to leave early or come late. If you can't do the entire trip, don't sign up.
Service trips are cooperative ventures between Wilderness Volunteers and the public land agency. WV trips are planned a year in advance and sometimes an agency's work priorities change. Participants need to be accommodating of itinerary changes.
Our goal is to have full trips to get the work projects completed and be as useful to the agencies as possible. Please don't sign up for a trip if you aren't sure you can do it. If you hold a space and cancel, you prevent someone who could have done the trip from signing up. It is often hard to find participants in the weeks immediately preceding the trips -- everyone has busy lives!
These are Prohibited
Pets, children, firearms, illegal drugs and fireworks are not allowed on trips. Please do not bring them.
Playing of music on portable speakers is also prohibited on trips.
Fitness, Weight, Smoking & Alcohol
All of our trips require you to be in good shape and ready for a week of hiking and work appropriate to the project. You will have a better time on your trip if you choose a trip in line with your abilities.
We use the Body Mass Index (BMI) when looking at height/weight ratios. You can find your BMI here . If you have a BMI over 29, you will probably be turned down for most of the trips. However, we will look at your experience and what you do to stay in shape.
Due to the aerobic requirements of service trips and the aesthetic concerns of smoking (litter, secondhand smoke, fire danger), we strongly discourage smoking. Some trips are designated nonsmoking at the request of the leader.
While we don't prohibit alcohol, we suggest that you leave it at home. The wilderness is a great place to have heightened senses, and alcohol is a depressant. It is also dehydrating. If you do bring a bit of something to sip, make sure it's just a bit and doesn't become a problem. Some trips are designated no alcohol by the agency or the leaders.
Travel and Expenses
Trips begin and end at the trailhead; participants must provide and/or arrange their own transportation to and from the trip. Trips involving on-trip auto transportation require participants to provide their own auto transportation or arrange carpools with other trip members. All travel costs, program fees and incidental expenses incurred on our volunteer service trips can be viewed as charitable contributions and are deductible to the limits of the tax code (save your receipts!) as determined by the IRS. Check with your tax advisor for further clarification.
Wilderness Volunteers will review all applications within two weeks of receipt and notify you by email of your acceptance. After you are accepted to a project, you will be able to sign into the Participant's Area and view more information about the project including an equipment list, travel information, and rendezvous instructions (some trips meet the evening before the project begins). Please check your trip packet for information on when to book return transportation as some leeway might be required.
Insurance and Liability
Participants who are traveling to the trips via commercial carrier are urged to consider trip cancellation insurance (available online or through a travel agent). This insurance protects you against financial loss if you must cancel or interrupt a trip because of illness or injury to yourself, a family member, or traveling companion. All trip participants must provide their own health and accident insurance; in case of injury, the cost of evacuation and treatment is the responsibility of the participant. Each participant will be required to fill out a Medical Information and Assumption of Risk Form before participating on any trip.
Cancellations and Refunds
Reservations canceled greater than 30 days before the trip start date will receive the trip fee minus a $100 cancellation fee only if we are able to both: 1) fill your slot, and 2) the trip goes out full. Reservations cancelled less than one month before the trip start will not receive any refund. The sooner you inform us of your need to cancel, the more opportunity we will have to fill the trip and refund part of your fee. Our mission is stewardship work and late cancellations, particularly as a trip date approaches, can make it extremely difficult to find a replacement at the last minute. We must receive written notification in the office. As a small nonprofit on a tight budget, Wilderness Volunteers cannot make exceptions to this refund policy for any reason, including personal emergencies or weather. If Wilderness Volunteers must cancel a trip, you will receive a full refund. If we must cancel a trip due to low sign-up or a hazard like a fire, we will attempt to do so at least 30 days before the trip start date. While it hasn't happened yet, we might be forced to cancel a trip with less notice although we will make every effort to run every trip.
Qualified participants who sign up for a trip that is full will be put on a waitlist pending space becoming available; your credit card will not be charged and payment details will be deleted. You can cancel from the waitlist at any time. Once you have been notified of space availability and still want to do the trip, you will be able to submit payment.
Cancellations do occur. If you would like to be on the waitlist for any trip that is currently full, submit an application. We'll let you know if space becomes available.