FAQs

Need help registering for a program? Have a general question about trips? Check out these frequently asked questions when registering for your next adventure and preparing to go outside with Venture Outdoors.

You can also check out specific FAQs regarding Kayak Pittsburgh.

Help With Trip Registration

1. Click “Login” on the top right corner.

2. Members and Current Users, sign in with username and password. If you do not have an account, click “create an account” and complete the account form.

3. Navigate to the “Activities Calendar” by clicking “Activities” and select the trip you’re interested in attending.

4. Click on the “Register” button – this will take you to the next page where you’ll select who will be attending the trip. All current members from your household will appear at the top of this page with boxes to the left of their names – click any/all of the boxes that apply for this trip.

5. Enter your payment information and promo code (if applicable). Then you must agree to the “Program Terms” – read throughly and once finished, click the checkbox. Finally, click “Register” and get ready for an adventure!

As the date of the trip approaches, you will receive an email with details including location, Trip Leader contact info, activity checklists, and trip expectations. You will typically receive this information 2-5 days ahead of time. Please remember to check your junk mail folder; our emails are sometimes automatically placed there.

The description of each trip will include the cost. Venture Outdoors members receive a discounted rate which will be applied at check out when you are logged in to the website.

In order to make trips more accessible to families with small children, we have an “Under Three and Free” guideline. Children under three years of age are generally permitted on trips that are family-friendly or no more than two hours in length at no cost.

Contact the Venture Outdoors Office at 412-255-0564, X0 or registration@ventureoutdoors.org if you plan to bring a child less than three years of age on a trip. Staff will review the trip plan and proceed with registration as long as a reasonable accommodation can be made. For children over age three pricing is listed for each trip. If there is no separate listing, children pay the adult rate. Any children should be comfortable with the stated level of difficulty.

This guideline excludes Tyke Hikes, a trip series specifically designed for children ages 0-5.

No. Anyone is welcome to participate. Venture Outdoors receive a discounted rate.

Memberships start at just $15 a year and provide discounts of up to 40% off of trips. Read more about Membership or join.

Not ready to commit to Membership? Not a problem! Non-members can create a free profile on our website during checkout so we can email you directions or contact you if a trip is canceled.

Simply give us a call during business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM) or send an email to registration@ventureoutdoors.org to reserve your spot. Space is not reserved until registration is complete which will occur when payment has been received at the office. You can either mail your check in or stop by during business hours with check or cash payment.

For weekend trips, you will need to register by 4 PM on Friday. For weekday trips, you’ll need to register by 4 PM on the day of the trip.

For our early morning trips, you’ll need to register by 4 PM the day before the trip.

Certain trips have more specific limitations which will be noted in the description.

To receive a refund, your cancellation must be made at least three business days (Monday – Friday) in advance. For example, you must cancel no later than 5 PM on Tuesday for trips the following weekend. Simply email registration@ventureoutdoors.org or call to let us know you need to cancel. You can also transfer your registration to a another, similar trip. Cancellations and transfers cannot be made on our website.

Refunds are made in the form of your original payment. Cancellations with insufficient notice, no-shows, and late arrivals who miss the group’s departure will not receive a refund.
Refunds are not issued on check payments until the check has cleared. Paid reservations are transferable to other participants. However, advanced notice of the new participant is required.

Some trips such as Outdoor Leadership Weekend have more specific limitations.

Series participants who cancel after the series is underway will be charged the per-activity rate for each activity attended and will be offered a refund for the remaining balance.

Outdoor Leadership Weekend Refund Policy
If a cancellation is received greater than or equal to 15 days prior to the start date, Venture Outdoors will retain a $20.00 administrative fee.

Within 15 days of the start date, course fee is non-refundable.

General Questions About Trips

Venture Outdoors loves dogs! However, some people don’t feel as comfortable around them as we do. If a trip is “dog-friendly” it will make note of it in the trip’s description. The number of dogs permitted is limited, AND dogs must be noted in the Accessibility Requirements/Notes section of your registration. Please remember that dogs must be kept on a leash unless in an “off-leash area.” Dogs are not allowed on any other Venture Outdoors trip.

Venture Outdoors attracts many different people from very young (infants go on our Tyke Hikes), to people 65 and up, and everyone in between. We get as many people outside as possible at any age or ability level! We also encourage families to attend together. It’s a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones.

We think it is best to keep the group together, so we rarely choose to split up participants. Get in touch with us before the trip if you have any concerns about completing the entire trip.

Relaxed

Short distances at a slow pace. Generally flat terrain, well defined trails. No prior experience necessary. Perfect for beginners. Not too physically challenging. Appropriate for families of all ages.

Easy

Short distances at a slow pace. Relatively flat terrain, well defined trails, may involve some hills. No prior experience necessary. Perfect for beginners. Not too physically challenging.

Moderate

Varying distances at a steady pace. Varying terrain, generally established trails. Some prior experience required. Only for those in good physical condition. Physically challenging.

Advanced

Fast paced over a short distance or steady paced over a long distance. Varying terrain, may include off-trail sections, rough spots, unexpected obstacles. Prior experience required; Only for those in good physical condition. Physically challenging.

Strenuous

Fast paced over a short distance or steady paced over a long distance. Varying terrain, may include off-trail sections, rough spots, unexpected obstacles. Prior experience required. Only for those in good physical condition. Very physically challenging.

Each trip has a difficulty ranking. We do our best to describe the format so you get an idea of whether it’s suitable for you. If you are ever in doubt, feel free to call us. If it is determined at the meeting location that the trip is beyond your ability, the Trip Leader may determine that you should attend a more suitable option at a later date.

If you need an accommodation to participate in activities due to a disability, please contact the Venture Outdoors office, 412-255-0564 or info@ventureoutdoors.org, at least five business days before the event. Venture Outdoors staff will gladly discuss how to accommodate your needs.

Yes. All participants must sign an Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form before the start of a trip. Those under age 18 must have a parent or guardian sign for them. Download and print the Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form.

Yes, you receive a discount off the per person cost of the program if you bring your own equipment. It must be in good condition and equivalent in performance ability to what is provided by Venture Outdoors. To receive the discount, call the office at 412-255-0564.

Venture Outdoors does not allow electronic games, alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, smoking, or firearms on any trip. Cell phone use is discouraged. Some trips may have more specific limitations.

Most of our trips are rain or shine with few exceptions. Possible causes for cancellation include severe weather, the Trip Leader determines that conditions exceed the group’s comfort level, or a potential travel hazard. If this determination can be made during regular office hours (9 AM – 5 PM, Monday – Friday), staff will call and email participants. If the determination is made outside of regular office hours, the Trip Leaders and on-call staff try to decide at least two hours in advance of the start time. Weather is variable, and the Trip Leader may opt to cancel at the trailhead or make modifications during the trip.