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Everything You Need to Know About Poly Escapes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Majestic mountains stacked upon each other fading into the haze, auburn leaves falling from the old oaks, the sound of a rushing river. These are the things you can wake up to on a Saturday morning.

While everyone was partying for Halloweekend, I was backpacking in the Sierras with Poly Escapes. While the dorms at Cal Poly are awesome, living there can start to feel really monotonous, especially if you don’t have a car. I, and I’m sure others, start getting antsy and just want to run away to the woods for the weekend!

However, it can be pretty intimidating to plan a trip or even try camping or backpacking for people who don’t normally spend time in the outdoors. I’ve talked to many people who say they really want to go camping or backpacking but have never had the opportunity because their families don’t like the outdoors; that’s why Poly Escapes is so important and the most underrated organization at Cal Poly.


What is Poly Escapes?

Poly Escapes is an outdoors recreation organization at Cal Poly that organizes trips for people of every level. Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or going camping for the first time, you’ll have a great time. Trips include surfing, road trips, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking.


Why should I sign up for a trip?

Badass stories to tell your friends about!

Escape from SLO for a weekend!

Meet super chill and interesting people!

Get to see some amazing star filled skies and wade into brisk rivers!


But I’m a broke college student!

We feel you! We’re not going to say that these trips are in everybody’s price range (We’re certainly not able to spend a ton each quarter!) but the price is surprisingly reasonable. For one, they provide transportation, food, stoves, tents, and other group gear. In addition, it is all planned for you. If you’re a beginner backpacker or surfer, Poly Escapes is going to save you a lot of money in the long run, because rentals are 50% off if you rent gear through Cal Poly.


I’ve never backpacked/surfed/rock climbed and I’m scared it will be too difficult!

These trips are meant for people of all levels. Expect to be challenged, but know that it won’t be impossible.


How do I sign up?

Go to the Cal Poly ASI website, scroll over to “Recreation Center” and click “Poly Escapes”, click “Register.” You will see a list of all the past and future trips of the quarter. Simply select the trip of your choice and you’re good to go.


Pro Tip: Many of the trips for this quarter are filled up, but a whole new set of trips will be available for next quarter so mark the date on your calendar to get ahead of the rush.


Wendy McCullough is a fourth year English major and Graphic Communications minor at Cal Poly SLO. She is the campus correspondent of the Her Campus Cal Poly chapter. Wendy is pursuing a career in publishing and design. When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she's surfing, hiking, jamming on guitar, and watching cheesy romcoms.