Nicole Smith: Sponsorship Coordinator of the Davis Hiking Club

Founded in 2015, the Davis Hiking Club (DHC) has been providing UCD students with the opportunity to hike beautiful trails, meet new people, and make new friends—for free! DHC relies completely on donations to ensure all students are able to hike at no cost. Because of their inclusivity, DHC has taken over 1,000 students on hikes since they started!

I spoke with DHC’s sponsorship coordinator, Nicole Smith to learn more about DHC and how she got involved.

Photo Credits: Cassie Nguyen

How did you hear about DHC and why did you decide to get involved?

I heard about DHC while I was looking for hiking resources. Most of the clubs on campus were similar to paid commercial hiking services. I went online to search up clubs for hiking, and found DHC. I decided to go to the meeting where they announced that they were accepting applicants for officer positions. I was super interested in becoming an officer and decided to apply before going on my first hike with them. The thing that interested most about DHC from the beginning was their founding principle—nature is something that everyone should be able to enjoy, without cost. DHC hiking trips are accessible for everyone, and I really loved that about the club.

Photo Credits: Nick Jensen

What are your responsibilities as a Sponsorship Coordinator?

In conjunction with the rest of the team, we work on fundraisers and getting product samples as well as discounts on products for our members. We also reach out to brands to establish our repertoire with them and try to get our name out there for publicity and advertising.

What do you love most about working as an officer of DHC?

I love getting to see people who haven’t had the opportunity to hike go on their first hike with us. I love how they have guidance from us while hiking for their first time, so that they don’t feel so lost. It’s also really rewarding to see freshmen and international students go on their first hikes in California.

Photo Credits: Nicole Smith

Why should students go on hikes with DHC?

It’s great way to support the cause and organization. It’s also a good way to network and meet a close community of outdoor people. What you get out of a hike is a whole day of socializing—you are with your group on the car ride to the hiking destination, on the actual hike, and during the lunch breaks. Once you go on hikes and meet new people there, it gives you an opportunity to find people to make hiking plans with outside of DHC. A lot of the people you meet in the club are really avid outdoor people. Several people I met on hikes also became my rock climbing and kayaking friends! It also takes out the researching part of planning a hike, since we provide those services for our members and plan every aspect of a hike from transportation to the route itself.

Photo credits: Nick Jensen

Cover photo credits: Mariana Huben