Outback Adventures

Outback Adventures has everything you need for outdoor exploration and fun.

Trips

Explore beautiful California and down into Mexico on Outback Adventures’ various opportunities to backpack, hike, snowboard and much much more. Whether it is a weekend trip or a whole week over a break you can enjoy a great adventure and meet new friends!

Wilderness Orientation

Join other incoming students on great adventures into the wilderness. Whether it’s backpacking through the Sierra Nevadas or surfing down in Baja these are great ways to meet new people and get oriented into the UC San Diego life!

Challenge Course

Located on the beautiful UCSD campus, we offer adventure based team building programs designed to develop communication and teamwork through challenging activities. The Challenge Course is open to ages 10 and up. Programs can be scheduled 7 days a week.

Outback Climbing Center

Check out one of the many great amenities at Canyonview Gym and climb your way up and across walls that challenge even seasoned climbers. Check out our page for more details and even dates for when equipment and climbing is completely free!

Surf Shop

Shop local for all your surfing needs! The Surf Shop is here to serve all of your surf apparel and hard goods needs, and also provides an easy-to-access central campus location for rental reservations, Outback trip info and registration, and Recreation Surf Class registration.

Rental Shop

Come get geared up for your next adventure at the Outback Adventures Rental Shop, the best place on campus for information, registration, and gear for any of our amazing outings, or one of your own! With the best prices for students around as well as weekend and weekly rentals rates, why buy?

History

Outback Adventures has been providing UCSD and the greater San Diego community with excellent programs and services since 1978.

Back in 1978, there was a great idea to start renting out camping equipment to students, staff and faculty. We started out  renting equipment from a closet in the Rec Gym. Now, more than 30 years later and through much effort by the students and staff of Outback, we’ve expanded to our current locations: the tree house down in Pepper Canyon, climbing center at Canyonview, Surf Shop in Price Center West, and Odyssey Challenge Course in the Eucalyptus forest near Spanos Track.

Program Timeline 

  • Rental Closet in Main Gym (since 1978)
  • Outings (since 1980)
  • Wilderness Orientation (since 1991)
  • Rental/Retail Shop (since 1996)
  • Climbing Center (since 1996)
  • Challenge Course (since 2004)
  • Surf Shop (since 2009)

Program Leadership Timeline

Director

  • Chuck Gormley (1978 – 1988)
  • Mike Ruthenberg (1988 – 1998)
  • Brian Grube (1998 – 2004)
  • Tom Rottler (2004 – Present)

Assistant Director

  • Stephen Ludin (1993 – 1996)
  • Brian Grube (1996 – 1998)

Associate Director

  • Liza Eaton (1999 – 2002)
  • Mike Wegner (2002 – 2004)

Outings Coordinator

  • Dane Landrith (2005 – 2008)
  • Josh Jackson (2008 – 2009)

Wilderness Orientation Coordinator

  • Cindy Pierce (1991)
  • Robyn Cummins (1992 – 1995)
  • Sascha Paris (1996 – 1998)
  • Dan Rufner (1999)
  • Stephanie Hentz (2000 – 2001)
  • Clay Harvey (2002 – 2004)
  • Lindsay Hall (2005 – 2009)

Outdoor Leadership Coordinator (Wilderness Orientation and Outings)

  • Simon Teale (2010 – present)

OCC Coordinator

  • Mike Ruthenberg (1996 – 1997)
  • Josh Jackson (1997 – 1998)
  • Brian Luenemann (1998 – 2001)
  • James Obayashi (2001 – 2003)
  • Drew Britton (2003 – 2004)
  • Denise Ouellette (2004 – 2006)
  • Lindsay Hall (2006 – 2009)
  • Ashley Hatchell (2009 – 2011)
  • Change to Student Managers (2011-present)

Challenge Course Coordinator

  • Ashley Hatchell (2008 – 2011)
  • Denise Ouellette (2004 – 2008, 2012-present)

Rental Shop Manager

  • Clay Harvey (2002 – 2004)

Shop Manager (Surf and Rental

  • Isaac Brandl (2009-present)
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