PAWS FAQ and Registration

About PAWs

  • All levels are welcome!  Students can choose Basecamp White Mountains or Backpack White Mountains.  Approximately 80 incoming students arrive on campus early to participate in PAWs.  The first night is spent at UNH's Mendums Pond, the next morning we travel to the White Mountains where  students spend their time in a group of 8-10 students along with 2 (or 3 depending on the group) highly trained student leaders. All groups spend their final evening at Mendums Pond for celebrations and closing ceremonies. The registration fee includes all food, lodging, group equipment, transportation, instruction, etc.  And you get a free t-shirt!

If you have any questions contact us by phone or email:
Phone: (603) 862-1577


Please download and complete these forms prior to registering.



How much does PAWs cost?
If you register between March 23 - April 19 the cost is $450, after April 19 the cost is $499.  The registration fee includes all activities, food, equipment, a PAWs t-shirt, and transportation to and from Mendums Pond or your trip destination. There may be Financial aid opportunities available.
Please contact Outdoor Adventures directly for information.

How many people will be in my group?
PAWs groups will have between 8 and 10 first-year students, and 2-3 leaders who are current students at UNH. You'll spend the majority of your time with your small group, but you will also spend time with other groups and we'll have a few large group activities with everyone.

I'd like to register for backpacking, how hard is it?
Backpacking entails carrying a 50 lb pack for 4-8 miles each day over rugged and sometimes steep terrain.  While you do not need prior backpacking experience to be successful, you do need a good degree of determination and positive attitude!  It will be challenging, it may be painful on occasion, but the rewards are worth it!  If you are at least moderately fit and have a good positive mental attitude, this trip is for you!  Feel free to call us if you'd like to discuss.  

What should I bring with me?
Take a look at the packing lists contact us if you have any questions. When you apply, you will have the chance to let us know if you would like to borrow a sleeping bag, sleeping bag or backpack (for backpacking groups). Please leave your cell phone in your residence hall or it will be collected by the PAWs staff prior to departure. 

What do past participants (PAWsies) have to say about PAWs?
Students say that PAWs is an incredibly worthwhile experience.

  • “PAWs was an absolutely amazing start to college. I have met some of my greatest friends through this program.”
  • “The leaders were so friendly and it is nice having someone on campus who waves and says hi to you when you walk by.”

“I was able to get off the PAWs bus on move in day with a group of friends who felt like family. I had a stomach full of nerves and had no idea where I was going, but walking to my dorm room with them by my side was a feeling I would never forget.”

When can I move into my room/what do I do with all my stuff?
When you arrive on campus for PAWs you will have approximately 1 hour to drop off all of your belongings into your dorm room. Be sure to pack everything you need for PAWs in a separate duffel or backpack so you are ready to get started with your PAWs experience. When you arrive on campus, you can use these directions to find your way to your dorm. You can also download a campus map.

Will I be back in time for Wildcat days?
Yes, Wildcat days are required for all incoming students, and you will be back on campus in plenty of time for the first required event.

Can I move into my room a day early?
Sorry, early move-ins are not possible.

I've never slept outside before, are you sure this is for me?
Many students come to PAWs with little or no camping experience, and have a great time. Your leaders will be there to teach you everything you need to know and will support you all the way through. PAWs leaders are a great resources during PAWs, and back on campus.

What do we eat?
During PAWs you will cook and eat all of your meals in your small group of 8-10 people. Hot meals are cooked on a camp stove and are intended to be tasty, nutritious, and easy to prepare. Breakfasts are typically bagels, cereal, or oatmeal. Dinners include mac and cheese and Mexican night. Lunches include sandwiches, wraps, and lots of snacks. If you have questions about food, or have any dietary restrictions you are concerned about, please contact us. We are able to accommodate basic dietary needs/restrictions when given adequate notice.

Will I take a shower every day?
Nope, but neither will anyone else, so no one will even notice. You will be able to rinse off in lakes or streams.  This may sound crazy, but we promise that you'll be having so much fun, that it's not even an issue!