The #Onward Winter Challenge Hike Series
The #Onward Winter Challenge Hike Series
BRING A FRIEND! ADD 1 MORE FOR AN AUTOMATIC 10% OFF YOUR RESERVATION 🙌
One day, Trip Host Anna and her bff Carla decided to go on a casual walk that accidentally turned into a 17-mile hike.
And apparently, they only took a 5-minute break the entire 17 miles. So, to finish that hike, they’d say, “Onward!” to motivate each other to keep going. Ooookay. Yeah. "Accidentally".
Anyway, that's how the #Onward Challenge was born. An accidental team effort to go nowhere in particular.
The #Onward Challenge kicked off in 2021 with a 36.5 mile "ultra" hike-a-thon where fam supported each other over 7,350 feet of scary elevation change over 15 weeks from January to April.
In 2022, the Onward team hiked ~35 miles over 8,100 feet of elevation change during 20 weeks starting January. Although 2023 was paused due to weather and other factors, the Onward team came up with an even crazier idea...
We're kicking off the fourth season with a plan to complete the #firetowerchallenge, an attempt to hike to each of the Catskills 6 firetowers in one hiking season. Except, the Onward team will be making its attempt In the winter.
There will be trips that will be impossible to complete. But the point is to complete or not as a team.
Each hike will have its own challenges, testing your stamina, endurance, willpower and outdoor skills in extreme weather conditions*. But when you're done, you're never going to forget what you accomplished.
Join the Challenge! Onward!
This trip is rated ADVANCED.
*The average pace of hiking 1 mile in NYC is 15 minutes. In natural terrain, it's about 30. Onward Challenge will attempt to hike 1 natural terrain mile in about 20 minutes or less. Challengers will be tested.
- 10am Arrive at trailhead
- 10:20am Begin trip
- ~12pm Arrive at midpoint, quick lunch
- ~3p Conclude trip
**Schedule is subject to change depending on trail conditions, weather, etc. Final schedule sent via email after you've made your reservation.
- If you've been on any past Onward Challenges, use code ONWARD2023TEAM at checkout when you reserve upcoming Onward Challenge trips and they will come out to the original $39 of 2021 trips! (Any trouble with this code and let us know in the chat box below. We'll fix it right away.)
- When you complete 4 out of 5 #Onward Challenges, your 5th Challenge is free. Just use code ONWARDFINISHER when you book your 4th hike and 5th hikes together and your 5th hike will come out to $0.
- Bonus, you'll also receive a free limited edition #Onward Challenge Finisher Sweatshirt.
- Double bonus! Reach all 6 fire towers with us and you'll receive a Finisher Patch from NY State for completing this challenge!
- Hikers MUST bring spiked crampons for their shoes to help them maintain traction on icy terrain.
From the #whatyoumissed archives
General Trip Information
ABOUT TRIP RATINGS
Guidance by Outerthere, Updated August 2023
Everyone goes at their own pace and regardless of the pace you're on, you will never get left behind or be made to feel as though you’re slowing down your group. Whether you’re coming out for fitness or to just enjoy nature, the pace of the group can accommodate you.
Beginner trips and activities are for anyone physically active at least one to three times per week, including kids ages 5+.
Beginner hiking trips, for example, may cover 0 to 3 miles in distance where you will be walking across unpaved, natural terrain anywhere between 2 to 4 hours with plenty of breaks or an experience will include basic training.
Elevation is within 1,000 feet. And some features may require you to use your hands for leverage, balance, and even getting up or down.
Beginner trips are generally labeled "Easy" or "Beginner-friendly" and in the case of water-based trips (i.e. kayaking), will be on calmer lakes and slow moving rivers. For beginner camping trips, we may go from trailhead to campground without backpacking.
Regardless of the pace you're able to keep, you will not be left behind and will be supported with demonstrations or other instruction until you're comfortable performing the basic activity.
Beginner trips are recommended for anyone who little-to-no experience, but wants to get more acquainted with that activity.
Like Beginner trips, but with more consideration to kids and pets. (For example, other parents/nannies will be present and are happy to support your kid, expect activities your kids will enjoy, baby changing stops and areas are considered, area is walkable with carrier or stroller).
Intermediate trips are a bit more challenging than Beginner trips, but completely doable for anyone active 3 to 5 times per week, including pre-teenagers.
An Intermediate trip may cover 3 to 7 miles, during which you'll be moving anywhere between 4 to 8 hours with breaks.
If you're participating in an Intermediate trip, you will be expected to have had some basic experience with this activity. You may already own some gear and/or equipment specifically designed for the activity and will be OK with unexpected weather.
And you may even be asked to support Beginners transitioning up to Intermediate.
Elevation is within 3,000 feet. And some features may require you to use your hands for leverage, balance, and even getting up or down. You'll feel it in your calves, quads, hams, shoulders, back, and arms next day.
Intermediate water-based trips (i.e. kayaking, rafting) generally assume you're comfortable in open water and/or with fast-moving water. Although you don't have to know how to swim, if you're participating in an Intermediate trip, it's recommended.
You will need to focus and stay alert at all times for your safety.
When you’re done, you may say to yourself you’ll never do a trip like that again, but afterwards, you’ll look forward to the next one.
These trips are recommended for anyone interested in stepping up their outdoor game or anyone about to start a training program.
Advanced is intended for anyone (including teenagers) who is active almost every day and could probably put together their own trip, but prefers going in a group with other Advanced fam.
They may cover 7 or more miles during which you'll be moving 8+ hours. Destinations, elevation and weather will be challenging.
If you're participating in an Advanced trip, you will be expected to have had some basic experience with this activity. You may already own all gear and/or equipment specifically designed for the activity and are knowledgeable with how to use it.
Advanced water-based trips (i.e. kayaking, rafting) will require you to comfortable in all types of water. You should know how to swim.
These trips are recommended for anyone thinking about DIY trips and need some additional guidance, anyone training to do epic, multi-day treks, and/or anyone interested in mixing up their normal weekly workout.
IMPORTANT HEAD UP ABOUT ADVANCED PACE: Please be aware that some fam will attend a trip convinced that they are prepared for an Advanced trip, including maybe you. However, they may have discovered on that trip that they are not as Advanced as they expected. That is perfectly normal and in no way reflects a miscommunication or misunderstanding by anyone. Like it says in Welcome emails, sh_t happens and your trip host can manage.
If that's the case, and you or someone else on your trip is having a challenging time, other fam may be asked to support anyone who is having a challenging time maintaining an Advanced pace. This can mean that someone is going at a slower pace due to injury, dehydration, affected mental state, anything. In any case, trips are safe spaces and no one will be made to feel as though they are being a burden or left behind.
Scouting trips are meant for us to "test the adventure" (like breaking gadgets on purpose to see if they'll hold up to regular use) and figure out all the risks before planning a safe adventure for everyone else.
That said, since we won't always know what to expect, sometimes these scouting trips are very easy and even boring.
Or they are very challenging and extremely dangerous. We won't know until we try it.
Either way, they're fun for anyone who has already participated in Intermediate or Advanced trips, are open to anything and don't mind the unexpected inconveniences (weather, car issues, whatever) that come up on the way to a new experience.
These trips are recommended for anyone with advanced outdoor skills, lots of experience in the outdoors and a variety of outdoor gear.
Roundtrip shuttle is available for this trip.
Pickup times depend on total number of pickups for your trip, where you're going for your trip and type of trip you've signed up.
As a result, there are no standard pickup times, but you can get approximate times via the chatbox.
YOU WILL RECEIVE EXACT PICKUP TIMES AND LOCATIONS VIA WELCOME EMAIL AFTER YOU'VE MADE YOUR RESERVATION AND 72 HRS PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP. These pickup times are final. You'll be able to select your pickup time and location only by replying to that email.
Here's how to reserve a pickup for any Outerthere trips you reserve:
These are our primary pickups: North Astoria on Ditmars, Downtown Brooklyn near Junior's Restaurant, Midtown East on 63rd, Washington Heights on 181st and Ft. Wash, and The Grand Concourse and East 149th in the Bronx.
In addition, we can also accommodate requests near these primary pickups and along our route. We've picked up in Harlem, Fort Lee, New Rochelle and even Stamford, depending on where we're going and when you make your reservations.
But don't let the map fool you. As close as all these pickups appear, it takes a full 2 hours to pickup at every stop. So, we don't pick up at every stop every time.
We pre-determine our pick up route based on the address you use when you make a reservation. Then, you can either request your pickup by replying to the Welcome email prior to your trip or when you indicate your preferred pickup in your Safety Information Form. You can also request your pickup via the chat box on the website or even DM'ing here on IG.
Our route may change and our schedule gets adjusted, but the point is that our hosts are at your service to make joining us on trips as easy as possible.
So next time you get a Welcome email and don't see your preferred pickup, just request it!
ABOUT OUR SHUTTLE SERVICE
We rely on 15-seat passenger vans with 460 cubic feet of interior space and 7-seat minivans with 144 cubic feet of interior space for our shuttle trips.
They're able to go places where larger vehicles cannot and provide a more comfortable experience at a lower cost for our small groups.
- The interiors of our vehicles are cleaned and sanitized before every trip by your driver who is also your host.
- Everyone's temperature will be taken before entering.
- Face coverings will also be enforced during your ride.
- And weather permitting, we also keep our windows open (there are 2 in the front and 2 small ones in the back) for circulation.
- Finally, based on everyone's comfort level, we limit capacity to 5 per minivan, 10 per passenger van.
If you have any questions or concerns about our shuttle rentals, don't hesitate to ask using the chat box below.
Can I cancel my shuttle ride after I've reserved it? As you may already know, we have an awesome refund & cancellation policy and your shuttle fee will be refunded instantly upon request, no questions with advanced notice.
However, if you change your mind on the day of your pickup or if your temperature is too high the day of your ride and you are not permitted to enter our vehicle by your host, we unfortunately will not be able to refund you.
And hey, it's OK if you do not feel comfortable for any reason, and we won't take offense if you do not feel comfortable in our vehicles for any reason.
Get Outerthere merch with your reservation!
Just like in this instagram pic. All sizes available. Select from below colors. Request in comments at checkout.
Teeshirts come in the following colors:
Black, Emerald, Maroon, Brown, Royal Blue, Purple Navy, Red, Teal, Berry, Dark Grey, Light Grey, Blue, Aqua, Mustard, Tan, White
Hoodies come in the following colors:
Navy, Maroon, Dark Grey (Charcoal Heather), Dark Blue/Royal, Forest Green, Military Green, Dusty Rose, Carbon Grey (Light Grey), White
Please note that your merch will be mailed USPS flat rate to the address you use at checkout.
TIME, DATE & DESCRIPTIONS POSTED HERE ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE FOR ANY REASON. Details regarding your trip will be emailed to you after you book.