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From canoe trips, whitewater kayaking, and backpacking excursions in the fall, to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, Outing Club members explore the country through wilderness excursions.
The Hoofer Outing Club is an outdoors education and recreation club with a diverse membership of students, faculty, staff, and community members. Members plan and lead trips in Wisconsin and around the country, instruct lessons, oversee purchase and upkeep of club equipment, and coordinate all aspects of club operations.
When you join the Outing Club, lessons are free and most equipment use is included; trip costs are usually only gas, food, and camping expenses. You can join in on a trip or lead one yourself! Trips are announced on the website calendar, through our email list, or at one of our weekly meetings at the trip leader’s discretion.
How to Join
1. Create your Account!
When you're ready to join, head over to our member site at https://members.hoofers.org to create your account! You must be a Union Member to join. Note that UW-Madison students are automatically granted Union membership.
2. Sign Up for Events!
Once you've joined the club, you can search for events and sign up from the member site. Pick your favorite event, sign up, and get ready for an adventure!
For more information, click the button below!
We are excited to partner with Badger Branch Out for some weekly outing recommendations!
Whether you are looking for a place to have a picnic, play volleyball, watch birds, take a stroll, or kayak, Tenney Park is the place to go. When it's too cold for many of these activities, ice skaters delight in the frozen lagoon during the winter months. Tenney Park has a unique location in Madison. Not only is it on the shore of Lake Mendota, but there you will also find the Yahara River that connects Lake Mendota to Lake Monona. Tenney Park rests between Sherman Avenue and E. Johnson Street and takes about 45 minutes by foot or 15-minutes by bike to get there from the Memorial Union.
Hoofer Outing teamed up with Hoofer Mountaineering to climb the 200 foot ice park in Winona, MN!
Hoofers journeyed to Winona, MN for some gorgeous late winter XC skiing featuring a hard-packed ski jump!
Don Faith took a nice climate photo on the Lake Columbia trip of member and instructor Carl holding a climate protest sign on a freakishly warm solstice day.
A couple of Hoofers headed over to Pheasant Branch Conservancy last week for an early winter hike!
Sea Kayak Lake Mendota
Sea Kayak Thursday Evening - Lake Mendota
I will lead a seakayaking trip along the boundaries of the yellow line on Lake Mendota on Tuesday evening. We will take a fairly leisurely pace unless everyone involved wants to work on their endurance. This will be an opportunity to re-familiarize ourselves with our boats and practice good paddling technique. Be sure to dress in clothing which is warm when wet (no cotton), to layer your clothing so that you can adjust it as needed, and to have a set of dry clothes for when we return. If you start getting hot you can always splash yourself until you cool off. Also, be sure to bring plenty of water (at least 1 liter) to stay well hydrated.
I'm currently opening 5 participant slots, but if another SK leader joins we can open up more spots.
Route Plan: Please arrive by 4:45pm to select gear and move the boats to the water. We will leave promptly at 5pm from the Hoofer dock and follow the shoreline out to Tenney Park. From there we will make a crossing along the yellow line straight to Picnic Point. After we reach the point we can either paddle directly back to the Hoofer dock, or, if people want some additional distance, we can follow the shoreline back from the point. Estimated distance: approx. 4.5 - 5.5 miles, depending on what we choose for the last leg of the route. Estimated end-time: plan for 8pm, although we may finish sooner depending on the skill and energy of the group. If we have extra time before sunset around 8:30, we can practice some rolls/rescues out in front of the Union if people want.
Anticipated Weather Conditions: 81 degrees surface, Mostly Sunney, light wind NE
Required Rating: SK1 or above, due to the overall distance and the crossing from Tenney Park to Picnic Point. If you have previous sea kayaking experience but have not yet completed the club lessons, please let me know if you'd like to attend.
Personal Gear: sunglasses, sunscreen, water (1 liter or more), snack food, shoes you don't mind getting wet (no open-toe shoes), a hat, warm-when-wet clothing (no cotton), a change of clothes, a towel. I'd also recommend a hat that keeps the sun off your neck if you have one.
Club Gear: kayak, paddle, PFD, wetsuit/drysuit, tow rope (for group), pump (for group), first aid kit (for group)
For Covid we will limit the number of people in the boathouse, and maintain social distance on the water. There are handwashing stations and sanitizer available in the Union.
Intro to moving water kayaking on Black Earth Creek
PREREQUISITES: No prior Outing Club trip experience necessary. Participants should be comfortable with swimming and being underwater briefly.
The goals of this trip are to be safe, have fun, and learn something!
By the end of this trip, you should be familiar with moving water fundamentals, including eddy turns, ferries, and peel-outs. We will also discuss the basic moving water hazards: strainers and snags/foot entrapment.
Meet at 4:35 pm at the Hoofer Boathouse, lower level of Memorial Union.
By 5:30, leave for Black Earth Creek
By 6:30, arrive at the Olson Road put-in.
By 7:00, start paddling.
By 8:45, reach the Two Bridges/ Wolf Run trailhead in Mazomanie.
By 9:30 pm, return to Madison
WHAT TO BRING:
Please bring shoes that you are willing to get wet and that will not fall off in the water.
Dress for being immersed in water. You can wear activewear layers, or wetsuits are available which you can borrow from Hoofers (or bring your own). Definitely plan to be completely soaking wet!
Bring a towel and a full change of dry clothing, including a dry pair of shoes. We will leave those in the car for afterwards.
COVID PRECAUTIONS: Most of this event will occur outdoors. Hand sanitizer will be available. Masks are not necessary if participants show a green Badger Badge.
Shred Quarry Ridge
I will be leading an all-levels mountain biking trip to Quarry Ridge this Thursday. Quarry Ridge is about 5 miles away, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to get there on a mountain bike. All skill levels welcome, and Hoofers has helmets and some dope mountain bikes making this the perfect opportunity to try out the sport!
Quarry Ridge is an actual trail system, meaning it has a variety of singletrack trails ranging from beginner to expert, so the ability to ride a bike comfortably is a must, with basic skills like shifting, braking, and riding over and off small curbs. In addition to basic riding ability, you should be comfortable in your ability to bike up to 15 miles in a 5 hour period. If you have these skills, you have what it takes to go on your first mountain biking trip!
What you should bring:
- At least 1.5L of water (aka 2 water bottles)
- Snacks and possible a small lunch (for some extra calories on the ride)
- Something to carry these items!
- Clothing (Long socks, athletic shirt and shorts, light gloves if you have them, shoes with a flat bottom and strong sole/toe protection work best)
- If you have your own bike, let me know so I can open the trip to more participants
- Meet at the boathouse at the time indicated (right next to the Mendota Lounge where we have our weekly meetings)
- Shred trails for 2-3 hours
- Return by the time indicated
- We will be outside and spread out the entire time
- Bring a mask for the short period of time where we will be grabbing bikes and putting them away in the boathouse
- Don't come if you feel unwell
If you have any questions, please reach out to me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PS!!: If the trip is full but you want to go, sign up on the waiting list! People drop last minute all the time, and if you're on the waiting list I'll be sure to reach out to you to see if you still want to go
The SK0 lesson is your introduction to our sea kayaking fleet and will allow you to check our long boats out on Lake Mendota and participate in most quietwater trips. This also opens the doorway to touring Wisconsin's plethora of lakes and riverways (eventually including trips on the Great Lakes).
The lesson will include:
Instruction in wind/water/weather considerations.
Boat and paddle differences between whitewater and sea kayaks.
Basic paddle strokes (forward, reverse, sweep, & draw).
Wet exits and assisted rescues. Individuals who take this lesson must demonstrate they can perform an assisted T-rescue.
Be prepared to get wet! Please have a swimsuit, closed-toe water shoes, water, and a change of clothes. If you'd like, you can also sign up for the SK1 lesson I will teach after this lesson on Saturday. If you still need to complete your swim test (i.e. if you haven't completed any other introductory paddling lessons for the club) we will complete that either before or after this lesson as well.
The SK1 lesson builds upon the basic skills developed in the SK0 lesson, and will enable you to paddle on all quietwater trips as well as instructional trips such as day trips on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.
In this lesson we will:
Briefly review the paddling strokes learned in the SK1.
Learn to brace and scull.
Learn to re-enter a swamped kayak without assistance. This includes familiarization with re-entries with the help of a paddle-float or stirrup, as well as techniques such as the back-deck/cowboy reentry or the re-entry and roll (for those who can already roll).
Be prepared to get wet! Please have a swimsuit, closed-toe water shoes, water, and a towel/change of clothes.
2021 Door County Sea Kayak Symposium - July 8-11
2021 Door County Sea Kayak Symposium - July 8/9-11, 2021 (Arrival to Door County evening of July 8)
This symposium is sponsored by Rutabaga and hosted at Rowley's Bay Resort in beautiful Door County. This is a chance for Hoofers to paddle sea kayaks on Lake Michigan in a beautiful setting and to get quality mentorship/training outside of the club and to bring their skills back to the club. Many club members have either attended or instructed at the symposium in the past. If you intend to register and attend, please contact me to coordinate boat and gear. Given the scheduling and costs involved, I am posting early to enable folks to plan and coordinate boat, gear, and lodging. I am also hoping that this will motivate you to develop skills through the club to enable you to make the most of the experience.
There may be an opportunity for those engaged in becoming Sea Kayaking leaders for the club to have part of the registration cost offset through the club. Please sign up on the event waiting list and contact Ryan Holley before registering if interested.
What’s it about? Watch this video!
Door County Sea Kayak Symposium Website:
When: July 8/9-11, 2020 (Participants often arrive on the evening of July 8 to be ready to participate on July 9.)
Where: On Lake Michigan at Rowley Bay Resort in Door County, WI. ~ 5hrs drive from Madison.
Rating Required:SK1 and up (If you need help deciding if this is a good fit for you, please feel free to contact me directly by email.)
Why's it so great: This symposium offers dozens of courses organized by skill level. It is run by ACA and BCU certified instructors and covers every aspect of sea kayaking. You choose your own class schedule based on skill level. There are land and water-based instructional courses as well as guided expeditions around Lake Michigan. Some examples of instructional classes are Greenland paddling, Navigation, and Surf & Waves. Guided trips are both full and half-day. You have the choice of skill-builder trips where rescue scenarios are mixed with the expedition, or you can strictly do touring.
Skill level descriptions will be on the website and instructors will be double checking your abilities. So, choose what you think is the most appropriate level. If you intend to register and attend, please contact me to coordinate boat and gear and if you would like help choosing classes/trips. The full schedule and details for registration should be available in early/mid April 2021.
Cost: You are responsible for symposium and lodging costs (below) and food (some meals are provided by symposium).
You will need to register through the symposium’s website and pay registration fees (more info below). If you intend to register and attend, please contact me so I can help coordinate boat and gear. Using Hoofers Club Gear makes this much more affordable.
When you look at the variety of guided expeditions and instructional opportunities the value goes a long way. If you need sea kayak equipment we are approved to use Hoofer equipment. This saves the expense of having to rent boats/paddles/skirts.
REGISTRATION/FEES (based on previous years; may be subject to change)
Symposium Details and Registration
Scheduling: You have the choice to attend 1, 2, or all 3 days. Cost varies upon how many days you sign up for.
Price: $415 (for Friday, Saturday, and half-day Sunday)
Covid Protocols for 2021
- Full vaccination is required for all staff, instructors, and participants. Full vaccination means that the final dose in a vaccination series was received at least 14 days prior to the start of the event.
- Due to the above vaccine requirement, as well as limits on staff housing, we are not offering programs for youth this year.
- Event registration is capped at 75% capacity.
- Masks are required when in close proximity to others and when not actively eating or drinking.
- Participants and instructors are encouraged to bring their own chairs/blankets for mealtimes/campfire/etc.
- Communal meals will be set up for distanced eating.
- An extra hand-washing station has been rented.
- The Stuga (Customer Service location) will have a limited capacity to avoid crowding indoors.