Backpacking FAQs

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WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE AT PALI?

Please check the weather the night before sending your child to Pali Outback. The weather in the mountains is very unpredictable and varies from day to day, and Outback in particular gives students the ability to “rough it” beyond traditional cabin life. If the weather report calls for rain or snow, please ensure that your child is prepared with waterproof clothing and appropriate shoes/boots. We typically use wunderground.com for the most accurate forecast. Our zip code is 92382.

ARE THE OUTBACK GROUP LEADERS QUALIFIED?

All Group Leaders are over the age of 21; hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree; participate in extensive and rigorous staff training spanning 14 days; and are CPR/First Aid certified. All Group Leaders will carry two-way radios 24/7 in the Outback, as well as SPOT:
https://www.findmespot.com/en/.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR MY CHILD?

You will receive a comprehensive packing list prior to your child’s Outback experience.

WHAT FOOD IS PREPARED ON EXPEDITIONS?

Under the supervision of our staff, students will take turns preparing a variety of foods for their meals. All food is vegetarian, nut-free, and allergy-aware. Breakfasts could include eggs, oatmeal, and pancakes. Lunch will be an assortment of snacks, fruit, and sandwiches. Dinner may be burritos, homemade pizzas, or chili. And of course, a camping trip wouldn’t be complete without s’mores to round out the day!

ARE THERE ANIMALS IN THE AREA?

We do have a variety of flora and fauna that call the San Bernardino National Forest home. There are many smaller critters, such as chipmunks, rabbits, foxes, and raccoons, as well as the occasional larger creatures, such as coyotes, deer, bears, and mountain lions. Despite entering these animals’ home, we ensure to make enough noise that will deter any wild creature, as many, including the larger ones, are quite shy and strive to avoid human contact whenever possible. Our staff also carry bear spray and other non-lethal deterrents, while striving to ensure all provisions are stored properly at all times to avoid curious but unwanted forest visitors. Our Outback staff have all been trained to safely and constructively encounter large and small animals to make sure that all participants are safe throughout the duration of their educational experience.

WHAT IF MY CHILD TAKES PRESCRIBED MEDICATION?

The Outback staff will happily carry any and all of your Outback student’s prescriptions and will ensure they adhere to proper dosage and medicinal regimen. Pali Outback has trained, certified nurses back on campus 24/7 who can be contacted with any questions about the health and safety of Outback campers. For questions about campers who need proper dosing and access to medication during their Outback experience, we encourage parents to email nurse@paliinstitute.com.

ARE PARENTS PROHIBITED FROM ATTENDING?

We do not allow parents to attend our Outback modules for a number of reasons. Our program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to grow and explore independence. Our model allows students to wholly interact with the outdoors and their instructors from the moment they arrive at camp to their departure. Pali Outback instructors are trained to provide a safe atmosphere for growth and personal exploration.

The safety of all campers that attend Pali Outback is paramount. Every employee who works on our property has a LiveScan background check through the DOJ & FBI and is checked against the National Sex Offender Registry. Pali Outback cannot guarantee that parents have gone through the same thorough background check and must err on the side of caution to protect all students on site.

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF STUDENTS TO OUTBACK INSTRUCTORS?

The Outback expedition ensures that each camper embraces the backcountry to its fullest, and do facilitate this experience, we ensure a one-to-six instructor ratio. This will allow all Outback campers the ability to appreciate the wild and open spaces of the west, while having a knowledgeable and attentive group leader to enable their journey.

MY CHILD HAS SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS. SHOULD I SEND FOOD WITH HIM/HER?

Please call Pali to speak with our staff and/or Chef to discuss your child’s dietary requirements while camping in the Outback. We may ask you to send supplemental food that will be prepared by our kitchen before the students set off on their experience.

MY CHILD IS A PICKY EATER. WHAT ARE HIS/HER OPTIONS?

There is always something for everyone to enjoy during the Outback experience. Fresh fruit is available, along with energy-rich comfort foods for long days in the chaparral. Please do not hesitate to contact Pali for an Outback menu if you have any concerns.

MY CHILD HAS A NUT ALLERGY. ARE THERE NUTS AT PALI?

No! Pali is a nut-aware facility. If we see nuts, they will be confiscated and given to Pali Outback Instructor. There are no nuts in any of the food prepared for consumption in the Pali Outback.

MY CHILD HAS NEVER BEEN AWAY FROM HOME. WHAT IF HE/SHE GETS HOMESICK, SLEEPWALKS, WETS THE BED, OR HAS NIGHT TERRORS?

Our staff is well trained in how to handle any and all situations that might arise. All personal student issues are handled with the utmost discretion and respect. If you have a specific concern, please outline it in detail in the parent pack and call us to relay your concerns. We will ensure that your child is kept safe both physically and emotionally.

IS THERE ANYTHING MY CHILD SHOULD NOT BRING TO PALI OUTBACK?

Your child will be carrying everything they need on the trip and no more. The Group Leaders will go through the packing process with your student to ensure they have what they need. This means not to pack nonessential items that your child will not need or use during this excursion.

We ask that parents refrain from packing snacks. We are located in a national forest and do our very best to follow a pack it in, pack it out philosophy. Kids never go hungry during their Outback experience, as we ensure plenty of food is packed, along with energy bars and nut-sensitive trail mixes.

We discourage sending any over-the-counter medications, as our Outback Group Leaders have a supply in the group first aid kit, should any needs arise. Please indicate that your child is allowed to take over the counter medications on the health form in the event that your child should need them. This prevents children from sharing medication without supervision.

As with Institute, cell phones and other devices with Internet capabilities are strictly prohibited.

CAN I CONTACT MY CHILD WHILE THEY ARE AT PALI?

Due to the nature of Outback, students will not be in communication until they return to the Pali Campus hub. Instructors will have satellite communication devices for emergency use only. However, if your student is injured, we will contact you. Teachers and Pali administrators are always available to speak with you if you have any questions during your student’s camping experience, or if you need to contact your child due to a family or other emergency.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR MY CHILD?

You will receive a comprehensive packing list prior to your child’s Outback experience.

WHY CAN’T MY CHILD BRING A CELL PHONE?

Pali Outback has a strict no cell phone policy. We want students to get away from technology for the duration of their trip and enjoy the experience. Additionally, for safety reasons, we want to know with whom students are communicating while at Pali. Any technology capable of connecting to the Internet will be collected and given to the Outback Group Leader for safekeeping until the camping experience concludes. Cameras are always welcome, provided it is separate from the cell phone.

WILL OTHER STUDENTS BE AT PALI OUTBACK WHILE MY STUDENT IS ATTENDING?

Yes. Pali is a 278-acre facility and is able to accommodate several groups of Outback students at any given time. However, all modules are completely private and separated by group. The only time your child will see students from other groups is occasionally on trails within the Pali property. Students will hike, interact, eat, and sleep with only their Outback group and will always be accompanied by an Outback Group Leader.

WHERE ARE THE NEAREST EMERGENCY FACILITIES?

The nearest paramedic station is located less than two miles away from Pali Outback. The closest hospital is located in Lake Arrowhead, 7.2 miles away from Pali Institute Campus.

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