Outdoor Pursuits

UREC Outdoor Pursuits is dedicated to providing programs and equipment which promote challenging, educational, environmentally thoughtful and fun experiences for students with various interests and abilities.

Outdoor Pursuits

The Outdoor Pursuits Center is located in the Klotsche Center & Pavilion room 131A.
Our programs and gear are CURRENTLY only for current enrolled UWM Students.

Spring Hours:

Monday and Friday: 12:00 - 7:00pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thrusday: 12:00 - 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Bike Mechanic Hours:

Monday and Wednesday: 2:30 - 4:30pm
Tuesday and Thursdays: 4:00 - 6:00pm

Stop by Outdoor Pursuits to sign up for a clinic or trip or for more information call:
(414) 229-3914


Most Trips Include all of the following:

  • Equipment
  • Instruction
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Admission/Fees
Cross Country Skiing Series: Schlitz Audubon Center
February 1

Come join us for Outdoor Pursuits’ first skiing event of the season!  The Schlitz Audubon Center is located just north of town and is a great place for beginning and intermediate skiers to learn and play. We will also meet a live falcon and enjoy hot drinks by the fire. $35

Intro to Climbing: Turner Hall  
February 4

Learn how to put on a harness, tie into a rope, use climbing commands and belay a partner. We will also discuss basic climbing movement theory before heading off to the gym. $15 (Transportation NOT included however public transportation is available)

Cross Country Skiing Series: Pike Lake Candlelight Ski  
February 8

Everything is better by candlelight, even skiing.  Hitting the trails when they are illuminated by flame is a unique way to experience the countryside so, come join us. $35

Cross Country Skiing Series: Kettle Moraine 
February 16

The Kettle Moraine section of the Ice Age Trail offers challenge to those who seek it.  During this day long skiing trip you will take in one of Wisconsin’s prettiest parks. $35

WRFA: Wilderness Remote First Aid
February 22-23
Spend a lot of time outside? Learn to administer first aid when you are far from help. This practical, scenario based course is lots of fun and can be a life saver in a sticky situation.
$125 UWM Students $150 Community

Aldo Leopold Appreciation Ski Day
March 1

Join us for a your of the UW-Arboretum and cross country trails as well as the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Madison. We willalso listen to eco-literature.

Ledge View Caves Weekend (Postponed until summer due to whitenose bat syndrome.)

Come learn about cave formations like curtains, stalactites and columns.We will explore a damp and muddy underground world with large rooms and small crawlspaces! We will Caves stay a comfortable 50 degrees all year long so it will be a nice break from the cold. $85

John Muir Day Hike
March 8

John Muir, the Father of the National Park System, grew up right here in Wisconsin. We will spend some time walking through the beautiful landscapes that he called home on a rejuvenating and enlightening day hike.$20

Red River Gorge Rock Climbing Trip 
March 16-22

Don’t go to the beach for spring break, go to Kentucky!  This year Outdoor Pursuits is doing some world class rock climbing in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, a mecca for rockclimbers.  Rub elbows with thrill seekers and cliffs in what could be the greatest experience of your life. $400

Intro to Backpacking: Ice Age Trail
March 28-30

Joining us for this weekend class.  Topics include safety, comfort, gear, route planning, and more. $90

Trail Crew
April 5

"The Department of Natural Resources needs our help to maintain the trails we love.  If you don't mind getting dirty and you'd like a chance to give back then please join us. FREE

Banff Film Festival
April 12-13

This year the Banff Film Festival is coming to Chicago and we plan on being there.  So if you want to watch movies about incredible people doing remarkable things on screens big enough to capture the sublime aspects of their journeys with awesome people then this is the place for you. $50 (Includes: Transportation, festival admission, camping gear and breakfast. Dinner is on your own for this one!)

Devils Lake Rock Climbing 
April 18-19

Devils Lake is Wisconsin’s most famous climbing destination.  Start the climbing season off right as we climb, scramble, and traverse the quartzite bluffs.$75

Horicon Marsh Paddling  
April 25-26

This weekend we will be kayaking in one of Wisconsin's premier wildlife refuges.  We will be there as the song bird migrations come through and if we are very lucky we may see the endangered whooping crane.  As the migrations come through we will be there to spot them and if we are lucky the endangered whooping cranes will make an appearance. $75

Morning Stand Up Paddleboad Yoga
May 3 or May 4

Paddleboards offer a unique challenge by placing the yogi on a dynamic surface encouraging you to maintain a strong core.  Start your day off right! $10

Stand Up Paddleboard Touring
May 3 or May 4

Come explore our local waterways on a stand up paddleboard. $10



Backcountry Culinary Institute


January 31 (12:30 - 2:00pm)
We will make pizza the old fashioned way: with dough babies! Flour, water, salt, honey and some yeasty goodness combine in a zip lock bag which proofs under your coat with your body heat. This awesome crust is guaranteed to taste 10 times better than a conventional baby. Finish it with the toppings of your choice and you will have a culinary sensation on your hands. $7.50

One Pots!
February 7 (12:30 - 2:00pm)
One pots are ideal for those times when you want something hot and yummy without a pile of dishes to scrub. We will make a loaded baked potato chowder that is so good your granny will want the recipe. $6.50
Fast and Light
February 14 (12:30 - 2:00pm)
Sometimes you don't have the time or the patience to chop, sauté, boil, mix and season your way to a satisfying meal. We will discuss several recipes that are quick, easy and tasty. The featured dish will be angel hair pasta with pesto, parmesan and sundried tomatoes! Whether you are car camping at Devil's Lake or making a speed ascent of the mighty Lapham Peak, you will want these recipes in your repertoire. $6.50
February 21 (12:30 - 2:00pm)
Step aside s’mores. We will learn to make...wait for it...Cake in a Bag! Gooey and delicious, you will never go back. Other recipes discussed will include Banana Boats and Mexican Hot Chocolate. $6.50

Backcountry Basics

Don't Be a Junk Show: Wilderness Etiquette
February 25 (3:00 - 4:00pm)
You know that guy (or girl) who has all manner of things lashed to and falling off of his 80 pound pack equipped with external speakers for his iPod? This dude seems to explode upon making it to camp: pack here, jacket there, snacks...well he dropped his snacks and now they are sprinkled just about everywhere. He makes camp in the middle of the trail and then pees in the river. Don't be that guy! Come to this class and we will talk about being awesome outside. FREE
The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace
March 4 (3:00 - 4:00pm)
Learn to be a good steward of the places you visit both wild and not-so-wild with these seven principles: Plan Ahead and Prepare-Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces-Dispose of Waste Properly-Leave What You Find-Minimize Campfire Impacts-Respect Wildlife-Be Considerate of Other Visitors. FREE

March 11 (3:00 - 4:00pm)
Want to turn up to camp with the proper permit, have a good meal, be able to find your headlamp and not wake up in a puddle? Come to this class for beginner campers and open your mind to the art of Campcraft. FREE


Wilderness Medicine

It Starts with the Umbles: Hypothermia Prevention and Care
February 27 (12:30 - 1:30pm)
Stumbles, fumbles, mumbles and grumbles. These are the tell-tale signs of the onset of hypothermia. Learn how to keep a little chill from escalating and how to treat hypothermia if you find yourself in the middle of a backcountry epic. FREE
Blisters Are Mind Erasers
March 6 (12:30 - 1:30pm)
It doesn't matter how beautiful that view was, you probably don’t remember it if you had a blister. Learn to watch for and care for hot spots before they turn into blisters. Learn to keep blisters clean and comfortable when they do arise. This is possibly one of the most valuable and frequently used skills in outdoor first aid! FREE
RICE is a Verb!
March 13
(12:30 - 1:30pm)
Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate: These simple concepts can greatly improve swelling and range of motion for sprains and strains. We will discuss one of the most common outdoor injuries: a sprained ankle, and how to RICE it, support it and get it back to the car. FREE

Technical Skills


Red Fred in the Shed: Using a Map and Compass
January 25
(10:00am - 12:00pm)
If you are wondering who Fred is and why we would ever want to put him in a shed come to this class. We will learn basic tips and tricks for map and compass navigation including taking and following a bearing, using handrails, reading a topographic map and route planning. We may even discuss the mysterious concepts of declination and true North! $5.00

Climbing Skills I: Bits and Bobs
March 27 (5:00pm - 6:00pm)
Contrary to popular belief, knots are not just for your shoes! We will learn the figure 8 family of knots, the bowline, the stopper knot as well as the clove and prusik hitches. If you are already a knot aficionado there are plenty of other kdpress your friends $5.00
Climbing Skills II: Lots of Knots
April 3 (5:00pm - 6:00pm)
Contrary to popular belief, knots are not just for your shoes! We will learn the figure 8 family of knots, the bowline, the stopper knot as well as the clove and prusik hitches. If you are already a knot aficionado there are plenty of other knots to learn to impress your friends. $5.00

Climbing Skills III: The Importance of Being ERNEST (Must have CS I and CS II or equivalent)
April 10 (5:00pm - 7:00pm)
Contrary to popular belief, The Importance of Being ERNEST is not just a farcical comedy! It can also save your life. Come to this class to synthesize all you have learned from Bits and Bobs and Lots of Knots. We will build and evaluate many climbing anchors according to the Equalized-Redundant-No Extensions-Strong-Timely rubric. $5.00

Save a Book, Read a River: Features and Considerations
April 17 (3:00pm - 5:00pm)
From eddies and wave trains to downstream Vs and hydraulics, learn to understand what the water is telling you and how to pick the best line for a safe and fun day on the water. $5.00

Make All the Things!

Yarn and Yarns!
Wednesdays: January 29 through March 12 (3:00pm - 5:00pm) Drop-In.
Bring a textile project or allow us to help you with a new one and enjoy some tea while listening to tales of the outdoors compliments of the Dirtbag Diaries podcast. FREE


Improvised Shelters I: Constructing a Quinzhee
February 6 (3:00 - 5:00pm)
A Quinzhee is a snow shelter similar to an igloo however, it is intended for short stays and designed to be built quickly for survival. If you are a kid at heart and like to play in the snow this class is for you. FREE


Construct a Pocket-Sized Alcohol Stove
March 26 (3:00 - 5:00pm)
With just a soda can and a few household supplies, we will make fully functioning campstoves and some hot drinks in no time!. $5.00

Art: Andy Goldsworthy Style
May 2 (10:00am - 12:00pm)
Texture, color and pattern are key in Andy Goldsworthy's beautiful creations. We will use leaves, rocks, sticks, water and anything else we can find to create unique works of art. Each piece will be photographed and will be featured on the Outdoor Pursuits website with permission. Some photos may even grace our walls. FREE

Improvised Shelters II: Constructing a Bivouac
April 24 (3:00 - 5:00pm)
Learn how to make a rain and wind resistant shelter from downed trees, sticks and leaves, etc. If you grew up making forts or you want to try something new and fun join us for instruction that might just save the day during an unexpected night out. FREE


Please contact us at (414) 229.3914 for more information.


Gear Rental

Please contact us at (414) 229.3914 for more information.

Policies & Forms

Please contact us at (414) 229.3914 for more information.

Contact Us

Outdoor Pursuits is located in 131A

If you have any questions or comments please contact us at: 

(414) 229.3914