LandSea takes place in the 6-million-acre Adirondack State Park in northern New York State. Comprising 85 percent of the protected wilderness lands in the Eastern United States, Adirondack State Park has the largest system of hiking trails in the country, 3,000 lakes and ponds, 1,200 miles of rivers, and the state’s highest mountains. Naturally, the Adirondacks are a great place for LandSea, and students will challenge themselves on the rivers, lakes, trails, and peaks of some of the premier wilderness destinations in the Eastern U.S.
There are two trip options: Expedition and Basecamp.
Backpacking and canoeing are the two major components of Expedition. Participants may extend (in distance traveled) the backpacking or canoeing portion of their trip. In addition, each group will have the opportunity to participate in a climb-and-rappel day, a service-and-reflection component (options include up to a 48-hour Solo, group reflection, trail maintenance and service), and finish with a day of rafting.
The Basecamp option is designed for those seeking a group camping experience. Groups of campers sleep in bunks within canvas-covered “tent cabins” for the majority of the trip and have access to pit toilets while at our Massawepie Lake Basecamp. Skill building, such as campcraft, canoeing, hiking and backpacking, will be emphasized. The pace is more casual than on the Expedition trip. There are opportunities for day trips within the 2,000-acre Basecamp and into the Park, as well as expanded service projects. The experience culminates in a three- or four-day overnight trip. Similar to the Expedition, Basecamp groups have the opportunity to participate in a climb-and-rappel day, a service-and-reflection component (options include up to a 48-hour Solo, group reflection, trail maintenance and service), and finish with a day of rafting.
Participants, Leaders and Staff
The group of approximately 60-70 participants will be divided into smaller patrols of six, each led by two trained student leaders. Kalamazoo College staff are responsible for the program, training student leaders, and all other logistical and administrative matters. Throughout the program, interactions with the leaders, staff and other participants will provide incoming students with a substantial opportunity to become acquainted with other members of the K community.
A desire to be challenged: Most participants find they are challenged in a variety of ways at different points during the program. Participants should be willing to accept these challenges as well as any inconveniences which may arise.
Physical conditioning: It is important that participants exercise regularly and vigorously prior to the start of the program. Students who prepare by walking while wearing a 20- to 30-pound pack or running three to four times a week at increasing distances, and strengthen their upper body by weight training the summer prior to LandSea are in the best shape to enjoy all aspects of the program.
Proper footwear: It is essential that participants equip themselves with a pair of over-the-ankle, well-fitting hiking boots. These boots should be completely broken in prior to the start of the program in order to avoid physical difficulties and discomfort during the trip. Visit our footwear page to learn more about choosing the proper boots. For more information on what gear to bring, please go to the equipment page.
Check-In Day – August 20, 2020
- Participants arrive at Kalamazoo College
- Check-In for participants runs from 11 am – 12:30 pm
LandSea – August 21, 2020 – September 6, 2020
- Students will board the bus and leave around 6:30/7:00 pm on August 20th
- Photo identification is required to board the bus. Visit our Check-In Day page to review acceptable forms of ID.
Return to campus – September 7, 2020
- Return drive to Kalamazoo College. Buses usually arrive around mid-day
Religious Observance and LandSea
We recognize there are times when the dates of LandSea may occur during major religious, spiritual, or cultural holidays and events. If you have questions about how your religious or spiritual practice might be accommodated within the confines of the trip, please contact the Outdoor Programs office.
Choosing a Trip Difficulty
No prior experience is necessary in order to participate on LandSea. We strive to offer a variety of itineraries with varying degrees of difficulty. This guide can be used in order to find the difficulty rating that best fits the experience individual participants are looking for.
Moderate: Basecamp trips
Sleeping: Most nights are spent in the same location
Hiking: Lighter packs, opportunity for day hikes and summits with day packs. Mixed elevation and mileages.
Canoeing: Lower mileage, no portaging (canoe carrying).
Difficult: Expedition trips
Sleeping: Camping location will change day to day as participants hike/canoe to a new campsite.
Hiking: Carrying packs day to day with low elevation change and greater mileage. Opportunities for summiting mountains without full packs.
Canoeing: Average mileage with canoeing along ponds and rivers in the Adirondacks. Some short portaging (canoe carrying).
Strenuous: Expedition trips
Sleeping: Camping location will change day-to-day as participants hike/canoe to a new campsite.
Hiking: Carrying full packs, including over mountain summits. Elevation changes of 2,000-3,000 feet possible.
Canoeing: Higher mileage with some (2-3) portages (Canoe carries).
A key to adjusting to life on trail is to exercise regularly prior to the start of the program. Students who prepare by running 3-4 times a week at increasing distances and strengthen their upper body by weight training during the summer prior to LandSea are in the best shape to enjoy all aspects of the trip. It is also essential that you break in your boots to avoid problems during the trip. For more information on how to break in your boots, visit our footwear page.