Thinking About Joining an SOS Course?


Here are some questions we have received in the past. If you have a question that is not here, shoot sam@goswitchback.com an email and let him know how he can help! 

Question: I have my own gear... can I use it?

Answer: Most likely! We will check that you have the proper gear at your courses shakedown. Each course price includes the use of cookware and stoves, water treatment, extra stuff sacks, and any food storage we use. If any of your gear is not quite right, or you need all of your gear, Switchback has you covered with discounted equipment rentals and can get you set up at the shakedown. 

Question: What is a shakedown? 

Answer: We love this part. A shakedown is a chance for the course crew to go through all of their gear, hear the final itinerary, and learn how to pack up their pack. We'll walk you through each step. All you need, is to bring all of the items you're providing from the course packing list. If you're not sure about some items, bring them anyway and we will talk about them!

Question: What if a course does not meet its "minimum guest requirement"? 

Answer: A course will not run if this requirement is not met. For this reason, we only ask that you pay a deposit for our larger "Peak courses". This deposit is typically not refundable, but we will refund any deposit or trip payment if the minimum guest requirement is not met. 
For our day courses: your entire payment will be refunded if the course does not run. 

Question: How do I know that your course prices are fair? 

Answer: Here's how we figure out our prices:

We total up all of the costs for running a course, divide that total by the number our participants we'd like to join, and add in around a 10% margin for profit. 

One of the greatest costs on our end is transportation. So you'll notice that our courses that involve carpooling, or having participants meet us at a trailhead, are significantly less expensive.

If you're curious, our 7 day Appalachian Trail courses cost lists look something like this:

Fixed Costs:
Gas for the van $250
15 person van rental (7 days) $1,200.00
Consumable gear (fuel, water purification, broken gear, ect) $75
Trip leader 1 $550
Trip Leader 2 450
Trailhead shuttle 100
Trip leader travel expense 250
Insurance 249
Permit 150
Per person costs:
Trail Food 45
Lodging 75
Total cost for 8 people $4,234

 

 Don't forget! SOS has your back with all sorts of trip planning services and custom tailored experiences. See what adventures we can help you make happen!

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