What is SC Outfitters?

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.

– John Muir; American naturalist

Who We Are

SC Outfitters is USC’s 100% student-run outdoor adventure organization. Our mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive outdoor community, while connecting as many students as possible with the wilderness of Southern California, the West, and beyond.

We are a passionate and ambitious group of peers bound by an unbridled spirit of adventure. Despite our urban location, we have seen firsthand how the outdoors offers a unique opportunity for USC students to come together, regardless of their walk of life or level of skill.

Where there is adventure to be had, SC Outfitters is there to share it with our community. Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, we’d love to have you join us.

Our Story

SC Outfitters was born as a project for former President Steven Sample’s class, “The Art and Adventure of Leadership,” where immediately our founders recognized the unique opportunity upon them. At the time, USC was in an odd situation: a world-class institution, situated within easy access to numerous deserts, forests, mountains, beaches, and more, yet alone for not having its own outdoor education program. So, in the spring of 2008, our founders gathered their first group of guides — fellow students representing almost every school on our campus — in pursuit of a common mission: to foster a spirit of adventure, an outdoor community, and an appreciation for the natural beauty of Southern California.

Ten years later, we keep those founding principles close to our hearts as we push SC Outfitters to its highest summits. We have gone from a humble class project to the leading source of outdoor adventure on campus, bolstered by the kind of bold community only the wilderness can inspire. Those guides and members hail from all backcountry backgrounds, skill sets, and experience levels, and together their energy and diversity inspire the robust program we run today.

In just the past few years, we have:

  • Vastly expanded the scope of our trips in variety, length and location; today it’s common for a single trip cycle to include snowshoeing in the San Gabriels, climbing in Malibu, backpacking around Death Valley, driving through Nevada, and a day trip that starts in the surf and ends on the slopes. Holiday weekends and breaks have lended opportunities to travel across state lines into Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Hawaii.
  • Certified 12 guides and 5 members as Wilderness First Responders (WFRs), to ensure our trips are as safe and prepared as possible.
  • Successfully run three years of Spring Break trips to hike Kauai’s Na Pali Coast.
  • Established Basecamp, a once-a-semester weekend of multiple trips that convene altogether for a night of car camping, cooking contests, and great company – the best of SC Outfitters that brings our entire community together.
  • Built lasting relationships with local service organizations, getting guides and members alike involved in trail building, wildlife restoration, and community outreach programs throughout Southern California

As we chart a course for our next ten years, we hope to bring even more Trojans into our fold, harnessing new talent and drive to meet demand for both the beginner and advanced trips that we are capable of offering. We have grown tremendously as an organization, but we will never forget our origin: a simple gathering of students who had a passion for the outdoors they couldn’t bear to keep to themselves. That spirit of adventure never wavers.