Appalachian competes in the first Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge through Nov. 22

Hiking, slacklining and walking the dog are all ways Mountaineers can compete for Appalachian State University in the first Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge.

By logging your outdoor activity through Nov. 22 you can help Appalachian become the school in the U.S. that encourages the most outdoor activity.

Appalachian students, faculty, staff and alumni can compete against nine other universities to see which school can encourage the most individuals to participate in outdoor activities. Appalachian's competition is:

  • California State University, Long Beach
  • College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University
  • George Mason University
  • James Madison University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Spelman College
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

University and individual prizes

The winning university will be named the national champion and will receive a community-wide celebration, an outdoor gear library and other prizes and awards.

The individual with the most recorded outdoor activities affiliated with each school will be outfitted from The North Face. The individual who logs the most activity out of all 10 schools will be announced and recognized as the Outsider of the Year.

There will also be weekly prizes given out to students who meet or exceed a number of activities. The weekly challenge will be updated on the event website weekly.

Anyone can view each school’s points as well as individual standing on the competition website.

Competing as an individual

Participants can set up an account and register here. Once registered, participants can log up to five outdoor activities a day with a description of their activity and a picture. Eligible outdoor activities include:

  • walking
  • hiking
  • running
  • rock climbing/bouldering
  • paddle sports
  • mountain biking
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • winter sports
  • camping
  • gardening
  • stewardship projects

See a complete list of competition rules

To encourage participation, students can participate and log their activity in these events:

  • Outdoor Programs will offer free stand up paddleboard rentals during the competition.
  • Footsloggers Climbing Tower will offer free climbing Nov. 7.
  • Broadstone in Valle Crucis hosted a campus wide Outdoor Palooza in early October with climbing on the Alpine Tower, fly fishing demos, paddling the Watauga River and outdoor yoga.

About the competition

“This challenge is designed to encourage people to be more active and enjoy the natural environment,” said Associate Director of University Recreation Rich Campbell. “The goal is not getting people involved in extreme sports. The goal is encouraging people to be active outside.”

The Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge was created by Outdoor Nation, a national initiative that started in 2010 to empower millennials to champion the outdoors. The purpose of the competition is to encourage campus communities to get outside and be active.