GV offers outdoor equipment rental and resources for community


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Jonathan Carroll, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Outdoor Adventure (OA) equipment rental program is part of the Recreation and Wellness Center on the Allendale campus and offers many outdoor activities and resources during all seasons. 

The OA equipment rental program allows students to borrow various types of outdoor gear, such as snowshoes, sleeping bags, tents and more. Additionally, the program offers students the resources to engage with the outdoors and try out new activities without committing to purchasing the (often expensive) equipment. 

Individuals can rent desired equipment by submitting an equipment rental request form two days before they plan to pick up the equipment. OA will then send a confirmation with required payment and waiver forms for the renter to fill out. Once approved, the renter can pick up equipment and must return the gear as agreed upon. 

The OA rental program is based out of the Ravines Center, located on Stadium Drive near Lubbers Stadium. The Ravines Center is also home to the Student Mail and Package center. 

GVSU and the surrounding community is home to several trail systems, parks and natural spaces. One of the most notable on the Allendale campus is the Arboretum, a seven acre green space with trails spread across the campus.

As a school known for its commitment to the environment and sustainability, students are looking to take advantage of the nicer weather and the outdoor space provided. 

GVSU sophomore Hannah Brown came to GVSU to enjoy natural spaces while furthering her education. While she has explored what the campus has to offer independently, she was unaware of the outdoor resources offered by the university.

“The space here is just a nice break from the stresses of school,” Brown said. “I had no idea there were things we could rent like snowshoes. I think it would be fun to try before graduating for sure.”

Additionally, there is a student collective of nature enthusiasts based in the Ravines Center called the Outdoor Adventure Collective. The group’s Facebook page can be found on the Ravines Center page on the GVSU website.

The Outdoor Adventure Collective shares experiences of GVSU students traveling and exploring nature. They also post about events and programs that students can participate in through the RecWell program. 

GVSU junior Jason Sanders is an avid hiker and enjoys camping during the summer. Through the outdoors, he finds his peace and quiet to rest and relax.

“Having the Ravines Center is really nice, because I can continue my hobbies during school without having to have my own gear with me,” Sanders said. “I can rent it out when I have time and go with friends, and then turn it back in when I need to go back to classes.”

Sanders said he’s met many of his friends through the activities and looks forward to future experiences.

Sanders and Brown are two students of many on campus looking to finally be able to go outside and spend time with others. The Ravines Center is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the center’s website