Unless otherwise specified, you will receive a full refund less an administrative fee of $75 per person if you cancel at least 30 days before the class begins. No refunds will be made for cancellations received less than 30 days before the class start date. As a nonprofit organization on a tight budget, the Field Institute cannot make exceptions to this refund policy for any reason, including personal emergencies or weather.
If the Field Institute must cancel a class, you will receive a full tuition refund. We will notify you at least 30 days before the start date if we find it necessary to cancel. Classes using commercial river outfitters or collaborations with other organizations may have a special refund policy that will be set forth in preclass materials.
Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase trip cancellation insurance through a travel agent. This insurance protects you against financial loss if you must cancel or interrupt a trip because of illness or injury to yourself, a family member or traveling companion. Participants must provide their own health and accident insurance. Each participant will be required to fill out an Assumption of Risk Form (PDF) and Health Questionnaire (PDF) before participating in any class.
Most Field Institute classes involve travel through rugged terrain in which there are real dangers. The Field Institute takes the management of our activities with respect to these dangers very seriously. Good physical conditioning and a positive mental attitude are essential. Each student plays an important role in the success of a Field Institute class.
With few notable exceptions, all overnight classes in the backcountry require that you carry your own gear, sleep outdoors, prepare your own meals and care for yourself in weather conditions that can be extreme. Wilderness activity involves hazards to even the most experienced hiker/backpacker: rockfall, flash floods, lightning strikes (to name a few) can happen with little or no warning. Activities ranging from simple day hikes to multiday backpacking can, due to error in judgment or the unpredictable forces of nature, become dangerous and potentially life threatening.
Our classes are often conducted in remote areas in which travel can create complex emergency situations that have no simple solutions. Many medical incidents may be treated in the field (sprains, blisters, diarrhea, etc.). A more serious incident, such as a fracture, will require evacuation of the patient to a medical facility at their own expense.
Most Field Institute backcountry classes are equipped with electronic communication devices for life-threatening emergencies, but this does not guarantee reliable communication from the field. Radios and portable phones can be unreliable depending on terrain, atmospheric conditions and other variables. Classes that are within a two-hour walk/drive to emergency phones do not typically include an electronic communication device.
It is important that you understand that there are risks. Some adventure programs say that they can guarantee your safety. The Field Institute does not. The risk of injury, even serious injury or death, is unavoidable in the outdoor environment in which we teach. We strive to teach students how to identify hazards and adapt behavior during each class, as well as for a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors.
Before you arrive, thoroughly read all materials we send you, and do not hesitate to call us if you have questions: (866) 471-4435.
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