Participant Agreement


Please read this document very carefully. The word “participant” includes adult and minor participants, unless indicated otherwise. In consideration of the services provided by the Outdoor Wilderness Learning School, hereafter referred to as OWLS, I agree, for myself (and for the minor participant as a parent or guardian), to the following: 


I understand that OWLS treks will include primarily live, camp and travel out of doors, but may also include outdoor classrooms. Activities vary from exploration to trek and can include, but are not limited to, camping, hiking, and backpacking through mountainous and other terrain; mountaineering and climbing on rock cliffs, steep snow, ice or glaciers. Some experiences may perform service work such as trail building or participate in cultural exchange activities where participants live with local village people near OWLS basecamp. I further understand and acknowledge that the activities of the treks have risks, some of which are inherent. Inherent risks here mean those which cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique nature of the activities. The same elements that contribute to the unique nature of these activities and promote our educational objectives may cause loss or damage to equipment, accidental injury, illness, or, in extreme cases, permanent trauma, disability or death. The following describes some, but not all, of the inherent risks of OWLS treks: 

  • OWLS activities may be physically and/or emotionally exhausting. 
  • OWLS treks usually occur in remote places including remote places of Himalayas. They occur on lands which are open to the public and exposed to the acts of persons not associated with OWLS and who may pose risks. The remote locations may be many days away from medical facilities or centres. Communication and transportation may be difficult and evacuations and medical care may be significantly delayed.
  • Physical activities as part of the experience may include, but are not limited to, walking, hiking, crossing rivers, climbing, backpacking, paddling, lifting, and use of tools including handheld ones. It may be also possible that at times participants will be in close physical proximity to one another and/or instructors. Certain activities will require travel by vehicle, raft, on foot and by other means, over improved and unimproved roads, rugged trails and off-trail terrain, including boulder fields, downed timber, mountain passes, snow, rivers, slopes, slippery rocks, rapids, crevassed or steep glaciers etc. 
  • Travel risks may include falling, collision, becoming lost, capsizing, injury, physical illness and/or any other risk that may be associated with such travel and environmental risks.
  • Environmental risks and hazards include, but are not limited to, sub-zero temperatures and/or cold water; harmful insects, snakes, predators, and/or large animals; forces of nature such as floods, falling timber, avalanches, landslides, falling and rolling rock; lightning, and any other forces of nature that may include weather which may change to extreme conditions quickly or unexpectedly. 
  • Meals may be prepared over portable gas stoves and open fires depending on the trek plan and circumstances. Water may not always be clean and may require disinfection before use. Participants with or prone to food allergies or sensitivities may come in contact with offending food types. 
  • Injuries may include, but are not limited to, any kind of cuts, burns, strains, sprains, skin infections, fractures or ligament tears,  frostbite, immersion foot, sunburn, drowning, and other injuries from slips, falls, lifting and exposure to the environment etc.
  • Illnesses or sickness may include, but are not limited to, any kind of allergic reactions, heatstroke, hypothermia, high altitude illnesses, dehydration, any communicable and/or other infectious diseases caused from insects, animals, or people such as diarrhea, respiratory or flu-like illness, and other debilitating or life-threatening conditions including COVID-19 and other diseases caused by coronaviruses. 
  • Equipment may fail or malfunction.
  • On most OWLS treks wilderness first aid activities are conducted and participants may participate in realistic simulated injury and illness scenarios and will at times act the role of patient, that may be handled, carried and otherwise treated as a patient in a simulated scenario of medical emergency. Risks may include falling or being dropped or mishandled while being carried; being physically touched while acting in the role of patient in a scenario; and emotional distress while or in response to training scenarios. 
  • Decisions made by the outdoor instructors, any staff, which may include volunteers, and participants will be based on a variety of perceptions and evaluations, which by their nature may be imprecise and/or subject to errors in judgment. Misjudgments may pertain to, in addition to other things, a participant’s capabilities, terrain, environment,weather and water conditions, travel routes, natural hazards, and medical conditions. 
  • OWLS is not responsible for participants, including minors, before and after their trek, experience or course (as per stated beginning and ending dates and times or for early departure due to evacuation, expulsion, or separation). On some treks participants, including minors, may have “free” or “spare” time in a village or other locations out of the campsites while in transition from one co-ordinate to the next. OWLS has no responsibility for participants during this free time and participants accept the risks that arise from this unsupervised free time. OWLS staff may from time to time provide assistance or even accompany participants in these free time activities, but in doing so, they are acting as private individuals, and OWLS is not responsible for their conduct. 
  • During the trek, between the stated start and end dates and times, except during free time as described above, participants are considered to be “participating” in their OWLS trek. Participation includes, but is not limited to, involvement with activities, time spent at rest and while sleeping, and during outdoor classes. However, OWLS cannot continually monitor the behavior and activities of participants and participants must accept responsibility for themselves and others and accept the risks, whether or not under the direct supervision of OWLS staff. 
  • OWLS treks may be subject to dangerous road travel, political unrest, riots, demonstrations, banditry, terrorism, and other criminal conduct, including drug related activities. 
  • OWLS treks are instructional in nature. participants accept the risks of instructional activities, which are intended to challenge participants to expand their skills and judgment. 

I have read and understand the general information about OWLS and its treks on the OWLS website which includes, but is not limited to, OWLS Admission Policies, OWLS Learning Goals and Objectives, the trek description and other materials provided by OWLS in print or electronic form describing or related to my trek. I acknowledge and agree to the terms, conditions and policies stated in all the above-mentioned materials. The staff of OWLS has been available to more fully explain the nature and physical demands of the activities in which I (or the minor participant) will be engaged, and certain inherent and other risks of my OWLS activity. 


I understand and acknowledge that the description above (“Activities and Risks”) of the inherent risks of OWLS treks is not complete and that others, including unknown or unanticipated, risks, inherent and otherwise, may result in illness, injury, property loss or even death. I acknowledge that my (or the minor participant’s) participation in this OWLS course is purely voluntary, and I wish to (or have the minor participant) participate with the complete knowledge and in spite of the inherent and/or other risks involved. I acknowledge and assume the inherent risks described above and all other inherent risks of my (or the minor participant’s) OWLS trek as well as any other risks of enrolling, participating in, or being present on an OWLS course or during free time. For activities that occur on National Park, Sanctuaries and to the extent required by law, the above acknowledgement and assumption of risks is limited to assuming only the inherent risks.


I hereby forever release, hold harmless and agree not to sue OWLS, its instructors,  educators, directors, agents, and staff including employees, volunteers and interns or contractual workers or partners (“Released Parties”), with respect to any and all claims of damage or loss to person or property by reason of any injury, disability, death, or otherwise, suffered by me (or by a minor participant), arising in part or whole from my (or the minor participant’s) enrollment, participation, or presence on a OWLS trek. I agree further to completely indemnify the Released Parties against any claim by a member of my (or the minor participant’s) family, a rescuer, another participant, or any other person, arising in part or whole from an injury or other loss suffered by or caused by me (or by the minor participant), in connection with my (or the minor participant’s) enrollment, participation in, or presence on a OWLS trek. This release and indemnity clause includes any and all claims arising before or after the trek or during any free or spare time. These agreements of Release and Indemnity are intended to be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by law and include claims of negligence. 


I have verified with my (or the minor participant’s) physician and/or other medical professionals, or otherwise satisfied OWLS, that I have (or the minor participant has) no past or current physical or psychological condition that might affect my (or the minor participant’s) participation on the trek, other than as described on the health form submitted to OWLS. I understand my health form will be viewed, as necessary, by OWLS admission staff, outdoor instructors, and certain other staff. I am (or the minor participant is) able to participate without causing harm to myself (or to themself) or to others. The medical information given to OWLS is accurate and all pertinent medical conditions have been disclosed. Prior to the commencement of the trek, OWLS will be informed of any medical condition that has not been previously disclosed or any changes in medical conditions or medications. I understand that OWLS’ admission of me (or the minor participant) to the trek is not intended as a representation or commitment that OWLS staff and representatives will be able to successfully manage a medical emergency or event related to a disclosed, or undisclosed, medical condition. The responsibility for determining a participant’s health status is not OWLS’ but, rather, the participant’s, guided by family and the participant’s health care provider. However, OWLS reserves the right to refuse admission or remove a participant from a trek for any reason it deems is in the best interests of the participant or the school. 

OWLS is authorized to obtain or provide emergency evacuation, hospitalization, surgical or other medical care for me (or for the minor participant). I understand that situations may arise in which third-party medical care is not available and which require OWLS staff to provide first aid and possibly more advanced procedures, employing wilderness first responder training. Any third-party medical care provider is authorized to exchange pertinent medical information with OWLS. Costs, if any, associated with medical services, including evacuation or any other, shall be borne by me. 

I understand that OWLS will gather participant feedback for program improvement, including routine end-of-trek program evaluations and occasional pre-course and post-course measures related to knowledge about the OWLS curriculum, and may use the same in any publication of these findings . 

OWLS may from time to time use the services of private contractors for certain tasks, including, for example, transportation to and from course areas or in the event of an evacuation from the field. OWLS is not responsible for the acts or omissions of such contractors. 

I agree to be responsible for any damage I (or the minor participant) may cause to OWLS facilities or gear. OWLS is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to a participant’s personal belongings stored at OWLS facilities. 

If during my OWLS trek I voluntarily withdraw or am expelled, OWLS reserves the right to notify a parent, guardian, or emergency contact person. 

Any dispute between me (or the minor participant) and OWLS will be governed by the substantive laws (not including the laws which might apply the laws of another jurisdiction) of the Government of India and I consent to jurisdiction in India.

If any part or clause of this agreement is found by a court or other appropriate competent authority to be invalid, the remainder of the agreement nevertheless will be in full force and effect. 

The participant and the parent(s) or guardian of a minor participant have read the document in its entirety and completely understand and agree voluntarily to its terms, which shall be binding upon them, their heirs, estate, executors, and administrators. Any modifications of this agreement must be approved by OWLS in writing.