Does anyone have step by step instructions to bring files from Trimble Pathfinder to ArcGIS 10.3.1 for Desktop?
This answer gives you your options. The older trimble file formats such as .ssf are closed. The standard manner is to use Trimble Pathfinder Office, this software has a convert to shapefile option and is often purchased when you buy a GPS unit. Linked is the USFWS step-by-step tutorial. The steps are broken down so even a novice can do it.
I refuse to buy GPS systems that do not produce standard output files at the unit level, that is they must offer me something I can download from the unit without additional commercial software (such as shp, csv, and so on). Trimble do license this closed system to other vendors so ArcGIS Trimble GPS Analyst Extension and Terrasync will also do the conversion