by Helen Weierbach
If you were signed up for any Outdoor Adventures trips this semester that were canceled due to COVID-19, you’re probably just as bummed as our leaders. Getting away from campus on an overnight or day trip with outdoor adventures is a great way to take a break from the stress of everyday classes, meet some great new people and learn some new skills. But don’t fret! We’re already looking forward to bringing back some of our favorites in the Fall next year, and want to share some teasers with you.
For the first installment of our Trip Teaser series, we’re focusing on one of our new favorite trips: Women’s Backpacking. Women’s backpacking was first proposed by one of our staff members as a way to welcome female-identifying individuals into outdoor recreation. Why? Because even today, from a young age females are less likely to be exposed to the outdoors than their male counterparts. We at Outdoor Adventures believe that the outdoors is open to everyone regardless of background or identity. To learn more about closing the gender gap in the outdoors, check out this article by REI:
I led the second Women’s Backpacking trip last fall and with a great group of 11 women, it was a huge success! I and co-leader Lindsay Harmon brought the group to Chicot State Park, where we camped and backpacked around the Chicot State park backcountry loop for two days. Chicot State Park, located in Ville Platte, LA is a popular backpacking loop as it has several campsites that lie right on the lake, providing a close-up view to a wide array of flora and fauna of the Gulf South.
Highlights of the trip included learning new backcountry skills such as how to pack and fit a backpack, choosing a campsite, filtering water, putting up a bear bag and more. We ended the trip with a campfire discussion about challenges women face in the backcountry and in the outdoor industry.
Whether you are a woman looking to go on your first backpacking trip, a seasoned hiker looking for similarly outdoor-minded female friends or anything in between, look out for our Women’s Backpacking trip this coming fall.
Year in School: Senior
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backpacking
Favorite Camp Food: Tofu Pad Thai
Ideal Outdoor Adventure Trip Destination: Glacial Lake Kayaking in Iceland
If you were stranded on a desert island, what/who would you bring with you: A frisbee, a friend, and a pair of tap shoes