By: Kati L Taylor
In mid-August, a fun and diverse group went on the DNK Presents Wild Women’s Backpacking Overnight Adventure here in the beautiful Midwest. Several of the women had never been backpacking before. While some had been camping or “glamping”, most had not done an overnight trip for a while and it was a new experience for them to carry everything needed on their backs. Perhaps by the end of the trip some were questioning what they really need versus what provides comfort.
This weekend overnight trip gave women an opportunity to hike in the backcountry of both the beautiful Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Yellowwood Forest. The trip was structured and guided by some experienced women backpackers who want to share their love of nature with others. Meals, water filtration, and gear were provided, plus there was the security of knowing that the guides are trained to keep the group safe.
Being a women-only adventure makes these trips special.
Spending time outside, immersed in nature experiencing new things, brings out a different side to thoughts and how women connect with each other. Moreover, when you get a group of women together in the woods overnight, mentalities change, and conversation can be powerful and get intense!
There were two mother-daughter adventurers who got some quality time together. Two of the ladies were connected through a third friend but did not know each other. All three were young mothers. Another bold woman joined the trip solo, not knowing anyone prior to the trip. Regardless of their initial relationship, everyone worked together and became closer over the 24-hour adventure.
Wilderness trips prove to be great bonding opportunities, not only with each other, but ‘getting back to nature’ makes you more aware of yourself. After an energetic hike, several of the women realized an exceptional peacefulness in meditating by Bear Lake which set a more subdued mood for the hike back to the campsite.
No phone, but not alone.
Being in the backcountry means your phone basically does not work. With no reception a phone becomes only useful for the camera function and obviously there is nowhere to charge it. In fact, as the photo/video documentarian on this adventure, I may have been the only backpacker who intentionally left my phone back in the car.
While it’s comical now, at the time, everyone was concerned when the trip guide lost her phone. She was sure it had fallen out of her pocket at night near our campsite while gathering firewood. So the women teamed up to search through the darkness and find it. A persistent gal on the trip politely asked if she could search through the guide’s tent and backpack. Lo and behold, the phone was in her backpack the whole time. What a relief when it was found?!
This trivial happening, while it turned out well, was a great reminder that we need to disconnect. Having a great group of thoughtful, caring women on your team makes connecting easy even without a signal!
Leave no toothpaste… I mean leave no trace!
While trying to hang food in the tree overnight to avoid and racoons or other critters invading it, one of the ladies decided to use her toothpaste as a weight to get the rope over a tree limb. Long story short, it got stuck in the tree. With the intent of always leaving no trace on the trail, the group of women teamed up to get the toothpaste out of the tree. What an adventure it was! For more on this funny happening and to see what the women had to say about the trip overall, watch the video summary of the weekend’s adventures.
Mind the gap.
At the moment when this backpacking adventure had ended and the women were crossing the bridge to get back to their vehicles, a group from the Indiana Forrest Alliance was hiking in. These passionate folks were handing out brochures to raise support and awareness around an important issue in these exact forests where these women had just experienced so much.
Our state has plans to sell logging rights in this area where nearly 300 acres could be affected and thousands of trees could be logged if the deal goes through. This affects everyone and while the terms of the agreement may be vague, preserving our Indiana natural resources is for a greater good.
It’s important to preserve Indiana’s beautiful forests for the health of our planet, the wildlife that lives there, and for ourselves–let everyone forever enjoy the natural beauty! Please consider contacting Governor Holcomb and urge our state to stop logging the forests.
For those who have never been backpacking, or want to experience it again, consider a trip. Indiana has some beautiful outdoor spaces and amazing trails to experience. Disconnect, decompress, experience something new, and enjoy the natural beauty around you.
We hope your summer has been filled with lots of love, happiness, and of course adventure. We know ours definitely has! Our big season started out with a bang with our documentary film, “Live Adventurously” winning Best Documentary and being nominated for Best Cinematography in the Alhambra Film Festival in Evansville, IN. We then got to guide our new 2017 Live Adventurously Women’s Adventure Contest winners on their big adventure in central Indiana. This year the weekend was filmed by a local Indianapolis woman film maker, Lindsay Mitchell, stay tuned as she develops her feature adventure film.
In July we took some time off to work on our mountain bike skills, had some down time with family, and then got to assistant coach at one of the most exclusive mountain bike clinics in the world, The Trek Dirt Series. We began our adventure by taking one of the most famous of the Trek Dirt Series clinics, in Whistler Canada, where founder, Candace Shadley was born and raised. I not only got to celebrate my birthday in Canada, on Canada Day, on top of a mountain with my Trek Session downhill rental, but got to learn from some of the most bad ass, and professional women coaches in the industry. We highly recommend these west coast clinics, but are SO excited to offer you amazing coaching and mountain bike camps on this side of the country! Stay tuned and look for more events coming up from Campside Sessions, a joint venture formed from DNK Presents and other fellow Trek Bicycle Women’s Advocate, Erin Wells’ mountain bike business in Baltimore, MD, Muddy Pedals. Our first mountain bike event together is taking place in Brown County State Park, September 22-24, learn more by clicking here.
The summer may be coming to an end, but the adventures for fall are just beginning. We have a lot going on Brown County, who doesn’t love those beautiful autumn leaves? Join us for some bike clinics, backpacking, yoga, hiking, etc. Oh and did we tell you DNK Presents is guiding our first adventure trip out of the country? Yes indeed, Feb. 17-24 we will be guiding a yoga retreat in beautiful Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, filled with yoga, hiking, paddle boarding, meditation, relaxation, and so much more. Check out all the details here!
Danielle & Kate
Adventure is out there.
This Midwest gal likes to get wild and dirty. I used to get a little ticked when people would ask, “you have an adventure company in Indiana, (literally laughing to themselves) what do you do, and where do you go?” Once someone actually told me, “to do anything adventurous in Indiana you need to get on a plane and fly somewhere else.” I now have found that when responding to these people I begin to show them photos on my phone, and talk about trips we have led in Indiana, and they slowly begin to see what they have been missing.
I’ve had a lot of friends move to the coasts, the mountains, to warmer destinations, and don’t get me wrong I LOVE the ocean and I LOVE the mountains. I also know that everyone can’t live in the mountains or on the beach, and even if you don’t live in a place that’s already considered “adventurous” that doesn’t mean that adventure isn’t out there! Some of my favorite adventures are the ones that occurred by mistake, or ones that you have to really work hard to get to, but that make it all worth it in the end.
There’s a saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side” but what about the side I am on, why can’t the grass be green here? I made it my mission to educate and connect humans to the outdoors, to get them to try something for the first time, and experience adventure in places they never knew existed.
So, here are 8 reasons why you don’t have to live in Colorado or California, or Arizona, or anywhere else that isn’t where you are to be adventurous.
- Take a road trip instead of flying to your next destination, you’ll be surprised what you find along the way.
- Explore a new trail in the parks around or in your city.
- If you are in an urban area, commute to work or try commuting to your favorite neighborhood restaurant.
- Walk silently, by yourself, in a new place, and without your phone, you will see far more than usual.
- Look up the rivers or lakes near your home, take a swim or paddle on the water
- If you usually run, take a walk, if you usually walk, go for a run, if you ride your bike, take a walk, or run etc. Switch it up, and change your perspective.
- Do yoga outside, let your mat be the Earth, let the ceiling be the sky
- Find an adventure meetup or group in your local community, do something different with new people.
There you go, you have 8 reasons that adventure is out there. Now it’s up to you to take the next step. Go outside, explore, and let your life become your greatest adventure. Let us know what you did or plan to do to find your next adventure in 2017, happy trails!
March Adventure Madness in 2017!
Certified Professional Mountain Bike Instructors (PMBIA) Danielle and Kate Nolan through the will be leading free guided rides and mini clinics at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival for Trek Bicycle.
This is the first year Trek Bicycle will be offering free rides and mini clinics from at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, join Trek Women’s Advocates Kate Nolan and Erin Wells for an awesome ride in the red rocks!
Sign up for the festival here! We hope to see you there in 2017!
A Backpack and yoga retreat on the Havasupai trail in the Grand Canyon
Hiking the Havasupai trail is a truly unique and memorable adventure to experience. The Havasupai Indians are the longest residents of the Grand Canyon, living there for at least 800 years. Havasuapi means people of the blue-green water, when we reach the falls in the canyon you will see how the Native Americans received this name as the breathtaking water falls will fill your soul. Read the itinerary here to learn more about this epic adventure to the sacred lands of the Grand Canyon.