Events

salamonie blood root trail

Blood Root Trail Winter Women’s Backpacking

Winter Women’s Backpacking Trip Blood Root Trail Salamonie Reservoir

Join us for the first full moon of 2022 for a winter women’s backpacking adventure along the Bloodroot Trail for a great opportunity to go on a beginner friendly trip in the beautiful Salamonie Reservoir and learn more skills of backpacking with other like minded women!

The Winter backpacking overnight along the Bloodroot Trail on the Salamonie Reservoir will be 13 miles total, the hikes each day will be 6 1/2 miles long along  moderate terrain. This trip is beginner friendly, it would be great for someone who wants to try backpacking for the first time or wants to backpack on one of the most beautiful reservoirs in the Midwest with other rad women. We hope to see you there!

Itinerary:

Date: Jan. 15-16th

Meeting Time: 10am Saturday Jan. 15th, trip ends 12pm Jan. 16th

Location: Salamonie Interpretive Center, 3691 New Holland Road, Andrews Indiana, 46702

Cost: $199.00 per person Early Bird, $225.00 after Dec. 15th

Cost does not include: Transportation to & from Salamonie Interpretive Center, fees incurred from expenses leading up to the event, Saturday lunch, snacks 

Cost does include: 2 professionally trained women guides, group meals, meals included: Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast, and snacks (please bring your own lunch for Saturday) group gear (water filtration, cook stove, etc), permit fees, insurance, special gift from DNK Presents

*If you are borrowing a sleeping bag from DNK, please be sure to bring additional layers so you are warm enough at night!

*If you have questions about our refund policy or other frequently asked questions check out our page here.

Meet Your Guides: Check them out on our team page too!

Darlene Patterson

Darlene Patterson DNK Presents Guide
Darlene Patterson DNK Presents Guide

Darlene Patterson’s outdoor experiences are extensive and varied.  By canoe, they include thru-paddling the 740-miles of the Northern Forest Canoe trail (in 28.5 days), paddling a dugout canoe on the Amazon river in Peru, and working summers as a guide/instructor at the Voyageur Outward Bound school near Ely, MN.  There have been 3 trips exploring above the arctic circle (both in Canada and Norway), as well as backpacking on trails that include the Appalachian Trail, Red River Gorge, and the Knobstone Trail.  

When safely tucked back into life in central Indiana, her days are spent teaching art in an elementary school and making work in her Patterson Pottery studio.

 

 

 

Blair Dietrick

Blair Dietrick DNK Presents Guide
Blair Dietrick DNK Presents Guide

Blair has hiked the Triple Crown (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, & Continental Divide Trail) as well as various other trails including the Teton Crest Trail, Lost Coast Trail, an Arizona Trail section hike, & the Camino de Santiago (French Route). She has also rock climbed in public lands across Utah & California and canoed in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. Her certifications include Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Master Educator, & S212 Wildland Fire (Chainsaw). 

She has worn various hats in the outdoor industry including trail worker, welder, logger, cook, carpenter, mechanic, gear shop employee & tree worker. Currently Blair is back home working for the family business and building out her ‘92 Ford Club Wagon on the weekends. When not working or playing outside, Blair enjoys reading, road & mountain biking, & spending time with her Chihuahua, Zelda Mae.

 

 

 

 

Gear list and recommended clothing Winter Women’s Backpacking Trip.

Gear with a * is available and included in your cost on a first come first serve basis! Sign up early if you need this gear so we can accommodate your needs!

*Backpack

*Sleeping Bag

*Sleeping Pad

*2 – person shared Tent

*Camp stove fuel

*Camp stove, Jet Boil etc.

Hammock (if you do not have a tent)

Pan or pot for cooking

Flashlight/headlamp

Extra batteries (for headlamp)

Matches or lighter

“Mess kit” i.e. plate, bowl, fork, spoon, knife

Instant coffee packets or tea if you like

Snacks/Extra food (standard fruit i.e., apples, oranges are NOT recommended because they are heavy and there is waste, trial mix, granola bars, etc. are better)

Extra clothes, layers (dry fit, wool or technical – cotton is NOT recommended because once it gets wet it stays wet)

2 filled water bottles (64 oz. total) or water or hydration bladder filled (2 liters at least)

Whistle

Insect Repellent

Hat

Gators (for shoes – optional)

Trekking poles (optional)

Sunburn Preventative

Bathroom “kit”  large zip lock bag, or dark zip lock bag, wipes, hand sanitizer, trowels will be available

Baby wipes or face wipes

Zip lock bags for small items

Large Zip lock bags and/or plastic bags for carrying out your trash

Camp shoes (cheap pair of flip flops to wear when we get to the camp site area)

Hiking boots (highly recommended)

Extra socks

Rain Gear (jacket, poncho, rain pants)

Sunglasses

Band-Aids’, other First Aide items you may need (DNK has First Aid Kit)

Personal items

*DNK Presents provides if you have requested on a first come first serve basis

We ask that you carry any medications you may need. Please notify us of any known allergies food or otherwise, medications or medical conditions your guides should be aware of.

COVID-19 UPDATE:

If there is another lock down or code red situation we will reschedule the workshop and a full refund or trip transfer will be available to you. 

We will be reaching out to participants before the weekend and asking if you have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has had COVID-19 related symptoms, or if you are experiencing or have in the past 14 days experienced COVID-19 related symptoms. If answering “yes” to any of these questions you will be asked to not join the workshop.

*If you have any questions regarding our procedures that are being taken to keep you safe and healthy please feel free to email Danielle at danielle@dnkpresents.com

 

Creating Safe Spaces:

The Women’s Backpacking trips are focused on creating a safe space for women and empowering more women to feel more comfortable and confident in the outdoors. If you are a woman or a person who identifies as female you are welcome to join us!

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women's empowerment

Women’s Intro Backpacking

Join us for an overnight adventure in beautiful Shades State Park. This trip is for those who are really new to camping, hiking and backpacking. This trip is very beginner friendly but at the same time will give you a good taste of what backpacking and “roughing it” is really like! We will hike along the backpacking trail a moderate 2.5 miles, to the backcountry area, set up camp, learn how to filter water, cook in the backcountry, hang food, learn the principles of Leave No Trace and so much more! After the weekend you will feel more confident to take on your next adventure!

Please read on to answer some questions that you might have for this trip!

Gear: DNK Presents provides gear on a first come first serve basis so sign up soon!

Cost: Includes backcountry meals for Saturday evening and Sunday morning. You will need to have breakfast before you arrive and pack your lunch for Saturday.

Not included in cost:  Fee to get into the state park, $7 for in state and $9 for out of state.

Other important info:

*If you are an hour or more late for the start time of the trip you will forfeit your spot for the adventure and will not receive a refund.

*Communication will be done through email for this trip from Danielle@dnkpresents.com, you will receive more trip details and information closer to the event date, please do not comment on Facebook posts about this trip, the best way to get all the details is through email, thank you!

 

Equipment DNK Presents can provide on a first come first serve basis, sign up early to make sure we have equipment if you need it: 

60 Liter Backpack

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Pad

Tent (2 person)

Backcountry cookware

*Food is provided for everyone (dinner Saturday, breakfast Sunday, lunch Sunday). All of the backpacking food is vegetarian, we can accommodate for most food allergies if we are notified far enough in advance. You will share food with a partner for the weekend and carry that food in your packs for the weekend, the food is dehydrated and bagged separately.

The full gear list for the weekend below, you will need to pack your lunch for Saturday afternoon.

 

Gear list and recommended clothing:

Tent or hammock (we can also provide)

Flashlight/headlamp

Extra batteries for flashlight/headlamp

Snacks/Extra food (fruit is not recommended because it is heavy and leaves waste behind, granola bars or dried fruit, trail mix is great)

Lunch for Saturday afternoon i.e. any sand which, PB&J, cheese.crackers,

Extra Clothes, Layers (dry fit, wool or technical – cotton is NOT recommended because once it gets wet it stays wet)

2 filled water bottles (Nalgene size 32 oz. at least or 64 oz. total) OR water bladder ***Come with it filled

Whistle

Insect Repellent

Hat

Gators (for shoes – optional)

Trekking poles (optional)

Sunburn Preventative

Hand Sanitizer

Zip lock baggies for storage of items like snacks, food or trash,

Bathroom “Kit” – large zip lock bag, wipes, hand sanitizer – you may want to duck tape the outside of your waste bag or use a dark bag

Baby wipes or face wipes

Camp shoes (cheap pair of flip flops to wear when we get to the camp site area)

Hiking boots (highly recommended)

Extra socks

Rain Gear (jacket, poncho, rain pants) – Always a good idea even if the forecast does not call for it

Band-Aids’, other First Aide items you may need (DNK has First Aid Kit)

Personal items

 
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.
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Backcountry Women DNK Presents

Wild Women’s Backpacking Overnight

Wild Women’s Backpacking Overnight Along the Beautiful Tecumseh Trail!

Celebrate Earth Day weekend with us along the beautiful Low Gap and the Tecumseh Trail in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forest. We’ll learn and practice Leave No Trace ethics, how to prepare meals in the backcountry, filter water, make fire and do it along side our favorite outdoor backcountry women! Grab your boots, your best friends and let us know what equipment you need. We will limit this to a small rad group so sign up today. DNK Presents will provide meals, water filteration systems, trowels, etc. Rental gear is available on a first come first serve basis, if you need/want gear sign up ASAP! 
This is a beginner to intermediate hiking trip. The hike in will be about 6-7 miles, the hike out on Sunday will be about 3-4 miles for a total of 10 miles for the weekend, the terrain is rugged. If you have questions please contact us hello@dnkpresents.com  

Itinerary:

9am meet at the Low Gap Trail parking lot

10am Begin hike into the backcountry along Low Gap/Tecumseh Trail

4pm Arrive at the backcountry area campsite

Make dinner, share stories that evening around the campfire, learn to how to hang food, make fire, hunt bear, whittle swords, etc!

7:30am wake up, make breakfast, stretch!

12pm Arrive back at the parking lot, celebrate!

 

Equipment DNK Presents can provide on a first come first serve basis: 

Backpack

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Pad

Tent (2 person)

Headlamp

Trowel

Backcountry cookware

*Food is provided for everyone (dinner Saturday, breakfast Sunday, lunch Sunday). All of the backpacking food is vegetarian, we can accommodate for most food allergies if we are notified far enough in advance.

The full gear list for the weekend below.

 

Gear list and recommended clothing:

Tent or hammock (we can also provide)

Flashlight/headlamp

Extra batteries for flashlight/headlamp

Snacks/Extra food

Extra Clothes, Layers (dry fit, wool or technical – cotton is NOT recommended because once it gets wet it stays wet)

2 filled water bottles (Nalgene size 32 oz. at least or 64 oz. total) OR water bladder ***Come with it filled

Whistle

Insect Repellent

Hat

Gators (for shoes – optional)

Trekking poles (optional)

Sunburn Preventative

Hand Sanitizer

Plastic or zip lock baggies for storage of small items

Bathroom “Kit” – zip lock bag, wipes – you may want to duck tape the outside of your waste bag or use a dark bag

Baby wipes or face wipes

Zip lock bags for small items

Camp shoes (cheap pair of flip flops to wear when we get to the camp site area)

Hiking boots (highly recommended)

Extra socks

Rain Gear (jacket, poncho, rain pants) – Always a good idea even if the forecast does not call for it

Band-Aids’, other First Aide items you may need (DNK has First Aid Kit)

Personal items

 
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.
 
Please contact Danielle at 812-449-6134 or email danielle@dnkpresents.com with questions
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dnk presents, women, women hiking, hiking, live adventurously,

Wild Women’s Hike

Hopefully you are all getting your hiking shoes broken in and muddied up so far this year! Join us for a fun hike in the beautiful Ft. Benjamin Harrison State Park on the east side of Indianapolis. We will hike and explore the awesome trails in the park, give you more information about hiking, camping, and backpacking while getting to know other outdoorsy women in our community. If you are signed up for one of our adventures this year this is a great way to get ready for your trip or learn more about what adventure experiences DNK Presents’ offers. We hope you can join us this April!

9am Meet inside Ft. Ben State Park (exact location given closer to event)

9:15am Hike begins

~11am-ish Hike ends at your vehicle

*There is an entrance fee to get into Ft. Ben State Park $5 for in state residents and $6 for out of state.

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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures,

Women’s Spring Thaw Hike

It’s time to dust off your hiking boots! We decided to make our first Spring Thaw event of 2018 a hike to really ease you into the outdoors because we know as a beginner hiker, camper or backpacker it can be a bit intimidating. That’s why our first event will be a leisure 2 hour hike at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. Join us with our trained and experienced backpacking guide, Katy Williams. We will hike and explore the beautiful trails and give you more information about hiking, camping, and backpacking while getting to know other outdoorsy women in our community.

10am Meet at the 56th street entrance, first parking lot on the right, begin introductions

10:15am Hike begins

~12pmish Meet back at your vehicle, we’ll plan to grab lunch afterwards, and you are welcome to join!

*There is an entrance fee to get into Eagle Creek Park $5 for Marion County residents and $6 for non-residents.

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Winter Camping

Guide to Winter Camping

Guide to winter camping

by: Scott Jackson

As the weather begins to turn and many peoples thoughts turn to Christmas and the warmth of an open hearth, for some people with a sense of adventure the worsening weather isn’t an excuse to forgo the outdoors. As the Scandinavians say “Ikke dårlige vær, bare dårlige klær”, which translates as “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. So don’t make the weather an excuse. With the correct preparations, skills, and gear you can have just as much fun camping during the winter.

Preparation

Planning to go camping in winter takes more skills and gear than your typical summer frolic in the woods. As such, your prep should be above and beyond to help ensure you have a safe and fun trip. It is a great idea to invite some companions, especially ones who have experience or specific cold weather skill sets, e.g., avalanche training, building snow shelters, etc.

Many preparation elements are similar to those you would do for a summer hike, such as route planning, leaving a trip plan with someone or checking the weather conditions. However, as the margins for error are so much smaller in more miserable weather, you should pay extra attention and go over your plans with your whole group two, three (or more) times to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Also, being able to recognize and avoid avalanche areas is a crucial skill, and we would highly recommend that your whole group receives training if you will be at or near any slopes greater than 20 degrees inclination. Indeed, taking a cold weather hiking or camping course may be beneficial in any event.

Winter hike
Hiker with snowshoes in winter

Gear

The first rule of winter hiking and camping is to stay dry and warm, so choose appropriate clothing that’ll insulate you, wicks moisture, dries quickly, is waterproof and breathable.

It is commonly acknowledged that you should be wearing three layers; base layer(s)* next to your skin that will keep you warm and wick sweat away from your body, middle layer which will act as insulation such a fleece shirt or jacket, and finally your outer layer which should be waterproof/windproof and breathable, so you should be thinking about a good jacket.

* in especially cold weather, consider wearing two base layers.

When considering your “big 4” items (Bag, Shelter, Sleeping Bag & Pad), you should look at whether your bag, pad, and tent are appropriate for the weather conditions and upgrade if necessary. You may also need to bring a larger bag than you usually would when you consider the extra gear you will need to bring.

A cold weather sleeping bag is more heavy duty than your summer one, and is often filled with down, has additional features like a hood and draught collars. You should select a bag that is rated for temperatures about 10 degrees F colder than what you expect on the trip. As most heat is lost to the ground when you sleep, be sure to bring two sleeping pads with high R-ratings (R-Ratings are how insulated the pad is). A common hack is to place a closed-cell foam pad on the ground and layer a self-inflating pad on top for maximum insulation

Look around for a sturdy 4-season tent – these are designed with sturdier poles that can support more weight (should you get a substantial dump of snow overnight), and are often double layered to provide extra insulation and reduce condensation.

At the camp

Choosing a site & Setting Up

As you reach your appointed campsite area, make sure you have set out early enough to get there with plenty of daylight left to set up. When choosing an exact campsite location remember the following:

  • do not set up on any ridges or other places exposed to high winds
  • do not set up directly under trees as branches can break
  • do not set up camp if there is a risk of avalanches

Once you have picked a spot, spend some time packing down the snow around your pitch areas. If you can, give it 30 mins or so to settle before beginning to pitch your tents. When pitching your tent make sure to set up the entrance, so it is at 90 degrees to any prevailing winds. Rather than using tent stakes, bring plastic shopping bags, loop the guys through the handles, fill with snow and bury them so only the tops of the handles are visible.

If it is going to be especially cold night, then build either a snow wall to protect your tent from the wind or pack up snow on your shelter from the base up – make sure you have someone on the inside pushing back against the snow, so it holds up. Once it has set this will provide extra insulation than just your tent alone.

Finally, dig out a pit under your porch (about 3 feet), so that you can sit down to comfortably take off your boots before entering the tent, plus it generates more space to hold the rest of your equipment.

Camp kitchen

If you are planning on camping in the same spot for several days or more, consider packing down and digging out trenches to create a table and benches set up to enjoy your meals. If you are just overnighting this probably isn’t worth it, but in either case, it is worthwhile bringing a smaller tent or tarp to give yourself some shelter to cook if the weather turns foul.

At cold temperatures, Liquid-Fuel stoves will perform better than canister stoves, and it is worth bringing a second stove as a contingency just in case the first one fails. Also, remember to bring extra fuel – cold weather reduces the efficiency of all stoves so you will go through more, faster.

One benefit of cold weather camping is the ability to bring boil in the bag meals which tend to be a bit more flavorful than your typical dehydrated meals. Thanks to cold weather these will be kept refrigerated (or frozen) during your trip.

Lastly, a few words when it comes to water on your trip. The first being, DO NOT eat snow! It takes a considerable amount of calories for your body to convert ice to water that it can use, and additionally snow and ice can be full of bacteria and microbes. Always, boil the snow first to kill off any bugs and to prevent yourself from expending energy.

When storing water, it is best to use wide-mouthed plastic containers so you can simply pour your hot (boiled) water into them, then flip them upside down and store them in insulated pockets. Flipping them upside down prevents the lid/drinking tube from freezing.

Bio

My Open Country is a 2 person campaign to try and get more people excited about the outdoors and wilderness. We believe life wasn’t meant to be lived behind a computer screen so we provide as much information as we can into one site, so you can spend less time planning and more time doing.

My Open Country

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Camping Backpacking

Camping Hacks Series: Packing Hacks

 Just a few ways to maximize space!

By Anne McCarty 

Packing before a trip is probably the most crucial thing to do before setting out. It is a chance to check and recheck that you have everything you need and take out the things you don’t need. The phrase many stand by is “Bring what you think you’ll need, then take out half of it.” So to help you out a little bit, this time on camping hacks we’ll give you a few ways to make sure your pack doesn’t weigh you down!

The Great Towel Debate

One thing people debate about bringing is a towel and the primary con is that it takes up too much space. The solution? Pack a shammy towel! It’s a thin towel used primarily by swimmers and divers. It is lightweight and super absorbent!

Camp towel dnk presents

swimoutlet.com

Don’t Tear Up About Tears

What happens if you have an unexpected tear or leak mid way through your trip? Say hello to Duct Tape, your new best friend. We get it, a new package is pretty big and clunky and bringing it all seems daunting. Well, you don’t have to! Wrap some around your water bottle or cup so it’s on hand and ready for anything!

Duct Tape DNK Presents

pinterest.com

Eggcellent Solution

Backpackers and campers alike usually pack dehydrated food because it’s lightweight and can turn into a full meal with just water. One of the not as famous choices are the dehydrated eggs. If you are one of the people looking for an alternative we have something for you! Try putting cracked eggs into a water bottle. One bottle can hold eight eggs!  

Eggs in water bottle

pinterest.com

Don’t let the Metal Weigh you Down

If you’re worried about space and weight of metal cups or cutlery? Look into using compatible/unbreakable one because they work well and as it turns out are easier to clean!

Packable Plates camping

Cabelas.com                                                      wayfair.com

 

Bonus Treat!

If you have the space and you’re celebrating anything from a birthday to just a great day outdoors, try this dessert treat!: Marshmallows toasted then dipped in Bailey’s* (<3)

Camping treats

pinterest.com

 

Interested in keeping up with DNK Presents?

Here’s a link to our blog page:

www. dnkpresents.com/blog

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DNK Presents Camping

Camping Hacks Series

By: Anne McCarty

Here at DNK Presents we are all about helping people discover themselves through adventure whether they are dogs trying new tricks or sticking to what they know. This blog series will be dedicated to bringing together campers far and wide to make sure they are safe and knowledgeable about camping!

Let it be light!

No lantern but need more light? No problem. Strap a headlamp to a water bottle or jug. If you don’t have a headlamp a phone’s flashlight set up under the bottle works just as well!

Light - Camping Hacks

Photo from Pinterest

Green with envy or red from Ivy?

It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with dangerous or irksome plants like Poison Ivy! Here is a helpful link for your convenience: https://www.thespruce.com/pictures-of-poisonous-plants-2132624

 

Sticks and Stones

Camping and other outdoor activities can be dangerous so being prepared with a mini first aid kit is the way to go!

First Aid - DNK Presents

Photo from Pinterest

 

Getting cold feet about camping?

A lot of times people worry about camping in cold weather so if this is something that worries you, have no fear! Something that is important is to take your shoes off when you get into your sleeping bag because it restricts the heat from your feet. Two options to keep your toes warm are bringing a heated water pack/bottle and if that’s not an option use what you have: your clothes! Stuffing your clothes by your feet will help keep your feet toasty!

 

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Camping Hacks: Packing Hacks. Stay up to date on our trips coming up on our Adventures page. Don’t see something that fits with your schedule? Contact us for a private customized adventure for you and your friends.

Is there something you would like to see on our Camping Hacks series? Reply in the comments or email us at hello@dnkpresents.com, happy trails!

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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, indy chamber of commerce

What does adventure mean to you?

Recently we guided a backcountry adventure for Team Film in Charles C. Deam Wilderness – part of Hoosier National Forest. We led 17 amazing women, some of which had never backpacked, or slept on the ground, and most of which never had our s’moreos or rehydrated veggie tacos. It was an amazing experience to have spent the weekend sharing our backpacking skills and campfire stories with these ladies. We made 17 new friends and put together a short video that gives you a snippet of all of us “living our film” in the wild. Click below to view the video on You Tube.

Check out the blog post from Team Film to hear what the ladies had to say about their experience!

We were inspired to write a poem about our weekend with Team Film.

Writing a poem was quite an adventure for us!

“Smells Like High School”

19 women came near and far
Deep in the woods they raised the bar 😉

We hiked eight miles with no complaints
Everyone was smiling even with the dehydrated food we ate

We had Ironwomen, ultrarunners and marathoners in the group
We made up one badass troupe

Lake Monroe greeted us when we arrived
It wasn’t long before we all took a dive

Our neighbors turned out to be friendly in Deam
They even offered to share their bottle of Beam

We drank some beer and sang some songs
We may have stayed up a little too long

The next day came – sun shining bright
We sat by the lake and shared a bite

We packed up our tents and stuffed our packs
It was now time for us to head back

We left our mark that weekend in Deam
For the rest of our lives we’ll love the Team

Testimonials from the Adventure:

“I had no idea that I would meet SO many incredible women. I have 18 new friends — how fantastic is that?? Thank you so much for a great weekend.

The idea of micro adventures is a wonderful way to get introduced to something new. There isn’t a huge investment and you have an opportunity to try something new to see if it is enjoyable. When’s the next adventure?

I have already planned my next camping trip and found an easy backpacking trip to take my fam! If Team Film and DNK Presents didn’t offer this trip, I don’t know if I would have ever backpacked. Thanks Team Film!” Karen Hale Yott

“What I learned in Deam Wilderness:

  • When you spend a day with strangers on a trail carrying a pack, you learn the coolest things about their lives and personalities. It makes me want to pry open the story of more and more women.
  • Jim Beam is no one’s friend.
  • You should always travel with someone who knows about pressure points and therapeutic teas.
  • Women share a bond that is innate and electric. Sometimes we need to get out in the woods to share it and feel it. That’s what happened in Deam.” — Casey Kenley
Have you seen us around Indy lately? Do you want to? Contact us to meet up, and check out these organizations we just joined!
   
We want to know… “What does adventure mean to you?” Let us know in the comments below or contact us!
hello@dnkpresents.com or 317-445-7155
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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, camping

Outdoor Dining & The Things You Need to Consider

Going on a backpacking trip means you don’t want to carry any unnecessary weight. Well, when it comes to food, there is much more to consider. According to REI, these are the things you need to be looking for.

Taste – Yeah, don’t try going out into the backcountry with food you can’t stomach. This isn’t the time to learn to like new foods. Do that at home. Don’t try to convince yourself that you’ll eat something if you know you can’t enjoy it. You need the….

Calories – There is no time for a diet in the woods. Calories will be burned anyways. This is the energy that is fueling your entire escapade. If you don’t have the energy to continue on, backpacking just won’t be the greatest experience for you. Energy, energy, energy. Keep that in mind as you go along!

Nutrition – While in the backcountry, you’ll want to make sure that you are staying filled up on complex carbohydrates and proteins. Having sugary treats with no return will only make you drag and feel heavy. Make sure to keep nuts and dried fruits on you. They will be able to provide you with the more stable and consistent energy you’ll need.

Weight & Bulk – Again, weight and bulk are huge concerns for backpacking. As miraculous as backpacking packs are, the less weight you have on you, the better it will feel, leaving you with more energy to go farther. It’s amazing the relief you feel taking off the pack after a day of backpacking and realizing how much weight you were actually just carrying. An easy way to do this is to reduce any unnecessary packaging. Just make sure to clearly label everything and include instructions if there are any included with the food. Another thing? Be aware of the equipment you’ll need to prepare everything…

Ease of Preparation – The ease and simplicity by which you can make a meal is a huge part of selecting the meal to be packed. The more complex, the more frivolous tools you’ll end up carrying. Again, that is just more unnecessary weight. Make sure that in case of any sort of malfunction with a stove you have non-cook items available for consumption. You also may not even have the energy to get through cooking a whole entire meal. Keep it simple. Sit back and relax. Hey, at least it isn’t a microwaveable dinner meal.

Availability of Water – If there isn’t all that much water available where you plan on setting camp up in or even just are hiking through, you will need to keep this in mind as you pack food. Things that don’t require water will be your best bet in these situations.

Fuel – If anything you bring needs a stove, you’re going to need to check the cook time. Depending on that, you’ll need to bring a certain amount of fuel. Make sure you have that amount available but also keep in mind, again, the more canisters you have, the more weight you’ll be carrying.

Cost – All that gear you find you’ll need for backpacking is expensive. And that’s without accounting for the price of food. The cost of food comes with many considerations of its own though. You have to take into account the utensils you need, pots and pans you may need, as well as the extra things you may need to accompany your may use to dress up your meal. That’s all without actually taking into account the food you’re bringing along, Don’t go overboard buying items that may break your bank, but don’t go too cheap either because you want to make sure you aren’t compromising on taste and nutrition especially.

 

So now you are probably wondering, what are some good examples of things that fit well into all of these considerations? Dehydrated packs are great. They are specifically meant for use in the outdoors so the nutrition benefits are high. Some allow you to use either hot or cold water for cooking so if there really is a malfunction with your stove, your option A, is also your option B. These packs are really light and include clear instructions for ease. As I mentioned before, nuts and dried fruits are great for snacking on throughout your trip for all the obvious reasons and then some. Make sure to have plenty of water on you. There’s never enough water when you’re out backpacking. That is weight that you won’t regret bringing along.

Canned foods are a good, quick option. Bringing some spices along may also make your meals much more worthwhile. Pack them up in mini Ziploc bags and they’ll weigh virtually nothing. Same goes for powdered drink mixes. It’ll be nice to have a refreshing, fruity drink in you. As you might imagine, coffee is a popular option, too. Eggs, oatmeal, and pancake mix are popular breakfast choices. Lunch is more often just a series of snacks throughout the hike such as granola, jerky, and dried fruit. As for dinners, those are often the reward to your day, and are meant to take more prep time for ultimate enjoyment. Pasta, soup, and a variety of “instant” foods are popular choices for that time of day.

Something you’ll need to keep in mind is wildlife. Bear bags, as they are called are meant to hold all of your food in one place away from your tent and other things. They’re meant to decrease the chances of being attacked for your food as well as for keeping your food supply safe. They are kept up in the air, usually between two trees. However, bear bags can’t be too close to one side. There’s a chance that an animal could climb up to them. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of animals you might find on your adventure so that you can tailor the way in which you hang your bear bag(s). For more information and for a how-to, checkout this video from Peak Survival!

If you’re going “car camping”, most of this won’t apply. Just make sure that you know how and what you’ll need to prepare the items that you’ve brought along and have enough fuel to keep your stove going. No matter where you’re eating though, make sure to keep the seven Leave No Trace principles in mind!

If you are a woman looking to get some hands on experience and knowledge, you should join us on our next beginner’s backpacking trip! We are teaming up with Team Film (see what I did there?) to unplug and embrace nature for an overnight backpacking trip to Charles C. Deam Wilderness which is located within the Hoosier National Forest. For more information and to sign up click here! We’re excited to see you all out there August 22-23rd, 2015.

In the end, just remember, you need food. It’s how you’ll survive. If you’re afraid you don’t have enough, food is the one thing you shouldn’t fear your supply of. Pack enough to make you feel comfortable but also keeps your pack at a decent weight, too. Bon Appetite and trust me on this: everything tastes good after a long excursion with a pack on your back.

 

Eden Ashebir
Adventure Marketing Intern
Your Next Great Adventure…
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Ever been to Costa Rica? Needing an escape? Click here for more information for our first ever DNK Presents Costa Rica Adventure, January 23rd through 30th, 2016. Registration closes by October 1st, 2015 so sign up quick!

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