Women's Adventure DNK Presents

Family Intro to Backpacking

Calling all mothers! Have you always wanted to take your child or children on a camping trip? Have you taken camping trips before with your family but are looking to try and see what backpacking is all about? We have the perfect trip for you.

Join us for an overnight adventure in beautiful Shades State Park. 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 confident to take your children out on your own and be successful in the wilderness. Our professional DNK Presents’ certified guides Candice Baggett and Katy Williams are so excited to lead this first family oriented trip with you.

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

Gear: DNK Presents provides gear (included in cost) for adults. We do not supply backpacking gear for children. The gear we provide such as the cookware, and tent can be shared with your child. Your child would need their own backpack for carrying water, snacks, child’s sized sleeping bag, sleeping pad if they have one.

Cost: Includes one adult and one child, if you have more than one child you want to bring there is an additional $25.00 charge. Also includes backcountry meals for Saturday evening and Sunday morning. You will need to have breakfast before you arrive and pack you and your child’s lunch to have along the trail on Saturday.

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

Please let us know if you have any food allergies, all food provided is vegetarian!


Gear list and recommended clothing:

Tent or hammock (we can also provide)

Flashlight/headlamp and extra batteries

Snacks/Extra food

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

Bring rain gear – rain jacket or poncho, rain pants or water resistant pants

2 filled water bottles (Nalgene size 32 oz. at least or 64 oz. total)


Insect Repellent


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, hand sanitizer (there are no bathrooms in the backcountry)

Baby wipes or face wipes

Large Zip lock bags or plastic bags for carrying trash (you will carry your own trash throughout the weekend)

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

Hiking boots (recommended) or trail shoes can also work

Extra socks

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

Personal items

Bring any and all medications that you need or may need during this adventure

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Hoosier Mountain Bike Association Epic Weekend

This weekend we got the opportunity to be part of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Brown County Epic. The epic is not a race, rather a group ride with over three hundred of your closest friends. The weekend includes camping, live music, giveaways and local craft beer on tap!

This event is especially memorable for Kate and I because 3 years ago at this event was my first real attempt at mountain biking! I had only ridden once before at Ft Ben on a beginner trail during the Hoosier Outdoor Experience. The first day of the event (back then) was demo day, so you get to ride bikes from Trek, Giant, Surly, Specialized and Rocky Mountain. Some of these bikes could have cost more than my car. I think I rode a full suspension Trek and what I really fell in love with, was the Giant Anthem. I loved mountain biking, after road biking for so long I felt like, “I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this the whole time!”

The next day I was riding Kate’s old bike – a hard tail Cannondale. Which at the time meant nothing to me, and if you don’t know it basically means you feel everything – in the worst way! After our first route I was like seriously why does anyone even make bikes like this?! It was a little painful, especially after riding luxury bikes the day before, but I rode through the day and absolutely loved it. I made it to the top of hesitation point. It was rainy that day and some of our friends chose not to ride, back then I felt like I didn’t know any better. I played outdoor sports growing up so I thought, “what’s a little rain going to do?” Turns out rocks and roots can be kind of slippery on your bike tires in the rain, but that didn’t stop us from riding all day! It was awesome.

This year unfortunately we did not ride, but we did get to support our friends with HMBA who are responsible for all the wonderful trails. We also got to run at Yellowwood State Forest. Kate broke her rib 4 weeks to the day on Sunday, her doctor cleared her to run at 4 weeks and cleared her to ride at 6 weeks. Through that time Kate had a few minor breakdowns but what I admired and love so much was that instead of focusing on what she couldn’t do like running, biking, boxing, and many of the things she loves to do. She focused on things she COULD do! Like John Wooden once said, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” There was a lot of walking, yoga, but she also got to go on our last canoeing trip of the year. It was a time that we were able to think about those who live with disease or impairments throughout their entire lives. It was Kate’s first broken bone, but it was a lifelong lesson for us both.

In life we sometimes take for granted what we have and often times are always wishing and complaining about what everyone else has or gets. From this weekend and through these past few weeks it has opened our eyes to be thankful for our health, happiness, family and friends.

By: Danielle Wolter Nolan

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