outdoors

dnk presents, corporate retreats, adventures, corporate adventures, mental health,

Mental Health Empowered us to Build Our Business

Kate and I founded DNK Presents because of the impacts the outdoors has had on our lives.

Arianna Huffington was the keynote speaker at the Indiana Conference for Women a couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the conference and later getting her book, “Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life One Night At a Time” signed by her in person! That moment will stay with me forever but more importantly will the many nuggets of wisdom Arianna shared with our community that day. 

dnk presents, live adventurously, corporate retreats, retreats, adventure retreats,

“75% of healthcare diagnosis in this country is preventable,” Arianna preached to us.

She went on to break that powerful statement down. Only 25% of the reasons people in the U.S. go to the doctor today is because of a pre-existing condition, telling us that 75% of the reasons we see a health care provider are actually PREVENTABLE! This was a huge lightbulb moment for me.

According to WebMD the top five preventable health problems today are, in order, obesity, diabetes, tobacco, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. More information can be found from the article here: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20170424/the-top-5-conditions-that-shorten-americans-lives—-and-are-preventable

Kate and I founded DNK Presents because the outdoors has had an incredibly positive impact on our lives. Being out in nature, trying something new in the outdoors and unplugging was and still is something that helps us overcome the obstacles we face in our personal and professional lives today.It has also tremendously improved our overall physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. We felt that getting more people outside could help others and we wanted to build a business with that same mission.

Turns out it wasn’t just something Kate and I thought, it is also proven by science and backed by countless accredited studies and research, and now also reigns true by many DNK Presents’ adventurers! You can read about the impacts of the outdoors from one of our favorite authors, Florence Henderson from her book “The Nature Fix“.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and while many of us shared posts, blogs, stories, etc. We feel that mental health isn’t just something we focus on for one day but every day, every moment of our lives. We have found that if it’s something we can focus on each day we can instill positive change in our lives and those around us.

At DNK Presents we know the importance of mental health and the impact it has had on us and our adventure participants. One of the ways we give back today is through outreach with great organizations like The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). We are extremely lucky to call our Indiana representative, Kelsey Steuer a great friend, fellow adventurer, and fun fact Kelsey was actually our 1st year Women’s Adventure Giveaway winner – see her shining light face on our website and on the Live Adventurously website here: https://www.liveadventurouslyfilm.com/

If you want to learn more about the AFSP please visit their website for a list of all their resources and services: https://afsp.org/

Make sure to speak with your trusted health care provider about your mental health and well-being. Whether it includes the outdoors or not we hope that you make mental health a priority for yourself not just today but every day and every moment of your amazing life. We wish you the very best this fall season and hope to see you on the trails!

“When we prioritize our well-being, everything else in our life gets better, including our products, including our performance at work, including our success.” – Arianna Huffington

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, call 911, or go to your nearest emergency room. 

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DNK Presents Women's Backpacking

Women’s Beginner Backpack Adventure

Get your hiking boots  for this super chill backpacking adventure this summer! This is a beginner backpacking trip perfect for getting a taste for what backpacking is like or dusting off your hiking boots and getting back outdoors if you haven’t been in a while and of course meeting some amazing women! Lead guide Katy Williams will guide you along the Low Gap and Tecumseh trail to the backcountry area, you will set up camp, then hike to Bear Lake and learn about filtering water in the backcountry. You’ll hike back to the backcountry area, make dinner by the campfire that evening and learning more about taking your own backpacking adventure.

Total miles hiked during weekend about 10 miles along the Low Gap and Tecumseh trail.

Backpack food provided Saturday evening and breakfast Sunday morning. You will need to have had breakfast before arriving and pack a sandwich for Saturday afternoon!

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

Tent (shared 2 person)

Backpack 65 liters  ***We are now out of backpacks for this trip

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping Bag

Cookware including fuel

Mess kit

 

Gear list and recommended clothing:

Tent or hammock

Flashlight/headlamp

Extra batteries (for headlamp)

Camp stove, Jet Boil etc.

Pan or pot for cooking

Camp stove fuel

Matches or lighter

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

Instant coffee packets or tea if you need this

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)

Swim Suit (suitable for lake i.e. not your brand new one!)

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” another 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)

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

Personal items

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

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DNK Presents' Women's Adventure Contest

DNK Presents’ Women’s Adventure Contest Winners Announced

Danielle Wolter Nolan                                                                                                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DNK Presents

812-449-6134

www.dnkpresents.com

 

Outdoor adventure company, DNK Presents announces their 2018 Indiana Womens Adventure Contest winners, Myra Ansley, Emily Faurote, Mindy Weaver-Flask, and Rose Tillison. These four women were selected from numerous nominations from across the state of Indiana to win a customized free four-day exclusive backcountry adventure. Founders of DNK Presents, Danielle and Kate Nolan will guide the adventure, taking place May 17-20, 2018 in Indiana. The four contest winners will disconnect from technology, live off the grid, and challenge themselves with new outdoor activities. In addition, a select team of inspiring, leading outdoor women will join the adventure trip as guest facilitators.

“We are beyond excited for our 4 contest winners this year and can’t wait to hit the trails with the ladies this May,” remarks Kate Nolan.

Danielle Wolter Nolan exclaims, “The Women’s Adventure Contest is one of our favorite events; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for women to be completely unplugged, try something new, meet other inspiring women, empower themselves, and build confidence through the great outdoors.”

The DNK Presents’ Women’s Adventure Contest is supported by national and local sponsors including, Rusted Moon Outfitters, KEEN, The Bike Line, Trek Bicycle, ENO Hammocks, Alps Mountaineering, Shredly, Bitchstix, Big Woods Brewery, Oakley, Skinny and Company, E.A.T., Central Restaurant Products, Enviro-Max, and more!

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DNK Presents organizes and guides empowering adventure experiences for individuals, groups and businesses. They focus on getting people to step outside their comfort zones, trying something for the first time and gain confidence through experiential learning.
 Their adventures include mountain biking, backpacking, rock climbing and yoga retreats in and outside of Indiana.

 

DNK Presents produced and directed the award-winning film, “Live Adventurously” (www.liveadventurouslyfilm.com) that follows the four women who won the inaugural Women’s Adventure Contest in 2016. A feature length documentary film based on the 2017 contest winners is expected to be completed this summer.

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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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Adventure DNK Presents

Adventure Call Out

Hello adventure seekers! Come out to the Speak Easy in Broad Ripple for a casual evening to meet the amazing DNK Presents Guide Team! We will talk to you about some of our upcoming trips, give you a chance to personally meet your guides, and we will share some outdoor adventure secrets with you. Some former adventures will also come to share their experience on a DNK Presents trip. Come for a fun meet and greet night and leave feeling inspired to take on your next big adventure!

We have 4 main focuses of our adventures and they are listed below. We are working on incorporating more water activities on our adventures like canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. We are also in our third year of the Women’s Adventure Contest which is a long weekend filled with multiple activities like backpacking, mountain biking, yoga, and other surprises. We will probably be offering another long weekend that is open to the public for people to sign up for called the Live Adventurously weekend. We hope to see you Thursday Feb. 8th and on an adventure this year!

Backpacking

Mountain Biking

Rock Climbing

Yoga

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The Venture Out Project

Interview with The Venture Out Project

The Venture Out Project 

Recently I found out about an amazing organization called The Venture Out Project. I was so inspired by what they do I asked if I could interview them to share their story with our readers here at DNK Presents and Live Adventurously. Being in the LGBTQ+ family and in the outdoor space, it has always been very important to Kate and I to provide an inclusive environment for our participants, especially when often times they are already in a vulnerable state being outdoors and trying something for the first time with people they are meeting for the first time. If you don’t feel like you can be comfortable about your sexual orientation that can make it even harder to want to try something new in the outdoors. Have you experienced this feeling in the outdoors or trying something new in another area of your life? We would love to hear YOUR story. I hope you enjoy the interview, keep on adventuring!
Venture Out Project
What is the number one way you feel The Venture Out Project (TVOP) is able to provide a safe space for the LGTBQ+ community?
Perry:  

The biggest surprise to me was how many folks have come on more than one trip.  When I founded Venture Out I thought it’d be the kind of thing where people came on one trip, learned some skills and then went to backpack on their own.  But what I found was that for so many folks, Venture Out was their only trans or queer community.  In many cases our participants may have had friends online, but many had never hung out with, or even met, another trans person.  People come back for a second, third, fourth or even fifth trip because they know that’ll it’ll be an opportunity not just to be outside, but to make friends and find community.

 
Travis:
Safety in numbers!  Being with other queer folks not only provides the collective safety container, but also, safety in our own bodies.  I know even for me, I feel safer and seen when around other queer & trans folks.
The Venture Out Project
 
What has been the biggest eye opener or surprise as TVOP has grown in what it is today?
Travis:
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how many people have WANTED to learn how to backpack or break into outdoor activities, and just don’t know how to start or who to ask. And gear is often SO GENDERED.  Which is completely ridiculous.  We’ve heard so many stories at this point of our participants going to outdoor stores looking for boots or backpacks and being steered away from the “men’s section”, or the “women’s section” because of their perceived gender.  It literally makes no sense at all.
 
How did you become part of the TVOP family?
Travis:

I found out about TVOP in 2015 when a friend posted something about it on my Facebook wall.  Like “Hey look at what these queers in New England are doing”.  I’m originally from New England, but was/still am living in Portland, OR.  I immediately contacted Perry, the founder of TVOP, and asked I could lead a trip for him.  We agreed on a week long backpacking trip that summer on The Long Trail in Vermont.  There were three guides and two participants!

Six months later, he hired me on as his Office Manager and now I’m the Director of Operations.  We also now fill our trips to capacity (and even have wait lists!)

What is your favorite trip to guide and why?
 
Travis:
 
After every trip I lead, I declare “that was my favorite!”.  This is such a hard question – all of them are so emotionally powerful.
But I will say…this last summer Perry and I lead an experienced backpacking trip in Oregon.  It was originally supposed to be on the Loowit Trail around Mount St. Helen’s.  Due to Oregon having such an amazing snow winter last year (yay!), it was not clear of snow in time.  Instead we spent four days backpacking in the Colombia River Gorge – which is so incredibly beautiful.  The area we were in last July, is the same area that caught fire this fall and has since burned.  I’m so grateful we got to share this special area with folks.  The gorge will regrow, probably even more beautiful, but it will be some time.   On the last day of this trip, we crossed into Washington and summited Mount St. Helen’s – which is never NOT a profound experience.  This trip was an incredible one.
This upcoming summer, Perry and I are guiding a trip for those of trans experience in Maine – my home state.  We’ll be climbing Mount Katahdin, spending a few days in Baxter State Park, and then spending a few days in a small rustic cabin on a cove on a small Maine Island.    I have a feeling this will also raise to the top of my list of “favorite trips”.
Backcountry Venture Out Project
 
What have some of your participants gone on to do or said after a trip with TVOP?
 
Travis
This is such a great question.  Several of our past participates have actually gone on to become instructors for us!  Another one of our favorite participants lives in Texas and had never played in the snow before.  His first trip with us was a week-long Queer Winter Camp in Jackson Hole, WY.  He now regularly goes on skiing trips with his brother!
Perry:
 
My favorite story about a what a participant did after his trip still gives me chills.  This participants came on our queer ski trip in Wyoming.  He called me up a few weeks after the trip to tell me his story.  “When I came on this trip I was only out to four people in the world as trans.  I thought it was something I needed to keep secret. I felt scared and ashamed.  But on our trip, I met so many out and happy queer and trans folks.  It was really eye opening to me.  I saw the lightness with which you all walked through the world and contrasted that to the tension I felt from carrying this secret.  So after much thought I decided I was going to have a gender reveal party for myself.  I invited a bunch of friends over for a party and about an hour into the party I told them I was trans.  They were so welcoming, supportive and happy for me.  It feels so good to be relieved of this burden.  I could not have done this without TVOP.  Thank you for showing me what could be.”
Queer Youth Venture Out Project
What are you most proud of as an employee of TVOP? 
 
My proudest moments are spending time with Queer Youth.  This past summer, we put the youth fully in charge coming up with a plan to get everyone up the mountains.  Their care for each other was so pure.  To see them struggle, to see them negotiation and compromise, to encourage, and support each other.  It’s just incredible.  And then to hear them giggling at night is just the icing on the cake.  So proud to be an employee of TVOP and be able to create these experiences for queer & trans youth.
 
 
What is next for TVOP?
TVOP is growing!  We’re offering more trips, and as mentioned before, hiring past participants as guides.   This summer we’re offering our first “POC Centered” Classic Backpacking Trip lead with Mercy Shammah of Wild Diversity in the Pacific Northwest! We’re also expanding our ages on our Queer Youth Backpacking trips and have trips for both 12-14 and 15-19 year olds!  Another exciting new offering is a Nature Connection Retreat co-run by Tam Willey of Toadstool Walks taking place in Colombian River Gorge of Washington.
The Venture Out Project
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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures,

How Backpacking Changed My Life

By: Ali Solomon
Our everyday lives can be compared to a revolving door – we go round and round, propelled by emotions of glee and disappointment, our surroundings becoming a distorted blur as we go through our daily routine.  While we can sustain comfort in this kind of lifestyle, what happens when our revolving door stops?  Do we push on as if nothing happened?  Or become overwhelmed with how we are going to move forward?
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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures,

5 Ways to Overcome Fear Through Adventure

Do your fears overcome you, or do you overcome your fears?

One of the reasons Kate and I started DNK Presents was because of our love of adventure, and we know there is a direct correlation with the challenges we have faced in the in outdoors and the success we have had in our professional careers.

Fear is the unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, or may cause pain to us. As humans we fear a lot of things in our lives, objects like spiders, snakes, heights, and non-object things such as, asking for a raise, public speaking, and failure. Some people may never overcome their fears, but many times in order to move forward with our life we MUST overcome these fears to be successful and reach our goals.

Signing up for your next adventure is one of the ways you can overcome your biggest fear, and transmit that into your personal and professional life. Check out the list we put together below and start living your next adventure!

 

Number 1:

Adventure is FUN!

While you’re busy worrying about your biggest fear at home or the office you could be out living your next adventure, whether that’s taking a hike in your favorite park or white water rafting the Pacuare River in Costa Rica. Sometimes you need to step away from what is haunting you in order to see it from a different perspective.

Number 2:

Reconnect with NATURE

According to Everyday Health, (http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression-resource-center/how-nature-helps-depression/) spending time outdoors is a key component in the evidence based treatment called, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which encourages the human body to accept things in life that make people fearful or uncomfortable. Being in nature instills more mindfulness, and makes you more at ease with your worries and fears. So get outside, take some deep breaths, and THEN think about a new career, and take a walk on the wild side.

 

Number 3:

Not relying on TECHNOLOGY

A recent study done by Kleiner Perkins Caufield, says the average phone user checks their device every 6 minutes or around 150 times a day. Image NOT checking your phone for a day, but rather using your well powered brain to figure out your next move by following trail blazes and reading maps. Psychologists from the University of Utah and the University of Kansas conducted a study and that showed individuals scored 50% better on a creative test after spending four days in nature. http://www.zmescience.com/other/outdoor-activity-problem-solving-14122012/

 

This proves that those who spend time in nature are better problem solvers because of the ability they have to make conscience decisions without relying on technology.

 

Number 4:

Taking RISKS

 

According to the Forbes article, “Take a Risk: The Odds are Better Than you Think” by Margie Warrell, expert motivational speaker and best selling author, we as humans are innately risk adverse, it’s much easier for us to stay in our comfort zones, not speak up, or going along with change.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2013/06/18/take-a-risk-the-odds-are-better-than-you-think/#4c7580f61d09

 

But if no one took risks we wouldn’t have most things that have been vital to the advancement of our economy and human race. I’m not suggesting jumping off bridges or diving into something without weighing your options. You should definitely do your research before partaking in an offer or decision that is presented to you, but remember there is sometimes a greater risk in not taking one at all.

 

Number 5:

Fear what FEAR?

Taking on an outdoor adventure for at least 48 hours will make you realize your biggest fear isn’t so big after all. Overcoming challenges in the outdoors will prepare you to take on just about anything that comes your way. For example, taking a wrong turn on your mountain bike, leading you to the black diamond portion of the trail, it was scary and you may have felt worried and fearful at times, but guaranteed you’ll never forget the experience. These experiences change the way we approach situations that occur in our daily life.

 

 

Now, you have 5 reasons to take an adventure to overcome your fears! Hopefully it will let you see your fear with a new perspective, advise you to weigh the positive and negative risks, reconnect with yourself through nature, and most importantly have fun by living life adventurously!

 

How have your overcome a fear in the past? We’d love to know! Let us know in the comments below or drop us an email at hello@dnkpresents.com.

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

Indiana Humanities Trek and Talk

By: JACQUELINE CROMLEIGH, Communications & Community Relations Manager Indiana Humanities

Our Next Indiana Campfires program is connecting us to some fantastic Hoosiers, including Danielle and Kate Nolan of DNK Presents. Learn a little more about these passionate and inspiring ladies below.

Meet Danielle and Kate Nolan of DNK Presents!

You can join the duo on an overnight camping and hiking adventure through Morgan-Monroe State Forest on July 8-9. New to camping? No worries! They’ll be teaching you everything you need to know about outdoor adventures including what to pack, how to set up a campfire and more.

Tell us a little more about DNK Presents. How did it start? 

Danielle & Kate: We started DNK Presents because of our love of the great outdoors and adventure. We truly live our lives adventurously, and found that others were noticing and wanted to join the fun. We wanted to bridge the gap for people to try something for the first time, disconnect from technology and reconnect with themselves through outdoor experiences. We also realized that we excelled in our professional and personal lives because of our connection with nature and the challenges we had overcome in the outdoors. Outdoor adventures improve quality of life, reduce stress, help build relationships, improve sleep patterns, reduce anxiety, and provide endless physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Our goal is to provide a well-cultured, active and adventurous community and lifestyle.

What sparked your love for the outdoors?

Danielle: Our love for the outdoors definitely started at a young age for both of us. It was not uncommon to have my mom flickering the lights to signal it was time to come inside and have dinner since it had turned dark.

What drew you to Next Indiana Campfires?

Danielle & Kate: Next Indiana Campfires is an awesome program to get people enjoying the great outdoors in Indiana. We have so much to offer here but sometimes you do have to seek it out. Next Indiana Campfires is making it easy to get outside, meet new people and learn about the history of our great state as well.

You’ve adventured to the Grand Canyon, “netwalked” along the Cultural Trail and even enjoy some rock climbing. Can you describe a few of your adventures? What makes our Next Indiana Campfires adventure special?

Danielle & Kate: With DNK Presents Adventures we focus on getting people to step outside their comfort zone and try something for the first time. We lead backpacking, hiking, mountain bike clinics, indoor to outdoor rock climbing programs and paddle trips, consisting of day, overnight and week long excursions. Our adventure with Next Indiana Campfires is so exciting because we get to partner with an awesome nonprofit like Indiana Humanities, we get to learn ourselves from the exciting scholar they have selected for our backpack adventure, and we get to do all this and expose people to one of Indiana’s best backcountry trails!

Where’s your favorite place to spend time outdoors in Indiana? Have you discovered a hidden gem that more Hoosiers should know about?

Danielle & Kate: There are SO many awesome places to go in Indiana but one of our favorite spots has to be camping on the Peninsula Trail in Deam Wilderness which is part of Hoosier National Forest. It is Indiana’s only accredited wilderness and is named after Indiana naturalist and scholar himself Charles C. Deam.

Is there a piece of environmental literature you think everyone should read?

Danielle & Kate: John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Charles C Deam and Ralph Waldo Emerson all have written so many beautiful books.

What’s on your Bicentennial bucket list?

Danielle:  I think it would have to include the waterfall tour! We’ve been seeing these maps popping up in our newsfeed on Facebook, I’m not sure who started it but we would love to do a tour of the waterfalls in Indiana, how fun!

Kate: This year’s Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s Brown County Epic Ride. We’ve been volunteering to build new trails at Crooked Creek in Yellowwood State Forest but haven’t had the opportunity to ride them. The trails will be part of this year’s Epic Ride. I’m very excited to cover 100 miles of Indiana single track!

Curious about DNK Presents adventures? Learn more here.

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Next Indiana Campfires is a unique way to connect nature, literature and Indiana’s Bicentennial. The program is supported by the Efroymson Family Fund, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires. Indiana Humanities is supported in part by Lilly Endowment Inc. and the National Endowment of the Humanities. 

This post is part of the weekly blog series devoted to the initiative. Check back every Tuesday to learn more about Indiana’s great environmental literature, find out interesting facts about Hoosier stewardship, get all the latest program details and more

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