Calling all WOMEN adventurers!
Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran backpacker, WOMEN WILD is an opportunity to learn new outdoor skills, grow your confidence as an independent hiker, and meet amazing friends and future hiking buddies.
KEEN's Education Director, Carlyn Saunders, is an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, completing the 2,200+ miles trek in 2019. She is excited to lead you through virtual skills classes that will build your knowledge of trip planning, packing, gear, food and cooking strategies, trail etiquette and essentials, and more.
Throughout the year, you'll join Carlyn and other fierce women on day hikes and overnight excursions to trail-test your skills. If you want to challenge yourself in 2023-2024, WOMEN WILD is the right fit for you!
Details about trips and cost is coming soon!
About WOMEN WILD
Hello and welcome to WOMEN WILD!
My name is Carlyn Saunders (she/her) and I’ve been KEEN’s Environmental Education Director since 2016. I found my passion for the outdoors while leading adventure programs at Girl Scout resident camp. I further pursued my backpacking skills when I moved to Washington in 2011, including numerous solo trips. In 2019, I bought a one-way ticket to Atlanta to start the 2,192-mile Appalachian Trail, completing the trail in 185 days. Since then, I’ve been looking for opportunities to get people outside, teach them all I’ve learned, and help others find their own passions.
Mountaineers was born in 2020 as a weekly activity for middle-schoolers stuck in virtual school. It has evolved so much since that first season. During the 21-22 school year, 10 Morgan middle schoolers met weekly, learning and building skills, testing them on monthly excursions into the backcountry. After only a few months, it was clear that an adult version was needed in Kittitas County. So WOMEN WILD was born and half a dozen adventurous ladies bonded together to explore our state.
So what is WOMEN WILD? An opportunity to learn new outdoor skills, grow your confidence as an independent hiker, and meet amazing friends and future hiking buddies.
What should you expect from the program? As we say on trail, “You must learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This program should challenge you mentally and physically. You will learn how to find your own strength as well as draw on the strength of community from your adventure partners.
Do I need any experience? Absolutely not. If you are a true beginner, this will feel like a beginner’s course. Ask questions when you need to and soak up all the information from myself and your new friends. If you’re seasoned, I guarantee you will learn something new that will only make you more confident.
What if I don’t have any gear? Gear is a crucial piece of the backcountry puzzle and a decent amount is needed. While I will always recommend having your own, it is not a requirement to begin adventuring. There are plenty of ways to try out these activities without spending $$$. Personally, I have a lot of spare gear to lend out. There are also several rental opportunities locally to utilize. Suggested gear lists for each trip will go out and if you don’t have something, we will find the best way to get it for you.
What will the trips be like? Each trip will be a unique experience, changing based on weather, season, distance, ect. Some trips will be camping focused with shorter distances hiked. Others will focus on longer hiking distances to reach more secluded areas. Some might be boating or snowshoeing trips. They will have variety, challenges, and will constantly be building on learned skills.
How do I sign up for the trips? And can I bring a friend? Absolutely! Signing up is easy and any/all women are encouraged to join! Check out www.ycic.org/womenwild to read about upcoming trips and register. Membership costs cover all Masterclasses, pre-trip meetings, social events, day hikes, and access to the Members Portal.
Can I just sign up for the meetings/skill training sessions? Absolutely! While I obviously would love to have you all on every trip, I understand that schedules and personal responsibilities take priority. Certain events will also have a drop in rate for those wishing to try out the program.
What does membership include?
Your membership to WOMEN WILD gives you access to the WOMEN WILD learning modules and videos, in-person and Zoom instructional, all Masterclasses and pre-trip meetings, special guest speakers and social events. All excursions can be registered for separately and you must be enrolled in WOMEN WILD to partake in the excursions. Pre-registration for all events and Masterclasses is recommended.
Please reach out with any/all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org! Thank you for choosing adventure in 2023-2024!