Compass Point Holiday Gift Guides- 2020

It’s time for some holiday shopping! We’ve put together some handy Compass Point gift guides to help you get the outdoor lover in your life exactly what they wished for. Click the product links to shop through our online store and do curbside pick up, OR swing by the shop.

Gifts for the Dirty Girl

Dirty Girl Adventures 2021 Membership

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE DEC. 1, 2020

DGA Nalgene Bottles

AVAILABLE FOR IN-STORE SHOPPING- CALL IF YOU’D LIKE IT ADDED TO YOUR ONLINE ORDER

Kula Cloth
Cotopaxi Fanny Pack
Grand Trunk Hammock
DGA CAMP CUP

Gifts for the Dirty Dude

Osprey Stratos 36 L
Mountainsmith Cooler Cube
Stanley Growler
Gerber Splice Pocket Tool
Astral Ronny Fischer Lifejacket

Gifts for the Dirty Kids

Osprey Daylite Kids Backpack
Star Finder, Hit the Trail game and Kids Binoculars

AVAILABLE FOR IN-STORE SHOPPING- CALL IF YOU’D LIKE IT ADDED TO YOUR ONLINE ORDER

Gifts for the Hiker

Osprey Tempest 40 L
MSR Pocket Rocket Stove Kit
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System
Mountainsmith Dolomite 7075 Trekking Pole

Gifts for the Kayaker

Astral Linda Lifejacket
Aqua Bound Sting Ray Carbon Paddle
Harmony Sponge
Harmony Bilge Pump
Cascade Fingerless Gloves

Gifts for the Cozy Camper

Mountainsmith Morrison EVO 2
Stanley Classic Stay Hot French Press
Joey C-Series Camp Chair
Thermarest Trail Pro Sleeping Pad
Thermarest Compressible Pillow
Thermarest Stellar Blanket

Thank you for choosing to shop small for your holiday gifting. We are so appreciative of your business. These gifts are guaranteed to get your favorite adventurers outside doing what they love!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Marie Meador

If you’ve stopped in at Compass Point over the last year, whether that be for a live music event, yoga, or just to shop, you’ve probably seen Marie! She is often adding new products to the inventory system, finding new ways to keep things organized at the counter and helping people find gear. 

Marie has been a Dirty Girl member for about five years. Her first Dirty Girl Adventures event was the Eagle Hike. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Eagle Hike, it’s an annual event in late January where the Dirty Girls hike to a special location where it’s very likely you’ll see eagles, nests and other wildlife.

Eagle Hike

“The Eagle Hike intrigued me as I love seeing eagles, so I convinced my daughter to join me. We did the Eagle Hike two years in a row. I officially joined Dirty Girl Adventures five years ago.”

Each year, Marie really enjoyed the Eagle Hikes but was happy when she found another Dirty Girl to motivate her to try some other hikes and even an Intro to Kayaking event. After that, the rest was history, as most ladies say after a few DGA events. 

“Now, I have hiked the All the Way (29-mile hike at Perry Lake)  twice, attempted Pike’s Peak, kayaked the Kaw several times and a section of the Buffalo River,” says Marie.

Marie hiking at Pike’s Peak with her daughter.

Marie is an avid volunteer for multiple organizations. She has helped with Her Hikers, an organization that helps to get girls in 3-6th grade to enjoy the outdoors and is a volunteer firefighter in her hometown. Additionally, she helps keep things running smoothly at Compass Point and is a Certified Dirty Girl Sweep. 

“After doing several hikes, I have learned what my hiking pace is and I’m now a Certified Diry Girl Sweep, where I help others at the end of the group to hike their own hike.  At DGA it’s not a race, its an activity accessible to everyone with no judgment.”

In 2016, Marie completed her first All the Way hike and it is her favorite memory with DGA. 

“Thanks to Jennifer’s encouragement, I made it both days. That’s when I learned the best place for me was at the back of the hiking group. I may be the last to come in, but I enjoy taking my time and encouraging others that they can succeed too,” says Marie.   

Marie has also conquered her fear of water through many kayaking events with DGA. Her first time in a kayak was an overnight float on the Kaw River from Lawrence to Eudora. Denise and Jenn helped her with her paddling techniques and she learned to pick a sandbar to pitch her tent and set up camp. 

“This trip led me to many more trips on the Kaw and even stretches of the Buffalo River with other Dirty Girls,” she said.   

Marie is one of the most steadfast supporters of Dirty Girl Adventures supporters and we appreciate her generosity. Swing by the shop next time you’re in Topeka and say hi to Marie!

Weekend Backpacking Checklist- Part 3

This time around, we’re going over an important part of your packing that is probably the easiest area to overpack- toiletries. This is also one of those areas you’ll be surprised how little you can get by with.

The first thing you’ll need is some sort of small bag for your toiletry items. We’ve got a couple of great items in the shop that make for great backpacking toiletry bags. Check it out!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. Our goal at Compass Point is to have all things backpacking and hiking gear in our store. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us by shopping through those links. As time goes on and we get more items in our shop, this blog will be updated with links to our online Compass Point shop. If you do choose to purchase something through the online Compass Point shop, please know that you must pick up in person- we do not ship items (and we want to see your face). Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

Osprey Dry Sacks

The Osprey Dry sacks are designed to keep the contents of your pack organized and bone dry. They are made with a roll-top waterproof closure with waterproof coated fabric/seams. The sacks also come in a variety of colors, so you could have your first aid in “electric lime” and your toiletries in “shadow gray” for color-coded organization in your pack.

Cotopaxi Del Dia Dopp Kit

The Dopp Kit is a home-away-from-home for your toothbrush and other grooming accessories while on the trail (or anywhere, really). The spacious main compartment is complemented by two internal side sleeves, and a large loop of webbing doubles as a carry handle and hang loop.

All Cotopaxi products are made in the Philippines using leftover materials from other companies’ production runs that could have gone to a landfill.

The awesome thing about Cotopaxi’s Del Dia line is that each piece is put together by Philippine employees who put together the funky color combos that make each pack distinct, giving them final creative control over every product in the Del Día family. When you pick up one of these packs, what you’re seeing is the “signature” of the employees who made it.

100% repurposed and 100% funky, each Dopp Kit is one of a kind!!

Toiletries

Your beauty routine while backpacking will be pretty limited and should focus mainly on hygiene. Depending on where you are and how long your adventure will be, you might add in a few extra items. First things first……

The MUST-HAVES

Kula Cloth– Ope, what do ya know- here we are raving about the Kula Cloth once again. Seriously, it’s the best. Made with antimicrobial cloth, its never been easier to keep your lady parts clean in the outdoors.

Sunscreen– The last thing you want while backpacking is a sunburn (well, there are some worse things…but trust us, you don’t want a sunburn). Get some water-resistant sunscreen with a higher SPF that comes in a small tube so it easily fits in your toiletry bag.

Lip balm– Not sure what’s worse, chapped lips or a sunburn. It’s so tiny there’s really no excuse to not bring some. Choose a balm with natural, organic ingredients that will keep your lips hydrated and protected We’re pretty loyal to Burt’s Bees.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste- Make sure you go with travel-size to save you lots of space.

Poop Kit- Your Kula Cloths’ partner in crime, the poop kit! In order to comply with the Leave No Trace Principles, you should follow these steps to dispose of waste properly. This is a durable, affordable and practical trowel for your poop kit. Toilet paper/wet wipes and a zip lock back are the other components you’ll need.

Wet wipes- These really have so many uses on the trail. First reason for the above topic^^ (toilet paper works too), but also wiping yourself down for a little refresher after a long day of hiking. Be sure to pack a zip-lock bag to dispose of your wet wipes/toilet paper and other trash.

Hand sanitizer- an obvious must-have before eating and after going to the bathroom!

Optional Additional Items

Deodorant- Believe us, you can live without it. You’ll be stinky, but that’s part of it. However, if you are going on a short backpacking trip with not a whole lot of weight in your pack, you can totally get away with throwing in a travel sized deodorant.

Gold Bond powder- Depending on who you are, you might argue this as a must-have item. If it’s humid and hot where you’re hiking, you may be prone to chafing and this stuff will be your saving grace.

Hair brush- If you absolutely can’t stand your hair being a ratty mess, you can throw in a small hair brush if your pack isn’t too heavy. But really, it’s okay if you end up looking like Hagrid off Harry Potter.

Witch hazel & cotton rounds- This is a great add-in for shorter trips where you aren’t trying to spare as much weight as possible. Get a travel-sized spray bottle and fill it with witch hazel. Spray a cotton round with the witch hazel at the end of a long day on the trail and boom, you have a clean face!

Be sure to adjust based on your own personal and specific needs and always research location specifics before you go!

Photo from the Backpacking Sanctuary

Elk River Trail Backpacking Adventure

Located in Crane, Kansas, the Elk River Trail is rated the #1 backpacking trail in Kansas by Backpacker Magazine. The 15-mile trail offers panoramic views of Elk City Lake from the tops of limestone bluffs and winds through narrow canyons and rock overhangs. You truly get a little bit of everything along this trail- sun, shade, wildlife, flowers, bluffs, interesting rock formations and shockingly, even some elevation change! That being said, it’s not an easy hike- it’s rugged, rocky terrain requires scrambling up steep slopes, making it a challenging hike.

Fifteen Dirty Girls set out to conquer 10 miles of this trail but finished with so much more than a completed hike. This was a unique group- hardly any of the women had ever been backpacking before. Each and every one of them had their own fears at the trailhead but walked out of the woods with huge feelings of success after the hard challenge. There is something about backpacking that really makes you get to know yourself. When you hike your own hike, you learn to conquer fears by connecting with yourself and nature.

Gathering at the trail head.

The most magical part of this adventure was Sunday morning. Everyone woke up, cooked a camp breakfast and packed their gear. Before stepping onto the trail, the group gathered in a circle and mentioned what they’d took away from the adventure up to that point. During this time sharing thoughts, everyone had moments of cheers, laughs and tears when they realized the connections they’d made with themselves and others with just one day immersed in nature on the trail.

Feeling empowered and stronger after sharing their hearts, the group set out for the way back. A few miles in at a rock ledge overlooking the lake, the ladies took some power pictures.

We will be going on more backpacking and hiking adventures in the near future. If you think you might want to join us, we asked all the ladies what their favorite piece of gear and snack was on this trip. See below and get ideas for gear and snacks for your next adventure, with us or on your own!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us, as we receive a small commission from any purchases via those Amazon links. Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

Mary Putney: Gear: Osprey Backpack

Snack/food: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Power Berries

Denise Cook: Gear: Osprey Backpack

Snack/food: Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Power Cups

Michelle Terry: Gear: MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

Snack/food: Mountain House Chicken & Dumplings

Emily Sharp: Gear: Sleeping pad

Snack/food: beef jerkey

Catherine King: Gear: REI Backpack

Snack/food:Trader Joes Dried Mango

Lorraine Leicht-Gillgannon (Official Dirty Girl Guide): Gear: Big Agnes Tent

Snack/food: Bean and Cheese burrito

This is Gerry, a new honorary Dirty Girl member. She was found by Lorraine and joins in on adventures, often sneaking whiskey into backpacks.

Teresa Cotton: Gear: Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad

Snack/food: Mountain House Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Cassie Douglas: Gear: Salomon hiking tennis shoes and Injinji Toe Socks (available in-store at Compass Point)

Snack/food: Sahale Nut Blends

Dereka Pederson: Gear: Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove

Snack/food: Werther’s Hard Candies

Robin Dixon: Gear: Lantern light

Snack/food: HOMEMADE ENERGY BALLS

Dorothy Kurtz: Gear: LEKI Trekking Poles

Snack/food: Sweet potato smothered with baked beans and cornbread muffin

Amy Schmutzler: Gear: Yodo Tent

Snack/food: Moon Cheese

Cheryl Coon: Gear: Sleepingo Sleeping Pad

Snack/food: homemade trail mix…..Cheryl’s recipe was a hit on the trail, so she shared her recipe with us!

CHERYL’S TRAIL MIX

Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, banana chips, cranberries, tropical fruit medley, wasabi peas, black sesame rice crackers

Optional add-ins: dried cherries or blueberries, yogurt covered pretzels, Snyder’s mustard snack mix or butterscotch chips

Ali Ragan: Gear: MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

Snack/food: Mountain House Pasta Primavera

Denise Selbee-Koch: Gear: KT Tape

Snack/food: Apples and Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs

Post-hike celebratory beers and snacks!

“We shared our hearts, our thought and our lives while we backpacked together.

The solitary hike: step after step, feeling and growing as individual humans.

The connected hike: learning we are stronger together, similar yet different, supportive and accepting of each other as we are when we are a vulnerable tribe bound together.”

– Denise Selbee-Koch, Original Dirty Girl

Ali Ragan
Ali Ragan

Dirty Girl Adventures
Communications and Social Media Manager

Weekend Backpacking Checklist- Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Weekend Backpacking Checklist. This blog will be detailing all things camp cooking!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. Our goal at Compass Point is to have all things backpacking and hiking gear in our store. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us by shopping through those links. As time goes on and we get more items in our shop, this blog will be updated with links to our online Compass Point shop. If you do choose to purchase something through the online Compass Point shop, please know that you must pick up in person- we do not ship items (and we want to see your face). Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

With the right gear, you can whip up some pretty delicious food to satisfy your hunger at the end of a long day on the trail.

CAMP COOKING ESSENTIALS

Ultralight Backpacking Stove

A good backpacking stove means hot coffee before a day of hiking and a hot meal at the end of a long day on the trail. You could easily get by with snack bars and other dry goods like nuts and jerky, but a stove is a must-pack item if you want a hot meal at the end of the day. As a long-time backpacker, Denise has gone through many backpacking stoves, but her ultimate favorite is the MSR Pocket Rocket. It’s super easy to set up and operate and can boil up to a liter of water in just 3.5 minutes. It’s a bit on the higher end scale of things, so if you are just a beginner, she recommends this similar AOTU Portable Backpacking Stove.

Backpacking Stove Fuel

Of course you’re going to need fuel to light your stove to start cooking. This MSR fuel is some of the best canister fuel on the market.

Hydration Reservoir

Not only will you use a hydration reservoir for water, but also for cooking. This hydration reservoir has great design making filling, cleaning and most importantly staying hydrated and cooking on the trail easier than ever. All parts are BPA-free, phthalate-free, lead-free, guaranteed.

Water Filter

“Don’t drink the water” is advice you should follow in the backcountry. Water can contain all kinds of little organisms that can make you sick. Newer water filter systems are light, easy-to-use and deliver clean water with less effort so there’s no good reason for taking a chance on drinking and cooking contaminated water. This Mini Sawyer Water Filter is only two ounces and removes 99.9% of all bacteria and 100% of microplastics.

Cookware

When backpacking, you don’t need much for cookware. A single pot and eating utensil will do, and maybe a cup if you’re a coffee drinker.  Cook sets with several pots, pans, cups and bowls add lots of extra weight and better for car camping.

This Stanley Adventure Cook Set includes a 24 ounce kettle and two ceramic cups. It’s perfect for cooking hot meals, coffee or to boil water. The top is vented to let steam escape and strain liquid. We will be carrying a line of Stanley Cookware at Compass Point very soon-stay tuned!

For eating, this BPA-Free BIO Spork from works great and only weighs close to nothing.

Last but not least, for all the coffee drinkers out there, this camping cup is the perfect coffee cup for on the trail.

Multi-Tool

You never know what kind of issues you’ll run into on the trail- that’s the whole reason you carry a multitool. When the situation presents itself, you’ll be glad that somewhere in the myriad of tools is exactly what you need. The best multitool for backpacking needs to be full of functionality while adding minimal weight and bulk to your pack. Original Dirty Girl, Denise, has used this Gerber multitool for years and won’t carry anything else. It’s a bit on higher in price but worth it.

This is a pretty basic list of cookware items, but that’s part of backpacking- simplicity and minimizing. You’d be surprised with how little you can get by with while backpacking. Be sure to always research location specifics before you go so you can take into consideration other gear you may need.

If you are participating in Adventure Bingo, you can get a square marked off if you subscribe, OR if you’re already subscribed, share this blog on Facebook to get a square marked off. Tune in next week for the Backpacking Toiletry Bag section of the Weekend Backpacking Checklist. Happy trails!

Weekend Backpacking Checklist- Part 1

There’s no doubt that backpacking is one of the greatest ways to experience the outdoors. Whether you’re a beginner backpacker or you’ve been hitting the trails for years, the number one question is ALWAYS “what should I pack?”

With it being the beginning of fall, that means it’s officially the best time of year for backpacking and hiking. The scorching temperatures of the summer are behind us and it’s time to take in the crisp, fall air and beautiful leaves. Are you planning your own backpacking trip sometime this fall and need some guidance on what to pack? Well, you’re on the right trail (no pun intended). Over the next few weeks, we’re going to outline exactly what you need for a weekend backpacking trip— nothing more and nothing less— after all, you’ll be carrying it all on your back!

Disclaimer: Throughout this blog, you’ll notice that some links go to our online Compass Point shop, and some go to Amazon. Our goal at Compass Point is to have all things backpacking and hiking gear in our store. While we work on getting more items in our shop, we’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate account so you can still support us by shopping through those links. As time goes on and we get more items in our shop, this blog will be updated with links to our online Compass Point shop. If you do choose to purchase something through the online Compass Point shop, please know that you must pick up in person- we do not ship items (and we want to see your face). Thank you for supporting our small business- we are excited to equip you with the knowledge and gear you need to have memorable and safe adventures in the great outdoors.

For the first section of the checklist, we’re talking big gear essentials and the necessary accessories you need for a weekend backpacking trip. In the weeks following, we’ll outline camp cooking items, backpacking toiletry bags and clothing.

BIG GEAR

Backpack

Your backpacking adventure does NOT have to be painful. The biggest factor to your comfort while backpacking is…. take a guess…. your backpack! We recommend the Osprey Aura 65 for backpacking trips of three days or more in length. This pack is women’s specific- meaning it’s smaller, lighter, and has narrower shoulder straps and hip belts that are shaped for a women’s anatomy.

Tent

The key things to look for when choosing a backpacking tent are weight, durability, weather-proof features, and ease of set up. It sounds pretty simple, but there’s so many to choose from and the search can get a little daunting. This two-person Mountainsmith Morrison tent is a great starter tent, used by the Original Dirty Girl herself (Denise).

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent (Citron Green)

Sleeping Pad

Sleeping in a tent with a crappy sleeping pad will probably leave you never wanting to go backpacking again. This incredibly lightweight and affordable sleeping pad is a great choice because it has a V-chamber design that limits air movement and heat loss for better support and comfort.

Klymit 9005496 Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad, Coyote-Sand

Sleeping Bag

One of the best investments you can make as a backpacker is a good, cozy sleeping bag. This is a great beginner sleeping bag from a brand that we love at Compass Point. It’s an efficient and compressible sleeping bag with water-resistant fibers. You can insert your sleeping pad into it as well for optimal comfort. You may not get the greatest sleep ever while backpacking, but a cozy sleeping pad paired with a comfortable pad can get you close.

Therm-a-Rest 32-Degree Synthetic Mummy Sleeping Bag

NECESSARY ACCESSORIES

Trekking Poles

Using trekking poles on a hike may look a little goofy, but you won’t be thinking that after using a pair just one time- they make a huge difference in strength, endurance, weight distribution and also help increase balance. These trekking poles are made with carbon, keeping weight to a minimum. They also have cork handles, offering an unmatched level of comfort that eliminates hot spots and pressure points.

Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro – Carbon Pair

First Aid Kit

We recommend putting together a DIY first aid kit using this Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack and adding the minimum supplies to the bag that you will need to address minor wounds, as well as travel-sized packs of some handy medications. In addition, add some extra blister band-aids and any medications that are specific to your needs.

Headlamp and Camp Light

A light source is an essential element for any backpacking checklist. In case you haven’t heard, there are no street lamps miles deep into the woods like in Narnia. 

Here’s a great option for a lightweight, rechargeable headlamp that packs well, wont break the bank, and puts out a great amount of light. 

UCO Air Lightweight Rechargeable LED Headlamp

This collapsible camping light is also very handy- you can set it on the ground, in your tent, or even hang it on a tree. It doesn’t take up hardly any space in your pack and has three different lighting modes! 

Power Bank

Backpacking without technology is risky, and a reliable power bank is a must have. This power bank is a good price point for the impressive battery life and performance. 

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

So, there you have it. All the big gear and necessary accessories you need for a weekend backpacking trip. If you subscribe to our blog by entering your email, you’ll receive a notification anytime we post a new blog.

If you are participating in Adventure Bingo, you can get a square marked off if you subscribe OR if you’re already subscribed, share this blog onto Facebook to get a square marked off.

Tune into the blog next week to read about all the camp cooking items you’ll need!!

Camping with Dirty Girl Adventures
Camping with Dirty Girl Adventures

Adventure Bingo

The Adventure Bingo card is filled with DGA activities and Compass Point events.  Most of the bingo squares require you to attend an event with us or do some sort of outdoor activity on your own, share it on social media and tag us!

The current plan is to have an Adventure Bingo every quarter— so this bingo game will run from September 1-December 31.

Here are the rules…you can choose to turn in your card for a single bingo (5 spaces in a line marked)  OR keep going for a blackout (entire card marked). The first person to get a blackout ends the game until next quarter. If you choose to turn in your card for a single bingo, you have to turn in your card and can’t keep going for a blackout. Once you need a square marked off, show us your proof and we will sticker your bingo card. To get your Adventure Bingo card, you must come into the shop and grab one!

Now for the fun part…prizes!

If you choose to turn in your card for a single bingo, you can choose one of the following for your prize:

  • Free yoga class
  • Sticker of choice
  • DGA camping cup
  • Compass Point koozie w/ a beer
  • Canister of Republic of Tea (flavor of your choice) 

The first lucky person who gets a blackout to end the game will receive a black Dirty Girl Adventure canvas bag (on display at the shop) with the following items:

  • 3-liter Osprey dry sack
  • Wakami “Adventure” bracelet
  • Sawyer bug spray
  • Yoga punch card 
  • Shirt, tank top or hat of choice
  • Bring a friend for 1/2 off next event of choice

Once again, you must come into the shop to get your bingo card. If you have any questions about Adventure Bingo, shoot us a message on Facebook!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Jen Sieben

Three years ago, Jen Sieben moved to Perry, Kansas. Shortly after her move, she was at the courthouse in Oskaloosa signing papers. Walking out of the courthouse that day, she noticed a bus parked on the street. But it wasn’t just any old, regular bus— it was the Dirty Bus! If you’ve gone on an adventure with us in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve seen or rode in the Dirty Bus. 

“When I laid eyes on it, I knew it had to be some sort of bus for an adventure company. So, I googled it as soon as I got back home,” said Jen. Upon searching through the DGA website, Jen really connected with the Dirty Girl Creed. Next thing she knew, she was paddling down the Kansas river on an adventure with the Dirty Girls. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures was an instant resource to women who do the things that I enjoy doing. I’ve built so many connections with like-minded women who are kind, helpful and adventurous,” she says. 

Jen’s favorite Dirty Girl event is the Ass Kicker. This 20-mile paddle from Lawrence to DeSoto is at the end of August, so kayakers paddle through the summer heat all day. It’s quite the challenge, but the experience is so rewarding— spending time on the Mighty Kaw with wonderful women. 

Every Thursday at Compass Point, Jen teaches an hour-long yoga class. She’s been practicing yoga for 25 years and has been a certified yoga teacher for six years. Upon completing her yoga teacher training in 2014, she opened up her own community yoga room in Concordia and taught around 14 classes every week. 

“I wanted to provide that service to as many people as possible because it is so beneficial physically, emotionally and mentally. Yoga builds strength, courage, faith and community, all while preparing you for the trail, the lake, the river and more life off the mat,” Jen says. 

As an avid outdoorswoman and yoga teacher, Jen makes it a priority to connect with the environment and get a different perspective.  An important piece of being a Dirty Girl is getting out on the river or the trail and taking in all that nature gives to the eye— the expansive blue sky, riverbanks, trees and more. 

“You learn so much about yourself when you’re hiking, kayaking and doing yoga. Being outside ALWAYS helps boost your mood,” said Jen. 

Jen has a long adventure bucket list and she’s taking on a new project to ensure she crosses off all the places on her list….turning a Ford E-150 van into a camper! The van’s name is “Raya Sunshine.” 

“I am trying to do most of it on my own, but my husband helps me a lot. So far, I’ve ripped everything out, treated rust, sealed the back door for leaks and now I’m working on window shades,” she said.

We are excited to follow along with her progress on “Raya Sunshine”. Come see Jen on Thursday’s for yoga at Compass Point!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Mary Hogan

Back in 2014 when Mary Hogan heard about Dirty Girl Adventures from a co-worker, she had no idea it would end up changing her life for the better. She went home from work that day, did some research and signed up for a kayaking event at Lake Perry later that month. 

“I’d always been a water girl. I grew up boating and had done lots of canoeing in my life,” says Mary. 

In fact, on a family canoeing trip years prior, she had to rent a kayak because the outfitter ran out of canoe rentals. She enjoyed the kayak and decided to purchase one, but never had anyone to go with. 

After retirement, Mary was in a wired state-of-mind. She didn’t have her co-workers to talk to every day or much of a reason to leave the house. Everything worked itself out for her after joining Dirty Girl Adventures. She found an empowering clan of women who enjoyed outdoor adventure and other similar activities as she does, such as quilting. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures has opened up so many opportunities for me and has brought so many wonderful women into my life,” says Mary. 

Mary has gone on many adventures outside of DGA with other Dirty Girls. From rafting down the Buffalo River and ziplining in Arkansas, to wine tasting and kayaking in the Eminence, Missouri area, she has connected to a clan of women who are always ready for an adventure, no matter where.

When Mary signed up for the very first Ass Kicker kayak paddle in 2015, she didn’t think she could do it and she most definitely didn’t think it would become her favorite adventure memory.

“I didn’t think there was a chance I could ever kayak 20 miles. But I did. I have learned that I don’t have limitations,” she said. 

Some of Mary’s favorite places to adventure in Kansas are the hiking and biking trails in Perry, the Iliff Commons trails and Banner Lake in Holton. Although she loves to hike and kayak Kansas, she has an adventure bucket list that includes hiking the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and various places in colorful Colorado. 

Aside from adventuring and helping out at Compass Point, Mary is also a longtime Purple Martin landlord. These birds depend on humans to provide them with a nest during their migration from Brazil to Canada. The birds arrive mid-March and start laying eggs in early May. Babies begin hatching in June and usually leave by mid to late July.

“Helping the Purple Martins brings me joy and a way to do my part in nature,” said Mary.

You can catch Mary at Compass Point helping out at the shop or on an adventure. Here is a photo of Mary with a beaver skull she found on a kayaking adventure this summer. 

Get to Know the Dirty Girls: Shelly Liby

Today we tell the story of Shelly Liby, a Dirty Girl member since 2014! Shelly was always into participating in outdoor obstacle courses before she heard of Dirty Girl Adventures through a friend. However, like most, she wanted to take it to the next level. 

“I always had my eye out for what I like to call ‘good madness’, and an 8-mile hike sounded interesting. I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Shelly was always spending time outdoors as a child, but as it happens for most, once junior high came around, she found herself spending less and less time outdoors. Her family camped regularly, however, she didn’t find true love for the outdoors until she became a Dirty Girl.

In addition to finding true love for the outdoors, joining the club has given Shelly a deeper connection to the planet. 

“You really can’t ignore the planet when you’re outside a lot. When I hike or kayak, I see a lot of trash in the creeks and coves. I’m more attentive to how I can make the world a better place.”

Since becoming a Dirty Girl, Shelly has changed the way she shops so that she uses less plastic. She also quit taking home snail shells when she finds them on the trail. 

Shelly started taking steps toward making the world a better place because of DGA, but DGA also made her world a better place.

“I’ve met some amazing ladies and gone to places I didn’t know I wanted to go! I’ve learned from Denise and Jen to roll with what comes your way. It’s snowing? Hike anyway!,” she says.

It was hard for Shelly to pick her favorite DGA memory, but a few of her favorites were hiking in the rain at Indian Cave State Park, the adventure course at White Memorial Camp and hiking Pikes Peak. 

“Downtime with the Dirty Girls is just as dear to me as getting dirty. I always go home with a smile on my face and usually a new place in mind I want to adventure to.”

The adventure bucket list for Dirty Girls is never ending! Shelly is itching to backpack the Lost Coast trail in Northern California. If you are interested in adding this trail to your bucket list too, check out this link.

“Dirty Girl Adventures has inspired me to staycation in Kansas too. There’s a lot here to do if you look for it.”

Some of her favorite places to adventure in Kansas include Kanopolis State Park, anywhere in the Flint Hills, Horse Thief Reservoir and any of the county lakes.

“Kansas has some pretty sweet county lakes. I’m determined to visit them all,” says Shelly. 

“DGA has reignited my sense of adventure and I have places to go. Who’s going with me?” – Shelly Liby