Backpacking on the Perry Lake Trail

Join us for a new adventure on the Perry Lake Trail.  We will enjoy a new experience on the Perry Lake Trail by backpacking approximately 10-12 miles. We will load up our packs and explore the trail from a different vantage point than in the past by taking everything we need on our backs!  Although this is a beginning backpacking adventure, the trail is rated as moderately difficult and strenuous due to several steep inclines and declines as well as rough uneven terrain.  This will be a challenging adventure but a good experience for future backpacking adventures.

This adventure begins on Friday April 23rd at 1pm and should end Saturday April 24th mid to late afternoon.

We will talk about different packing and loading techniques for your pack, share some of the gear we love and hopefully demonstrate some HAMMOCK CAMPING – weather permitting. We are fair weather hammock campers!

When:  Friday April 23rd – Saturday April 24th

Check in time:  Friday April 23rd, 1:30pm

Estimated completion time: Saturday April 24th, mid-afternoon

What are you paying for?  We’ve done all the planning, made reservations, made contact with USACE and have a plan if an emergency arises. We’ve also pre-hiked and chosen a campground.  We’ll ensure that we have filtered drinking and cooking water, firewood and s’mores for dessert!  In addition, we’ll provide you with a gear list, clothing suggestions and a pack weigh in prior to the event.  Two experienced Dirty Girl Guides will be with you every step of the way!

Beginning Backpack Adventure!

Join us March 13th and 14th for this excursion to Arkansas for the perfect beginning backpacking adventure!   We’ve scoped out the trail, planned the camping spot and we’re prepared to guide you, support your experience on the trail and have a GREAT adventure with YOU!  We will travel to Hobbs State Park near Beaver Lake where we’ll hike a 8.5 miles on the Pigeon Roost Trail.  Although this is a beginning backpacking adventure, the trail is rated as moderately difficult and strenuous due to several hill climbs. The trail winds through narrow hollows and up and along rugged ridges. It travels through stands of native pines, hardwoods, and typical Ozark vegetation.  There are several locations that offer great views of the Van Hollow branch of Beaver Lake.  Participants can choose to arrive Friday and arrange lodging or camping on their own.  The trail is located in the Hobbs State Park Conservation Area approximately 20 minutes from Rogers, Arkansas.

What are you paying for?  We’ve done all the planning, made reservations, made contact with area park rangers and have a plan if an emergency arises. We’ve also pre-hiked and chosen a campground.  We’ll ensure that we have filtered drinking and cooking water, firewood and s’mores for dessert!  In addition, we’ll provide you with a gear list, clothing suggestions and a BONUS pre-hike and pack weigh-in event at the Perry Lake Trail on Saturday March 6th at 10am to help you hone your plan.  Two experienced Dirty Girl Guides will be with you every step of the way!

When:  Saturday March 13th through Sunday March 14th, 2021  (The average temperature range for these date is from 39* to 60* – perfect!)

Check in time:  Saturday March 13th 10:30am

Estimated completion time: Sunday March 14th 1:00pm

Bonus Hike and pack weigh-in:  Saturday March 6th 10am Perry Lake Trail (details provided with registration)

 

 

 

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