Time to Hike #4

Hiking, Kansas

It’s time to hike!  This is the fourth and final hike in the Time to Hike series.  Come out with us!

The difficulty level of these hikes depends on your current fitness level BUT generally these are considered easy to moderate hikes.  We practice self paced hiking.  We will provide a guide and a sweep hiker so that everyone is supported and knows where to go on the trail.   DGA uses various techniques to ensure that we have ample opportunity to be physically distant yet connected while hiking so that no one is lost or left behind.   You are responsible for managing your own preferences for social distancing and for respecting the preferences of others. 

Gear needs for these hikes is minimal, suggested gear includes a way to carry water, snacks, comfortable shoes with good tread, trekking pole/s and a flashlight or headlamp for the last two hikes.  BUG SPRAY!!!

EACH INDIVIDUAL HIKE $12

End time is estimated but essentially plan for a 90 minute commitment   – location listed is generic.  You will receive an email with specific directions to our starting location.  The Perry Lake Hiking Biking Trails have more than one trailhead, we will explore two of them.  Skyline Azura Trail is in Topeka and Iliff Commons Trails are in rural Shawnee County. 

TICKET LINK

Hike #4. 9/30/2020 Wednesday

Check in:  5:45pm – 7:15pm Iliff Commons (sunset 7:10pm)

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

Time to Hike #3

Hiking, Kansas

Join us for the third in the Time to Hike series intended to help you build strength, endurance and knowledge of the trail.

The difficulty level of these hikes depends on your current fitness level BUT generally these are considered easy to moderate hikes.  We practice self paced hiking.  We will provide a guide and a sweep hiker so that everyone is supported and knows where to go on the trail.   DGA uses various techniques to ensure that we have ample opportunity to be physically distant yet connected while hiking so that no one is lost or left behind.   You are responsible for managing your own preferences for social distancing and for respecting the preferences of others. 

Gear needs for these hikes is minimal, suggested gear includes a way to carry water, snacks, comfortable shoes with good tread, trekking pole/s and a flashlight or headlamp for the last two hikes.  BUG SPRAY!!!

 

EACH INDIVIDUAL HIKE $12

End time is estimated but essentially plan for a 90 minute commitment   – location listed is generic.  You will receive an email with specific directions to our starting location.  The Perry Lake Hiking Biking Trails have more than one trailhead, we will explore two of them.  Skyline Azura Trail is in Topeka and Iliff Commons Trails are in rural Shawnee County. 

Hike #3. 9/22/2020 Tuesday

Check in:  5:45pm – 7:15pm  Perry Lake Hiking Biking Trails (sunset 7:20pm)

Time to Hike #2

Hiking, Kansas

This is the second in the Time to Hike series of 4 hikes intended to help you build strength, endurance and knowledge of the trail.

The difficulty level of these hikes depends on your current fitness level BUT generally these are considered easy to moderate hikes.  We practice self paced hiking.  We will provide a guide and a sweep hiker so that everyone is supported and knows where to go on the trail.   DGA uses various techniques to ensure that we have ample opportunity to be physically distant yet connected while hiking so that no one is lost or left behind.   You are responsible for managing your own preferences for social distancing and for respecting the preferences of others. 

Gear needs for these hikes is minimal, suggested gear includes a way to carry water, snacks, comfortable shoes with good tread, trekking pole/s and a flashlight or headlamp for the last two hikes.  BUG SPRAY!!!

EACH INDIVIDUAL HIKE $12

End time is estimated but essentially plan for a 90 minute commitment   – location listed is generic.  You will receive an email with specific directions to our starting location.  The Perry Lake Hiking Biking Trails have more than one trailhead, we will explore two of them.  Skyline Azura Trail is in Topeka and Iliff Commons Trails are in rural Shawnee County. 

Hike #2.  9/16/2020 Wednesday

Check in:  5:45pm – 7:15pm Skyline Azura Trails (sunset 7:30)

TICKET LINK

Hike #3. 9/22/2020 Tuesday

Check in:  5:45pm – 7:15pm  Perry Lake Hiking Biking Trails (sunset 7:20pm)

Hike #4. 9/30/2020 Wednesday

Check in:  5:45pm – 7:15pm Iliff Commons (sunset 7:10pm)

 

 

 

Get to Know the Dirty Girls

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

Stacy Hull 

Another Dirty Girl who has been around since the beginning…Stacy Hull!! Stacy found out about Dirty Girl Adventures through her husband, who was friends with Denise’s husband, before it even started. Once she heard Denise had plans to start her business, Stacy was fully interested and the thought of hanging out with other women who liked the same things as her, sounded amazing! 

Stacy was not always an outdoorswoman. She was perfectly happy staying inside in the AC until DGA came into her life. Walking in town and participating in 5K races eventually started to become part of her routine, and once she heard about DGA, she was ready to take things to the next level and explore fitness in a different realm, hiking and kayaking. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures has changed this introvert into someone who gets out of her own head and goes outside with other like minded women,” says Stacy. Before joining the club, she was worried that no one would talk to her because she tends to be on the quiet side. However, that was far from the case. Stacy has made so many friends and learned to enjoy company and conversation more since she has been with DGA. 

“Having a group of like minded women in my life brings diversity and new experiences that I may not have had otherwise. This group has given me some great friends, and hopefully some more to come.” 

Stacy’s most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was the first eight mile hike on the Old Military Trail at Perry Lake. “I was in awe of Denise on how many times one woman could run back and forth on this trail,” she says. Since this was one of her first outdoor adventures, this outing made Stacy more comfortable being outside and began her connection with the outdoors. 

“The first hike was memorable to me because it was the first crack in my ‘introvert life’ and it opened me up to new people I would’ve never met. It was also a much different workout for me than my typical 5K on paved roads.”

A huge core value of Dirty Girl Adventures is to learn to adventure where you are. When we asked Stacy if she could adventure anywhere, she said she would love to explore more of her home state, Kansas. A lot of people put Kansas at the bottom of their adventure bucket list, but there are so many places in the sunflower state to explore. Stacy wants to hike the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Elk River Trail. We love that she wants to explore more of Kansas. Stacy is a Dirty Girl at heart!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

Karen Stockwell-Withers

Karen is in the midst of her third season as a Dirty Girl Club Member and loving it. A few years back, she found out about Dirty Girl Adventures at a teaching conference. During this conference, she met another woman who was already involved with the club and was introduced to DGA. 

Throughout her life, she has always loved nature and the outdoors, but her love continues to grow for it as she gets older. “I think I fall more in love with the outdoors as I age because I’ve had issues with depression in the past. The outdoors provides me with so much peace and happiness. Also, the more I learn about climate change and the effect humans have on the environment, the more I see a need to protect nature.”

Since joining the club, Karen says it has provided her with a community of like minded women who all have a common love and passion for the outdoors, which has been hard for her to find.   “Before finding the Dirty Girls my only outdoor buddy was my husband, now I have a ton of people to do things with,” she says. Having a group of ladies to go exploring with is wonderful for Karen, and makes her realize that there are lots of other women that care about the outdoors as well. 

Her favorite and most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was during her first year of being a member. Karen and some other Dirty Girls did a weekend getaway to Camp White and hiked the Tallgrass Prairie. “I knew I found the perfect group during that weekend,” she says. 

Karen and her husband have lots of places on their adventure bucket list that they plan to check off. Currently, they are goal setting for their adventure in Iceland in three years. They are going for their ten year anniversary and plan on camping all over the country and seeing puffins while they are there. MCI started offering it as their first direct international flight, so this helped them choose Iceland as their anniversary adventure. “We watched a Discovery Channel episode on puffins and Iceland. Then, I started seeing tons of pictures of Iceland on Twitter from all of the outdoor accounts I follow. What made it a solid decision was recently on a hike in Glacier National Park. We met several people who have been to Iceland and they told us how gorgeous the country is, so we decided it would be the perfect place to go.”

They plan on taking their new puppy, Moose, on their future adventures with them. Bosco, their other dog has gone on many adventures, even kayaking. Moose will be going camping with them for the first time this summer. Pets make outdoor adventure all the more enjoyable! 

Karen is thankful for all that DGA has brought to her. She is inspired and excited for her future outdoor adventures with her fellow Dirty Girls,  her husband and puppies. 

She is also the leader of the Dirty Girl Adventures Book Club at Compass Point. Check our event calendar to join Karen in discussing some award winning stories!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls…

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

This week’s story is over Melissa Frederick and how she learned to live her life with no restrictions through Dirty Girl Adventures.

Melissa Frederick is jumping into her 4th season as a Dirty Girl. Her childhood consisted of playing outside in the country and camping with her family. “I’ve always loved the outdoors but due to the ebbs and flows of life, it wasn’t always able to be a priority,” Melissa said. Happily, in 2004, her husband and kids decided to start RV camping so she was finally able to get back outside. 

Then, in the summer of 2014, she moved to McLouth, KS, where she met Denise’s husband Marucs, who was the police chief at that time. He told Melissa about Denise’s “outdoor business” and introduced the two. She was definitely interested, but didn’t want to make any commitments because they were still figuring out what post-army life was going to look like. In 2016, a friend of Melissa’s invited her on the Eagle Hike, and she said the rest was history. 

Unfortunately, due to Melissa’s size at the time, it wasn’t easy or enjoyable for her. She had heard about backpacking through DGA but knew she could barely carry herself a few miles, let alone a 30-40 pound pack over multiple days. Yet again, there was another outdoor activity she felt she couldn’t do due to her weight. Going on DGA events made Melissa realize that she was very restricted by her size.

 “At 5’7″ and 271 lbs, I was only able to hike 4-5 miles comfortably, and always at the back of the pack. I fell in and out of my kayak instead of getting in and out; everything was an effort.”

So, in 2017, she decided to have weight loss surgery. Dirty Girl Adventures played a significant role in her decision to have the procedure. She got tired of struggling to do the things she loved.

“My Dirty Girl tribe has been incredibly supportive and I love and appreciate them so very much for that. Being back out in nature on a more regular basis, and with a great group of ladies, made me realize   how much I loved being out there. Unfortunately, due to my size, it wasn’t easy or as enjoyable as I knew it could be. Combined with gaining about 15-20 lbs per year and wondering if the scale would stop, I knew I had to do something. Since I hit my goal weight last August, my motto has been Live Life With No Restrictions.”

Nowadays, Melissa participates in all of the Dirty Girl events. She says her favorite memory was in the summer of 2017, kayaking down the Delaware river. About half way through the kayaking trip, a huge storm started rolling in and the ladies had no choice but to paddle faster. 

“Looking over my shoulder at the looming black clouds, trying to outrun the gathering storm, and having to tow my daughter who has a bad shoulder made for quite an interesting paddle.”

Her favorite non-Dirty Girl event was hiking the Grand Canyon. “We were blessed with 4 amazing, knowledgeable guides who were so kind and helpful. The non-Dirty Girl members of our tour group were lovely and it was great getting to know them. We had such a great time experiencing and learning about the Canyon in a way that most people don’t. I had such a wonderful time that I’m hoping to take my family on a 7 day trip in 2022,” said Melissa. In the future, she has aspirations to hike in lots of different places such as Southern Bavaria, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. 

It is through Dirty Girl Adventures that Melissa decided to live her life with no restrictions, and she has done just that! 


Get to Know the Dirty Girls…

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

Julie Justus

Julie has been a member of Dirty Girl Adventures since the very beginning in 2013. She grew up and lived most of her life in California where she loved hiking, body surfing and camping.  “Adventure was in my heart,” says Julie. Life eventually took her to Kansas after her children were born and it was at this point that she lost her connection with the outdoors. 

“The bugs were scary and the weather was too extreme so I stopped and stayed inside most of the time.”

That all changed when she met Denise in 2005. When Julie’s son was six, they enrolled him in the local baseball program. Denise’s husband Marcus was the coach and Denise and Julie became immediate friends. Coming from California, Julie didn’t have much hope that there was any adventure in the fly-over state. However, Denise encouraged her to go outside and adventure with their kids through 4-H.

“Together we took our kids to every corner of the state through the 4-H geology program. She later took me hiking on local trails that I didn’t even know about.”

Over the many years Julie has lived here, she knows that although Kansas will hinder your adventure at times, if you are patient, there are many beautiful places to explore. “I love Kansas now and call it home. I know that Denise and I will continue to be good friends for a lifetime,” she says. 

Since Dirty Girl Adventures started back in 2013, Julie’s life has changed. She says she has met so many women that are from different backgrounds that she would not have met if it weren’t for DGA.  

“Dirty Girl Adventures has brought many different women into my life and has opened up the love to see people where they are. There is no judgement in this club. We all accept each other and bond with the common love of the outdoors.”

Julie’s favorite memory as a Dirty Girl member was the very first Ass Kicker. The Ass Kicker is an event where Dirty Girls kayak 20 miles of a section of the Mighty Kaw.  It was during this trip that she met many women who are now good friends.

“It was a memorable kayaking trip because it was our first tough adventure. We were in it together and we all finished with accomplishment. Firsts seem to always be more memorable than others.”

From the very beginning of this awesome club, Julie has been there to see it grow into the amazing community it is now. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures helped instill the love of the outdoors in my heart again and showed me that you can adventure anywhere you are.”

Outdoor Subscription Boxes

Chances are, if you are reading this, you know that hiking and camping gear is expensive. It’s hard to throw in the towel sometimes and make purchases when you are on a budget. How will you know if it’s worth the money? 

That’s why we are going to talk about some outdoor subscription boxes that are an affordable way for you to try out a variety of different gear, foodies, apparel, tools and more. So, if you have been wanting to try out some different gear, but don’t really know where to start, or even want to expand your horizons and try different brands, one of these subscription boxes may be for you!! 

  1. Cairn Box
    1. The Cairn Box is just $30 a month and in your box, you receive three to five different outdoor gear pieces. On top of that, you may get some sort of apparel, camping snacks or skin care products in your box. After you get your box, you can review the products you receive to earn points that get you discounts on the Carin Shop. Click here for their website! Several Dirty Girls have subscribed to this box in the past – mostly useful and cool stuff. If you don’t like it or need it you can trade it! 
  2. Nomadik
    1. This box has similar products to Cairn, except you get to complete a profile tailored to your interested and the Nomadik team curates your box according to your adventure interests. Each month, the box has a different theme, which is neat because it could inspire you to go on a different adventure you may not have tried before! For $32.95, you can get your first box! Click here for their website!
  3. Little Hiker
    1. Little Hiker is a bit different than the other boxes. A lot of Dirty Girls have Dirty Kids and of course, we want to inspire them to get outside! Little Hiker is an outdoor adventure subscription box for kiddos! It is $35 a month, and includes a little something for you, something for your little hiker, snacks and some stickers/activity sheets as well. Click here for their website! 
  4. Apocabox
    1. Different from your typical gear subscription boxes, Apocabox will  give you a hand-selected collection of survival tools for $50 a month. The founder or Apocabox is an author of over 14 survival manuals and the host of The Weather Channel’s show “SOS HOW TO SURVIVE.” Every box includes a challenge that is designed to teach you a specific survival skill and will include a password to a protected video tutorial. Click here for their website! 
  5. Adventure Standard 
    1. This box made the list because it is designed by women and made for women! Perfect for any Dirty Girl! It was started by a woman named Leann Pickard, who was fed up with the limited offerings at outdoor stores of cool, locally-made products for women.  For $59.95, the box comes with 3-6 products that are all made by women in America! The products are great to bring along with you for a camping trip. Camping mugs, lip balm, sunglasses and teas are just a few of the things that here  for their website. 

There are many outdoor subscription boxes out there, but these are just a few that caught out eye. Let us know if you have purchased any outdoor subscription boxes before and what you liked!

Sunday Afternoon – Combo Hike 4/8 SOLD OUT!

Join us to hike on Sunday April 14th! Choose your distance! 4 mile and 8 mile options are available. Check in times vary based on the distance you choose but both hikes end with time around the fire at basecamp

Detailed directions and suggestions for clothing will be emailed by April 11th. This allows us to watch the weather and monitor conditions prior to final instructions. 

When: Sunday April 14th, 2019

8 mile hikers check in at 1:00pm

8 Mile hikers will hike a section of the Perry Lake Trail. We will board the Dirty Bus by 1:30pm to hitch a ride to our start and hike back to basecamp.

4 mile hikers check in at 2:30pm

4 Mile hikers will hike a section of the Perry Lake Trail. We will board the Dirty Bus by 3:00 to hitch a ride to our start and hike back to basecamp.

Feel the fresh air, see the sights, meet new friends!  Regardless of the distance that you choose, the hike will include uneven terrain, steep inclines and declines, rocky areas, and pasture areas. Dirty Girl Adventures recommends use of hiking poles for use on uneven terrain.

Post Hike: Both groups of hikers will meet around the fire at approximately 5:30 p.m. Plan to bring dinner or a hearty snack to enjoy. You’re welcome to bring beverages of your choice for time around the fire. Sunset is at 7:55pm. 

Remember, a good hike can’t be rushed! Each group will hike at their own pace averaging anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes per mile. If you need to average a longer time, that’s OK! Each group will have a sweep hiker ensuring that no Dirty Girl, Dirty Dude or Dirty Kid is left behind!

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER TO ATTEND – Ticket Sales END April 10th

This hike is open to Dirty Girls, Dirty Dudes and Dirty Teens!

Regular ticket $35

Club member ticket $25

Youth 10 – 18 years old: $15

What are you paying for?

Dirty Girl Adventures, LLC will provide a guide, support on the trail and docent information throughout the event. We will also monitor the weather and conditions to ensure that our event and participants are safe.  Our knowledgeable and informed guide service includes a leading guide and a sweep guide during the hike. Trail support including: first aid, knowledge of the environment and locale, safety monitoring, pacing, interpretive information on the environment and location.

In case you are wondering about our refund policy – refunds are given up to one week before the date of the event no questions asked. After that, refunds are not given unless there are exceptional circumstances. Dirty Girl Adventures may cancel an event due to weather or conditions. Everyone will receive a refund if that is the reason for the cancellation. We will paddle and hike in cool, rainy or snowy conditions. Cancellation only occurs in severe weather or other dangerous conditions