What Makes Us Wild: Cofounding a Women’s Wilderness Group

As I’ve tumbled madly into love with the wilderness, I’ve found it concurrently driving my want to do more writing. Back in November, I cofounded a women’s outdoor group called Wild Wilderness Women, and this winter we took a weekend trip out to rural Maryland to do some cross-country skiing. The experience tied together many thoughts and feelings in my mind and I managed to capture some of them for an essay I recently published with Misadventures Magazine. Below is an excerpt of my published piece, and a link to the full article.

I grew up surrounded by evergreens.

When the winter months would come, I’d find solace in the greenness of the trees, knowing that even with the chill, we were still very much alive.

Growing up in a sylvan northern California microcosm, I had always felt a strong connection to nature. However, I had never 10857278_10101880000939956_3862346753128324536_opushed myself into its most wild state. I had never given myself the chance to experience the remote, un-showered, unfettered, tranquil, glorious beauty of its farthest reaches. I hadn’t strapped the essentials onto my back or loaded them into a canoe and set out to live for a time with just the earth.

In the same month that I was parting ways with the man who changed this and took me on my first extended backcountry camping adventures, I was cofounding a women’s wilderness group with a friend. In the time I spent with this man, I had lived in awestruck adoration in the passenger seat of his wilderness expertise. He largely took on navigation and planning, and I focused on feeling the vastness of the moment and the energy of the place. When we’d leave these adventures, I would long for them. Framing him in the extreme grandeur of our shared travel, I would also long for him. The problems that would arise between us didn’t matter as long as I could get that next hit of the wild; just look me in the eyes and tell me all the places you will take me.

A few months before the official founding of Wild Wilderness Women, the idea popped into my head while journaling in a tent in the backcountry of Alaska. The following month, my partner would be off with a group of his male friends for their annual wilderness trip. Their annual tradition was a wonderful concept. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t fight the question of, “Why weren’t the women in my life doing something similar?”

To read the full article, please visit Misadventures Magazine.

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