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Q&A With Sass “Women in the Wild”

women in the wild kayaking

We hope you’ve had a chance to read our Spring 2018 feature “Women in the Wild,” which highlighted a female kayaker, rock-climber, and hiker. Christina, Erin, and Liz inspire the hell out of us and we wanted to share more than what we could fit in our print issue! Thanks to our (male!) writer Chris Vandergrift for compiling this Q&A and for the Adventure Well team for capturing these photos. Head to the end of the article to watch the video they put together on our three outdoors women!

women in the wild liz

Where’s your favorite outdoor destination and why?

Christina: This year it was Whitefish Montana for me. It was so beautiful and there were endless things to do. We went snowboarding, ice climbing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and ice fishing.

Erin: Any bouldering spot with a short approach and decent problems, preferably with a view!

Liz: This is very hard to say..exploring places from Rocky Mountain National Park to Acadia National’s just too hard to say. My happy place is usually marked with a white blaze!

What is your favorite season for outdoor recreation and why?

C: All of them! There is always something to do outside!

E: Fall, when the weather is relatively predictable and cold-but-not-too-cold.

L: I love the spring and fall, for me, both represent a time of change and renewal, a time of reflection and beauty.

women in the wild erin

What is your most valued piece of gear and why?

C: Probably a helmet. Kayaking it is a necessity with at the rocks in the water when you roll the boat. Snowboarding the other year I got a concussion with a helmet so I can only imagine what it would have been like without it.

E: My crash pad: it keeps me safe and it’s an excellent napping surface.

L: I’m a huge safety girl so for me it’s the first aid kit and a head lamp.

What’s your go-to outdoor food/snack and why?

C: Most of the time Sheetz is a go to stop for a sub in the morning to pack on kayaking trips. A friend showed me a trick to pack it in a welding tube to keep it dry and from getting smashed. A whole sub fits perfectly in there and it is easy to tuck away in the back of the boat. There is not much room in a white water boat as we fill up float bags in the back and our legs take up the whole front.

E: I have an awful caffeine addiction, so I bring matcha latte powder on most trips. It’s the lightest and tastiest way for me to prevent a caffeine headache, and unlike instant coffee powder it also provides some extra calories.

L: Guilty pleasure… beef jerky. It’s easy, light and oh so tasty.

women in the wild christina

What tech (if any) do you take outside with you?

C: I try not to take my phone on water trips as I’ve killed to many. We just make sure at least someone has one for safety. Generally you don’t have service anyways. I do take my phone pretty much everywhere else for work and pictures. Although in extreme temps cold or hot they do end up shutting down. A waterproof camera is always awesome to have on trips.

E: My phone, which I mostly just use as a camera.

L: I really try to totally unplug when I’m in the outdoors. If I am solo hiking I do bring my phone but otherwise I’m unplugged.

What would you consider your best outdoor experience?

C: Every year there is a new favorite experience. This year I would have to say ice climbing. I am glad I tried it as it was so different and really challenging not only physically but mentally. It is fun to always do the things you love and are good at but being able to experience and try new things is incredible. Sometimes you may not like it and sometimes you may love it but you don’t know until you try.

E: It’s tough to pick a best experience, but certainly the most memorable was the time when a friend and I got “stuck” in the valley near Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. It had rained unexpectedly the night before, the tiny creeks rose into swift-moving rivers in a flash flood, and we had to hike all the way up (and down, and back up) the side of the mountain to find the rest of our group.

L: Truthfully, I have done so many things I could never say just one…but I always like to believe the best is yet to come!


Wild Women from Adventure Well on Vimeo.

More reasons to get outside:

Got the itch to get outdoors? Read about how Eliane Coates hiked the Appalachian Trail at 22, or learn about the 10K Women Trail Project, inspiring women to hit the trail together. Check out our Girl’s Guide to CampingGirl’s Guide to Skiing, or our suggested itinerary for a day of biking, drinking, and eating!

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