Women living in the mid-Atlantic region who love exploring the wilderness and outdoor adventures, and are looking for opportunities to develop friendships with other like-minded females, should learn all about the Adventures for Women Organization. Founded in 1988 by fellow adventurer, Betsy Thompson, this non-profit organization strives to assist women in navigating the great outdoors, learning about environmental stewardship, and testing their personal limits to obtain a greater sense of self-confidence and accomplishment.
Women of all skill levels can sign up for adventures that include both day and weekend trips led by knowledgeable female guides. You can choose from a variety of seasonal activities, including hiking, biking, and backpacking. Activities are given ratings of leisurely, moderate, and strenuous, allowing you to sign up for an adventure in line with your abilities and comfort level. Brief hikes at the easy level can be as short as four miles, while strenuous day hikes are typically 9-mile long trips. Cycling trips take you on easy to moderate rated bike rides, averaging 15 to 25 miles through scenic locations. Backpacking trips are usually overnight excursions that combine hiking and camping into fun adventures for more experienced outdoorswomen.
The adventure schedule is introduced early, typically giving you several months to plan for an activity. Specific adventures currently scheduled include leisurely strolls through Prospect Park, 9-mile hikes along the Appalachian Trail, backpacking excursions through Harriman State Park, and a weekend trip to the Catskill Mountains. Many adventures are sequential, beginning with a leisurely trip the first weekend, and progressively leading into adventures that are more difficult. Also scheduled is a hands-on workshop teaching basic, outdoor survival skills. Inclimate weather can sometimes cause schedule changes and, if this occurs, you’ll receive a full refund.
You can sign up for an adventure by visiting the organization’s website at AdventuresforWomen.org. The majority of adventures, such as day hikes, are exclusively available to members, but there are trips available to non-members for a fee. Women interested in becoming members can sign up on the website by providing contact information, signing a waiver, and mailing a check to cover dues. You can also gift a membership to a friend or family member. Memberships cost $50 for adults and $25 for students and senior citizens. The fee includes unlimited participation in day hikes, discounts on weekend trips and workshops, a free newsletter and schedule to keep you abreast of the latest adventures. It also includes a discount to Eastern Mountain Sports, which is a popular outdoor sporting goods store.
Proper preparation is an essential part of any outdoor adventure. Adventures for Women provides information on the necessary equipment for a safe and enjoyable group hike. If you’re planning on joining the organization, you should already own, or be prepared to purchase these essential items. You should have sturdy hiking boots, wool socks, a raincoat or windbreaker depending on the weather, a bandana, and a backpack that can carry your water, lunch, extra layers of clothing, and extra socks. Make sure it can also carry any additional items, such as binoculars, a camera, bug spray, or sunscreen.