You know you’re going to hike your own hike – but you don’t have to be alone while you plan it!
You wish you had someone to talk with about your plans. It’s hard to find people who “get it” and want to listen to all your detailed explanations. You watch their eyes glaze over when you start to talk about gear or maps or food or fears.
You go to online forums but there’s just so much information out there and it’s hard to tell who has really successfully completed a thru hike and who just likes to spout off. Some of the forums get a little snarky and you’re not comfortable asking that one question for fear of being considered silly or stupid. Most of the forums seem male-dominated, and half the time their issues seem so different from your own.
You‘d love to have a thru-hiking “fairy godmother” at your service, ready to listen when you’re just feeling overwhelmed, and ready with whatever you need- ideas, advice and gentle wisdom.
You’d also love to meet a group of other women planning just what you’re planning – a thru hike! So you can gather together and think and commiserate.
Well, here it is! Wild and White Blazing – a 15 session tele-course for women planning an AT thru hike! Next session begins October 2013!
I’m Carla (trail name Zipper) and I hiked the whole Appalachian trail in 2009, almost entirely by myself. And it was such an incredible journey! When I was planning my thru hike, I wanted to talk to everyone about the Appalachian Trail. I searched on forums, read every book, and really tried to picture what it was going to be like.
But what was missing for me was a community of fellow women hikers – ones who had already been there. I wished for a “virtual campfire” where I could gather a group of expert women hikers and pick their brains, hear their wisdom, and also receive their support and encouragement.
Now that I’ve successfully completed my hike, I’ve made my own wish come true – for you! I’ve created this course for women who:
- are planning a thru hike and would like some mentoring
- would like to learn more about gear and hiking techniques specific to women
- want to join a community of other women getting ready to hike
- want to hear wisdom from a diverse group of women thru hikers
- want a safe space, not a snarky forum, to ask questions, even the silly ones, and get reasonable answers.
- want to learn how to feel safe and capable in the woods on their own.
- want to learn the best-kept secrets of thru hikers
- want to know more about food, mail drops, animals, relationships on and off the trail, and any and everything else that’s confusing or overwhelming
- want to learn what thru hikers wish they’d done differently
- want to know what to do to stay healthy, motivated and happy on the trail.
Wild and White Blazing is a tele-course which means you can participate from anywhere in the world! You’ll call in to a conference phone line and be able to speak live with me and other expert women thru hikers. You’ll be able to hear their stories and ask questions. And if you can’t make the call, all calls will be recorded so you can listen later. You’ll also enjoy access to a private forum to get more support and share with experts and fellow participants.
Here’s a sampling of the fabulous women hikers who’ll share their expertise with you:
Gangsta and Wags – their Trail Journals are famous with thousands and thousands of hits. They met in Georgia and stuck together the whole rest of the journey. Gangsta was featured most recently on the cover of AT Journeys with a cover photo shot by Wags.
Storm and Rocket, members of the “Pack-a-Divas” – they created quite a stir on their northbound thru hike and wherever they were, fun was sure to follow! And Storm has recently cycled across the country too!
Regina Ridge Runner is A PCT and AT thru hiker and a Ridge Runner in Virginia. She’ll share a wealth of information with you. Regina is also developer of a beautiful program called Forgiveness Walks.
Billyhoot, Nutmeg, and Lil Dipper – the “Georgia Girls” took “hike your own hike” to a whole new level, covering miles the old-fashioned way on foot and also incorporating bicycling, canoeing and taking plenty of blue blazes as they hiked the trail in 2009.
Joker hiked with a “band of merry men” for much of her hike. She’s a gear expert, a lover of all things beautiful, and an incredible writer. She graces the cover of the spring 2010 issue of AT Journeys and she has much wisdom to share!
Mud Butt – president and founder of Trail Dames, Mud Butt has covered miles and miles of the AT. She has a ton of stories plus she’s a fabulous, funny, compassionate, lovely human being!
Chunky and Tutu were intrepid southbounders, experiencing the extreme weather of Maine in June and the Smokies in November. They have plenty of tips and anecdotes for those considering a southbound hike.
Crescent City raised thousands of dollars on her thru-hike for a nonprofit charity she created, Hike for Katreena, to replant trees lost during Hurricane Katrina. She has an amazing story to tell!
Our “virtual campfires” include thru hikers in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. They include newlyweds, single women, women in relationships, and everything in between. They include Northbounders, Southbounders and a flip-flopper (me!). They include women from all over the country and from all walks of life. Our time together won’t be about telling war stories and scaring you; it will be a time for women to support women as they embark on a life-changing journey.
When you sign up for Wild and White Blazing you’ll receive:
Fifteen recorded 75 minute “virtual campfire” sessions with me and a fabulous “celebrity guest” woman thru hiker! We covered tons of different topics, from fear to gear to food and so much more.
Ten live Q&A calls about topics you most want to discuss, with more “celebrity hikers” who’ve completed a thru hike in the past year or two.
A private online group where you can get your questions answered by expert women thru hikers and share and plan with other wild and white blazing women planning a hike.
Permanent membership in Wild and White Blazing – once you’re in, you’re in for life, so if you have to postpone your hike you can join in again next year!
Twenty amazing women just completed Wild and White Blazing, and this is what they were saying before it even started!
“I just signed up for the program and I am VERY excited about it! Joining this group is really making this feel like it is real and will happen! I’m so excited I can barely work!”
“I’m thrilling w/ excitement over here!! Sitting here planning w/ my hubby (though I’ll be going the AT trail alone) our weekend prep trips and finances and such. Really fantastic offering, Carla!!!! Yay!”
“I’m so impressed with your course!….so well-organized…and so friendly!”
If I had an experience like Wild and White Blazing, I would have saved hundreds of dollars on gear. The truth is, many local outdoor stores aren’t really equipped to outfit a thru hiker and I got a lot of “off” advice on everything from footwear to tents. A lot of outdoor stores aren’t yet carrying the lightest weight gear. It wasn’t until I happened to catch a woman PCT thru-hiker on a phone call to a sleeping bag company that I got some really fabulous tips that led me to a whole different stove, different poles, different storage and more. I also ended up switching packs part way through my hike because I’d chosen a pack that worked really well for burly men but never fit me right. Believe me, I scoured the forums. I read a lot. And there were opposite opinions for just about everything, so it was pretty confusing.
That’s because there really are many choices that work successfully. The trick is to know which ones are going to work for you. And that’s what we can help you with. You’ll meet such a variety of thru hikers through Wild and White Blazing, all women, and they’ll share their successes and what they might have done differently. Several actually work at outfitters that cater to long distance hikers, and they’re up on all the latest gear. Gear is one of your big expenses and if you can avoid making costly mistakes in that arena and not get stuck with a box of stuff you never use, you’ll probably save hundreds of dollars!
But this experience is about so much more than gear. It’s about all of the other zillions of questions you’re having about how it’s done – how to make decisions about where to stop, how far to hike, what to eat, what to bring, what not to bring, what to do, what not to do. It’s about learning from other women who did it to help you realize you can do it too. And you can do it your own way.
Oh, and did I tell you? I’m a life coach! That means I know how to help you with your fears, scary thoughts, confusing issues around relationships, jobs, etc. as you prep for your hike. You’ve probably already heard this, but the most difficult aspect of the trail is not the physical part, it’s the mental part. I can help you be ready for the times you’ll feel like quitting. I’ll be sharing all the ways I stayed positive and happy on my hike, and I’ll provide concrete ideas and tips as will my fellow fabulous guest hikers.
I’m not a gear head, I’m not especially physically talented – I never even played sports in school! But I did have an amazing, transformative, beautiful hike. And I’m all about helping other women do the same.
Sound good? Sign up in the little box below and you’ll be the first to know about the new session of Wild and White Blazing that begins in October 2013! I can’t wait to meet you and learn more about your plans to thru hike the AT!
Cheers and see you on the trail!