Trail Mavens


Skill-based camping and backpacking trips for groups of extraordinary women. Ready to build fires, read maps, pitch tents, hike, laugh, and drink wine around the campfire? Join one of our weekend adventures.

Maven Memoir: Krupa, the (Amazing) First-Timer

Photos by Emi Day & Krupa Parekh

Photos by Emi Day & Krupa Parekh

Krupa first heard about Trail Mavens from a mutual friend (shout out to Sam M!), and because she's the kind of person who says 'Yes' - yes to moving across the country from New Jersey even though she didn't know anyone in California, yes to cycling 100km a day around Vietnam, you get the idea - she said yes to a Trail Mavens adventure.

She'd never been backpacking before, but took on a three-day trip in Yosemite over Labor Day, covering nearly two dozen miles with a 40lb. pack on her back. Amazing?


Here's what she had to say about her experience.

What keeps you busy, both work-wise and fun-wise?

I recently moved to the Bay Area from the East Coast. Living in SF has been on my bucket list for quite a while. I was lucky enough to land a job in SF at Genentech, a company I have admired for many years. At Genentech, I work as a Managed Care Medical Communications Scientist…I know, long title! Essentially, I help to increase access of our oncology drugs to patients through scientific exchange with insurance companies and health care professionals.  

Lots of deep thinking at work, so for fun I tend to stick to easy!  I love trying new restaurants with friends, attending live music events, traveling to far-off lands, picnicking by day, and dancing by night. 

How'd you decide to jump on board the Trail Mavens train?

I have a deep love for the outdoors, but didn't take advantage of the East Coast’s beauty given my endless commitments at work (I had minimal work/life balance on the East Coast). Once I moved here, I decided to make myself and my interests a priority, especially those that would help me to grow. 

A friend introduced me to Trail Mavens, and I checked out the website. Learning outdoor skills while building my West Coast girl posse? I was instantly sold.

What, if anything, were you most afraid of before going on your trip? How did that play out?

My biggest fear was the inability to keep up with the rest of the group.  There were a few times that I had to take a break, but each time a Maven happily stayed back with me and never made me feel as if I was holding the group up. They encouraged me, expressing how proud they were of me for listening to my body, and hiking at a pace I was comfortable with.  This genuine motivation helped me get through the trip and experience *beautiful* Yosemite.    

What’s the one story/anecdote/learning from the trip you find yourself repeating to your friends most frequently?

We don't need much ‘stuff’ to survive.  A few pairs of clothes, simple food, water, and I was good to go! 

This is totally applicable to my closet: do I really need three black cardigans? No! 
What's one thing that had your whole group cracking up?


Yup, we see why.

Yup, we see why.

Okay, meaty question here. How were you changed by your trip?

Endeavors like backpacking and hiking definitely require a certain level of physical strength, but through this trip I realized the power of mental strength. I now believe there's no goal you can't achieve if you're committed, confident and determined. 

We've all heard that thought expressed by scholars, athletes and the like in various ways, but this experience helped me to understand what it truly meant. There were a few times I didn’t think I could finish the hike - but I did, and with about 40 pounds on my back! That took a lot of mental strength and self-coaching. Now, I apply that not only to physical activities, but life goals in general.  

Finally, what advice would you give to others before their first adventures with Trail Mavens?

Don’t doubt your physical strength or lack of experience. This trip will empower you with the skills you need to survive the outdoors while bonding with inspiring ladies!

Don't think twice; just do it.  

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