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.

katie denny's bachelorette extravaganza

trip dates: april 14-16, 2017

arrival time: friday, april 14, 2pm

trip location: mendocino, ca

arrival location: van damme state park* (map)

*When checking, say you're in Sites #40 & 41 with Sasha Cox.

our campsite

We'll be car camping at Van Damme State Park, just off Highway 1 south of the town of Mendocino. We'll pull our cars directly into our campsite, meaning you'll only have to carry your belongings around twenty feet (from your car to your tent). The park features potable water spigots and bathrooms with flush toilets and running water. You won't need to pee or poop outdoors . . . unless you want to.


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Dinner on Friday, breakfast/dinner on Saturday, and breakfast/lunch on Sunday will be provided. 

We’ll eat tasty hot meals for breakfast and dinner, and this will be your opportunity to get hands-on practice using a variety of camp cooking techniques. The group will share in cooking and cleanup responsibilities, and you'll be on cooking duty and dish duty at least once.

Plan on s'mores galore, and lots of big, veggie-full meals.

Hiking & activities


After arriving and setting up camp, we'll hike the Fern Canyon Trail in Van Damme State Park. The full hike is 7.7 mostly-flat miles (with one uphill section towards the middle of the route), but we'll modify based on group energy level, and may just do a section.


On Saturday morning, we'll explore the sea caves just south of Mendocino by kayak, and then head into Mendocino proper for lunch in town and poking around the adorable shops. En route home, we'll park at the Big River trailhead, a beautiful, flat out-and-back hike that's choose-your-own distance. [Some women may choose to take this as a run/jog, and others may walk. Either is great!]


After packing up camp, we'll start heading back towards SF via the Anderson Valley. We'll stop for a quick peek at the adorable Apple Farm (best cider in CA, plus baby goats may be born by then), followed by wine tasting and a picnic lunch at award-winning Navarro Vineyards before heading home.

*Trail Mavens reserve the option to modify trip itinerary as necessary due to weather, injury, illness, or other unforeseen incidents.

Packing List

Each Maven should plan on bringing:

  • Water bottles  with a minimum 2L capacity
  • Health insurance card & ID
  • Tampons/pads as needed
  • Personal toiletries, including bug spray
  • Personal medications
  • Glasses/contacts with solution
  • A pen
  • Optional: lightweight pillow, earplugs, camera, bandana or Buff to keep sun off your neck, small bottle hand sanitizer
  • Sleeping bag rated at 40° or colder
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp with fresh batteries/spares
  • Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
  • Personal clothing (see below)
  • Sturdy, broken-in walking/hiking shoes
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Small backpack for carrying your personal items
  • Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses

Items in bold will be provided for those women who indicated they needed them during registration. 

SHARED ITEMS, PROVIDED BY TRAIL MAVENS: Tents, lanterns, food and wine, stoves, fuel, cookware, camp chairs, utensils, firewood and basic First Aid. 


This trip is a great opportunity to practice your minimalist packing skills! We recommend the following:

  • One pair hiking shorts or leggings (we prefer capri leggings for their versatility)
  • One pair long pants for warmth at night (we love fleece pants as a warm layer over leggings)
  • Two tanks/short-sleeved shirts (one for hiking, one for sleeping)
  • One long-sleeved shirt
  • Lightweight fleece or wool layer for warmth at night
  • Fleece or down jacket for warmth at night
  • Waterproof outerwear for warmth at night, and in case of rain
  • Two pairs socks (one pair on your feet, one pair in your bag)
  • Two pairs underwear
  • Warm hat/lightweight gloves

    For sea kayaking:
  • A bathing suit to wear beneath a borrowed wetsuit, or
  • Lightweight quick-dry shorts or leggings and shirt that will likely get damp while you're on the kayak

Please use your own judgement when packing: if you’re always cold, pack heavier layers. Keep an eye on the weather forecast linked below.


We have two distinct climates to keep an eye on as we approach our trip: the Anderson Valley  (generally warmer and dryer, where we're spending Sunday morning and afternoon) and Mendocino (generally cool and foggy, where we're spending the rest of the trip).

Leave No Trace

Trail Mavens is committed to following and teaching Leave No Trace principles. To get you started, watch this video on LNT Outdoor Ethics from the National Parks Service. We'll cover this material again on our trip!


Trail Mavens often enjoy wine or whiskey together around the campfire in the evenings. Participation in drinking is welcome but of course not mandatory. We ask that Trail Mavens leave recreational drugs at home. If you’re a smoker, please be respectful and partake in a manner that doesn’t bother other group members, and adheres to Leave No Trace principles.


This is an internet-free weekend (plus, we won’t have cell service)! If you’d like to share your pics on social media, go for it, but only after we get back home. 

Gear Care

Trail Mavens provides its adventurers with $800-1000 of fantastic camping gear. Read on for a couple tips on how to keep gear in fantastic condition:

Your tent is your home for the weekend, so you want to keep it clean and tidy! Keep the door zipped shut unless you’re getting in or out to avoid six-legged visitors. Consume only water inside your tent to keep it scent-free, and store anything smelly, including toiletries, inside a car or food box (available at our campsite). High-end tent fabric is very delicate; keep shoes and anything else dirty or sharp outside.

Set up your sleeping bag inside your tent to keep both your bag and your tent clean.

Our pads are inflatable, meaning they’re a) quite comfortable and b) can pop if they meet a sharp rock. Be sure to unpack, inflate, deflate, and pack your pad inside your tent, away from anything sharp. This will ensure a comfortable night of sleep for you, and a clean tent.

Still scratching your head about something before the trip?