"My first Trail Mavens camping trip was seriously soul awakening. It was so refreshing to be out in nature with a bunch of women, learning new things and bonding over a campfire.
The conversations that revealed themselves when no boys were involved was shocking. I had no idea how much I was missing! I came away with more than just information on how to start a fire and pitch a tent, I came away with eight new lady friends, a respect for my own abilities and a sense of peace after a weekend in the trees without my phone. I can't wait for the next trip!"
- Marian Schembari, social media/marketing maven (marianlibrarian.com)
"I loved the range of learning from this trip. Not only did I acquire new outdoor skills, but also other essential life hacks, like "How to negotiate your salary," or "How to make a ridiculously good smoothie with avocado."
In an urban environment, it's easy to make A LOT of superficial connections with people. But Trail Mavens is a rare opportunity to really dig in and learn about yourself and other remarkable women.
There is something really special about conversations that take place while hiking, making dinner over a camp stove, or roasting marshmallows around a bonfire. Things tumble out that would never surface at a dinner party or happy hour gathering."
"I went into my second trip with Trail Mavens thinking that the first trip had been a fluke. There was no way the second one would be filled with as many interesting, smart, and funny women. No chance the conversations would be as open or downright hilarious.
Trail Mavens, you proved me wrong.
Being out in nature, feet in the dirt, pack on my back, and phone most definitely turned off, the trips have been a perfect combination of adventurous and relaxing. I leave feeling like I pressed a reset button: connected to nature AND my urban community, confident in new abilities like setting up tents and using camp stoves, and still smelling a bit of campfire. Let's just say I'm a regular on the Upcoming Adventures page."
- Jenna Gumpel Volcheff, Harmless Harvest media + communications manager and professional foodie
"I've been camping several times, but the Trail Mavens trip covered material I was uncomfortable with but afraid to ask when I was with friends or family on other trips. I already feel much more capable of camping on my own or planning a camping trip - which I already have!
The trip was also a wonderful combination of learning and enjoying the outdoors. And I learned that s'mores taste best made over a campfire you started yourself!"
- Anna Chodos, MD, geriatrician and internist at SF General/UCSF
"I've been backpacking since I was IN the backpack instead of carrying one. I'm pretty confident in my ability to route find, build a fire, pitch a tent, and make do in bad weather. As an experienced outdoorswoman taking a bit more of a teaching role in these areas, the takeaways from my Trail Mavens trips were actually about all the other things - the life navigating, career building, and community-making that await when you come out of the wilderness and back to real life.
I'm fast approaching that 3-0 number and am finally reconciling myself to the fact that I am, really, an adult. Here's the thing about being an adult. Adults work. Adults move away from friendly mountain towns they grew up in and move to big cities where building a community takes effort. Trail Mavens trips are a rare opportunity to discuss the things that matter with amazing, like-minded women. Major unexpected bonus? I absolutely love being a part of the broader Trail Mavens community that Sasha is creating. Magic!"
"Spending a weekend in the wilderness with Trail Mavens, unplugged and taking care of one another has been my main source of relaxation. Knowing that everything has been planned out and I can show up, pitch in, but not have to make many decisions of my own is HUGE. I'm surprised that virtual strangers can feel so close after just a few short hours together and that while we have different backgrounds & stories, we all have lots in common and a lot to learn from one another.
Trail Mavens is like when you meet a nice girl in the bathroom line and you think, "Jeez, I would be friends with her." It cuts out the bathroom line wait and fast-forwards to cool people hanging out together and being ladies while talking about proper ways to pee outdoors."
"I never learned the skills you'd need to go on an outdoor adventure. As a result, I never got into the idea of camping, and I skipped out on a lot of camping or hiking opportunities. When I heard about Trail Mavens, I knew this was a great opportunity to start from scratch and learn the skills I was missing to appreciate and enjoy spending time in the woods. My first Trail Mavens trip to Butano State Park did just that.
I learned all sorts of skills from how to light a camp stove and the best way to pack up a tent to how to bake brownies on the campfire and make ricotta cheese! And of course, it was a fantastic opportunity to disconnect from city life and technology and get to know some fun and fearless ladies. I look forward to my next outdoor adventure!"
"Trail Mavens was an incredible experience. The past year of my life has been a rough one, and being a part of the Trail Mavens trip was the first time in quite awhile I felt like myself again. Being out in nature was inspiring and reinvigorating. I learned a lot about how to camp and now feel confident to be able to do it on my own. But most importantly, it was really nice being able to connect with some really great women and share hilarious, intimate, and inspirational stories. I work in an environment that is male dominated so being with a group of ladies, who all had different areas of expertise, knowledge and interests made me realize how important female bonds are.
I would highly recommend Trail Mavens to anyone who wants to just away for a weekend, meet some new people and/or learn more outdoor skills. I look forward to going on another one very soon!"
- Saree Silverman, artist and Crossfit badass
"When I first heard about Trail Mavens, all I could think was 'It's Girl Scouts for adults!' The Skyline-to-the-Sea trip was that and more. It provided an opportunity to meet and hike with four intelligent, strong, and enthusiastic women, to learn about backpacking packing, cooking, water purification, and trail charting, and to cross a trail off of my bucket list. Can you ask for more in 3 days?!
If you have always been a hiker and are interested in expanding your outdoors skills-set in an encouraging and supportive environment, a backpacking trip with Trail Mavens is perfect. Sasha and your other fellow backpackers provide you with all the tools you need."
- Tory Loomis, lawyer and semi-pro arborist
"My first Trail Mavens trip was a three-day backpacking trip - and my first shot at backpacking. I had always wanted to try it, but didn't have gear or want to buy gear without knowing if I would like it and I didn't know what I was doing. It turns out that I loved it.
There are so many things I loved about this trip. I got to try something new and difficult for me in a space where it was encouraged to say when you didn't know how to do something, everyone encouraged you and was proud of your accomplishments, and I learned by doing. The setting was gorgeous and awe inspiring and the women on my trip were incredible, badass women. I enjoyed the conversations that occurred on the drive there, while backpacking through gorgeous redwood trees, and around a camp stove. I ended the trip with new friends and feeling like I had found a new part of myself that loves backpacking and can't way to get outside again."
- Sara Landes, clinical psychologist, PhD and research pro
Trail Mavens has knocked my socks off twice now and I'm thirsty for the next adventure! These trips have taught me to focus on the here and now by being disconnected from the outside world and entirely immersed in the group of women I'm with and the brilliant wilderness.
There's just something different about camping with women that allows strangers to immediately open up with one another, not to mention the fact that you're bonding over the insanely gorgeous scenery California has to offer. I've been recommending Trail Mavens to every lady friend I encounter!
- Katie Barrie, artist and owner of Girl Chewing Gum handmade paper goods
My maiden voyage with Trail Mavens exposed me to new things I've always wanted to try (kayaking), new fun facts about animals (pelicans), and gave me a chance to practice my outdoor skills. Perhaps most satisfying for me, it allowed me to cross paths with, and learn from, some wonderful women in a beautiful setting.
While Sasha seemed to always have a fun activity, exercise, learning moment, game, or food item just around the corner, the pacing of the trip felt relaxed and organic. What a fantastic way to spend a weekend.
- Johanna Sorrentino, writer, editor, and lead singer of the Rumble Strippers
I really enjoyed exploring the great outdoors with Sasha and the other Trail Mavens on my trip. It was so nice to disconnect, meet new like-minded women, and learn some new skills without have to plan much or secure any camping gear. I would definitely go on another Trail Mavens camping trip and am excited for reunion and alumni events to come!
- Kristen English, CEO & Coach at Create Sustainable Wellness and soccer badass
My first Trail Mavens trip was to the wonderful Hendy Woods State Park in Anderson Valley. From the ride up to our campsite to the ride back to SF, I felt a true sense of trust and camaraderie with an amazing group of women. In the process, I stepped outside of my comfort zone which I was very proud of and braved the short, but sweet sea kayaking adventure.
The trip was well organized and I left with a good sense of several camping fundamentals which I look forward to using in the future (including more Trail Mavens trips!). Sasha is such a great host and exudes thoughtfulness, fun, and a clear sense of purpose in her intention to share her love of nature in a supportive and comfortable environment. I am proud to call myself a Trail Mavens Alumna!
- Erica Hewitt, financial professional and budding nature enthusiast
I went on the Big Sur camping trip Spring 2015 and absolutely loved it. I knew very little about camping before this trip and now feel comfortable pitching a tent, lighting a fire, using the camp stove and reading a topography map. Everything was so well planned and organized, from meeting Friday evening to head off on our trip, through the car ride home to San Francisco - Sasha thought about everything. She gave us tips on what to pack, good information on what to expect the trip to be like, and created a menu that was flexible for dietary restrictions.
We had an amazing group of women, all with different skills and knowledge to share and great attitudes. We really had the chance to connect with each other while sharing meal prep, eating, hiking and eating smores by the fire. To top it off, we spent Saturday night soaking in the hot springs at Esalen. Thank you for a truly magical weekend; I'm very much looking forward to my next Trail Maven's trip!
I signed up for Trail Mavens because I was looking for an adventure. I was in much need of some fresh air. I wanted to get dirty and not have to worry about doing my makeup. I wanted an excuse to unplug from technology. I wanted to learn how to pitch a tent. I wanted to form connections with like-minded women. I got all of that and so much more.
Sasha has created something really, really special in Trail Mavens. Throughout the trip I was provided with opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone. But it was done in a way that I never felt uncomfortable. I just came away from the experience feeling badass, thankful for the opportunity, and ready for more. I’m looking forward to my next Trail Mavens adventure!
- Alissa Greenberg, PhD, all-around badass, and the nicest gal you'll ever meet (no joke)