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.

angel island
backpacking trip details

Wahoo! We're so pumped you're registered for this adventure to the gem of the San Francisco Bay: Angel Island. You'll find most of the info you need to prepare for your trip on this page. We'll email you the week before the trip with final details about our meeting spot, carpools, and bios from the other rad ladies who'll be joining you.

our campsite

Angel Island Ridge Campsite

Backpacking on Angel Island is relatively plush: we'll have access to picnic tables, spigots with clean, potable water, food bins, and Port-a-potties. You won't need to poop or pee outdoors...unless you want to, and we'll definitely teach you how.

Campfires aren't allowed on Angel Island campsites, but we'll be teaching you the ins and outs of using backpacking stoves. While fire-building isn't a skill we'll get to practice on this particular trip, your guides are still more than happy to give you some verbal pointers...just ask!


Lunch/dinner on Day 1 and breakfast/lunch on Day 2 will be provided. The group will share in cooking and cleanup responsibilities. Please arrive on Saturday with breakfast and coffee already in your bellies!

We’ll eat tasty hot meals for breakfast and dinner. Each Maven will create her own ‘snack bag’ at the start of the trip, with dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, jerky, granola bars, etc. To keep our energy up, we’ll snack throughout the day on trail, rather than having a single lunch meal. We’ll have more than enough snacks for you (think: bars, nuts, dried fruit, jerky for meat eaters) but if you’ve got any favorite trail treats, feel free to bring them.


All the hiking on Angel Island is gorgeous, with sweeping vistas of the Bay in every direction. On Day 1, we'll hike 1.5 mostly-flat miles from the Ferry Terminal to our campsite, where we'll set up our tents and drop off most of our gear. Next, we'll do a 4.4 mile loop hike, summiting Mt. Livermore, Angel Island's tallest peak. Total distance: 5.9 miles.

Angel Island hiking

On Day 2, we’ll return to the ferry terminal via the Angel Island rim road. Total distance: 3.5 miles.

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


Our group will pack together before setting off on the trail. In addition to your personal items, you'll carry some group gear and group food. Your leader will teach a packing lesson, and help you decide which gear to carry and whether you may have brought something extra. Each Trail Maven should pack the following items.


  • Health insurance card and ID
  • Water bottles and/or hydration bladder with a minimum 1.5L capacity
  • Sunscreen/sun hat/sunglasses
  • Glasses/contacts with solution
  • Tampons/pads as needed
  • Toothbrush/mini toothpaste
  • Personal medications
  • A pen
  • Field Notes notebook (Trail Mavens alumnae only. New participants will be given their own on this trip!)
  • Optional: lightweight backpacking pillow, earplugs, camera, bandana or Buff to keep sun off your neck, packable backpack to use while hiking, small bottle hand sanitizer
  • Sleeping bag rated at 30° or colder
  • Sleeping pad
  • Headlamp with fresh batteries/spares
  • 50L backpack (or larger) with rain fly
  • Backpacking bowl, mug, and utensil (a Tupperware bowl, heat-proof cup or mug, and any fork/spoon/spork set is just fine!)
  • Sleeping bag liner (if borrowing a Trail Mavens sleeping bag)
  • Personal clothing (see below)
  • Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots or trail runners (waterproof boots if rain is in the forecast)
  • Lightweight shoes/sandals for hanging out at our campsite that can be worn with socks (like Crocs/Tevas/Chacos rather than flip-flops)

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

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

WHAT TO LEAVE BEHIND: Toiletries and personal effects other than a toothbrush, toothpaste, a small sunscreen bottle, and personal medication. No need for face wash, deodorant, or shampoo for an overnight!


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


  • One wool/synthetic shirt to hike in (no tanks due to shoulder chafing) [example]
  • One 'relaxing at camp & sleeping' tee (the one exception to the cotton rule!)
  • One synthetic long-sleeved lightweight shirt [example]


  • One pair shorts or capris for hiking during the day (your choice)
  • One pair long pants (or if you have zip-off hiking pants, skip the shorts)
  • One pair leggings or long underwear for warmth at night, or to wear under hiking pants (we love fleece-lined leggings or wool long underwear) [example]
  • One pair warm long pants for warmth at night (we love fleece pants) [example]


  • One synthetic long-sleeved wool or fleece mid-layer, ideally with hood [example]
  • One down puffy jacket or similar, ideally with hood [example]
  • Waterproof jacket (mandatory) [example]
  • Warm hat [example]
  • Lightweight gloves [example]


  • Two pairs socks (one pair thin wool/synthetic for hiking, one pair thick wool/synthetic for nighttime)
  • One pair underwear
  • One or two sports bras

Depending on weather conditions (i.e. if it's unseasonably warm), you may not bring every item listed here. Not sure about something? Be sure to ask your Trail Mavens guide when the group is packing.

Weather & Conditional Packing

Click here for the Angel Island weather forecast as we approach our trip! For those not from Northern California, note that coastal weather is notoriously fickle, and might transition from warm and breezy to cold and foggy in a matter of minutes.

Since everybody is different, it’s up to YOU to check out the weather forecast and judge your personal comfort levels, and plan accordingly! Please use your own judgement when packing: if you’re always cold, pack heavier extra layers (i.e., leggings to go under pants).

Packing for rain

Except in the most extreme cases, we run trips rain or shine! If rain or snow is in the forecast, here's what you should be bringing in addition to the items in the packing list above:

  • Waterproof rain jacket (you should bring this on every trip regardless of forecast)
  • Waterproof rain pants
  • Waterproof hiking boots (tennis shoes or trail runners should NOT be worn on rainy trips)
  • Three pairs of wool socks (one pair on your feet, one pair that's dry and ready to change into, and one pair that might be drying off from an earlier hike)
  • Rain cover for your backpack, if you have one (we'll provide trash bags for anyone who doesn't have a cover, but the real deal is always best)
  • As much wool, synthetic fleece, or down layers as possible, and as little cotton as possible (cotton won't keep you dry or warm enough in rainy weather)

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 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! If you’d like to share your pics on social media, go for it, but only after we get back home. Then, feel free to go crazy tagging @trailmavens on Instagram or Twitter.

Gear Care

Trail Mavens provides its adventurers with $800-1000 of fantastic backpacking gear. Here are 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. Consume only water inside your tent to keep it scent-free, and store anything smelly, including toiletries, in the designated food bin. 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.

Make sure to remove all food, trash, and scented items from your pack as soon as we arrive at our campsite. Ask your guide for scent-related animal stories; nearly all of them have one!

Angel Island

Still scratching your head about something before the trip?