Questions & Answers
Why just women?
There are very few outdoor programs that recognize women’s unique strengths and needs, and balance the challenge of physical activity with the development of healthy relationships with a comfortable environment in which to grow and to try new things. As women find that center in themselves, they are able to give strength to their work, home and relationships.
How many staff will be on my course?
There will be two experienced female Women’s Wilderness Institute staff on each course. All of our staff are certified as Wilderness First Responders.
What will I eat?
All food is provided, including healthy meals and plenty of snacks. Our staff will teach you how to create wholesome, delicious backcountry meals with enough fuel and nutrition to keep you happy on your course. Meals are designed to accommodate a full range of preferences – from vegetarian to full meat protein-loving divas! There is always plenty to eat, and we pack snacks for munching throughout the day. However, if you have your favorite snack items, feel free to bring them along as well.
What if I have a food allergy?
We can accommodate some common food allergies and dietary needs, so if you have dietary restrictions please let us know at least one week before your course.
Why do women come on your courses?
Women join our outdoor adventures for a variety of reasons: to learn a specific outdoor skill or how to travel competently in the wilderness, to experience the camaraderie of wilderness travel in the supportive company of other women, to build confidence, or to renew a sense of direction and refresh the spirit. Whatever your personal intention, Women’s Wilderness Institute outdoor adventures, retreats and vacations offer a complete education in backcountry skills and knowledge, while also providing a way for women to come together to enjoy the outdoors, the company of women, and the nourishment and challenge of a wilderness experience.
What about safety?
Your safety is the very first priority on our courses. We have an excellent safety record and a strong commitment to making our courses as safe as possible. We uses safety procedures and protocols that are considered “best practices” in the field of wilderness programming. All field staff are certified as Wilderness First Responders.
How do I know if I am in good enough shape?
The degree of physical challenge varies greatly among our Women’s courses, but all require good health and a reasonable level of fitness. Because we know that women choose to go into the wilderness for different reasons, each women’s course has been rated according to its fitness level (gentle, moderate, vigorous, very vigorous) to assist in choosing a course that suits your needs.
How do I get to my course?
Women participants will be responsible for their own transportation to the course site. We will put participants in touch with each other the week prior to the course to facilitate arranging carpools.
What should I bring with me?
Not much! We have top quality backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, climbing gear and all the other outdoor equipment you might need. If you have any of these items you may bring your own gear. You will receive a list of things to bring with your enrollment packet.
How are your courses so affordable?
We work very hard to make our wilderness experiences accessible to as many women and girls as possible. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and dedicate resources to securing individual donors, engaging corporate sponsors and soliciting foundation grants. We aim to keep our women’s prices competitive and also direct a portion of fees to support scholarships for our Girls’ Wilderness Program and Wilderness Recovery Retreats for Survivors of Trauma and Cancer Survivors.
How long have you been around?
Laura Tyson founded The Women’s Wilderness Institute in 1997, to provide outdoor experiences that speak to girls and women in their own style.
What is the message of your program?
Our mission runs beyond creating fun, inspiring outdoor retreats and wilderness vacations that teach women and girls skills needed to enjoy their own outdoor adventures. We also value the wilderness as a way to bring out the voices, courage, confidence and leadership qualities within each girl and woman, ultimately laying the foundation to make our world a better place.
Why do the staff love working at Women's Wilderness?
Our field staff are highly experienced outdoor professionals and many work for numerous outdoor adventure programs and wilderness schools. Yet, most of our women say TWWI is their favorite place to work. Staff member Kelly Brown says it perfectly; “I thrive on working with women because I’m always inspired by how much we take on and are able to juggle. Being able to facilitate these ‘invisible leaders’ is a wonderful gift. I also love working with TWWI because the outdoors is such an amazing tool for gaining confidence and self worth as well as fostering community.”
How can I find about your summer programs for teenage girls?
Visit our Girl’s page for information about The Girls’ Wilderness Programs.