Queer Hide-Tanning Retreat




Come join us for a queer retreat at Woodbine Ecology Center with guest instructor, Bethany Ridenour (IG: @ladyursus). We will be delving into the alchemical process of hide tanning with intimate reverence to life and death with either nisíce (pronghorn in Arapaho) or bíh’ih (mule deer) hides. In a mix of alpine, prairie, and riparian ecosystems on 61 acres, we will be focused on a 3 day long project of hide tanning as well as having some time for spaciousness for wanders. You will have the option of bunk-bed cabin lodging, propping up a tent or sleeping under the stars! We are looking forward to having you join a craft-focused retreat where we will work with our hands as a portal to nature-connection.

The last step of the hide tanning process requires smoke from a fire. If there is a fire ban, please be prepared to be flexible with the shift of project and/or activities. Smoking is required in order to make the hide waterproof. We may also choose not to smoke it.

This workshop is intended as a safe container for LGBTQ2+ folks of any gender to engage in the culture and practice of wilderness-self reliance and earth-based living skills.

You will need to bring overnight items, sleeping bag, etc. Bring a tent and sleeping pad if you prefer to camp, but this is not necessary as simple bunk-bed cabin lodging is provided. Bring your own food (one potluck dinner—we will have access to a limited kitchenette). We will provide a detailed gear list a month prior to the retreat.

If you have concerns about gear, let us know. Women’s Wilderness has some gear that they can lend to support accessibility. It’s also really sweet to crowdsource from your community for gear so you can snuggle up and be held by them during your retreat. There is no cell phone service or wifi available at Woodbine. Look forward to being unplugged for the weekend!

Difficulty level: Moderate-Difficult; this is in regards to the hide tanning process which is moderate to difficult although we plan to distribute the labor by sharing hides. This is endurance and strength for the project rather than cardio. The hands and upper body can be very involved in the physical aspects of this process and it’s not uncommon to experience muscle soreness or stiffness in the days following. Woodbine is not wheelchair accessible.

Dates/Time: Start at 5pm on Thursday, September 27th and End at 5pmon Sunday, September 30th

Location: Woodbine Ecology Center in Sedalia, CO; 30 miles south of Denver  (http://woodbinecenter.org). Transportation not provided. Participants are encouraged to carpool.

Lead Instructor: Bethany Ridenour

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