During a three-day, 37-mile trip in the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park, I learned a thing or two about the joys of setting out for the trail with a crew of fierce femmes.
Limitless, shameless girl talk.
Any solid group of gal pals knows that your best gab sessions are typically held over wine and cheese snuggled up on your living room sofa. Why not take the girl chat to the great outdoors to enjoy over fresh stream water and trail mix? I'll assure you better views and sillier, freer-flowing conversations. Uninterrupted by phone calls or SnapChats.
Time to talk about all the things that you normally don't talk about.
Religion, philosophy, books, dreams, childhood tales, the future. Let's face it, you and your girlfriends spend countless hours together, but when do you have the time to really get to know these things about them? When you're too busy getting ready for a night out at the bars or studying for midterms together, there's no time to talk about who believes in God or what truly inspires you. When the text messages stop and the endless scrolling of Instagram pictures comes to a halt, and you and your friends have nothing to do but gaze up at the stars as you roll up in your sleeping bags, this is the time to ask the questions you usually don't and share the stories you normally keep to yourself.
Food, food, and more food.
There a few things in the world that give girls the same mood boost as food--which need not be listed here. While backpacking isn't normally associated with fine dining, a little creativity with ingredients and a camp stove can lead to delicious trail cuisine. When you're spending hours scrambling up switchbacks all day and the caloric needs are high, backpacking provides to perfect opportunity to eat as much as you want and still be hungry for more. Food is usually the number one thing on a backpacker's mind while your hamstrings are burning on the last two miles before camp, making it the perfect topic of mouth-watering trail conversation for girls who value their grub.
Be the independent, strong women that you are.
Nothing makes you feel more like a fierce, self-reliant lady than carrying your own food, water, and shelter on your back while navigating through the wilderness with your all-female crew. Gurgling river to cross? 3,000 feet of switchbacks to conquer before lunch? Pouring rain for six straight hours? No problem, because you and your girlfriends are strong-willed problem-solvers laughing your way through the mud, sweat, and lactic acid build-up. When you're backpacking, your only real option is to keep going, so you can set out from the trailhead with the confidence that you and your girls are gonna find your way through the final mile with your wits and your own two legs.
Topless yoga sessions are fair game.
Gotta even out the tanlines and get a good post-hike stretch somehow. Why not do kill two birds with one stone?