LAAF Travels FAQ

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What if I've never gone on a backpacking trip before?

 

That’s the point of our LAAF Backpacking Basics Course! We love sharing our passion for backpacking and giving women the skills and confidence to get out on the trails. 

 

We want you to drive away from the trailhead feeling confident that you could embark on your own trip. You might even find other ladies to adventure with!

 

Basically, we aim to take the intimidation out of backpacking. 

What if I’ve already been backpacking, is it worth coming on a LAAF Travels trip?

 

We think so! You’ll see beautiful sights and get fed delicious food while recharging in the woods. Plus, who couldn’t use a refresher? You might pick up a new trick or two. 

 

This is an opportunity to meet other women who share your interest in the outdoors and expand your outdoor community. 

 

 

Can I backpack at my age?

 

Our women’s backpacking trips are for anyone who is excited about backpacking and is confident they’re healthy enough to do these adventures.

 

We welcome all ages and backgrounds on every LAAF Travels trip, and offer enough variety of trips that we can accommodate many sorts of fitness levels. 

 

Please reach out if you have any health concerns.

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Am I in good enough shape to go backpacking?

 

We want to see all sorts of body types out on the trails with us. Getting comfortable hiking, and especially hiking with some weight on your back will help you feel prepared. You can do this by training with a day pack that’s around 20 pounds. 

 

We recommend starting to train two months in advance in order to maximize your comfort so you have the best time possible. This training routine could include: weekly hikes of 3-5 miles with 500+ feet elevation gain, as well as strength training to keep those knees and other joints strong.

 

The main priority is avoiding injury. 

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Why go on an all-women’s backpacking trip?

 

We aim to create a safe, encouraging space on our backpacking trips so that everyone feels welcome on the trails. We’ve found that getting outside with women creates just this sort of environment.

 

Adventuring with a group of women allows you to let go of society’s limiting beliefs and expectations. We want you to feel supported in learning new backcountry skills so you can tap into your authentic self. 

 

The outdoors allows us to let go and be weird, serious, reflective or however you’re feeling in the moment... it’s freedom. 

Mic drop. 

 

Can I go on one of your backpacking trips by myself?

 

Absolutely! We love to encourage women to come solo on our trips. It’s a great way to make new friends and outdoor companions. We pride ourselves on creating an open and encouraging environment for you to learn and grow. 

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What type of women go on LAAF Travels adventures?

 

We welcome all sorts of “ladies!” Our LAAF Ladies come in different shapes, sizes, ages, sexual orientations and identities. Women on our trips might be working professionals, part-timers, mothers, single ladies, retirees and more.

 

However you identify, the thing that all our LAAF Ladies share in common is an interest in the outdoors, eating good food and being part of a community of women. We just ask you to bring an open mind and a good attitude!

 

 

What's included in the price?

 

On our LAAF Backpacking Basics Course, you will learn the basics of backpacking from two experienced guides certified in Wilderness First Aid (cofounders Megan and Katie). You’ll learn how to pack your backpack, the principles of Leave No Trace, how to be bear-aware and set-up camp, meal preparation and more.

 

Additionally, we provide all the meals noted in the itinerary (prepared and cooked with a lot of heart and soul!), group cooking gear, a group water filter and camping permits.*

 

*Please note that we do not include trip insurance, transportation to/from the trailhead, nor gratuities for your guides in the price.

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What gear do I need for backpacking? 

 

Backpack? Check. 

 

Sleeping bag? Check. 

 

Breathable underwear? Up to you. 

 

For all other gear, check out this complete list of required gear that you can print and check off as you go. 

 

If you want to try out backpacking but aren’t ready to invest in the gear, we recommend borrowing from a friend or renting from our partners at Arrive Outdoors. 

 

To get a 10% discount from them on your rental gear, just click here. You can choose individual items to rent or create packages and they'll ship right to your front door.


 

Am I required to pay my guide(s) a gratuity? 

 

Tipping is always appreciated if you feel so inclined. Check out this article if you need some guidance on tipping. 

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Who will my guides be for the backpacking trip? 

 

Us! (Megan and Katie) Between the two of us, we have over two decades of backpacking experience and earned trail cred in the Montana wilderness. We also are certified in Wilderness First Aid and know our way around a backcountry stove. 


Read more about us on our story page.


 

Is it possible for me to carpool to/from the trailhead?

 

We don’t provide transportation to or from the trailhead. But it's possible to carpool with other LAAF Ladies on your same backpacking trip. We’ll be connecting all participants prior to the trip. If you decide to carpool together to the trailhead, this is done at your own discretion. 


How many other women can I expect on my LAAF Travels backpacking trip?

 

We like to keep our trips on the smaller side in order to get to know each other. This also helps to reduce our impact on the environment by creating less of a footprint on the local habitat. 

 

We try to keep our LAAF Travels backpacking trips between 4 and 8 ladies depending on COVID-19 restrictions. Learn more here.  

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Will I be expected to share a tent? 

 

This is part of the fun of backpacking- getting to know the other LAAF Ladies! And there’s no better way than to share a tent. 

 

But....because of coronavirus safety measures and Washington state guidelines, we’re only allowing one person per tent at this time. The only exception to sharing a tent with someone is if you live in the same household. In this case, please contact us ahead of time so we can make arrangements. 

 

In non-COVID-19 times, we arrange for all LAAF Ladies to share a tent. If Washington state’s coronavirus recovery plan changes and we can allow for tent sharing, you’ll be paired with a tent mate. 

 

In this case, LAAF Travels will provide the two-person tents. If you’ve already booked a trip with us, we’ll contact you about these changes as soon as possible before the trip departure. 

 

Any tents provided by LAAF Travels will be cleaned and disinfected between uses.


What if it’s rainy or there are forest fires? 

 

We might live in the “Pacific North Wet,” but that won’t stop us from getting outdoors! Our LAAF Travels backpacking trips will happen rain or shine.

 

Please pack appropriate gear and clothing layers for different weather types. The weather can change fast in the backcountry, and it’s important to be prepared for whatever may come our way. 

 

Of course, there might be circumstances that aren’t conducive to backpacking, and we have your safety and comfort to look out for! If we perceive a serious risk in getting outdoors and need to cancel a LAAF trip, we’ll try to give you as much warning as possible. Some of these risks could include proximity to forest fires, smoke hazards, snowy conditions, and more. 

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What if I have my period during a backpacking trip? 

 

We’re not afraid to talk about our periods at LAAF Travels. It’s a reality to have them in the backcountry, and the more prepared you are the less hassle backpacking with it will be.  

 

If you’re on your period at the time of the trip, or if there’s a chance your period will start while on a trip, bring pads/tampons/menstrual cups/etc, wipes, and a bag to dispose of the waste (remember, whatever we pack in we have to pack out). It’s definitely better to be over-prepared rather than unprepared in this case. 

If you're interested in learning more about how to navigate your period in the backcountry, check out our blog article on the subject here.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We are happy to give you more details.