Join us at Active Endeavors on Tuesday, August 20th from 6-8 pm as we team up for a fun ladies night with Wander Women Iowa and The Side Garage. Want to know more about what Wander Women Iowa is and what they do? We asked them a few questions to learn more…
1) Let’s start with the basics – tell us what Wander Women Iowa is.
In short, Wander Women Iowa designs all-inclusive camping adventures to guide, connect, and empower women on We curate trips to Iowa’s most beautiful places, provide all the gear, guidance, food, and programming All attendees/participants have to do is show up ready to go on an adventure and have fun!
2) Why did you start Wander Women Iowa?
Women gathering together is a restorative, powerful, and healing experience. Nature alone can also provide these benefits. Combining the two offers opportunities for something pretty magical and special and I wanted to help make that more accessible. Feeling part of a community is something we all need, especially right now, and gathering in nature can help build that sense of community. To facilitate this, we design our trips up to foster a sense of community that comes from shared experiences in the outdoors. Wander Women provides opportunities for getting out there and trying something new, and experiencing challenges with a circle of women there to cheer you on, support you, and hold you up can be a really transformative and powerful experience.
Additionally, we really set out to challenge the perception of that what it means to be an outdoorsperson. We wanted to create something that women of all experience levels, body sizes, skin colors, religions, sexual preferences, physical abilities, and various other life experiences could feel comfortable participating in. When you participate in Wander Women trips you can be fully and wholly yourself!
We believe it’s important to acknowledge that there is a gender gap in the outdoor world. Wander Women is committed to closing that gap by helping women realize they, too, can take up space in the outdoors.
3) Can you share with us a favorite story from a recent Wander Women trip?
I have to pick just one?!
I love, love, love our fire-building sessions. On our trip to Wildcat Den one of the participants had never built a fire before so she volunteered to create the fire after learning the basics from one of our guides. She successfully did it and the jubilation from her and the other participants as they cheered her on brought so many chills.
On our most recent trip to Backbone State Park and the Manchester Whitewater Park one of our participants successfully whitewater kayaked all five drops and witnessing her badassery in that moment was so cool. She just went for it and smashed it!
During every trip we have fire circles– this is an opportunity for participants to gather around the fire and dive deep into a conversation about a particular topic. The stories, the tears, the laughter, the forgiveness, and the rawness that comes from these circles is truly powerful. It may seem small, but I truly believe that these small circles can have a huge impact. It really is about holding one another up and rising together as a community.
4) Who should go on these trips?
Anybody who identifies as a woman and is 21 or older. We have women of all ages on our trips. Never camped before? No problem! Join us! Camp all the time? No problem! Join us—we welcome your skills and expertise to our community. Come by yourself or come with friends. We are inclusive! There are no prerequisites!
5) How do you envision the future of Wander Women?
We will definitely be offering more trips, and we are considering offering a few adventures outside of Iowa. We are also hoping to offer more day trips and workshops. We also hope to be able to offer a scholarship program so that more women can experience our trips.