Summit 2014

The 2014 Summit took place on June 20-22, 2014, at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Click the links below for more information.


Keynote Speaker | Clinicians | Schedule | Sponsors | Photos

Schedule of Events

Friday, June 20



5:00pm - 6:00pm



Evening Program
Meet the Clinicians, Get to know each other, First Aid Extravaganza with Sanne Larsen Bagby


Stargazing Field Trip

Saturday, June 21




Meditation Hike, led by Carla Robertson

9:00am-10:15am: Class 1

Writing in Nature - Sandra Friend
Leave No Trace - Kathy Rioux
Hiking the Camino - Deborah Berman
Pace Your Walk for Radiant Fulfillment - Regina Reiter

10:30am-11:45am: Class 2

Dressing and Packing for the Outdoors - Michele Zehr and Regina Reiter
Birding - TBD
Road Trip Hikes/ The Colorado Trail - Judy Gross
Orienteering Basics



1:30pm-2:45pm: Class 3

Wilderness Photography with Sanne Larson Bagby
Map Reading for beginners
A thru hiking journey on the AT - Carla Robertson
Basic Self Defense on the Trail - Michele Zehr

3:00pm-4:15pm: Class 4

Vision Quests - Michele Zehr
Camp Cooking and Dehydration - Judy Gross
The Joys of Car Camping - Fran Boyd
Outdoor Games - Vera Hurst




Boot-fitting workshop at Footsloggers (limit 25 people)


Panel Discussion
Peeing, Pooping and Periods – A Guide to all things female in the Outdoors- moderated by Shelly Huskey


Awards Ceremony - Celebrate Excellent Women in the Outdoors


Keynote Speaker
Keynote Address: Engage the wonder - Sandra Friend, Author of 28 books on hiking and the Florida Trail


Gear Swap
Join us at the dorm for gear swaps, discussion and fun- hosted by Vera Hurst


Stargazing Outing

Sunday, June 22


Backpacking Basics for the Beginner - Sue Turner, Sandra Friend, and Mary Campbell
Planning a Thru Hike - Sanne Bagby and Regina Reiter
Hike Leader Training - Pam deGraaf and Anna Huthmaker


A Chick on the Trail
Delightful surprises and cautionary tales - Judy Young, Vera Hurst, Carla Robertson


End of 2014 Summit

Class Descriptions

10 Essentials/What Not To Wear – Michele Zehr

Ever wonder why people say that you should never wear your favorite cotton t-shirt out on a hike? Are you tired of humping a 40lb pack for a day hike because you feel compelled to plan for every “what if” situation your mind can create? Well great news! You will walk away from this class understanding the “why” of the 10 essentials; you’ll learn tips and tricks for using the gear that you carry, as well as the types of clothing you should wear to keep yourself safe while enjoying our precious natural world. Each participant will also go home with a small laminated card that can be clipped onto your pack so that you’ll always be prepared!

Backpacking Basics for the Beginner – Sandra Friend

If you are ready to make the leap from day hikes to backpacking, this workshop offers assistance in gear needed and other practical concerns for beginning backpackers.

Basics of Self Defense – Michele Zehr

“Do you have a gun?” As a woman who backpacked the entire Appalachian Trail almost entirely by myself, this was the most frequently asked question I received from people when they learned I was not hiking with a group. Yes, as women we have safety considerations that are unique to us, but does that also mean that we are helpless or that wild spaces are off-limits to us unless we have someone else there to protect us? The short answer...NO! As an experienced nationally certified R.A.D. Self-Defense for Women instructor, I believe women should feel empowered to spend time alone communing with nature without fearing for their lives. Whereas there are never any guarantees, there are skills available that can help you increase your ability to stay safe. If you would like to learn some basic self-defense techniques and enhance your safety awareness skills then this is the class for you.

Camp Cooking and Dehydration – Judy Gross

Judy has been a vegetarian for over 15 years. With her background in health care, she is knowledgeable about the need for quality nutrition on a long hike, and is very concerned about chemicals, preservatives and pesticides that are in our food system (and refuses to eat any of them). With a little experimenting, she has learned to cook and dehydrate most of her own backpacking food. On her AT hike, she had over 30 different dinners, a dozen different lunches and several different desserts.

Car Camping 101 – Fran Boyd

Camping is a fun and affordable way to get outdoors for women of all skill levels! This class will cover several aspects of planning a successful and relaxing camping trip including: basic gear and equipment necessities, choosing a campsite, how to deal with the elements to stay dry and comfortable, ideas for fun activities, easy camping food ideas, and more! You will learn tips and tricks and have your camping questions answered. We will also cover basic Leave No Trace ethics and learn why these practices are especially important when camping in developed camping areas.

A Chick on the Trail – Vera Hurst

Women Hiking Do’s & Don’t’s - Do you just NOT have a clue if there is a right way to pee in the woods? What filter works the best? Bring soap or no soap? In this lively panel discussion, EVERYTHING hits the fan and can be discussed. Bring your burning & embarrassing women’s only questions and we’ll do our best to answer them or at least see how others think.

Hike Leader Workshop – Anna Huthmaker and Pam DeGraaf

If you are interested in becoming a Trail Dames hike leader, this workshop, in conjunction with the LNT class, offers the foundation needed to learn the basics of hike leading.

Leg Breaking Ice Breaker – Sanne Bagby

We kick of this year's Summit with an ice-breaker like no other. What better way to get to know each other than dressing each other's "wounds?" Sanne takes us through some basic wilderness first aid as we laugh and care for each other.

Pace Your Walk For Radiant Fulfillment – Regina Reiter

Do mountains wear you out, leaving you out of breath and defeated? Would you like to feel like you’re making friends with mountains, not just conquering them? In this session we will explore the importance and benefits of pacing your steps and your journey to Hike Your Own Hike. Regina will share her Meeting with Mountains technique for climbing mountains with joy and ease plus two simple ways to magnify the benefits of walking: Awakening Your Five Senses and Enlivening Your Nonsenses.

Saturday Night Gear Magic- Vera Hurst

A time and place for all you newbie backpackers, gearheads or anyone interested in discussing gear can come to be with others of your kind. There will be touch and feel items from up and coming new cottage companies making fabulous lightweight items and other tried and true gear found to be useful. BRING YOUR OWN USED GEAR TO SWAP AND TRADE!! If you want to improve you ability to make gear decisions this is a place to tap into the collective memory.

Stargazing – Appalachian State University

Those interested bring a blanket and get ready to kiss the sky as we drive out to an ASU location to enjoy the celestial landscape.

A Through Hiking Journey on the AT – Carla Robertson

Carla shares her physical, emotional and spiritual journey thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2009. The experience was so transformative that she has built a business around helping other people make the journey as well.

Unleash the Photographer in you – Sanne Bagby

"Whether you use a simple point-and-shoot or a hefty SLR camera, there are some basic hints and guidelines that will ensure you get the best possible photos, images that capture the story that you want to tell and the memories that you wish to preserve from your outdoor adventures! This workshop will explore some of the most basic principles of photography, along with some creative ideas for your taking your photos from mere ""snapshots"" to ""masterpieces!"" You won't need a camera to participate in this classroom-based clinic, but you are sure to wish you had your camera with you so that you can try out what you have learned before going back home!"

Wild Games – Vera Hurst

Are you tired of sitting inside? Long to have the sun on your face? Want to feel like a kid again and motivate your children to act like children? Come join us as we play in the outdoors all while learning fun facts about nature. In a series of non-competitive, all fitness level activities we’ll explore the natural world in a new way. These activities are “take home”, meaning that if you have a group of kids you want to help learn about the outdoors…this program might give you some concrete ideas on how to do that.

Writing in Nature – Sandra Friend

Sandra comes to TDS having published almost 30 trail and travel books. For this clinic she will share valuable tips for taking time to journal your experiences on the trail.