Backpack With She Moves Mountains

rocky landscape

Eager to spend the night in the wilderness, but don’t know where to begin? Intimidated by the amount of gear you need to have to stay comfortable and safe? Need to find other humans with the same sense of adventure as you? She Moves Mountains has your back(pack). 


She Moves Mountains is on a mission to create an educational space for women (cis, trans) to realize their strength through outdoors retreats and skills clinics. I recently joined their Intro to Backpacking 2-day and 1-night trip to Lake Ann near Mount Baker. It was my first time backpacking and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better guide, group, or setting to soak up the experience.


If this ignites the adventurous spirit within you, even in the slightest, then keep reading — you’ll know exactly how to book your trip by the end of this article.

What Makes Backpacking So Unique

Backpacking combines the power of three rewarding things: getting outside, exercising, and opening your mind and heart…


You can backpack for 24 hours, or you can backpack for months at a time. Regardless of the trip length you choose, you’re immersing yourself in natural surroundings for the entirety of the journey. This has been proven to be great for resetting your circadian rhythm because light is the most powerful and most important environmental cue for that sleep-wake cycle. Bonus: You’ll most likely be out of cell service so you can reduce your exposure to artificial light and rely solely on aligning with the moon and sun. 


Even if you’re a seasoned hiker, carrying a 40-pound backpack while climbing to higher altitudes will challenge your athletic capabilities. Complementary to those physical gains, turning inward to encourage yourself to keep going will challenge your mental strength as well. Fortunately, during my experience with She Moves Mountains, I had the group camaraderie to pull energy and encouragement from if needed. 


Backpacking allows you to reach destinations by foot that are truly wild and often times more preserved than your traditional tent campgrounds. Being in breathtaking environments, away from your modern routine, expands your mind and heart, igniting a profound sense of connection to something larger than yourself.

backpacking set up tent

How She Moves Mountains Partners With You

Focusing on the Intro to Backpacking trip that I did, She Moves Mountains removes the guesswork from preparation and execution. After signing up, they send you a list of what you’ll need to bring from home, a list of what they’ll provide for you, location coordinates, trip expectations, and information about your guide.


The morning of our trip, we met at the Lake Ann trailhead to introduce ourselves, get acquainted with the gear, and learn how to pack our own backpacks (this took me a few tries!). Then we set off on the hike through the forest to our desired camping spot by Swift Creek. This was the perfect spot to set up camp because we had a flowing creek next to us to provide us with a soundscape and a water source to test out our water filters. We partnered up in teams of two to set up our tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags before we hiked up to Lake Ann to have our dinner.

washington landscape

The hike took us through more forest, rocky basins, and meadows that featured waterfalls, wildflowers, and spectacular views of Mount Shuksan, Baker, Artist Point, and the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail. Without a doubt, reaching Lake Ann was rewarding and probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve eaten (and surprisingly) enjoyed a dehydrated meal. Here we learned how to use the stove, which was so easy and packed together so compact.


Then we descended back to camp for the rest of the night. We were all pretty exhausted physically, mentally, and socially so the majority of us slept through the night.


Graced by the morning sun and mountain air, we all enjoyed coffee together with the confidence we gained the night before to use the stove to heat our water. We packed up our tents and as our final offering before we made the hike out, we extended gratitude to our amazing campsite. 


The goal of this of this trip was to learn and practice the skills needed to plan and execute our own backpacking trip. I definitely emerged from the wilderness adventure with the confidence, knowledge, and excitement to begin my backpacking journey with friends. Thank you, She Moves Mountains! 

gear pile with landscape

They have retreats and courses, both domestic and international, for both climbing and backpacking — book here!

Melissa Muncy Headshot

Melissa Muncy

I’m Melissa! I was born and raised in California, but I’m now a fully committed Washingtonian. After a year in Seattle, I made North Bend my home to be closer to nature. I’m a certified personal trainer and have a passion for the outdoors, travel, and animals (I’ve rescued three animals in the last three years).

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