Virginia Hiking & Survival 101
Make your Appalachian Trail dreams a reality hiking to three of the most iconic mountain summits along the trail in Catawba, Virginia – Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs. Then rest your legs as you learn hands-on basic wilderness survival skills in an outdoor, immersive setting. Over the course of a long weekend you’ll hike the Appalachian Trail to enjoy the best views and learn wilderness survival skills on this 4 Day Women-only, Small Group Adventure Tour in Virginia.
You’ll kick off your adventure on Thursday arriving to our lodge in the woods in the late afternoon. Your feet won’t be settled for long as we gear up to tick off the first jewel in the crown: Dragon’s Tooth. It’s the shortest of the three hikes, but the most exciting as you scramble up rocks and via ferrata type ladders to reach the summit and the huge monolith stretching to the sky on the summit. Feeling daring? Climb up the monolith for 360 degree views of the valley below.
The next morning, you’ll embark on your hike with the most elevation gain – Tinker Cliffs. It’s a beautiful hike that takes you a across a field where you’ll be able to stare way up to our goal. It’s a lovely hike through the “Green Tunnel” with a gnarly steep section before you connect with the Appalachian Trail to reach the summit. Then you get to kick back, break out that sandwich, and bask in the view of the next day’s summit: McAfee Knob.
On Saturday morning, we’ll take a short hike to our outdoor classroom where we’ll spend the day learning and practicing wilderness survival skills. You’ll want to grab a notebook and a pen to scratch down some notes. Throughout the day you’ll learn a variety of knots, how to construct a few types of wilderness shelters, how to start and feed a fire even in the rain, and which bugs are the tastiest for eating! 🦗 Yes, it is completely hands-on. You will be building fires and shelters all with a supportive group of like-minded, fun women
In the evening, we’ll hit a mall walker’s stride as we jump on the trail to catch one of the best sunsets. The hustle up the mountain is totally worth the burning quads as you rest your hiker booty and kick your legs off the edge of the world on McAfee’s Knob. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail. (And, one of our favorites!).
You’ll end your 4 days in a wilderness paradise tying up our survival class time reviewing first aid, water purification, and anything that we missed the day before. If the group is up for it, we have a bonus hike with an incredible waterfall at the end. We’ll say Good-bye Sunday afternoon, after refueling our bodies and chowing down at a local eatery.
You’ll be resting your head at a beautiful lodge nestled in Catawba,Virginia. It lays at the base of the mountains surrounded by woods without another trace of humanity in sight. You’ll call the place home with freedom to stretch your legs on the lawn soaking up the sun after hiking, sharing stories around a campfire, or knocking back a few beers in the communal area. And, food! Your dinners and breakfasts will be home-cooked goodness served up on a plate! (Don’t worry! Bugs are optional and not on the menu!)
It’s a wonderfully wild weekend with a small group of women hiking the Appalachian Trail and learning wilderness survival tactics. Over the course of the 4 days you’ll quickly grow close with your posse of Explorer Chicks as you hike the trails and share memories of summits. Join us on our 4 Day, weekend women’s hiking trip to experience it yourself!
- Enjoy the views from three of the most iconic vistas on the Appalachian trail on daily, challenging hikes – McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs, and Dragon’s Tooth.
- Learn the necessary skills to survive in the Wilderness in an outdoor classroom with hands-on experience and practice.
- Gain confidence and independence learning the Seven Priorities of Survival including building a shelter, starting a fire, tying essential knots, and hunting for edible insects.
- Kick back after your adventures next to a campfire at our Lodge nestled in the woods at the base of the mountains.
- Relax with a comprehensive itinerary that makes the logistics, transportation, navigation, meal planning, lodging, and everything in-between easy.
- Private Explorer Chick, small group, women only tour. Embark on your adventure with an encouraging and supportive group of bold women!
- 4 Days/3 nights in shared occupancy bunk room accommodations in a mountain lodge. Rooms contain 4 bunk beds, but only shared by 2 women.
- All meals from Day 1 Dinner to Day 4 Lunch.
- Private Explorer Chick Shuttle service daily to and from the trail heads.
- Daily guided hiking to: McAfee Knob (8.63 miles/1,643 elevation gain); Tinker Cliffs (7.7 miles/1,945 elevation gain); Dragon’s Tooth (4.5 miles/1,103 elevation gain).
- Hands-on, immersive Wilderness Survival 101 instruction tailored for Explorer Chick.
- A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt.
- A detailed Travel Guide upon booking with everything you need to know for your trip.
- The freedom to enjoy your vacation and mindlessly wander!
- One experienced Explorer Chick Leader ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable!
- Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 14 women.
*Packages do NOT include your airfare, airport transportation, alcoholic beverages, Explorer Chick guide tips, or costs for additional activities..
*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, or other unforeseen incidents.
Explorer Chicks are responsible for their own transportation to/from our lodging in Catawba, VA. Plan to arrive in Catawba at 4pm EST on Day 1. Plan to depart on Day 4 by 3pm. You will receive lodging details upon booking in our Travel Guide.
The nearest airport is Roanoke (ROA) which is approx a 30 minute drive time.
You will receive a Travel Guide attached to your booking confirmation with all the information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip!
We require a minimum of 5 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking your airfare.
Just as you would a marathon, you must train prior to your adventure. The itinerary is packed full of hiking. You should be comfortable with hiking up to 9 miles in a day carrying a light day pack with elevations gains up to 1,945 feet for 3 consecutive days. This means training on dirt trails consistently in your hiking boots. Break in your hiking boots before showing up for your adventure or you risk some serious blisters that might cut your adventure short.
You should be training on rough and rugged terrain – not perfectly paved sidewalks. Train how you play! Also, find steps, a hill, or the Stairmaster and get to climbing! Your quads, booty, and calves will thank you. Train in all the weather – This even means rain! Please consider the physical demands carefully as it is for the safety and enjoyment of the group.
Train your tootsies! Do not show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending hours upon hours in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out on a hike due to painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Do not let it happen to you!
Please consider your ability to meet the physical demands very seriously. It is for the safety of both you and our group. All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.
Still not convinced that THIS is the adventure for you?
We’ve rounded up some of our most popular blog posts, so you can get to know us a bit better and learn what really goes down on your Explorer Chick Adventure.
- Remember How it Feels to Play
- You are NOT Alone
- The Power of Explorer Chick
- What Does an Explorer Chick Look Like?
- Easy Doesn’t Change You
- We Do Dumb Stuff
- The Explorer Chick Purpose
- The Traveler vs. the Tourist
- 6 Benefits to Booking with a Tour Company
You can always reach us by email with more questions! Info@ExplorerChick.com
To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.
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Non-Refundable Deposit: $200 due at booking to secure your spot