(Shoshoni, WY) Wyoming women hikers will be at Boysen State Park for a weekend of snowshoeing, ice fishing, ice skating, and other winter activities billed as “Winter in Wyoming”, a campout event planned through a women’s hiking community known as Women Who Hike.
Leading the Boysen retreat is Angelina Stancampiano, Shoshone District Interpretive Ranger and Wyoming Ambassador for Women Who Hike Wyoming. “I moved to Wyoming in the Fall of 2021 and personally experienced how spread out and scarcely-populated Wyoming was,” she said. “I know so many people here, love the outdoors and I wanted to find other women who were looking for opportunities. So, I made the opportunities.”
“We created a series of campouts to empower women in the outdoors,” Stancampiano continued, listing activities such as canoeing, spelunking, caving, ice fishing “…with powerful learning components, too–wintertime survival, basic self-defense taught by rangers, wilderness first aid, snake safety, etc.”
Superintendent Lonnie Porter and Ranger Shawn McRae teach self-defense, with District Manager Kyle Bernis teaching wilderness first aid. District Manager Brooks Jordan will be teaching wintertime survival. Superintendents John Bass and Heather Jolley of Medicine Lodge will be guiding the ice fishing, ice skating, and connecting the women to their sites.
“We are so fortunate to have fantastic staff to help out with these programs,” Stancampiano said. “I wanted to create purposeful weekends that gave a reason to finally set out to that park you’ve always wanted to visit. We wanted women to feel actively invited and safe in our parks.”
According to founder Nicole Brown, Women Who Hike (WWH) started in 2015 simply as a social media account and hashtag #womenwhohike, beginning with the mission “to inspire women who hike both on and off the trail.” Since then, WWH has become a worldwide movement. “Whether it’s getting together for group hikes or online for education, we are certain that Women Who Hike is a community where women are inspired and encouraged to go the extra mile and reach new heights.”
Women Who Hike gains and expands its global community network through social media, hosting and facilitating events with women’s hiking groups around the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and the UK. Women use these groups to meet up with fellow hikers, ask about local trails, get gear advice, and create their own meet-ups or group events. The #womenwhohike hashtag has been used 1.9 million times on Instagram and subsequently amassed nearly 300,000 followers.
In 2016, WWH started more state-specific and regional groups where women are able to connect with each other for more localized hikes and outings as well as share tips and tricks for the trail. According to Brown, “….additionally, as a community and a collective, we are passionate about stewardship, advocacy, and lending a helping hand to both places and people.”
Women Who Hike is also a community partner with Leave No Trace, meaning that they follow a set of outdoor ethics while they are out on the trail…consideration for other visitors on the trails, adhering to set limits for their groups, or larger, stewardship-based events like trash clean-up and trail days, participating in special events like National Trails Day and National Public Lands Day.
A network of WWH Facebook groups can be found on their website, womenwhohike.com. Those who are not on Facebook can check their calendar and find events in their area, or submit their own events via e-mail for inclusion in the calendar.
The Boysen campout sold out in under 48 hours. “We have three more campouts lined out for the year,” Stancampiano said.
Those who wish to join future Wyoming hiking events can follow the Women Who Hike Wyoming on Facebook and Instagram, or sign up for their newsletter at wyoparks.info/ShoshoneNews, and click on “Shoshone District”.