Get to Know the Dirty Girls

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

Stacy Hull 

Another Dirty Girl who has been around since the beginning…Stacy Hull!! Stacy found out about Dirty Girl Adventures through her husband, who was friends with Denise’s husband, before it even started. Once she heard Denise had plans to start her business, Stacy was fully interested and the thought of hanging out with other women who liked the same things as her, sounded amazing! 

Stacy was not always an outdoorswoman. She was perfectly happy staying inside in the AC until DGA came into her life. Walking in town and participating in 5K races eventually started to become part of her routine, and once she heard about DGA, she was ready to take things to the next level and explore fitness in a different realm, hiking and kayaking. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures has changed this introvert into someone who gets out of her own head and goes outside with other like minded women,” says Stacy. Before joining the club, she was worried that no one would talk to her because she tends to be on the quiet side. However, that was far from the case. Stacy has made so many friends and learned to enjoy company and conversation more since she has been with DGA. 

“Having a group of like minded women in my life brings diversity and new experiences that I may not have had otherwise. This group has given me some great friends, and hopefully some more to come.” 

Stacy’s most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was the first eight mile hike on the Old Military Trail at Perry Lake. “I was in awe of Denise on how many times one woman could run back and forth on this trail,” she says. Since this was one of her first outdoor adventures, this outing made Stacy more comfortable being outside and began her connection with the outdoors. 

“The first hike was memorable to me because it was the first crack in my ‘introvert life’ and it opened me up to new people I would’ve never met. It was also a much different workout for me than my typical 5K on paved roads.”

A huge core value of Dirty Girl Adventures is to learn to adventure where you are. When we asked Stacy if she could adventure anywhere, she said she would love to explore more of her home state, Kansas. A lot of people put Kansas at the bottom of their adventure bucket list, but there are so many places in the sunflower state to explore. Stacy wants to hike the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Elk River Trail. We love that she wants to explore more of Kansas. Stacy is a Dirty Girl at heart!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

Karen Stockwell-Withers

Karen is in the midst of her third season as a Dirty Girl Club Member and loving it. A few years back, she found out about Dirty Girl Adventures at a teaching conference. During this conference, she met another woman who was already involved with the club and was introduced to DGA. 

Throughout her life, she has always loved nature and the outdoors, but her love continues to grow for it as she gets older. “I think I fall more in love with the outdoors as I age because I’ve had issues with depression in the past. The outdoors provides me with so much peace and happiness. Also, the more I learn about climate change and the effect humans have on the environment, the more I see a need to protect nature.”

Since joining the club, Karen says it has provided her with a community of like minded women who all have a common love and passion for the outdoors, which has been hard for her to find.   “Before finding the Dirty Girls my only outdoor buddy was my husband, now I have a ton of people to do things with,” she says. Having a group of ladies to go exploring with is wonderful for Karen, and makes her realize that there are lots of other women that care about the outdoors as well. 

Her favorite and most memorable Dirty Girl Adventures event was during her first year of being a member. Karen and some other Dirty Girls did a weekend getaway to Camp White and hiked the Tallgrass Prairie. “I knew I found the perfect group during that weekend,” she says. 

Karen and her husband have lots of places on their adventure bucket list that they plan to check off. Currently, they are goal setting for their adventure in Iceland in three years. They are going for their ten year anniversary and plan on camping all over the country and seeing puffins while they are there. MCI started offering it as their first direct international flight, so this helped them choose Iceland as their anniversary adventure. “We watched a Discovery Channel episode on puffins and Iceland. Then, I started seeing tons of pictures of Iceland on Twitter from all of the outdoor accounts I follow. What made it a solid decision was recently on a hike in Glacier National Park. We met several people who have been to Iceland and they told us how gorgeous the country is, so we decided it would be the perfect place to go.”

They plan on taking their new puppy, Moose, on their future adventures with them. Bosco, their other dog has gone on many adventures, even kayaking. Moose will be going camping with them for the first time this summer. Pets make outdoor adventure all the more enjoyable! 

Karen is thankful for all that DGA has brought to her. She is inspired and excited for her future outdoor adventures with her fellow Dirty Girls,  her husband and puppies. 

She is also the leader of the Dirty Girl Adventures Book Club at Compass Point. Check our event calendar to join Karen in discussing some award winning stories!

Get to Know the Dirty Girls…

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

This week’s story is over Melissa Frederick and how she learned to live her life with no restrictions through Dirty Girl Adventures.

Melissa Frederick is jumping into her 4th season as a Dirty Girl. Her childhood consisted of playing outside in the country and camping with her family. “I’ve always loved the outdoors but due to the ebbs and flows of life, it wasn’t always able to be a priority,” Melissa said. Happily, in 2004, her husband and kids decided to start RV camping so she was finally able to get back outside. 

Then, in the summer of 2014, she moved to McLouth, KS, where she met Denise’s husband Marucs, who was the police chief at that time. He told Melissa about Denise’s “outdoor business” and introduced the two. She was definitely interested, but didn’t want to make any commitments because they were still figuring out what post-army life was going to look like. In 2016, a friend of Melissa’s invited her on the Eagle Hike, and she said the rest was history. 

Unfortunately, due to Melissa’s size at the time, it wasn’t easy or enjoyable for her. She had heard about backpacking through DGA but knew she could barely carry herself a few miles, let alone a 30-40 pound pack over multiple days. Yet again, there was another outdoor activity she felt she couldn’t do due to her weight. Going on DGA events made Melissa realize that she was very restricted by her size.

 “At 5’7″ and 271 lbs, I was only able to hike 4-5 miles comfortably, and always at the back of the pack. I fell in and out of my kayak instead of getting in and out; everything was an effort.”

So, in 2017, she decided to have weight loss surgery. Dirty Girl Adventures played a significant role in her decision to have the procedure. She got tired of struggling to do the things she loved.

“My Dirty Girl tribe has been incredibly supportive and I love and appreciate them so very much for that. Being back out in nature on a more regular basis, and with a great group of ladies, made me realize   how much I loved being out there. Unfortunately, due to my size, it wasn’t easy or as enjoyable as I knew it could be. Combined with gaining about 15-20 lbs per year and wondering if the scale would stop, I knew I had to do something. Since I hit my goal weight last August, my motto has been Live Life With No Restrictions.”

Nowadays, Melissa participates in all of the Dirty Girl events. She says her favorite memory was in the summer of 2017, kayaking down the Delaware river. About half way through the kayaking trip, a huge storm started rolling in and the ladies had no choice but to paddle faster. 

“Looking over my shoulder at the looming black clouds, trying to outrun the gathering storm, and having to tow my daughter who has a bad shoulder made for quite an interesting paddle.”

Her favorite non-Dirty Girl event was hiking the Grand Canyon. “We were blessed with 4 amazing, knowledgeable guides who were so kind and helpful. The non-Dirty Girl members of our tour group were lovely and it was great getting to know them. We had such a great time experiencing and learning about the Canyon in a way that most people don’t. I had such a wonderful time that I’m hoping to take my family on a 7 day trip in 2022,” said Melissa. In the future, she has aspirations to hike in lots of different places such as Southern Bavaria, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and sections of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. 

It is through Dirty Girl Adventures that Melissa decided to live her life with no restrictions, and she has done just that! 


Get to Know the Dirty Girls…

It is no secret that the Dirty Girl Club has grown so much over the years and includes so many wonderful women that have different walks of life. We are excited to begin posting weekly blogs featuring some of our dedicated Dirty Girls. Sharing stories is a great way to connect. Let’s learn some more about our fellow Dirty Girls!

Julie Justus

Julie has been a member of Dirty Girl Adventures since the very beginning in 2013. She grew up and lived most of her life in California where she loved hiking, body surfing and camping.  “Adventure was in my heart,” says Julie. Life eventually took her to Kansas after her children were born and it was at this point that she lost her connection with the outdoors. 

“The bugs were scary and the weather was too extreme so I stopped and stayed inside most of the time.”

That all changed when she met Denise in 2005. When Julie’s son was six, they enrolled him in the local baseball program. Denise’s husband Marcus was the coach and Denise and Julie became immediate friends. Coming from California, Julie didn’t have much hope that there was any adventure in the fly-over state. However, Denise encouraged her to go outside and adventure with their kids through 4-H.

“Together we took our kids to every corner of the state through the 4-H geology program. She later took me hiking on local trails that I didn’t even know about.”

Over the many years Julie has lived here, she knows that although Kansas will hinder your adventure at times, if you are patient, there are many beautiful places to explore. “I love Kansas now and call it home. I know that Denise and I will continue to be good friends for a lifetime,” she says. 

Since Dirty Girl Adventures started back in 2013, Julie’s life has changed. She says she has met so many women that are from different backgrounds that she would not have met if it weren’t for DGA.  

“Dirty Girl Adventures has brought many different women into my life and has opened up the love to see people where they are. There is no judgement in this club. We all accept each other and bond with the common love of the outdoors.”

Julie’s favorite memory as a Dirty Girl member was the very first Ass Kicker. The Ass Kicker is an event where Dirty Girls kayak 20 miles of a section of the Mighty Kaw.  It was during this trip that she met many women who are now good friends.

“It was a memorable kayaking trip because it was our first tough adventure. We were in it together and we all finished with accomplishment. Firsts seem to always be more memorable than others.”

From the very beginning of this awesome club, Julie has been there to see it grow into the amazing community it is now. 

“Dirty Girl Adventures helped instill the love of the outdoors in my heart again and showed me that you can adventure anywhere you are.”

Outdoor Subscription Boxes

Chances are, if you are reading this, you know that hiking and camping gear is expensive. It’s hard to throw in the towel sometimes and make purchases when you are on a budget. How will you know if it’s worth the money? 

That’s why we are going to talk about some outdoor subscription boxes that are an affordable way for you to try out a variety of different gear, foodies, apparel, tools and more. So, if you have been wanting to try out some different gear, but don’t really know where to start, or even want to expand your horizons and try different brands, one of these subscription boxes may be for you!! 

  1. Cairn Box
    1. The Cairn Box is just $30 a month and in your box, you receive three to five different outdoor gear pieces. On top of that, you may get some sort of apparel, camping snacks or skin care products in your box. After you get your box, you can review the products you receive to earn points that get you discounts on the Carin Shop. Click here for their website! Several Dirty Girls have subscribed to this box in the past – mostly useful and cool stuff. If you don’t like it or need it you can trade it! 
  2. Nomadik
    1. This box has similar products to Cairn, except you get to complete a profile tailored to your interested and the Nomadik team curates your box according to your adventure interests. Each month, the box has a different theme, which is neat because it could inspire you to go on a different adventure you may not have tried before! For $32.95, you can get your first box! Click here for their website!
  3. Little Hiker
    1. Little Hiker is a bit different than the other boxes. A lot of Dirty Girls have Dirty Kids and of course, we want to inspire them to get outside! Little Hiker is an outdoor adventure subscription box for kiddos! It is $35 a month, and includes a little something for you, something for your little hiker, snacks and some stickers/activity sheets as well. Click here for their website! 
  4. Apocabox
    1. Different from your typical gear subscription boxes, Apocabox will  give you a hand-selected collection of survival tools for $50 a month. The founder or Apocabox is an author of over 14 survival manuals and the host of The Weather Channel’s show “SOS HOW TO SURVIVE.” Every box includes a challenge that is designed to teach you a specific survival skill and will include a password to a protected video tutorial. Click here for their website! 
  5. Adventure Standard 
    1. This box made the list because it is designed by women and made for women! Perfect for any Dirty Girl! It was started by a woman named Leann Pickard, who was fed up with the limited offerings at outdoor stores of cool, locally-made products for women.  For $59.95, the box comes with 3-6 products that are all made by women in America! The products are great to bring along with you for a camping trip. Camping mugs, lip balm, sunglasses and teas are just a few of the things that here  for their website. 

There are many outdoor subscription boxes out there, but these are just a few that caught out eye. Let us know if you have purchased any outdoor subscription boxes before and what you liked!