The soul blossoms when you leave behind the expectations of everyday life, and meet the challenge of the outdoors with the support and enthusiasm of others.

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Who goes on Call of the Wild trips?

What if I am traveling alone?

Let's get to the most important subject!  How's the food?

How tough are your trips?

I haven't done much camping or other outdoors activities before. Well, actually I haven't done any. Does that matter?

What does Call of the Wild need to know about my health situation and why?

Help! What do I bring? And how do I fit it all into my pack?

How do I get to the trailhead or meeting place for the trip?

What's included in the price of a trip?

Do I need a permit?

How well-trained are the guides?

How do I reserve a place on a trip?

What are your trip cancellation policies?

What if Call of the Wild cancels a trip?

Why should I buy travel insurance?

Do you have a video about Call of the Wild and what adventure travel with women only is like?

Our scheduled trips are designed for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Women ranging from 35 to 65 years old, are typically attracted to Call of the Wild.  However, our youngest client was 16 (accompanied by her mother and a graduate of a wilderness training program) and our oldest was 80 (one of the best hikers on the trip)!  Our participants tend to be very flexible, open-minded, and have a great sense of humor!  We welcome women traveling alone, with family or friends, who are single/divorced/widowed/partnered, both lesbian and heterosexual, and of all belief systems, races, and creeds!  What unites us all is a desire for a safe, supported adventure with the camaraderie of other women.

Should you ever wish to put together a trip with just your girlfriends, or have a trip where you can invite male partners/family/friends, just drop us a line at trips@callwild.net as we are happy to arrange custom trips.

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What if I am traveling alone?   

Traveling alone? No problem.  Most of our clients join us as solo travelers to gain the company of other women while on vacation.  Unless otherwise specified, all lodging is double occupancy, which means you will be assigned a roommate.  If you prefer to not have a roommate, we typially have a single supplement option available.  Please inquire with the office when making your reservation.

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How's the food?

On the trail, you'll feast on fresh-baked goodies, spicy Thai vegetable soup, Indian curries, or polenta puttanesca - even fresh green salads—and other delectable dishes from Carole Latimer's cookbook, Wilderness Cuisine. You'll wake up in the morning to freshly brewed gourmet coffee or your tea of choice and enjoy a two or three-course meal at the end of each day.

We focus on cooking with fresh local ingredients when available, such as grilled tuna with papaya salsa in Hawaii, or fresh-caught salmon in Alaska. We aim for organic and sustainable produced ingredients wherever possible.

Most of our meals are gluten-free, and we are able to accommodate gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, and vegetarian diets.  Please indicate any dietary restrictions by selecting an item in the drop down menu of the trip registration.  If you have any secondary dietary restriction or specific food allergy (i.e., you are both vegetarian AND lactose intolerant, or if you are allergic to almonds or shellfish), please indicate that in the comments field when you register for your trip.

We can typically accommodate most dietary restrictions with advance notice.  However, vegans and those with Celiac disease should contact our office about how to potentially supplement the planned menu.  Additionally, if you are following a diet regime such as Atkins or Paleo, we ask that you relax your food restrictions for the short period that you are on a trip with us. Allergies are our primary concern and although we have every desire to cater to your specific food preferences it can make food planning complex when everyone has the same expectation.

We feel that good food adds to the fun and enjoyment of Call of the Wild trips. There is just nothing better than a fantastic meal at the end of an active day!  For more mouth-watering information, go to Cuisine.

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How tough are your trips?

Our trips run the gamut from easy-going hikes, with lodging on tropical beaches, to challenging backpacking and camps at high altitudes. Our trips include women of many ages and different levels of fitness and outdoors experience. You can find the trip that's right for you!

While we rate our trips from easy to challenging, the ratings are broad and subjective.  The lodging and camping trips tend to be easy to moderate.  Even if the day hikes are relatively challenging, there are typically options for participants to go at a slower pace, turn around early, or take a rest day.  We aim to provide flexibility wherever possible to accommodate a wide range of abilities.  Our easiest trips include the Yosemite and Sequoia snowshoeing trips and Carmel, Death Valley, and Yosemite Valley day hiking trips.  By this definition, we could also rate The Cinque Terre as easy.

There are situations where a trip may be rated lower than a particular hike.  For example, our Grand Canyon Havasu Falls trip is rated Moderate because 1) all group gear is carried by mules and you will only need to carry a day pack, 2) the trip is not at altitude (the Grand Canyon’s South Rim averages 6,800’ and from this elevation you descend a few thousand feet down into the canyon), and 3) most days have optional hikes and swimming.  However, the final day requires that you hike 10.5 miles back up to the Grand Canyon rim.

Our backpacking trips are all rated moderate or higher. Backpacking requires more preparation and training to get your body ready for carrying a backpack for 4-7 days, as well as the discipline to test all of your gear beforehand.  Hiking becomes much more strenuous when you have 35-45 pounds on your back.  The more challenging backpack trips are longer and at higher altitude.  For example, Mt Whitney is currently our most difficult backpack at 7 days reaching a height of 14,595ft.

Our international treks are typically rated moderate or higher.  The Cinque Terre & Italian Riviera is the easiest trip where we stay in lodges, eat gelato and drink wine in the evenings.  It’s also at sea level but has long sections of stairs.  Our clients say they “feel the burn” on those sections!  As a result, we rate it moderate. Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp are both rated challenging.  Although the daily mileage is low, we stay in tea houses, and only carry daypacks; hiking for 7 to 12 days at altitude requires training beforehand, excellent fitness, and a great attitude.

If you're wondering whether a certain trip suits you, or if you want more information about a trip, contact us.  We are just a phone call away and happy to answer questions, discuss your concerns regarding experience or any physical limitations you may have and advise you on the trip(s) that would be the best choice.

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I haven't done much camping or other outdoors activities before. Well, actually I've never done any. Does that matter?

Call of the Wild welcomes beginners and we have created trips that are perfect for beginners at a variety of fitness levels. Call of the Wild was started with the idea of introducing women to the enjoyment and satisfaction of wilderness adventure trips. After more than 30 years, we're still at it!  You may be most comfortable dipping your toe in the water with a lodging trip where we eat in restaurants for most meals or a camping trip with day hiking where you do not have to carry any gear during the day besides your personal daypack. Contact us if you would like us to recommend a specific trip for you.

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What does Call of the Wild need to know about my health situation and why?

It is critical that participants advise us of any ongoing or significant previous health issues, illnesses or injuries, allergies, and prescription medicines.  We strongly encourage you to discuss your trip with your health care provider beforehand, and bring extra prescriptions if necessary (i.e., asthmatics should bring a spare inhaler and those with anaphylactic allergic reactions should bring multiple EpiPens).

Call of the Wild guides have the right to disqualify anyone at any time during the trip if they feel the participant is physically or mentally incapable of completing the trip, or if a participant’s continued participation will jeopardize themselves, other participants, or the guides.  Refunds will not be given in such circumstances.

Wilderness rescues are generally difficult, prolonged and expensive, and medical facilities may not be available.  Call of the Wild guides are all certified Wilderness First Responders trained to keep you safe and make wise decisions in the event of an emergency.  We strongly recommend that you follow their recommendations, however, you also have the right to refuse care.  Call of the Wild assumes no liability regarding the provision of medical care.  We strongly recommend that you have current medical coverage and consider both rescue and medical evacuation insurance.

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Help! What do I bring? And how do I fit it all into my pack?   

When we receive your online trip registration, we will send you a link to join PathWrangler.com.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to accept this invitation or you may miss important updates.  This is an online platform where we you will find all of your trip information and it is a communication system that will enable you to interact with other participants and the guides before the trip.  Some people have met prior to their adventure for training hikes with participants who live in the same region while others have arranged to car pool or share a car rental.

Our Adventure Specialists and guides will answer any questions posted on Pathwrangler. You will also find your gear list with detailed comments and brand recommendations on Pathwrangler.  You can check off each item as you methodically pack your bags to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. We will provide the group camping equipment for your trip such as tents, bear canisters, and cooking equipment. You are solely responsible for your personal gear, which includes your clothing, of course, toiletries, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and daypack or backpack. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all about what gear to bring. 

Before setting out on our trip we will demonstrate “how to pack your backpack” although you should ALWAYS practice packing your daypack or your backpack at home.  The trailhead is no place to realize that your backpack won’t fit your sleeping bag or that your small day pack won’t fit all your layers, food, and water for the day. We were all beginners at one time and we are patient teachers or will do everything in our power to ensure that you have a successful experience.  Just don’t show up with the price tag on your pack or you may get some good-natured teasing.  

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How do I get to the trailhead or meeting place for the trip?  

Unless specifically indicated on the itinerary, transportation to the trailhead or meeting place is not included in the price of your trip. However, we can give you recommendations for travel arrangements, put you in contact with other trip participants from your area, and recommend a travel agent if you need assistance. You will receive detailed directions to the meeting place for your trip.

Carpooling can be a great way to increase your bonding time, spare the environment, and reduce stress on your wallet! If you want to carpool, please let our Adventure Specialist know and we will facilitate communication with other trip participants.  For liability reasons, we can facilitate the communication about carpooling, but we cannot assign carpools.  Be sure to discuss and agree on driving duties and how you will share gas or rental expenses beforehand to avoid unintentional misunderstandings. 

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What's included in the price of a trip?  

The cost for most trips includes the following:

  • Experienced leadership with Wilderness First Responder and CPR training
  • Accommodations - tents or lodging
  • Group equipment such as bear canisters, cooking equipment, and tents
  • Individual equipment where noted (i.e., snowshoes and poles for snowshoeing trips)
  • Excellent food – all meals indicated on the itinerary
  • Call of the Wild Goodie Bag
  • Wilderness permits and camping reservations
  • Airport transfers on the stated trip arrival and departure days
  • Local staff such as local guides, porters, pack animals, instructors of included activities

The cost for most trips typically excludes the following:

  • Meals not included on the itinerary and personal trail snacks
  • Domestic or international airfare (except international in-country airfare)
  • Park entrance fees
  • Insurance of any kind – trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical, or rescue/evacuation
  • Tipping of guides and local staff - we recommend budgeting 10-20% of the total trip cost if you are pleased with the service of your team (to be split across your team with consideration to seniority and personal assistance).  While tipping is considered optional in many situations, please be aware that, like waiters in restaurants, tips are a key component of guide income
  • Other travel expenses such as excess baggage costs, airport departure taxes, visas
  • Medical immunization or recommended prescription medicines
  • Goods of a personal nature (toiletries, toilet paper, soda, alcohol, laundry, etc.)

Take a look at the individual trip descriptions, go to Sign Up for more details, or contact us for any questions!

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Do I need a permit?   

No. Call of the Wild takes care of necessary wilderness permits, trekking permits, and camping reservations for trip participants. We operate under special use permits issued by the Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion/Bryce, Grand Canyon, and Denali National Parks, the Inyo National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and others.

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How qualified and competent are the guides? 

Our guides have many years of experience camping, backpacking, hiking, or kayaking. Some of them have lived for years in the areas where they guide trips. They are required to complete Call of the Wild’s Wilderness Skills and Guide Training Course or show equivalent experience before they are authorized to lead trips. Additionally, guides hold CPR and Wilderness First Responder (WFR aka ”Woofer”) certification and are regularly recertified to meet this industry standard.  Finally, Call of the Wild is fully insured. To learn more about our team, go to Our Guides and Staff.

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How do I reserve a place on a trip?  

Your deposit reserves your place. When you complete an online trip registration, you will be asked to make your deposit, agree to our policies, and fill out a trip application.  Upon completion, you will immediately receive an automatic trip confirmation and an invitation to join PathWrangler.com where you will connect with other participants and find additional details about your trip. For more information, go to Sign Up.

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What are your trip cancellation policies?

Trip deposits hold your space and represent your good faith intention to participate in a trip.  We will confirm a trip and incur many nonrefundable expenses in preparation for a trip based on your deposit.  Any request to cancel must be made in writing. 

More than 90 days in advance – If you chose to cancel, and we are able to fill your spot from the waiting list, your deposit will be returned to you less a $75 processing fee. If the trip is not full, you will be awarded a credit that can be used on any trip of your choice within 365 days of your original trips departure date.

At 90 days in advance – your trip balance is due.  Failure to pay your balance may result in your spot being awarded to someone on the waiting list.

Less than 90 days in advance – Any deposit or balance payments made are non-refundable.  We run small trips and cancellations affect us dramatically.  Please take our recommendations to purchase trip cancellation insurance (see below).

We cannot make exceptions to this policy for any reason. Please inquire beforehand if you have any questions or concerns!

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What if Call of the Wild cancels a trip?

Call of the Wild reserves the right to cancel any trip due to inadequate sign-ups or any cause that makes the trip infeasible to operate.  We will inform you at least 60 days prior to departure.  In such a case, the full refund of trip costs received will be returned to you.  However, Call of the Wild is not responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participants preparing for the trip (including but not limited to airfare, gear, visas, and medical expenses).  We recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance and that you do not purchase your airfare until your trip is confirmed.

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Why should I buy travel insurance?

Many of our participants don't believe that "those things" can happen to them - injury right before a trip, death in the family, loss of a job, even getting the flu ON a trip - but they do!  In 2009, Emilie Cortes, the owner, broke her collarbone just three weeks before a Denali climb with another outfitter.  She had purchased trip cancellation insurance and was eternally grateful when she received a check in the mail for the full trip cost.

There are many travel insurance options available, but click here to compare the options provided by TravelGuard.  Prices may be less than you expect and there is a lot of flexibility around what to include, such as cancel for any reason, cancel for work reason, coverage for termination of employment, travel delay and missed connection, even terrorism! 

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Do you have a video about Call of the Wild and what adventure travel with women only is like?   

Yes!  Check out our 60-second video about Call of the Wild by clicking here.

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