Frequently Asked Questions
- Who comes on a Wild Women Expeditions’ vacation?
- Where and when do the Northern Ontario trips start (from)?
- How do I get to WWE’s Northern Ontario basecamp?
- Do I need to be fit to come on a trip?
- Are Wild Women Trips One Size Fits All or Do you have differing levels of challenge?
- I’m afraid I will hold others back. Should I come at all?
- Are many women solo travellers on WWE trips and is there a single supplement?
- How old do you have to be to go on a WWE trip?
- Do I Tip my Guide?
- What is the group size on your trips?
Who comes on a Wild Women Expeditions’ vacation?
Wild Women Expeditions’ events are for women who love the outdoors, have an adventurous spirit and enjoy the company of other women. WWE attracts women from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, lifestyles, life circumstances and ages. Exploring the differences between women who come to WWE is as much of the experience as discovering the similarities.
Women between the ages of 8-86 have come on canoe trips with us, and most trips and events enjoy an age spread. Other than our Women and Girls Canoe trips, which includes girls ages 8-14, the minimum age to join our regular trips is 15. Most women who attend are between 35-55. Some have an extensive background in whatever the activity is, though they may be a bit rusty, while for other women, it may be their first experience with this activity be it a canoe trip or kayaking or cycling. We offer a selection of vacations to accommodate the interests and needs of women in these two categories and those of us in between.
Ontario-based trips start at a cozy, rustic retreat basecamp, a 230 acre waterfront property with cabins and prospector tents that is a 1/2 hour drive west of Sudbury, Ontario . Sudbury is a 4 hour drive (or 45 minute flight) from Toronto, or a 5 hour drive from Ottawa. Most our trips and events start after dinner around 7 pm the evening of the first advertised date. If you are taking an Ontario-based canoe or kayaking trip, the first evening you will have the opportunity to meet each other, have a group orientation with your guide, look at the route, etc. You will stay at the camp in cabins or tents, and set off on the trip after breakfast the following day.
(*There are exemptions to this each year in which the group meets closer to the actual route or earlier on the first advertised date. Alternative trip rendezvous point or early meeting times for Ontario trips will be mentioned in the trip description.)
For shorter paddling trips, (3, 4 or 5 nts.) you return to the basecamp for your last meal together in the early afternoon of the last day. After lunch, women often celebrate with a sauna and shower before final goodbyes and departure. If you stay for everything, you can expect to leave by 3 pm.
For our longer canoe trips (6 or 7 nts.) as well as our (5 or 6 nt) kayaking and cycling tours, you will get back to the WWE basecamp the last full day of your adventure late afternoon, in time for a shower, sauna and then we will have a special feast for dinner. Your last night will be in our cozy cabins. You will awake to a farewell brunch and can expect to leave by 11 am on the last advertised date of your trip.
For WWE adventures held in other parts of Canada
Hiking, Surfing Kayaking in the Pacific Rim: The trip rendezvous is Ucluelet, BC. However, included in your fee is a bus shuttle from Victoria to Ucluelet the first day, leaving Victoria bus depot around 9am, and you would return there about 3pm on the last day.
Quebec: We rendezvous in Quebec City at 5pm on the first day or the trip and we return you to Quebec City by 5pm on the last day.
Rockies Hiking Adventure: You need to be at the Calgary airport at noon on the first day of the trip, where you will meet your guide. We bring you back to the Calgary airport on the last day of the trip by 11:00am.
Hiking, Kayaking and Cycling in Newfoundland: we meet the first day at Deer Lake airport around 2:30pm. We drop women off at Deer Lake airport the last day by noon.
Multi-sport Adventure in Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick: We meet the first day at Moncton airport around 4pm. We drop women off at Moncton airport the last day by noon.
Transportation from your home to and from the basecamp is your responsibility: it is not included in the price. Having said that, we do help women to organize car pools to get here more economically, but we can never promise to get you a ride. If car pooling fails, there is always the bus, which will get you a mere 4 km from the basecamp. From there, we will come and pick you up.
For women considering the bus from Toronto, it means leaving for Sudbury from downtown at 12:30 pm or 1 pm from Yorkdale. From Ottawa, the bus leaves at 12 noon. For your return fare, you will need to pick up the bus form Sudbury. It is fairly easy to get trip mates to drop you in Sudbury a the end of the trip as most people driving pass by Sudbury anyways.
You can also fly into Sudbury. We have an arrangement with a local cab company which offers a flat rate to and from our camp. If you arrive a couple of hours before our group orientation starts the first night, the cab driver can drop you in the small town next to us for a quick bite of dinner and we can pick you up from the local restaurant. Once you get to the basecamp, we take care of transportation to and from the starting point of your trip destination.
Well, “fit” is a relative term isn’t it? You may be active and fit for a 30 year old or a 60 year old. Can we all have fun and do this trip together: you betcha!
We don’t approach paddling, cycling, or hiking as a domain of elite athletics, nor are our trips “push” trips where the focus is on getting somewhere and never really being anywhere! Hey, we’re way over that! The beauty of a wilderness trip is being somewhere and, yes, we do need to get somewhere most days, but Wild Women Expedition trips seek a balance between these competing ways of being in the outdoors.
Or maybe you aren’t very fit or active these days (and never have been) but an adventure holiday really appeals to you. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of a wilderness trip because of feeling out of shape. Having presented our laid-back, non-competitive philosophy on you, if your life has become rather sedate and sedentary an outdoor adventure will get you going, for sure! Preparing physically and mentally for a wilderness adventure or active holiday is very important BECAUSE if you have conditioned before your trip, you will be more comfortable and be able to get more out of it while in the experience.
Wild Women trips aren’t about “proving” something to anyone (except maybe to yourself) and they sure aren’t about barely surviving: our approach is to see time to be in the wilderness as a celebration, a reconnecting with aspects of ourselves we may have become distanced from (due to life circumstances or choices.) So we really don’t want you to attempt an trip which sounds way over your head physically or psychologically. We do want to help you select the Wild Women trip which will be perfect for you now, and not push all your panic buttons like “this is way too scary!”
Many of our trips attract, and can successfully accommodate, women of varying abilities or women seeking different challenge levels. This is accomplished by offering a lot of choices WITHIN the adventure itself. For example, on a Multi-sport adventure such as we have in Newfoundland, often a particular day hike will have an easier or more strenuous option and we break into two separate groups. For other trips, because of the nature of group travel we have geared ( and this is clear from the trip description) whether the trip is geared towards beginners, novices, intermediate or those with a high level of ability seeking a physical challenge. Having said that, I feel the need to reiterate that on WWE trips we aren’t out to prove anything, the atmosphere is supportive not competitive, offering choices within an adventure is a part of our unique style… AND lets face it women: while men tend to overestimate their skill level, women tend to underestimate.
Firstly, see above section: you can choose a trip for beginners if you are a beginner! But “holding others back” is the most common concern women voice to us before signing up for a WWE trip. But you know what: we DON’T THINK that way!We figure that every woman who signs up has a unique set of contributions to the group atmosphere. So, someone may be very fit and physically competent and you have a bum shoulder. Well, I have this bum knee and another gal has a weak ankle: but hey it sure isn’t time to vote me or anyone else off the island because we possess other skills not jocular. Like someone is a fantastic nurturer (okay on women’s trips: that’s often a given), someone else is an amazing story teller, another gal can read the weather and maps like no one’s business. So, we aren’t all super athletic but we have somehow- through the goddess or serendipity- amassed the finest team of awesome dames on the planet, and wow what an adventure will be unleashed.
THAT, my friends, is the magic of an all-women outdoor adventure: good company; more than a shot of collective wisdom; respect for everyone’s contribution; and an openness to the wonder of life we most closely comprehend when we travel in the wilds.
Are many women solo travellers on WWE trips and is there a single supplement? Yes, most women who come on a WWE are travelling solo, though we usually have a couple or pair of friends on most trips. You’ll make friends fast! We don’t charge a single supplement, and accommodation is usually in a shared room. If you want your own room, we can likely work it out for you at a nominal extra fee.
The minimum age to join a WWE trip solo is 18, due to liability and insurance requirements. However, younger teenage girls are welcome on any of our trips if accompanied by an adult/gaurdian.
Do I Tip my Guide?
There is no obligation to tip your guides but many participants do. We are often asked what is an appropriate amount. In the past, participants who provide a gratuity for their guides have each tipped in the range of $5 – $12 per day. The guides share the gratuity although some people prefer to offer a separate amount to each guide.
What is the group size on your trips?
We keep the group size as small as possible, between 6-12 women, depending on trip destination. Please check individual trip itineraries for max. group sizes. An average group size is 8 women.