a network of college clubs dedicated to growing women’s participation, leadership, and representation in the outdoor industry and community

Our Schools

Starting a New Branch

Our Vision

who we are

our mission

Backcountry Squatters strives to create and cultivate a community network dedicated to supporting college women in the outdoors. We aim to provide the foundation and the necessary resources to grow women’s participation, leadership, and representation in the outdoor industry and community.

I watched Backcountry Squatters grow from a room full of passionate, young college women excited about the prospect of a female outdoor club, to a community filled with empowered, confident women who found a shared sense of strength in the outdoors. From the beginning this movement has never been about how fast we can ski, how hard we can climb, or how far we can run–it has always been about pushing the boundaries of what women perceive as possible for themselves in outdoor culture, and in-turn, society. Through my own experience with Backcountry Squatters, I’ve found a meaningful sense-of-place in my community and have gotten to do so alongside women with an array of interesting backgrounds and stories–an experience I believe every woman should get the opportunity to have.

Colleen

The Backcountry Squatters were a pleasure to partner with for avalanche education. The turnout for the classes was always high and the women were excited to learn. It’s great to work with a club that is eager to offer educational opportunities, as well as fun experiences.

Nina Hance

Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center
Education Coordinator

I got involved with the Backcountry Squatters  at DU when it first got up and running because I wanted to not only inspire girls to join the outdoor community but also help other like-minded girls to find more gal pals to go get after it with. That’s why it has been so important to me: because we need more girl support in the outdoor community and an inclusive environment where we can grow and learn from each other.

Avi

University of Denver

I am always inspired by the women I have met through Backcountry Squatters. This community has introduced me to strong, confident, and amazing women who all share a collective enthusiasm for the outdoors. By maintaining a supportive atmosphere to pursue unique goals and have fun doing it, ‘Squatters has helped me build confidence in the mountains, on the river and even in school. 

Anna

Montana State University

Whether you’re on a trail, a river, a rock wall, or a ski hill, being able to look around you and be surrounded by a group of women is one of the most empowering experiences I have ever felt. We support each other and encourage each other to become the best version of ourselves. Backcountry Squatters makes sure you find the rad women in whatever your outdoor activity of choice is.

Erin

Montana State University

here’s the latest from our blog

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Backcountry Squatters’ Response to the Killing of George Floyd

Part of Backcountry Squatters’ mission is to increase women’s participation in spaces that have historically lacked a female presence. We are aware that women’s groups that look like Backcountry Squatters (predominantly white) have not been present in racial justice movements like the one occurring today. Backcountry Squatters aims to increase women’s participation in racial justice, too.

It’s About WE not ME

It’s About WE not ME

We want to talk about a raging debate in the outdoor community right now: What sort of activities should we be participating in to maintain our personal health, as well as the health of our community? Here’s our two cents: The outdoor community at large should check their privilege at the door and think about WE not ME.

It’s Okay To Unfollow People on Instagram

It’s Okay To Unfollow People on Instagram

it's okay to unfollow people on instagram At some point along our social media journey, unfollowing became some sort of savage thing to do…. Bad break up: Unfollow. Friend fight: Unfollow. And my personal favorite, the friend of a friend is having a fight with someone...

DIY Camper Remodel

DIY Camper Remodel

If you don’t make the same mistakes as me, you may save yourself TIME and a LOT of cursing.

Planned Parenthood: Debunking the Myths

Planned Parenthood: Debunking the Myths

Our very own ambassador Nina is currently working at Planned Parenthood! Here she teaches us about the badass organization that Planned Parenthood is as it empowers women and men to be in charge of their own bodies.

Thoughts on Being Your Biggest Fan and Putting Yourself First

Thoughts on Being Your Biggest Fan and Putting Yourself First

thoughts on being your biggest fan and putting yourself first One of the greatest realizations I’ve had is that I am my biggest fan and my loudest cheerleader.     Hello and welcome to this blog post.  I bet you think you’re setting into a casual read on...

Consumerism in the Outdoor Industry

Consumerism in the Outdoor Industry

As outdoor athletes, we all care about the environment and are committed to combating climate change, but we often forget the impact our outdoor adventures have on the environment.

Not Idiots

Not Idiots

not idiots We are a subspecies of river runners, more akin to lizards than to fish. They say that you’re an idiot if you’re hot on the Colorado River. The Grand Canyon shows all the signs of blistering heat; limited, shrub-like vegetation with thorns to discourage any...

Science in the Arctic

Science in the Arctic

Anna Mounsey spent 45 days at sea in the Arctic taking and processing water samples from various depths to look for Harmful Algal Blooms. Read about her journey.

Badassery, Butterflies, and Brooke

Badassery, Butterflies, and Brooke

badassery, butterflies, and Brooke It’s important to have personal goals for self-improvement but who or what else do you push your limits for?My close friend Brooke was the first person to call me a badass and at the time, I did not deserve the title. To paint the...

Elevations and Depressions

Elevations and Depressions

elevations and depressions A lot of people say that mountains are dangerous and that they take lives, and although I know that is true, somehow climbing a mountain saved my life. I always wanted to climb Rainier. From across the Puget Sound I admired her and her...

A Letter to My Body

A Letter to My Body

a letter to my body Thank youHey beautiful, How are you? I wanted to write you to let you know how sorry I am for the way I’ve treated you in the past. I’m sorry for comparing you to Kendall Jenner’s bikini pictures on Instagram. I’m sorry I got mad at you when you...

Who Let Me Graduate?

Who Let Me Graduate?

who let me graduate? If you work to play, that is okay. If you love your work and play less, that is also okay.After graduation, I went through what I like to call my quarter life crisis. How does one transition from the fun, borderline alcoholic college lifestyle to...

Permission to Fail

Permission to Fail

permission to fail It’d be ignorant to ignore the stereotypes that shadow female athletes, following themes of weakness and overly emotional.Hannah Mavis joined the competitive mountain biking team when she was twelve years old. When she joined, Oregon had to create a...

Thank u, next: Leaving a mountain town for the big city

Thank u, next: Leaving a mountain town for the big city

thank u, next: leaving a mountain town for the big city A classic cheesy line that holds true: Don’t be afraid to try something new. This spring I left my comfortable and loving mountain town of Bozeman, MT for Boston, MA. I’m not here to be sappy, but as I drove away...

WaiT, yOu Didn’T GO sKiiNg?

WaiT, yOu Didn’T GO sKiiNg?

It’s October and it’s snowing for the first time of the year, you’re feeling “meh” about it and that’s okay.

The Long Haul

The Long Haul

the long haul A story of personal growth.Backstory: Growing up in Spokane, Washington I hardly considered myself ‘outdoorsy’. I went on the occasional hike much like most people in Spokane, but I was very much into playing premier soccer and running high school track....

(F)eelings (O)f (M)agnificent w(O)nder

(F)eelings (O)f (M)agnificent w(O)nder

It was powerful, knowing that I could do whatever I wanted, that I could experience all that I wanted to, and know that I would always be there for me.

Peeing in the Woods

Peeing in the Woods

peeing in the woods It can be a tough science. I’m a girl and as a girl I was not born with external plumbing. So here’s a tribute to ladies peeing in the woods… A central part of being outside and adventuring is peeing in the woods. The problem is learning how,...

Mountain Biking Taught Me How to Love

Mountain Biking Taught Me How to Love

mountain biking taught me how to love Mountain biking teaches confidence and that confidence allows me to be all of the versions of myself without worry of failure, for it’s inevitable. The first time I tried mountain biking I hopped on my mom’s 1980’s Specialized...

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