Clinicians

We will be adding our clinicians as they are confirmed. Please check back regularly for updates.

Judy Gross

I’m Judy “HeartFire” Gross, the owner of LightHeart Gear. I live in the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina (a few feet south of the city of Asheville). I have been making tents and other ultralight backpacking gear since 2009. I started out just planning on making a tent for myself, but a friend suggested I make kits and sell them ‘After all, hikers like to make their own gear’. Well, I decided to make the tent and sell it- and thus a business was born. This session is all about the fun you can have making your own gear! In the class we can sew stuff sacks, rain skirts etc. I will bring some scrap fabric, and if you want to make a rain skirt, or other larger item there will be a fee for the yardage. For participants, bring a sewing machine if you can. I’ll bring two machines, and we can continue working in the evening.


Claire Brantley

Realigning Your Life! A Guide for Beginning Hikers

I always hated ANY kind of exercise as a kid AND as an adult. I'd always rather sit on the couch and read a book than do anything else. But after some questionable test results from a doctor, I decided it was time for a change. With my birthday quickly approaching, I made a goal to try to do 50 hikes before I turned 50. I started in Dec 2016, after turning 50, starting a blog and started keeping a blog, and connecting with the Florida Trail Association, I have not only reached my goal, but found a passion. I've made good friends, improved my health and discovered the lovely parts of being outside in nature -- chiropractors realign spines, mechanics realign brakes, printers realign ink cartridges, but hiking realigns me. And it can do the same for you!


Kylena Cross

Sharing Your Adventure - Creating Your Own Hiking Blog

Hi! I am an empty-nester, a math professor, an avid hiker, and Head Dame for the Maryland Chapter of Trail Dames. A native Hoosier, I spent many wonderful hours of my childhood running in the hills of southern Indiana with our cows. When my son left for college in 2012, I reinvented my life…and found a whole lot of world to explore! I started hiking and backpacking with zeal, scouting out new trails, dragging my partner or my dog along with me, and taking on challenges I never thought myself capable of doing. Fast forward to 2018 and you will find me, on many weekends, somewhere along the Appalachian Trail (AT).
I created my blog, “Girl Gone Hiking”, to exercise my writing skills, which as a math professor, weren’t getting a lot of love and to document my hiking adventures. The blogging community has enriched my life and allowed me to connect with other hikers who share my passion for the outdoors. I would love to help you get started sharing your own adventures through blogging!


Christine Gautreaux

Accessing Your Body Wisdom

Christine Gautreaux holds a Masters in Social Work and is a Life Coach and Certified InterPlay Leader. She is dedicated to the pursuit of play, joy, art & social justice. Her superpowers include connecting people, helping folks manifest their dreams, standing up against injustice and using art to make a difference in the world. Christine uses performance art, movement, poetry, storytelling and Interplay to help women who are incarcerated, people living with severe and persistent mental illness, and homelessness. She also works with women, activists and artists to maintain balance and self-care during these intense times we find ourselves living.



Shelly Huskey

Tips & Tricks for Starting or Revitalizing Your Own Hiking Group

Shelly Huskey is a military spouse, Momma of 5, substitute teacher, avid hiker, voracious reader, and die hard Vol minion. She goes by the trail name Tenacious Tanasi which reflects her attitude to always keep trying and for the love she has for her home state of Tennessee especially the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near her home in Sevierville, TN. Shelly coordinates the Women Hikers of East Tennessee. This group is a grassroots movement to encourage, educate, and empower women to get outdoors while providing a welcoming community of sisterhood that fosters individual personal growth and personal responsibility through outdoor exploration.


Jody Koonce

Why Knot.?!

A course designed to teach 6 knots that are useful on the trail, back country or emergency situations.

Creative Camping Cuisine: How to cook gourmet meals on the trail.

This is an outdoors, hands-on class and the attendees will get to sample their cuisine!


Regina Reiter

5 Essentials to a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk

When her third son finished homeschooling in 2007, Regina walked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. At 52, it was now her time to walk into her dream. Getting to the trail, completing the journey, and navigating the stormy relationship waters of attracting a hiking partner gave Regina plenty of personal experience to test her new skills as a certified Radical Forgiveness Coach. She had hiked the AT to get it out if her system only to realize that walking in Nature for personal transformation IS her system. Regina is an expert hiker and backpacker and shares her well-honed, creative skills with everyone who hikes with her. She shares her love of walking in Nature and all the skills that go with it in her life coaching business, ForgivenessWalks.com. She offers individual, personal coaching sessions, videos, online teleclasses and Forgiveness Walks ranging from 2 hours to 6 months. Her clients, both hikers and home-bodies alike, love Regina's gentle, warm, spontaneous ability to love them just as they are as she helps them take their next steps to self-love and to new perceptions of their past. With their path clear of old emotional baggage, they are free to walk into their lifetime dreams.


Carla Robertson

Listening to Wild Nature

Quieting and connecting in nature. Grounding, listening, tuning into the rhythms of nature and slowing down to see the miraculous and the tiny.

Tips and Tricks of a Lazy Thru-Hiker

How to lighten your load, bring ease and joy to your hike, and make the whole process of hiking long distances (or short ones) more fun and more relaxing.

Carla Robertson is a master life coach who specializes in helping busy people find their true selves and reclaim their sense of wonder and joy. She works with individuals and groups and leads courses and retreats in everything from indulgent money management to stress reduction to stillness in nature. With a former career in education and educational consulting, Carla loves to teach, and her presentations reflect her enthusiasm for empowering participants and making learning fun. Carla has been camping out since Girl Scout summer camp and she solo thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009 (Trail name Zipper.) She is the founder of Wild and White Blazing, a "virtual campfire" program for women planning a long distance hike. Via WWB, women can hear the stories of dozens of successful women hikers of all ages and get support about everything from fears to gear to food preparation to planning. No matter what, Carla puts her feet on the Appalachian Trail somewhere each year. Carla writes for Appalachian Trials and is the author of Badass Women on the AT.


Carol Steiner

Slackpacking the Appalachian Trail: Downhill to Fine Wine and Accommodations in Northern Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland

Come join Carol as we celebrate her new book! In it, she talks about the beauty, kindred spirits, and surprises on the Trail, the logistics of planning, and the treasures in the small towns along the way. Carol day hiked over 700 miles or one third of the Appalachian Trail during the last 10 years. She day hiked 150 miles of the El Camino in France and Spain and the 100-mile Robert Louis Stevenson Trail in France. She backpacked the Georgia portion of the A.T. with her son, Harmon, and his friend, Justin, in 1988. In 1997, Carol and her husband, Jim, supported their son, thru-hiking the A.T. by sending him food and supply packages. Carol loves exploring the outdoors and traveling to new places. As a young girl, she explored the piney woods of North Florida on foot and the inland waterways by canoe with the Girl Scouts. In 1962, she was selected to attend the National Girl Scout Roundup in Button Bay, Vermont. In her 20’s and 30’s, she explored the airways as a private pilot, flying from the California to New York in the Power Puff Derby, vacationing in the Bahamas, and training public health nurses throughout Georgia. Carol’s professional career in public health spans 39 years. She began as a county public health nurse and then went back to graduate school. After receiving her masters in nursing, she taught public health nursing at Georgia State University before joining the Georgia Division of Public Health in Cancer Control. She retired as the Director of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in 2005. During her public health career, Carol began researching and writing articles for professional and scientific journals. She authored more than a dozen articles, receiving the Dorothy Barfield Award for Scholastic Achievement in the Promotion of Public Health in Georgia for her article, “Access to Cancer Prevention, Detection, and Treatment,” published in the Supplement to Cancer, March 15, 1991. Carol was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida and her Masters in Nursing from Emory University.


Megan Talton

First Aid in the Outdoors

Hi, my name is Megan Talton, and I’m from West Monroe, Louisiana. I have been a paramedic for the last 18 years, and I have been a registered nurse for the 6 years. I’m currently employed as a training officer for Monroe Fire Department in Monroe, Louisiana and as a registered nurse for MedCamps of Louisiana, a summer camp for mentally and physically challenged children.
I will be teaching a session on First Aid in the Outdoors using only what you can find or what you can bring with you in a small first aid kit. This session should teach participants how to think under pressure and the importance of using whatever you can find in order to provide some type of stabilization right at that moment. Get ready to think outside the box!
I grew up as a small town country girl, and that country living fostered my love for the outdoors as being outdoors was our form of entertainment. My favorite part of being outdoors is simply that … being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air and whatever the great outdoors throws at me, from wonderfully sunny weather to cold and rainy weather. My favorite outdoor activities include whitewater rafting, hiking, and ziplining. My never-leave-home-without piece of gear is a simple pocket knife. It can be used to get an outdoors person out of all sorts of jams!
For women new to the outdoors or simply nervous about getting out there, the one piece of advice I would have would be to just do it. Don’t overthink it. Learn from your mistakes. You will eventually become a pro, and others will be asking you for tips and tricks to navigating outdoor adventures.


Nora Tocups

A Gazillion Fun Tips for Gals on the Trail

Nora grew up car camping with her parents and the Girl Scouts, but she abandoned the wild by throwing her life away working incredibly long hours as a patent, trademark, and copyright lawyer. Now that she’s into her “glory years (60+)”, Nora has returned thankfully to the natural world via Trail Dames, but she still practices IP law, too, because Nora has a wonderful daughter to see through college and beyond. Via slide presentation and hands-on samples, Nora will pass on tips, tricks, and advice she learned her first year of getting back into the wild with Trail Dames. Avoid her mistakes–don’t sleep with your Camelbak water bladder even if it’s really sexy (unless you 100% sure it won’t leak); don’t eat reconstituted Chili Mac unless you want a visit from some hungry bears; and don’t challenge the group’s fire diva or you may find yourself in a flame war.


Susan "Hammock Hanger" Turner

The World Down Under... Fun in Australia and New Zealand

Join Susan "Hammock Hanger" Turner as she shares stories, photos and adventures from hiking in Australia and New Zealand. Hammock Hanger has hiked just about all the long trails on the east coast i.e.: AT, LT, BMT, BT, GET, FL and many smaller trails, too many to mention. Her passion for the long trail adventure has taken her westward to complete the John Muir Trail and dabble with the CDT.
After replacing her worn out knees she started hiking internationally. She traveled to Spain where she completed the Camino de Santiago. And then continued onto trails in the UK such as the Coast to Coast, the St. Cuthbert's & St. Oswalds Ways, Sussex Ridgeway, Ridgeway Trail, Ickneild Trail, Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path.
In 2014 Trail Dames presented her with the well-earned Adventures of the Year Award. For more on her adventures, visit her blog at www.trailjournals.com/HHENGLAND2015

Vera Hurst

Sue Williams

Common Sense Ideas for Lightweight Backpacking



SPONSORS