Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What if it rains?

A: Our retreats run rain or shine.  Please keep an eye on the weather as our time together approaches, but also know that weather in the mountains is unpredictable and very, very localized.  Be sure to pack a rain jacket or poncho, and consider bringing rain pants and shoes that can get wet (or ones that will keep you dry!) A backpack cover is also excellent to have, although you can use a trash bag in a pinch. We highly recommend you bring wool or synthetic clothing, because cotton leaches heat from your body when it gets wet.  Wool remains insulative even when wet.


Q: Do I need to be an experienced camper?

A: We welcome people with all levels of camping experience.  As long as you are a willing learner and a good sport, and enjoy being outdoors, you should be fine.  Take a look at our sample packing list if you need an idea of what kind of camping gear to bring.


Q: How physically demanding are the retreats and hikes?

A: Although we do not design our programs specifically to be physically demanding or athletic, we recommend that you be in healthy physical condition.  You will need to carry your pack on your back for up to several miles, sometimes on steep or uneven terrain.  We will have optional morning yoga, and our instructors are trained to offer modifications and adjustments to suit your needs.


Q:What kind of food will we be eating? What if I have dietary restrictions or food allergies?

A: On our retreats we will provide simple and nourishing vegetarian breakfasts and dinners.  We aim to use as many local, organic, and whole foods ingredients as we can.  Much of our food will tend toward gluten-free and vegan choices.  If you have a dietary restriction or allergy, please let us know when you register and we will do our best to accommodate you.  


Q:Will there be emergency services?

A: Depending on our location, we may or may not have cellular service, and we may or may not be in a wilderness situation.  All of our instructors are wilderness first responder or wilderness first aid certified.


Q: What kind of weather should I expect?

A: Expect the unexpected!  Weather in the mountains is difficult to predict and varies from place to place.  We have cool mornings and nights all year round, and our days are often moderate.  In the summer months, afternoon thunderstorms are common.  When looking at the Asheville weather forecast, be aware that our retreats and hikes will oftentimes be at a significantly higher elevation, and sometimes in a location that gets more rain.  Assume 5-10 degrees colder than the Asheville forecast.


Q: What kind of food should I bring for lunch?

A: Pack light and nutrient-dense foods that don't require much prep-work or heating up.  Also keep in mind that we will be practicing leave no trace ethics, so be prepared to pack out whatever food scraps or garbage you pack in. Trail mix, jerky, sardines, and nut butters are all great hiking foods for lunch.


Q: Do you offer  private excursions?

A: Whether for a couple of people or an entire group, we do offer private retreats and day hikes.  We are able to customize your experience based on your interests, so don't hesitate to reach out and see what we can do for you!


Q: Do you offer refunds?  What if I need to cancel last minute?

A: We offer a 50% refund up to one week prior to the retreat date.  After this point, we are unable to give a refund.  We keep our retreat numbers small in order to create the best possible experience for our students, so losing people last minute can create a big impact.