Lindsay MacNevin + Women Who Explore
Hi. I’m Lindsay. If you had told me 5 years ago that I’d be running an all woman community and hosting getaways all over the world, I would have called you crazy. My sister Jenny and I started Women Who Explore as a way to make every women feel comfortable and accepted in the outdoors. Little did we know just how many women felt the need for this type of community. Nowadays I run Women Who Explore full-time, travel the world and do it all with an amazing community behind me. I’m a mom of 2, afraid of butterflies, and tired most of the time. I’m also strong, badass, here to cheer every women on and revel in their accomplishments.
Jen Potts is a Midwest-based outdoor enthusiast and blogger. She loves backpacking, hiking, camping and roadtripping with her husband and 2 dogs all over the US. She works part-time for an outdoor based non-profit called Gear Forward, helping to supply kids in outdoor programs in need of hiking and camping equipment. In February 2019 she launched Illinois Park Project - a collaborative volunteer mission to help maintain and keep Illinois state parks cleaned up and thriving! She hopes to inspire people of all ages, sizes and genders to disconnect from the daily grind and take a walk in nature.Jen Potts is a Midwest-based outdoor enthusiast and blogger. She loves backpacking, hiking, camping and roadtripping with her husband and 2 dogs all over the US. She works part-time for an outdoor based non-profit called Gear Forward, helping to supply kids in outdoor programs in need of hiking and camping equipment. In February 2019 she launched Illinois Park Project - a collaborative volunteer mission to help maintain and keep Illinois state parks cleaned up and thriving! She hopes to inspire people of all ages, sizes and genders to disconnect from the daily grind and take a walk in nature.
You can find and follow her endeavors on Instagram at @jennythetrailhead and @illinoisparkproject!
Jennifer Ferrer & Arianne Rodriguez
Jennifer Ferrer and Arianne Rodriguez have found comfort inside Chicago’s climbing gyms, which they started frequenting a few years back. Together they started documenting their successes and failures on the Instagram account @CoconutandCantaloupe, a combination of their nicknames, Coconut (Jen) and Cantaloupe (Ari). Beyond tracking their own progress, they hope to encourage others to get into the sport!
What do you love about Chicago?
Jen: Chicago is my hometown, and the skyline is 100% my favorite thing about it. Whenever I drive or fly back into the city or look at the skyline from the water, its association with home and family is so strong that I always feel comforted by the sight of it. Also, is there anything better than summer in Chicago?
Ari: What don’t I love about Chicago? Chicago is the first city I have lived in where I have ever felt at home.
Lydia is a licensed and registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in sports nutrition for endurance and adventure athletes. She focuses on the individuality and sustainability of nutrition with her clients, using food to not only build a better athlete, but a better community. As an avid runner herself, Lydia has run 1 ultra-marathon, 6 marathons, and many trail races in her 17 years of athletic experience. When not running, Lydia enjoys camping and traveling around the world.
Erica Zazo + Mappy Hour Chicago
Erica Zazo is a freelance outdoor and travel writer based in Chicago. She is the Chapter Lead for Mappy Hour Chicago, a social group dedicated to discovering and exploring Chicago's natural spaces. Adventure-lovers meet up at Mappy Hour Chicago monthly throughout the city to socialize, share their skills, and continue building a community that's dedicated to Chicago's outdoor scene. Follow Erica's adventures on Instagram: @onecurioustrvlr and register for a free Mappy Hour account at mappyhour.org.
Amanda McCarthy + Urban Nerd Herd
I am Amanda! I created a Midwestern-hiking group called Urban Nerd Herd with a mission to promote emotional and spiritual wellness by providing hiking adventures and encouraging people from all walks of life to explore the great outdoors. We aim to support the diverse community by creating an open space to connect in nature. You are a part of a flowing earth, you are a part of the life energy keeping everything afloat. Nature heals, soothes, and restores the soul. Putting together group hikes and travel experiences has helped me recognize my own personal power in the face of my own mental illness. Created in 2016, Urban Nerd Herd has reached hundreds of amazing men and women on their own journey to discovering themselves among our most natural areas. The best part? I help people find what is important in their lives by taking new steps to conquering fear and opening doors to new potential.
Hatie Parmeter is a Minnesota native and current Chicagoan who loves paddling wood canvas canoes and being an outdoor educator. She loves writing for publications across the outdoor industry and is the founder of Whoa Mag - Women of Heart and Outdoor Adventure Magazine - where she and many contributors share stories of women who work and play outdoors.
Meredith + Hammock Living
Meredith began documenting her hammock adventures in May 2014 after a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon’s edge of Havasupai, AZ. Since then, she and her hammocks have relaxed in 16 US national parks, along with various locations in Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Mexico, Colombia, and beyond. The HammockLiving community is 40k strong on Instagram with a blog that dives deeper into her travels and favorite gear, while providing quality, unbiased lifestyle content for those interested in or obsessed with the outdoors. HammockLiving has been featured in Thrillist, Well+Good, DuJour, Grind TV, and Matador Network, with published bylines in AFAR, Locale Magazine and Gateway Magazine. By sharing stories from people and companies shaping the industry, Meredith hopes to inspire others to get outside and explore the splendors of nature, from the heights of wherever you can hang a hammock. Recently uprooted from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, Meredith is humorously (and humbly) adjusting to seasons and embarking in in the discovery of the vast, wild unknown of the Midwest.
Patrick Williams + Openlands Chicago
Patrick Williams is a local photographer and avid hiker, well-versed in the parks, forest preserves, and trails of the Chicago area. Patrick is the Manager of Communications at Openlands, a local non-profit dedicated to connecting people to nature where they live, and is a volunteer with the Sierra Club and the Illinois Environmental Council. Some of Patrick's favorite places to get outside locally are Glacial Park, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, and Deer Grove Forest Preserve and he enjoys kayaking the Nippersink Creek and the Chicago River. You can follow Patrick explore all these places and more on Instagram and Twitter @CartoonSushi.
Diana and Hope + MVMT Blog ✈️
Diana and Hope are sisters and travel bloggers at MVMT Blog. Hailing from Chicago and Toronto, they are city slickers with a love for the outdoors. Despite calling the big city their home, Diana feels most at peace in nature, whether at the top of a mountain or 50 feet underwater, and Hope has ventured out into the wilderness lately, too, as a result of Diana's constant urging. The two have sought out mountains all over North America and Europe, including Iceland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and Bulgaria, and Diana summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last year. They're off to hike the Salkantay Trail in Peru next month and have big trips like Patagonia and Everest Base Camp on their radar for the more distant future.
Christine Joy Antonio
Christine Joy Antonio (she/her/hers) is a Chicago-born Filipinx American whose day job is a medical Speech Language Pathologist. Since falling in love with climbing in 2016, she now finds herself as an active member of the Chicago climbing community -- working on the Sending in Color team, leading a weekly womxn-centered climbing session, and teaching intro to bouldering classes. Christine's favorite discipline is definitely lead climbing and she was ecstatic to be able to lead climb on beautiful limestone in the Philippines this past fall. Her goal for 2019 was to spend even more time outdoors and has had the privilege of venturing to 8 new climbing areas only a few months into the year! She will be going on her first big mountaineering trip in an attempt to summit Washington state's Mt. Olympus in June. You can follow Christine's climbing journey on instagram: @cjoy_climb.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the center of everything Christine does, whether that is being a healthcare provider for underserved communities, empowering womxn and womxn of color to climb, or finding ways to make climbing/the outdoors more culturally and financially accessible to everyone. She believes everyone has a role in this movement and we can start by checking our privileges, listening, educating ourselves, and using our privileges to stand up for oppressed communities. Christine is looking forward to be an Adventure Ambassador because representation matters.