The Outdoorsing Club Leaders: Kate Capelli
by Zoe Allison on May 17, 2023
Empowering women to get outdoors is at the heart of ACAI; which is why we’re so excited to announce our newest Outdoorsing Club Leader, Kate Capelli.
Kate is a hiking guide and founder of one of the UK’s largest women’s adventure communities Adventuress in the Wild.
Organising women’s adventure holidays and day events, her own adventures have included six years of non-stop travel exploring the best hiking trails on every continent, from Brazil to the Philippines.
Kate will now be teaming up with ACAI to lead free hiking events for women supported by the Outdoorsing Club. So we thought we’d take the opportunity to pick her brains on all things adventuring for women in the wild!
What is the best UK hiking trail?
One of my favourite hiking trails in the UK would have to be to the summit of Scafell Pike from Seathewaite. This trail constantly delivers views of still, isolated mountain lakes, dramatic valleys and crystal clear waterfalls. There is also a bit of scrambling thrown in, which makes it extra interesting. This is a great alternative to the standard up-and-down Scafell route and you'll bump into less people on the way. It's recommended to tackle this one with a map and compass as I've witnessed a few people end up in some hairy situations!
Where is the best hike in the world to see the sun rise?
I am not a morning person, so I would rarely get up early enough to witness any sunrise! But I once did a 'Mount Batur sunrise hike' in Bali. It felt strange to hike in the dark, with only my head torch and the heels of the person in front to guide me, as we were ushered up the mountain at top speed by our Balinese guide. It was a constant push uphill on what felt like a treadmill as we made slow progress on the sandy shingle, and as we looked back we could see what looked like a highway of twinkling torches snaking up the mountainside.
Once at the summit, the sunlight’s rays peaked over the horizon, and we were treated to a brilliant burst of pinks and red hues which filled the sky. Batur is an active volcano, so smoke rose from various pockets in the rock face. Our guide cooked us eggs for breakfast by placing them into one of the steamy pockets, which added to this amazing experience. It was worth the early rise!
What are your top 5 women’s hiking essentials?
I love how comfy this top feels, and it suits pretty much all seasons. I've worn it on a hike over multiple layers in winter, and I'll likely wear it all through spring and beyond. It’s really stretchy and I love the huge pocket at the front, not to mention that it looks so stylish for hike wear!
- Water hydration bladder
I always opt for a hydration bladder over water bottles. During high energy output activities we should be drinking almost double what we usually would, and I've found I keep up with this a lot more using a bladder as I don't need to stop to hydrate, so it encourages me to drink a lot more.
Top tip… keep your hydration bladder mould free by having it live in your freezer!
- Cushy foam seat
This is my favourite ‘hiking hack’!
I saved on buying a trail seat by cutting the end off a foam camping mat (which always come up too long for me anyway). I take my seat everywhere, and love to throw it down to sit and admire the view. It's so comfortable, and also protects me really well from cold convection from the ground.
- Dry bags
I prefer to use internal dry bags over a pack cover. This means that I don't need to stop to remove or add the cover when there are stop/start showers. Most hiking packs are quick dry, so I don't worry about the bag itself getting wet. They also help compartmentalise my things, so I can always find what I’m looking for.
We lose 10% of heat through our heads so I’m always throwing on my ACAI beanie, which has a nice insulated lining. I also love the mustard to add a pop of colour to my hiking look.
What do women need to feel confident in the outdoors do you think?
I frequently run Confidence Outdoors Courses for my women's community, Adventuress in the Wild, and at the start of the course I always ask why the participants have signed up. A lot of women tell me that they have no idea where to start with hiking, and feel that they'll get lost or will encounter danger on the trail.
Women are generally raised to underestimate their abilities and to fear the outdoors, so it makes sense for them to feel this way.
During my courses I teach them everything I know as a hiking guide, and I have found that once they're equipped with the knowledge then they're raring to go! I think learning all of this from a woman makes the world of difference, as it's relatable for them, and they can see how much I love taking myself off solo hiking, so there’s no reason they can't too.
Given the right knowledge, tools, and encouragement, I believe any woman can feel confident outdoors.
What’s your proudest moment since starting Adventuress in the Wild?
I feel like the first couple of years of running the Adventuress community has been a truly wild ride! And those moments of pride have happened so often it feels difficult to pick just one.
But there have been the odd moments where I have felt overwhelmed with happiness, and that is usually when I am approached by an Adventuress who tells me how our events and trips have been life changing for them, and have boosted their confidence beyond what they imagined could be possible.
For some, our day hikes and trips have been the gateway to living a more active lifestyle. Others have attended ‘bouldering & beer’ events and now climb several times a week having been introduced to an entire climbing community. Couples and lifelong friendships have even formed.
I am immensely proud of all of the women that show up to our events, it is them that make the community so incredible.
Take a look at ACAI’s Outdoorsing Club page for updates on when Kate will next be running a free, guided women’s hiking session, and follow her adventures on Instagram at @kate.climbs.hikes and @adventuressinthewild