Sleep In The Dirt

Q & A with SheJumps Co-Founder, Claire Smallwood

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Big Agnes and SheJumps.org have teamed up to promote and support the sale of our new Tufly SL2+ tent. A portion of sales will go towards SheJumps who encourages women and girls to get outdoors. We couldn’t think of a better organization to work with on this project!

We recently caught up with SheJumps Co-Founder, Claire Smallwood, to ask her a few questions regarding working with BA, what being a part of the Tufly project means to SheJumps, and what other adventures SheJumps is on for the future.

BA: Along the lines of the SheJumps mission, what does it mean for you to partner with Big Agnes and partake in the debut and launch of our Tufly SL2+ women’s-inspired and designed tent?

Claire: Big Agnes is the type of company you want to work for, support, and tell people about because it’s real people who go on real adventures. They car camp (or glamp) and they also push themselves to find new challenges. The Tufly tent embodies all of that—instead of just creating a new, stylish, fancy tent, Big Agnes created one with spirit. It means a lot to us to be able to be a part of that.

BA: What has been the most rewarding part of creating SheJumps?

Claire: Growing our national volunteer team has been one of the most difficult but rewarding parts of SheJumps. Everyone brings so much passion and ambition to the table to create a SheJumps presence in their communities, and in turn the community of SheJumps grows. It’s been really cool to stand back and see how it has evolved.

BA: What areas of being in the outdoors seems to be the most inspiring for SheJumps participants?

Claire: We’ve noticed a huge uptick in education events like “how to plan a spring ski traverse” and avalanche education events. While our roots are firmly planted in the snow-sports world, we are also seeing more and more excitement for sports like fly-fishing and SUP, it’s great to see that people just want to learn more!

BA: What women inspire you to keep growing and evolving as a skier and ambassador for SheJumps and the sport of skiing?

Claire: For me personally, Rachael Burks is at the top of that list. She embodies what it means to be a good human, not just a strong woman. She is a great friend, a fantastic athlete who never gives up, and she is incredibly supportive and positive to every single person she meets. She says “every time you click into your skis you have the chance to progress.”

BA: Since skiing is a winter sport, what do you do in the summer (other than travel to the southern hemisphere to ski more)?

Claire: Ha! I do tend to spend about 2-3 months a year in South America! Love it down there…I find myself mountain biking as much as I can. I’ve never been much of a climber, but I’m hoping that I find some inspiration to get back on some rock this summer in order to improve my rope techniques for ski mountaineering.

BA: What was the best advice you were ever given and how do you apply that to SheJumps?

Claire: “Lead from the front.” It’s hard to realize sometimes that I always want to do what comes easiest or is the most fun when it comes to SheJumps. I think this is something that everyone within our organization can practice as well—What is the thing that only you can do…as opposed to someone else. I think this cultivates a great culture of leadership.

BA: Where is your favorite place you’ve camped?

Claire: Muir snowfield last summer during our SheJumps fundraising climb on Mount Rainier with about 15 other women and one guy.

BA: What is the one piece of gear that you don’t leave for a camping trip without?

Claire: A killer mug that can be used for all beverages. Oh, and a headlamp. Wait, should my Big Agnes Roxy Ann sleeping bag be on the top of that list?

BA: Do you have a favorite campfire dinner?

Claire: Pad Thai! It’s surprisingly easy to make as a one-pot meal!

BA: Is there anything else you’d like to share regarding SheJumps, Big Agnes and the Tufly SL2+?

Claire: It’s a huge milestone for us to partner with Big Agnes on a project like this and we look forward to a continued partnership to get more women and girls into the outdoors!

For more information about SheJumps and where there’s an adventure near you, please visit www.SheJumps.org. Check out the Tufly SL2+ tent HERE.

Tent image Photo Credit: Devon Balet

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