15.09.22 | Frith Hudson Graham from GirlsTrek | The Chat #2
Welcome to the Chat, a series of interviews with women who have a passion for their job, career or hobbies.
Meet Frith Hudson Graham, founder of GirlsTrek, a group of women with the passion for trekking and nature.
Can you tell us a little bit about you, your passion for trekking and how GirlsTrek came about?
I was raised on a cattle property in Central Queensland and my young life was full of freedom. Growing up surrounded by 1000’s of acres, horses and parents who encouraged adventure I spent a great deal of time outdoors exploring with my sister, brothers and friends.
In my early adulthood I took a one way ticket to Canada to spend a ski season and when summer turned up I bused to Vancouver to kit myself out for hiking and took off to the ‘wilds’ of Vancouver Island, Yukon, North West Territories and Alaska. My days were filled with trekking and canoeing. I self-supported myself for three months spending no time in urban centres except to restock my food supplies. It was a life changing experience and brought about a deep respect for the fragility as well as the splendour of nature.
When I returned to Australia I commenced working in the travel industry and whenever I would get a day to myself I would head out to a trail somewhere close to my home. I have always loved hiking, solo or with others.
Just before I turned 40 I decided, after a decade of raising my little family, it was time to reconnect myself with my adventurous side. For my 40th birthday I gave myself an 8 day hike with 3 girlfriends and joined up a team of friends to run a 100 km ultra marathon event!
With my goals in place so many people commented how “happy fit” I was! After sharing this with my neighbour we decided there may be a business in taking women away trekking holidays with a luxury finish. The key was to build community and connection to the places that we visit. Being from the land this is fundamentally important to me. That was in late 2010 and in 2011 we took our first every trip! My neighbour left the business in 2016 and now we average approximately 32 trips a year! Its quite remarkable how we have grown.
Our trips have all different levels from really easy to more difficult and you only need to carry a light day pack. Each night we stay in beautiful boutique accommodation owned and operated by family business where possible. We eat at local restaurants, meet the farmers, and chat to indigenous custodians, where possible.
Front of mind is to enable women to fill up their cup so they return to their lives feeling nurtured, more confident, and relaxed. The pace of modern life has us all travelling too fast and I say that coming on a GirlsTrek give your soul a chance to catch up with your body.
The Larapinta desert adventure with GirlsTrek
Is trekking for anyone or do you need to be super fit? Who is part of this group- who you are looking for – who should apply
GirlsTrek is for everyone. From all walks of life and for all fitness levels, there is a trip, training, support and activities for everyone’s individual needs, capability, and interests. Booking a GirlsTrek is the catalyst for a very involved trip preparation process where we chat to the women regularly, get to know and understand their fitness level and provide them with free training opportunities to get them excited and make sure they’re comfortable with the walks on their trip.
What do you wear when trekking?
For women on a trek the must haves are good socks and shoes, supportive sports bra and clothes that suit your trekking climate. For a trek in the warmer months, we love a linen shirt that offers some sun protection along with some long pants to protect from scratchy plants or bugs, and when it’s cooler, layers are the best option so you can be ready for whatever the day throws at you.
Girls-Trekkers wearing the IRIS linen shirts (Frith is the second, with the Lilac shirt)
On what occasion would you choose to wear shirts?
On a GirlsTrek, for our flights, bus rides, morning café breakfasts, lunchtime relaxation, art classes, wine tastings, fancy dinners… really at any point, our Camixa shirts are our best friends. Dress up with a pair of pants for a slightly fancier look for dinner at one of the amazing restaurants we visit. Pair with some comfy trackies for an afternoon champagne outside or by the fire in one our gorgeous luxury accommodation stays. Our Camixa shirts are ideal for any and every moment and the GirlsTrek team love to wear them all the time on and off trips!
Wearing the IRIS Blue shirt
What are your "must-have” items when you trek – and in your wardrobe?
Whilst trekking, you need to dress to stay safe and comfortable to make the most of your experience. This means, sun protection, a light layering option, a rain jacket, and a hat. For the GirlsTrek team, we’re lucky to be kitted out by our fantastic partners who provide us with top-notch gear, so we look fabulous whilst being totally functional.
What are your favourite fabrics?
It’s an important part of the GirlsTrek philosophy that less is more, and quality always trumps quantity. I love natural fibre fabrics that will work in different settings and can make up totally different outfits. Living in Brisbane, I always search for more breathable fabrics that suit an office space, the beach and a bar simultaneously and perfectly. For me, that means organic linens and classic silk styles which is what I always search for if I find myself in a shop. Hence our love for Camixa, which is high quality, timeless and classy and ticks all our boxes! When trekking and travelling in cooler clients I love merino wool products.
Frith Hudson Graham, wearing the IRIS Lilac