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Quitting your job at 23 to focus full-time on the club you started at university that’s centered around getting more women out of London and into nature is a big risk. That’s exactly why Gorp Girls founder, Hannah da Silva is the focus for this week’s Pack Heavy, Chase Light. 

Hannah da Silva set up Gorp Girls when she was studying in London. It started as a hiking club, but over the course of 2 years has grown into a much larger community. Today, GG offers hiking, climbing and a city-safe run club and it’s only a matter of time before they add more strings to their bow.

“The outdoors to me is freedom, community and female energy.”

Hannah da Silva originates from Canada - a land where nature trails and hiking go hand in hand. When she relocated to London to study she recognised that there was a lack of curiosity about nature and hiking - specifically among her female peers. After a little research, she found out London is actually flanked by multiple great hikes - all within an hour’s train ride of the city. She gathered up a small group of girls, headed out and Gorp Girls was born. 

“It was scary, financially, but it worked out. Within a month I was fine.”

Once Hannah’s group of girls who liked hiking officially became Gorp Girls, she took it to the wider university population. She always assumed she would struggle for sign ups, but quickly realized this wouldn’t be a problem. 

Even from its very first day Gorp Girls has been incredibly popular. It’s now grown so both that Hannah realized she would have to quit her job and commit to it full time. This decision wasn’t one she took lightly, however when she thought about it, she realized that GG brought her a kind of happiness her other job didn’t and that was the final push she needed.

Watch Hannah’s episode of Pack Heavy, Chase Light now

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