Sirena Dufault is the Gateway Community Liaison for the Arizona Trail Association, fostering a relationship between trail users and the 33 towns along the Arizona Trail. She organizes Trail Day events, does public outreach, guides hikes, and promotes area tourism to stimulate local economies. She has been involved with the Arizona Trail Association since 2007, helping to build many miles of trail near Tucson and is a Trail Steward, responsible for maintaining a 5.5 mile stretch along the Gila River.
Sirena section-hiked the Arizona Trail in 2008-09, mostly solo, which fueled her passion for the wilderness. In 2014, she completed the trail for a second time, using her Arizona Trail Trek thru-hike to promote the trail and the communities. She is an advocate for outdoor recreation, Eco-tourism and women in the outdoors.
The Grand Canyon is one of her favorite places and she has backpacked miles and miles on its trails and routes. Sirena also works as a river guide in the summertime on the Colorado River with Arizona River Runners, leading people on amazing hikes and educating visitors about the incredible archaeology, geology, and natural history contained within.
She discovered the importance of paying attention to pack weight during her section hike of the Arizona Trail. Sirena has had fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, since a car hit her while walking across the street in 1997. Keeping her pack weight light is an integral part of being able to enjoy her time out on the trail. Sirena has been blogging since 2008 about her outdoor adventures hiking, backpacking, climbing, canyoneering, and rafting in Arizona.
Website: Sirena’s Wanderings
Favorite Training Grounds: Tucson is surrounded by five mountain ranges so I am never at a loss for places to hike! I love the Sky Islands, mountains that take you from saguaro-studded desert up to aspen in a day. The Santa Catalina Mountains offer wonderful opportunities and endless bushwhacking adventures for training for even the toughest trips! I am fortunate that my work takes me all over Arizona- I can often be found sneaking in a hike or backpacking trip between meetings, speaking engagements and events.
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Gateway Community Liaison, Trail Steward-Arizona Trail Association| Volunteer, Wildlife Rehabilitation Northwest Tucson
Favorite Pack: I love my Gossamer Gear Mariposa– it worked so well on my Arizona Trail thru-hike! Living in the desert, even if my pack contents are light I usually have to carry a lot of weight in water and the Mariposa handles it with ease.
I Never Hit the Trail Without: My umbrella! No matter what time of year, the Arizona sun is relentless. A silver reflective umbrella allows me to have shade wherever I go and not have to wear a hat that keeps in the heat. It’s great in the rain as well, much better ventilation than a rain jacket, but 95% of the time I use it for the sun. It also has other uses such as collecting water in a storm, a shade for photography and many more.