About the Club

Backcountry Squatters is an official club at Montana State University. Our mission is to connect women in Bozeman with other women in the outdoors. In our first year, the club did this through a bike day, yoga sessions, Avalanche courses and lectures (provided by Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center), group workout for ski season (provided by Forever Fit), gaper ski days, a Backcountry Prom feat. Left on Tenth and many more! We're extremely excited to be going into our second year, with even more fun events planned!

How Kit's Brain Gave Birth to it All

Throughout my freshmen year at MSU the majority of my adventure partners were male. They pulled me into new sports and continuously helped me push my limits. I love all of my boys, but it became clear to me that I was lacking a level of support and relatability that comes with adventuring with other women. On the rare occasions that I got out with other girls, I heard them voicing the same troubles. Eventually I met Andie and we began to hatch the plan to start Backcountry Squatters, an all girls outdoor adventure club.

About the People


Kit Kocha

President and Founder

Kit is from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. She came to Montana in search of mountains and adventurous people and found both. She loves mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, and boating. Currently, she is studying a combination of Bio-resources Engineering, Water Resources and Snow Science at Montana State University. In the summers she works with high school girls as a tripping leader at Camp Manito-wish, an outdoor adventure camp in northern Wisconsin.

Contact info:
Cell: 262 210-3913
email: cs4alaska@gmail.com


Andie Creel

Co-prez, co-founder and web tech

Andie is a skier, climber, runner and biker. She has finished 2 years at MSU and plans to graduate with a double Major in Economics and Environmental Studies, with a minor in Computer Science. When not outside or in school, you will most likely find her reading Harry Potter.

Contact info:
Cell: 406 580-1596
email: andie.creel@gmail.com


Nina Paris


Nina was born and initially raised in Anchorage, Alaska until her family moved to Golden, Colorado. Living in these beautiful places cemented into a love for everything relating to the outdoors. This is why she chose to come to school in beautiful Bozeman. When Nina isn’t bogged down by school, which is most of the time since she is a junior biochemistry major, you will find her skiing, climbing, hiking, or backpacking.

Contact info:
Cell: 720 880-8582
email: ninamp29@gmail.com


Darby Knoll

Outreach Coordinator

Darby is your common forgetful vegan who likes to ski, bike, hike, fish, and probably some other things. She is in her 3rd year at MSU, majoring in Microbiology and Animal science. She enjoys long walks on the beach with her soulmate Scout and a good bowl of mashed potatoes. Scout is a squatting black lab, with crazy eyes, who will be in any conversation you have with Darby.

Contact info:
Cell: 505 412-9607
email: darby.knoll44@gmail.com


Janine Hay


Janine is from Golden, Colorado. She loves telemark skiing, climbing, hiking and camping. When not outside doing one of these she is normally ignoring all of her responsibilities and instead finding dogs to pet. She is currently studying Physics with a minor in Mathematics at Montana State University.

Contact info:
Cell: 720 475-6437
email: Telemarker101@gmail.com


Erin Hess

Erin is in her third year in the Geography program. She grew up in Montana, took a break for 5 years in Alaska, and came back to Bozeman as soon as she could. Coffee and mountain biking have her heart. She doesn't run, but she's always up for trying just about anything else!

Contact info:
Cell: 907 306-3443
email: erinshess@gmail.com