Sexism And The Outdoor Industry

I really didn’t want to write this post…it’s been said so many times by people far more eloquent and informed then I am.  Then I got an email that brought it all back, and I though “hell, I can’t not write this piece”.

Gender 10 15

“Cabin-Ready Style” for women and “Cold-Weather Confidence” for men?  Seriously?

This is fleece jackets we’re talking about.

The implication in the photos, that women want cloths for sitting on trees with tea and dogs while dude’s want to go climb the nearest climbable surface, is something most of us are trying to avoid these days.  Film festivals are scrambling to get films with female characters, wilderness schools are running all-female courses, and I’m having countless discussions with everyone about all of this.

Now…I get that people are different…I’m not saying the outdoor industry should ignore gender and make everything unisex…but come on!  Isn’t cabins for women and confidence for men a little over the top?

And it goes both ways…to some extent.  I can think of some guys who would be stoked to drink tea in a warm cabin but want nothing to do with “cold confidence”.

So, here’s my opinion…

Be who you are.  Enjoy the outdoors how ever you can.  Push your comfort zone, but not all the time.  Drink tea and climb on the walls.

And always do a little extra to bust out of the gender norms, if not for yourself then for all the other folks who will feel like a little less of a spectacle when they do the same thing.

Just my two cents, other opinions are welcome in the comments below :)

Note: after writing the company I got a fantastic email back!  They said they couldn’t agree with me more :)

Being Alone in Nature

It can be harder to get away from people then you might think…National Parks full of tourists, cliffs covered in climbers, even wilderness can get filled with backpackers…so here are a few suggestions for your next adventure away from people!

IMG_0949 1: Get as far as you can!  If you’re going for a hike, get past the “popular” hikes and the people will vanish.  Try that climb way down at the far end of the cliff, or hike past the first vista, or past the peak.  Backpack beyond the lake everyone’s talking about and you’ll be truly alone.  In addition to beating the crowds you’ll have done something even more awesome then they did, so go you! Continue reading