As a child, I lived to run around my backyard and play with my sisters. My fondest memories as a child stem from being outside and enjoying nature. As children, my sister Courtney and I had different territories in the yard that were our “homes”. We spent hours tending to these parts of the yard and pretending to live in these parts of the yards. I chose the area with redwood trees that I could climb to to tippy top to and scare my mother. My mother became so distraught to these climbing tactics that she decided to cut all the branches off that we could reach. That promptly ended my tree climbing career.
I did not grow in a family that went camping, backing or climbing regularly. I grew up in a regular middle class family. On the weekends we would play in sports matches and then hangout at home. My parents did not push me to go outside during every possible moment. I had never gone camping until I was 18 years old.
This is the same for many people throughout the U.S., they grew up with families that were not outdoorsy. However, joining the outdoor community in your twenties can be daunting. Especially for women, since the outdoor community has always been seen as a “boys club”. I found that it was scary to get involved and it was hard for me to feel like I fit in.
I got involved in the outdoor community when I was 18 years old. I had no experience camping, biking, hiking and climbing. I was completely new to all these skills. Especially as a women, I felt getting involved in many man dominated areas was daunting. Over time I got over this fear and learned that I hate rock climbing but love to go trail running. How hiking in pouring rain for hours can really test your strength. Now, I can happily go on a 14 mile hike alone and feel fine about it. It took me a long time to get to this point and I went through many trials and tribulations with the outdoor community before getting here.
This is why I created this blog, I hope to see through a communications angle what the outdoor community is doing and how they are including women. My post may look at what brands are doing from a sustainability point, why are there less sponsored women athletes, and my own personal stories. I found that joining the outdoor community as a women was hard and I want to help change that for others.
By looking at the outdoor community through a communication lens it will allow me and the reader to see what the current culture of the outdoor community is. I hope to shed light on the unequal representation of women in the outdoors and how women get treated differently in nature. In no way was this blog made to hate on the outdoor community but it is rather to show where there is room for improvement. I want this blog to point out what has been going on for years in the outdoor community and why it needs to be more gender inclusive.