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A resource for women in Outdoor Education and Recreation

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Gear Resources
Gear manufacturers have realised that lots of women like the outdoors and they're different shapes from men. Here's what's out there, and where you can buy it.

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Travel Resources
A selection of travel resources especially for women who love to travel. Includes a list of online communities if you do it yourself, or companies if you need a little help.

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Surfing Resources
Listed here are some links to resources from all over the world that cater to women who love surfing.

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Hiking Resources
Extended walks are great for the mind and spirit and lots of women love to take part in them. Check out these resources and get inspired to go on a walking adventure.

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Snow Sports

Snow Sports Resources
Skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, polar expeditions - all done in the snow and all done by lots of amazing women.  Check out these resources to find out more...

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Kayaking Resources
White water, surfing, sea kayaking, sprint racing, marathon racing, multisport, fishing...is there anything you can't do from a kayak? Explore these resources!

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Cycling Resources
A list of resources for all sorts of cycling - mountain biking, road biking, touring, racing, recreation and commuting - all specific to women.

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Climbing Resources
Women can (and have) achieved incredible things in climbing. Listed in this section are a collection of climbing and moutaineering resources that are useful and inspiring for all climbers.

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A list of organisations that cater exclusively to women, or run trips exclusively for women. A great way to find a women-specific adventure in your area.

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Outdoor Industry

Outdoor Industry Resources
Looking for resources to help you plan programs, companies and organisations that cater for women or organisations you can join? Look no further...

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Julie Angus - Professional Adventurer

Julie Angus cropped.gif  When Julie was growing up, her two least favourite subjects at school were sports and writing, preferring to study the science subjects and read books.  Julie’s father was in the Canadian Armed Forces so the family moved around a lot and Julie grew up in a number of different towns in Ontario and Alberta.  When she left school she went to university and got herself two undergraduate degrees, one in Biology and one in Psychology.  Her graduate studies in Molecular Biology led her to the west coast of Canada where she promptly fell in love with the mountains and oceans in beautiful British Columbia, spending all her free time exploring the vast areas of wilderness that the province is famous for.  She became a Molecular Biologist and worked for more than ten years as a scientist, studying and developing treatments for heart disease, cancer and genetic ailments. 

If you look back on your life, sometimes you can identify the chance decisions that turn out to be momentous and life-changing, pointing you in a new direction and altering the course of your existence forever.  For Julie this might have been her move to the west coast of Canada, or it might have been a passing glance at a film poster on a quiet night and a chance meeting at a bus stop a few months later!
Colin and Julie Angus
Julie was living in Vancouver when she spotted a poster advertising a talk by Colin Angus, who has completed a number of incredible adventures including sailing around the world at the age of 19 and travelling the entire length of both the Amazon River in South America and the Yenisey River on the Asian continent.  He writes bestselling books and makes award-winning films about his adventures, and it was Colin’s film about the Amazon trip that Julie went to see in Vancouver.  They met briefly after the screening when Julie got a book signed, then a few months later they happened to be at the same bus stop and remembered each other.  This led to an outdoors courtship, a wilderness proposal, an engagement spent on the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny row boat and a marriage on Vancouver Island!

After Colin and Julie got engaged, Colin departed on the adventure he’d been planning, a two-year circumnavigation of the globe by human powered transport.  Julie took some time off work and rode with him to Alaska, and when she returned she decided to plan her own row across the Atlantic.  She planned to travel from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, a 5000km journey, and although she worked hard learning to row and training for her voyage, she had trouble finding a reliable partner for the trip.  Meanwhile, Colin and his expedition partner had a falling out in Southern Siberia and Colin started travelling alone and without a partner for his own journey across the Atlantic. 

Julie rowing Atlantic.jpgNot many relationships are tested in a tiny rowboat in the middle of an ocean, but Julie and Colin decided that theirs could stand the pressure.  What’s more, Julie also decided to fly to Moscow and complete the bike ride to Portugal with Colin, then ride back to Vancouver with him once they reached the other side of the Atlantic.  Julie’s journey had changed!  What was once a 5000km row in the tropics had turned into a 10,000km, record breaking row from mainland to mainland - she would be the first woman to complete the journey - and 13,000km of bike riding.  The whole journey was going to take a year so Julie also had to quit her job and put her career on hold, not to mention going into debt so that the journey could be completed.  Few people have had such a dramatic career change!

Rowboat in a Hurricane.jpgJulie’s book, “Rowboat in a Hurricane”, describes her row across the Atlantic with Colin.  They battled through the worst hurricane season in history, facing five huge storms in their tiny, seven metre rowboat.  After five months they ended up in Costa Rica rather than Florida as they’d planned, but they arrived safely to pick up their bikes for the next leg of the journey.  Julie’s book focuses only on the rowing part of her adventure, and is a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and educational read.  She mixes stories of rowing with information about the ocean, and stresses the importance of protecting and looking after our ocean ecosystems. 

Julie’s book was supposed to be the third about the round the world expedition (with Colin’s book “Beyond the Horizon” and the book written by Colin’s original expedition partner, which didn’t get written and published in the end) and was not expected to do well for this reason.  Julie says that she was nervous about writing a book because writing has never been her favourite pastime but her worries turned out to be unfounded - the book was a success and received fantastic reviews. 

Julie rowing Danube.jpgJulie hasn’t gone back to Molecular Biology yet, and she doesn’t plan to.  Colin and Julie spent the months following the expedition writing books and making a documentary about their journey, then touring Canada (by van) to promote them.  They won the Adventurer of the Year Award from National Geographic Adventure in 2006 for their journey, their books have been bestsellers and their film has won awards.  In 2008 they completed a seven month rowing and cycling trip from Scotland to Syria in boats that they designed to carry bikes and that could be towed behind a bike on a trailer.  The ‘Rowed Trip’ book and film are coming out in late 2009 and you can find out more about the boats at www.angusrowboats.com.

Julie riding Rowed Trip.jpgColin and Julie got married shortly after their return to Canada and now live on Vancouver Island and spend their time writing, making films and touring.  When they’re home they work on renovating their house, getting rid of the seventies-style stippled walls and making the house eco-friendly.  Julie’s next adventure (and book) will be a tour of Syria and Lebanon, exploring the land of her heritage by bike and rowboat.  You can follow along with all the adventures and get some handy home-renovating tips (home greenovating) at www.angusadventures.com.

Thanks to Colin and Julie for meeting up with us on Vancouver Island during the GO! Girls Outdoors trip to the USA and Canada, and for the use of their photographs in this article.  More photographs are available on their website.

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