GO! Girls Outdoors

A resource for women in Outdoor Education and Recreation

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Gear

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

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

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/Tramping

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/Canoeing

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

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

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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Organisations

Organisations
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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Thor Egerton - Mountain Bike Orienteering

“Don’t train for it - do it!”

To win a Mountain Bike Orienteering event, you must be a skilled multi-tasker.  You must be an excellent navigator and skilled mountain biker, be able to think quickly and plan effectively, and have enough determination to finish off a course, no matter what.  Competitors in Mountain Bike Orienteering events have to ride a bike while reading a map and navigating through a maze of track junctions, as well as planning ahead in order to complete the course as quickly as possible.  This can take as little as 20 minutes in the sprint races, and as long as 3 hours in the long races.  It is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, but is fast and furious at the top end of the competition.

 Thor_at_long_final_finish_thumb.JPG

Australia’s top ranked female athlete in the sport of Mountain Bike Orienteering is Queenslander, Thor Egerton. Despite the fact she only took up the sport a few years ago, she is currently the Australian Champion for all three Mountain Bike Orienteering events - sprint, middle and long.  In 2007 and 2008 she competed in the world championships in the Czech Republic and Poland, the first year racing in the Mens’ B Team for the relay as there weren’t any other Australian women, and the second achieving 29th place in the long race. This at the age of 43, and still going strong!

Thor attributes her success in Mountain Bike Orienteering to excellent navigation skills combined with a determination (or stubbornness) that gets her to the end of every course.  She also admits that some of her success has come from being in the right place at the right time and, unfortunately, the lack of women in the competition.  Apparently lots of women believe they can’t navigate and are fearful of riding a bike off road - even Thor says that she sometimes lacks confidence in her ability to participate with men, not wanting to hold them up.  However, she says that the lack of women has also been an advantage in her racing career because she has done so much riding and racing with men - in Queensland events she tends to ride the mens’ courses for a bit more of a challenge!

Thor Mt Biking_thumb.JPGThor was introduced to outdoor activities at 20 when she was taken on her first bushwalk.  She claims the walk ‘nearly killed’ her but was a wonderful experience and was the beginning of a passion for outdoor activities that has lasted ever since.  Today she humbly describes herself as “an average rock-climber, an average ski-tourer, an average kayaker, and an average trail runner” - but loves all of it.  At the age of 30 she took up foot orienteering as an alternative to walking, then eventually took her old commuting bike around a Mountain Bike Orienteering course and hasn’t looked back since.  Now she gets to as many events and races as possible - including many of Queensland’s adventure racing events - although now she has a nicer bike!

Thor states her best accomplishment in the outdoors as being 43 and still going strong - no doubt she will still be out there at 73, 83 or however long she can still read a map and ride a bike.  Thor’s advice is to get out do whatever activity is your favourite - don’t get too preoccupied with getting better, just enjoy it.  Don’t train for it…do it!

For more information on Mountain Bike Orienteering, go to www.orienteering.asn.au and follow the links, or do a search on the sport in your area. 

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