GO! Girls Outdoors

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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Gender Information

Gender Resources.jpgThere is no doubt that women, compared to men, have a different learning style in the outdoors.  This is due to a variety of reasons, ranging from socialisation to biochemistry.  The resources are grouped as 'General Information', 'For Girls' and 'Women working in the outdoor industry'.

If you know about these differences, you can be a better instructor, regardless of your gender.  Despite what some people think, you don't have to be a woman to be a great instructor for women in the outdoors!

For more information, read on!

N.B. These research papers are sometimes available online.  If you can't find them this way, visit your local university library, look up the reference and you should be able to find hard copies.

General Information

TWWI YogaThe Women's Wilderness Institute (right) have developed their programs for girls and women considering one of the fundamental, biochemical differences between men and women.  Read the profile for more information!

Gender differences in risk taking: a meta-analysis.  Byrnes, J.P., Miller, D.C. & Schafer, W.D. (1999).  Psychological Bulletin.  125(3), 367-383.  Not specifically for the outdoors, but an interesting read.

Gender: How does it effect the outdoor education experience?  A presentation to the 10th National Outdoor Education Conference in 1997 by James Neill (of Wilderdom fame, amongst other things).  A little old now but it remains an interesting overview.

Young children’s play qualities in same-, other- and mixed-sex peer groups.  Fabes, R.A., Martin, C.L. & Hanish, L.D. (2003).  Child Development.  74(3), 921-932.  Even when we are very young children, girls and boys play differently.  Are boys therefore better suited to 'play' in an outdoor environment?

Breaking with tradition: women and outdoor pursuits.  Henderson, K.A. (1992). Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 63(2), 49-51.  Quite old now but a good overview of the topic.

Effective leadership for girls and women in outdoor recreation.  Jordan, D.J. (1992).  Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.  63(2), 61-64.  What do women need in outdoor education that is different from what men need?

“Stepping around things”: gender relationships in climbing.  Kiewa, J. (2001). Australian Journal of Outdoor Education.  5(2), 4-12.

Empowering girls and women in the outdoors. Mitten, D. (1992). Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.  63(2), 56-60.

Gender differences in explicit and implicit risk attitudes: a socially facilitated phenomenon.  Ronay, R. & Kim, D.  (2006).  British Journal of Social Psychology.  45, 397-419.  Not specifically for the outdoors, but an interesting overview of how risk taking behaviours are different depending on gender.

Leadership and gender-role congruency: a guide for wilderness and outdoor practitioners. Wittmer, C.R. (2001). The Journal of Experiential Education. 24(3), 173-178.

For Girls

Girls in the woods: exploring the impact of a wilderness program on adolescent girls' constructions of femininity.  A paper by Anja Whittington, published in 2006 in The Journal of Experiential Education. [28(3), 285-289].

The relationship of gender, gender identity, and coping strategies in late adolescents.  Renk, K. & Creasy, G. (2003).  Journal of Adolescence.  26, 159-168.  Not specifically for the outdoors, but relating to adolescent development.

Work with girls and young women. Baker-Graham, A. (1999). In P. Higgins & B. Humberstone (Ed.) Outdoor and Experiential Leadership in the U.K. (pp72-77).  Penrith: Institute for Outdoor Learning.

Women working in the Outdoor Industry

Climbing Mt Everest: women, career and family in outdoor education.  A paper by Linda Allin, written in 2004 and published in the Australian Journal of Outdoor Education. [8(2), 64-72]

Women youth workers and outdoor education. Collins, D. (1999).  In P. Higgins & B. Humberstone (Ed.) Outdoor and Experiential Leadership in the U.K. (pp78-83). Penrith: Institute for Outdoor Learning.

Wonboyn-Greenglades Leading the way: strategies that enhance women’s involvement in experiential education careers. Loeffler, T.A. (1996). In K. Warren (Ed.), Women’s Voices in Experiential Education (pp94-103).  Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

Bec Fox (right), the manager of a successful outdoor centre and mother of two small children, has some valuable advice for women (or men) who are wondering how to combine a career in the outdoors with parenthood.

The Outdoor Education Group have a variety of techniques to ensure they have an equal male/female mix of instructors.  Read the profile to see what they do!

GO! Girls Outdoors

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