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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Lakehead University

tn_P3210402.JPGVery early on , when I was in the process of spamming as many  people as I could to look for support for GO! Girls Outdoors so I could get a good scholarship application together, I successfully spammed Dr Brent Cuthbertson.  Brent is the Director of the Outdoor Recreation program at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay (Northern Ontario) and has been very supportive of the project ever since it was just an idea in my head.  After the site was up and running we got in touch again, and when he found out that Thunder Bay was on the route between Uncle Paul and Uncle Jon, Brent invited me to do a talk at the university and meet with some of his students.


When I got to Thunder Bay I found out that Brent can white water paddle to work if he wants to which I think is very, very cool.  He pointed out that usually he walks or bikes to the university but I have been relishing the mental picture of the Outdoor Rec professor being a little bit late for class because the river kicked up and he had to portage.  And I picture the students looking out ttn_P3220424.JPGhe window of the lecture theatre and seeing Prof pulling a few tricks on a wave before getting out and strolling across the lawns with his kayak on his shoulder.  Then he’d have to pause at the door to shake dry the lecture notes and remove his laser pointer and laptop from a drybag, before starting a lecture on effective facilitation or outdoor leadership or something.  What a way to make an entrance. 


Brent invited a whole lot of his students over to breakfast at his house on the morning of the talk I was doing.  I was impressed - what a fantastic bunch of enthusiastic, motivated, passionate people with a wealth of experience between them already.  Many of them had been working in the outdoor industry for years already, mostly as camp counsellors in Canada’s amazing summer camp system.  There was lots to talk about as we compared experiences in the outdoors, either as women working in the industry or as instructors working with groups of students.  The importance of role models for women came up, as did the difficulties that occur for both men and women when it (or if) it becomes time to settle down and start a family.  Is that why lots of outdoor industry workers take up teaching?  That’s what I did and that’s what a few of the students were doing as well.


tn_P3220413.JPGThe talk later on went well and a few more issues came up as we discussed the website and the issues that can affect women in the outdoors and the outdoor industry.  For example, why should women get support and not men?  It’s a pretty difficult industry for everyone - long hours, extended periods away from home and physically and emotionally tiring.  It’s a good question and I do feel like there should be a Boys Outdoors as well!  BO?  But the fact remains that there are less women than men out there, especially in management and executive positions and higher level skills instruction.  I always felt pretty isolated when I was working in the industry - not that I minded because I kind of liked the fact I was a bit unique - but it would have been great to connect with other women who were doing the same thing.  Why are there less women out there?  Is it because of lack of support?  Do women need more support than men?  If there are more women out there, will this encourage more women to enter the industry?  My gut feeling says yes but unfortunately gut feelings don’t cut it in the world of academia!  The best I can do is start up a website, provide some of those role models, develop a support network (join the forum, join the forum, join the forum) and see what happens.


And the moral of the story is - join the forum!  There are some guys who’ve joined up, it’s not just for girls, and the more the merrier.  The more people, the better the communication network and the better the resource.  Pass the word along - I’m counting on YOU!Join the forum!

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