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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Lindsay & Sharon

Lindsay and Sharon go sea kayakingIf you were attempting to find out what sort of person I am, what my background is and how I spend most of my days, and you decided to do this by reading this website, you would get a slightly skewed idea.  Yes, I love the outdoors and try to get out amongst it as  much as I can and yes, I did spend several years working in Outdoor Education - but there are a few layers missing.  I thought that these other layers didn’t really have a place in a website that was all about women in the outdoors, but the other day I met Lindsay and Sharon and they showed me that I could write about another part of my life on GO! Girls Outdoors.  

Lindsay and Sharon are keen sea kayakers and hikers, and also very involved in teaching Mathematics to senior high school students all over Tasmania.  They use their outdoor experience to bring Mathematics to life for students, putting difficult problems into a context that students can relate to and understand.  Many thousands of students have come across Lindsay and Sharon over the years but I only discovered them recently while I was acting out my non-website persona…

Sea kayaking WPSeveral years ago I decided that, despite the fact I got to travel, spend time in the outdoors, choose my own hours as a freelance outdoor instructor and meet lots of interesting people, I was getting sick and tired and impatient with a career in Outdoor Education.  To cope with my Outdoor Ed burnout I went back to university for a year and became a teacher, thinking that then I could get a job in a school and continue with Outdoor Education in a more sustainable way.  However, the university didn’t have an Outdoor Education teaching program and I had to use my Science degree and become a Science teacher.  Then I got a job in a school that desperately needed a Maths teacher and now I’ve moved states and found myself teaching and tutoring predominantly senior Maths and Science - and somewhat surprising myself by thoroughly enjoying it.  

While I was tutoring the other day, my student asked whether I’d ever used Calculus in my ‘real life’ (which I assume meant away from the classroom - he’s a bright student who has realised that teachers sometimes have a life away from school).  I had to answer no, I had not - after all, if you chuck a rock off a cliff, it’s easier to just estimate where it will reach its highest point and where it will hit the ground than it is to pull out a pencil and paper and work out the equations.  Presumably the rock has hit the ground, or whatever you wanted to hit, before you’ve finished the calculations.  

Wilsons Prom LighthouseWhile I can bring a little bit of GO! Girls Outdoors to the Mathematics classroom (even if it’s only my embroidered jacket), I have struggled to bring the Mathematics classroom into the outdoors (Science is much easier, of course).  However, when I met Lindsay and Sharon I immediately saw how effortlessly they manage to marry the outdoors and the Mathematics classroom.  Their passion for the subjects - both Mathematics and Outdoor Education - was inspiring for me, and I believe they are a great resource to all teachers of bored, Senior Mathematics students - even on a sunny Friday afternoon.  

I met Lindsay and Sharon while teaching Geometry a few weeks ago.  Lindsay was out hiking along some sea cliffs while Sharon was sea kayaking, and by chance they saw each other:

Out amongst itLindsay is standing on a 100m high cliff, looking down at her friend Sharon in a sea kayak.  Sue notes that the angle of depression to Sharon is 35 degrees.  Sue can also see a rock in the water, due west of her.  Sharon finds that her bearing to the base of Lindsay’s cliff is N22E.  How far is Sharon from the rock?

When I met Lindsay and Sharon, the Mathematics teacher in me asked what steps need to be taken to find the answer.  Then, because it was a Friday afternoon, my mind started wandering and I realised (excitedly) that here were my two careers combined - the outdoors was being used to make Mathematics more interesting!  Well done, Lindsay and Sharon, you go girls!  Hiking along the top of a 100m sea cliff is pretty awe inspiring, as is sea kayaking along the bottom.  Getting out there in amongst the elements is fantastic and really inspiring to the students.  

Sea kayaking at BrunyThe question is, does it work? Does a mathematics student become ‘inspired’ by these types of problems?  They’re not very realistic, after all.  How did they swap data?  Why was Lindsay walking around with a device to measure angles of depression?  Did they tell someone where they were going?  Does Sharon have some waterproof paper and a splash proof calculator in her day hatch?  Or will Lindsay figure it out and relay the information to Sharon?  And why can’t Sharon just navigate around the rock by sight?  So many questions and so few answers.  The easiest thing to do is just to answer the question and then move on to the next one.  Does that mean that Mathematics is easier than Outdoor Education?  Or just that the two don’t combine very well?

To Lindsay and Sharon I pass on my commendations - I hope you enjoyed your walk and your paddle and that you, Sharon, missed that rock.  Better to try and spice up the Trigonometry than to create dull problems without any life - especially on a sunny Friday afternoon.  And in the meantime, I will make it my objective to discover a real and useful way of combining Outdoor Education and Mathematics - stay tuned!

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