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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Meetings and Inspirations - Boulder

Bear eh?As I mentioned in the last article about my love affair with Boulder, I had spent some time in the previous weeks of the trip emailing (read spamming) the various women’s outdoor adventure organisations that were based in Boulder.  To this end I was invited to many meetings, on a weekend trip and to an annual fundraising event - so many engagements that I never ended up having time to go hiking or exploring very far from town.  There are many profiles coming soon but here is a summary, just because of the way they all fitted together so perfectly.

First of all I met with Lorene Wapotich and Mary Sweeney who run an organisation called Her Feet on the Earth (as well as doing many other things).  I’d heard of Lorene because Emily, who I met with the day before about Rite of Passage Journeys, had been on a trip with her through her organisation.  Lorene had also written a paper with Priscilla McKenney, who I met in San Francisco, and Erica Nixon-Mack, who I met the day before in Seattle.  And so the tangled webs of women and girls’ outdoor adventure combine…!

Both Lorene and Mary have an extensive history with outdoor activities and love spending time out there.  They run their organisation specifically for women, and concentrate on teaching (among other things) the appreciation of the natural environment and awareness of the world around us.  They told me all about learning to use all of the senses to become connected with the environment and aware of what is going on around us - and indeed, as we walked along the river they spotted a snake hiding in the reeds, new budding flowers hiding underneath the leaf litter and a whole world in amongst the grass where we were sitting.  Unfortunately our time was limited but I was spending the weekend on one of their courses so I’d be learning more soon.

From there I went to the Women’s Wilderness Institute’s Annual Gear & Cheer, a silent auction that functions as one of their major fundraising events for the year.  I had offered to volunteer at the event and I was kind of nervous!  I’m pretty shy about walking into a room filled with people who all know each other and who I’ve never met before, so I filled my pocket with business cards and told myself that I had to get rid of them all throughout the night or…else.  It turned out to be easy!  Everywhere I went there were passionate people, especially passionate women, and I went away from the event with my pockets and bag empty of cards, a couple of new friends, an invitation to go climbing, several new profiles to write and a decent knowledge of which local beers were the best.

What else?!  Well, next was the weekend trip learning survival skills and how to appreciate and understand nature with Lorene and Mary.  I visited the local outdoors shop that caters exclusively to women, and the one that caters exclusively to kids.  A chance meeting in a coffee shop led me to a woman who is going to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with her son in order to raise money for a girls’ school in Tanzania.  I had a chat with the Women’s Adventure Magazine and the Women’s Wilderness Institute.  I exchanged cards with a lady organising a trail running race to raise money to send some local disadvantaged girls on a Women’s Wilderness Institute trip.  I found out about a bike ride that raises money for Ovarian Cancer Research.  And I watched a movie in the same room as and featuring Lynn Hill (climbing legend extraordinaire).  It just didn’t stop!

Every day I spent in Boulder I found something going on.  I gave out many cards and lined up many profiles.  As I stumbled down to the bus stop to catch the airport shuttle, exhausted, I was sad to leave.  But then I met a guy on the bus who had curly shoelaces and springs in his shoes and who runs a permaculture farm in Hawaii, so we chatted all the way to the airport.  So, if you want to meet some interesting and incredible people, go to Boulder.  I have never met so many interesting and passionate people concentrated in such a small area in my life.  I left the town inspired and enthusiastic about my project, exhausted but happy.  I have many profiles to write and many contacts to follow up and I’m incredibly glad I went - not just for GO! Girls Outdoors, but also for me.  It just goes to show - if you want something enough, and you’re passionate enough about it - baby, it’s yours!

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