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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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RogainingLast year and the year before, I really liked orienteering.  I’d gather up my group of students, show them a map, teach them a few bits and pieces about maps and compasses and outline the rules.  Then…off they’d go.  If I made the course hard enough, they’d be gone for almost a whole lesson - and what’s more, usually come back smiling and full of stories about getting lost, jumping fences, making a bad decision to do with the creek or finding a juicy mud hole that would leave their school shoes smelly and sodden for the rest of the day.  In two years of running orienteering lessons at a high school, I rarely had students misbehave (much to my surprise, and to the disbelief of some of the other teachers at the school).  And the best part?  As a frantically busy high school teacher who rarely had time to eat lunch during the school day, those lessons were truly blissful.  

Fast forward to this year, a new state, a new schedule and a new school.  This year I’ve been less frantically busy with school (although perhaps almost as frantically busy building a website) and have therefore had more time to stop, smell the roses and have a bit more of a life.  This meant that when I was invited “Corporate Orienteering”, I readily accepted, especially when I heard there was lunch and smoothies involved.  Two 40 minute courses over two weeks, several brain implosions, a couple of experiences as an overtaker (and several as an overtakee) and one serious stuff up later, I was hooked.  ‘How much fun is orienteering?!’, I thought.  ‘What next?’

Which way now? Rogaining‘What next’, indeed!  I’ve always enjoyed immersing myself in activities and stretching the limits, biting off big chunks which usually end up more or less chewable (some more than others).  This attitude has led to many adventures, many epics and many good friends, in many different activities.  I have a very healthy, very Australian, very chilled out “she’ll be right” attitude, which I believe is what has made life so interesting up to this point.  So when I found out about a Rogaine (a long orienteering course where you plan your own route) being held near Hobart, I thought that would be a fun thing to do.  And because you need a partner for these things and Dave is not just a partner but also an experienced adventure racer and wonderful navigator, I talked him into signing up as well.  There were two choices - the 8 hour or the 24 hour event - and I’ll let you figure out which one the old “she’ll be right” attitude signed us up for.

Bracken RogainingAnd so the weekend of the event arrived - pouring with rain and pretty miserable, really.  Dave and I managed to pack for the entire event in less than two hours, the morning the whole thing started, which is actually quite slow for us (our packing record for a sea kayaking weekend is just over half an hour).   The event was held on farmland about an hour’s drive from Hobart, and we arrived well within the recommended two hours before the event, definitely not the first people there.  Two hours!!  Surely (I said to Dave) two hours is far too much time to contact a map and plan a route amongst the cows - she’ll be right!  Luckily Dave is familiar with the “she’ll be right” attitude and we got there with about the right amount of time to spare - it turns out two hours IS just about the right amount of time to contact a map, plan a route, put the tent up, don the wet weather gear and work out how the clicky flashy timer doodads work (we just had a card and special punches at the control in my day).

Which way now? RogainingWhat a remarkable 24 hours it was!  We did stop midway through and grab a few hours sleep, but we went at it for what felt like many, many hours - in fact, I even dreamt about it so that probably counts for even more hours, despite the fact I didn’t get to any actual control points from bed.  I discovered that I have absolutely no aptitude whatsoever for climbing fences, something that entertained Dave no end (how I can rock climb but not climb fences eludes me).  I discovered that a lot of people who do rogaining look old, but are actually supremely crafty and very speedy and usually overtook us between checkpoints.  I discovered that contact doesn’t keep rain out of a map very effectively, and that my idea to fold the enormous map in half before contacting it was actually a very bad one because that meant that one of the “edges” that got wet was in fact the middle bit of the map which was important because it had the hash house (food, tent, drinks, etc) on it.  I discovered that if there was an important and life saving compound that resided in thistles, then we Tasmanians would be the most successful farmers in the world, because gee can we ever grow thistles.  
Grass Rogaining
After the event, which can I say was absolutely bloody brilliant fun, we were tired but happy.  I was glad the old “she’ll be right” attitude insisted on 24 hours because I’m sure I would have felt cheated by returning by 8pm rather than staying out until midnight.  Walking was a little bit of a challenge later that evening (after our muscles tightened up from sitting in the car) and I was picking thistle thorns out of my knees for the next few days, but overall the Rogaine was a fantastic experience and Dave and I had lots of fun together.  I’ll never, ever look at a paddock in the same way again.  

Of course, just one question remains (apart from the one about why I can climb rocks but not fences), and that is - what’s next?  Well, who knows?  Whatever it is, I’m sure I’ll have a good time.  She’ll be right!  Right?

P.S.  How to test (and how NOT to test) whether an electric fence is on.

1.    Inform partner knowledgably that to test an electric fence, all you have to do is get a piece of green grass, touch the fence with it, then slowly move your hand towards the fence.  If you feel tingling, the fence is on.
2.    Test several fences this way and establish that none of them are on.
3.    Start testing fences with your hand instead.
4.    Test several fences this way and establish that none of them are on.
5.    Arrive at a fence.  Watch the crafty old guys climb through.  Test the electric wire on the fence with the new 'hand' method.
6.    Leap back, wide eyed in disbelief and turn to partner with hair standing on end…stutter, “this one’s on!”
7.    Find a gate.  
8.    Return to the grass method of testing electric fences.

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