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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Slim Jim the Surfski

Slim Jim 1Allow me to introduce my new mate - Slim Jim.

Everyone, this is Slim Jim.

Slim Jim, this is everyone.

Slim Jim and I have been mates for a couple of weeks now and we’ve been pretty much going exclusive for the whole Christmas/New Year period.  

Slim Jim and I spend several mornings a week together, early on before the wind kicks up but not too early because it is, after all, the holiday period.  Sometimes it’s just us and sometimes other people come along, although even when they do Slim Jim and I are joined at the hip.

I used to spend time with my other mates, but now they lounge around (moping, I imagine, while they gather dust) because Slim Jim and I have a special bond at the moment.  Yes, that’s right - the bond of the “new toy”.

I have a pretty embarrassing habit of naming my toys, although I don’t usually tell people about it because I think it’s pretty lame to name your possessions and talk about them like they’re people.  Nevertheless, now that I’ve admitted to it and now that it’s public (even though I suspect no one reads these articles and that my web guy just set up a fake stats page to make me feel good about myself), I may as well keep on sharing.  

Slim Jim and FriendsBella is my sea kayak, because it’s beautiful and whenever I saw it on the car I’d think, “wow, that’s a beautiful kayak” (because it is a beautiful kayak).  Lil is my white water kayak, short for Li’l’ Fella, because it’s so short and stocky (my boyfriend’s sister calls it a clog).  My road bike is called Larry, short for Larry the Leper, because when I first got it various bits kept on falling off at very unfortunate times, like in the middle of a big race when the rear derailleur fell off, for which I’ve never forgiven the bike shop.  The mountain bike doesn’t really have a name but I do still talk to it (mainly things like “come on, come on, don’t be such a f*&^ing wuss you big girl” because I’m a pathetic mountain biker).  Luckily climbing gear doesn’t lend itself to being named or we might be here all day.

Slim Jim was named on one of our first outings and is called that because, well, he’s slim and that rhymes with the name Jim.  Unfortunately it stuck in my head and won’t go away - not unfortunate because of the name (which I quite like), but because we have a skinny friend called Jim.  However, now it’s stuck there’ll be no getting rid of it.

Anyway, while Bella and Lil are lounging around in the garage, I’ve been out gallivanting with Slim Jim several mornings a week.  In fact, one week I went out so many days that my arms felt like lead weights and I decided that it was probably time for a rest day because I could no longer lift my arms above shoulder level.  My calf muscles are slowly atrophying and I’ll probably start bursting the seams on my t-shirts soon.

Slim Jim is incredibly popular at the moment because he’s a new toy and I’ve got new toy syndrome.  And for good reason!  I’ve wanted a fast racing kayak and a “new sport” for ages and Slim Jim is truly spectacular - fast, streamlined, classy looking and very, very sexy.  My feet have been liberated from the confines of a kayak and I spend my morning paddles watching my toes go all wrinkly, which is a very novel experience for a kayaker.  

Slim Jim lording it upAll in all, new toy lust moved to new toy love very quickly, and I’ve bonded successfully with Slim Jim in the calm morning conditions on the mighty Derwent.  However, I can’t help feeling bad about leaving Bella and Lil and Larry lounging in the garage, collecting spiders and ant poo (Larry even has a flat tyre I haven’t got around to fixing), remembering bitterly the time when they were the favourite toy.  And there’s Slim Jim, hung up away from the dust and spiders (because crossways is the only way he fits in the garage), tenderly washed after every paddle and with every new scratch tutted over, lording it over the old toys like Lord Muck.

Don’t worry Bella, Lil and Larry!  Slim Jim is not much use for a leisurely afternoon or overnight paddle (much too difficult to keep upright) and Bella, we can sit together for hours and you can carry a huge range of camping equipment, including bottles of wine).  Lil, you can carve it up in the surf and spin on a river wave like no other.  And Larry, if I want to go for a spin up the mountain then Slim Jim is hardly going to help with that, is he?  I promise I’ll fix that tyre soon.

I haven’t replaced the old toys, I’ve just expanded my repertoire of activities.  It’s simply the first flush of new toy love that means all I do these days is paddle Slim Jim.  Don’t worry Bella, Lil and Larry - your day will no doubt come again.

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