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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The best laid plans...

tn_P3220413.JPGThe way the schedule worked out, I ended up staying in Thunder Bay for the weekend after my talk.  Brent very kindly set me up with cross country skis and lent me his car for the day and I was very excited about getting back on some skis for the first time since last I was here in Canada.  Skis, poles, boots and wax kit, all lent to me by Claire who looks after Lakehead University’s amazing outdoor gear warehouse. 

It was a beautiful day and I set off, armed with my kit and directions to the cross country ski area.  My directions said stay on the 11/17 and look out for a sign, which sounds simple enough.  However...they have recently built a new highway, and instead of calling it something new like Highway 154 (or whatever number you like - there are lots), they decided to call it the 11/17.  The original 11/17 they then renamed Highway 61.  And guess where I was supposed to be?!  Yes, that’s right - the original 11/17.

I ended up in a little place called Kakabeka Falls, which I'd heard of because Brent had suggested going there before saying that it was in the opposite direction of the cross country ski area.  I stopped for directions at a gas station, then on my way out of town I spotted a souvenir shop.  Now, usually I’m not a big one for shopping or souvenirs, but Dave and I have made a pact that we’ll Kakabeka Falls 1collect a souvenir from each place we visit.  We’ve only just moved to Tasmania and we need to kit out a house anyway, so why not get a few things from overseas?  To this end we’ve got an oven mitt from San Francisco, a maple leaf shaped maple syrup jar, a fridge magnet featuring a moose in a canoe going off Niagara Falls - the list goes on but you get the idea.  So you see why I couldn’t let the opportunity of a souvenir shop in a very random and tiny Northern Ontario town go past - if nothing else I could look at the Kakabeka Falls souvenir in years to come and have a little chuckle about getting lost.

I was the only person in the shop.  The owner was very friendly and we had a chat and a laugh about where I was going and where I ended up.  I got a magnet for the fridge (featuring some Canadian Hooters - owls) and directions to Kakabeka Falls themselves.  The owner also told me about a ski area just up the road from the falls which was great!  I aimed for one place, got to another, was going to see a cool waterfall and would get to go for a ski anyway.

Kakabeka Falls 2Kakabeka Falls was almost frozen over and very beautiful.  The river was a big sheet of ice above and below the falls, but there was water shooting over the falls from underneath the ice.  I’d never seen a frozen up waterfall before and there was even a deer out on the ice - how very Canadian!  There were also directions to the ski area so my day was looking good.  After all, the best adventures are often the unplanned ones.

I got to the ski area, changed into my ski pants and jacket, put the boots on and took the skis out of the car so I could wax them on a nearby picnic table.  I figured the temperature was around freezing which means the skis needBoots and ski track a pretty sticky wax put on in the kick zone, where you push when you put your foot down on the ski.  I owned a pair of wax skis when I lived in Canada before and found out (mostly through trial and error) what happens if you use the wrong wax.  If the wax is too sticky you get a big pad of snow stuck to the skis and it’s like walking with planks stuck to your feet.  If the wax is not sticky enough it’s like being on one of those gym machines - you walk and walk and walk and stay in exactly the same spot.  This is fine for the gym and it’s fantastic exercise, but it looks pretty silly when you’re out in the woods, skiing away and getting absolutely nowhere.

I’d forgotten to put in the wax.  Claire keeps a beautifully organised and well maintained storeroom so of course there was absolutely no wax residue left on the skis I’d borrowed from her.  There were two other cars in the car park but no one in sight.  I thought about skiing anyway but I felt a bit self conscious about going out and getting all red faced and sweaty while skiing on the spot - I could imagine the Canadians gliding gracefully past and thinking to themselves, ‘ah - another Australian’.

It's OK if you forget to waxAs it turned out, the snow was hard enough for me to walk, so that’s what I did.  One or two Canadians did glide gracefully past on their skis but I just said hi as they whizzed past and tried to look like I’d actually planned to walk.  I walked along a beautiful river, saw a couple of woodpeckers and a squirrel and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet of the snowy woods.  So even though I planned something completely different, I had a lovely day.  It just goes to show that if you enjoy yourself, go with the flow and keep your eyes open, it doesn’t matter if you forget to wax.

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