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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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The Joy of Sailing

The joy of sailingSailing is a wonderful sport, don’t get me wrong, but spending long periods of time in a cramped space looking out at a very, very un-cramped space has never really appealed to me.  When I was at high school I used to sail on the local tall ship (yes, I do admit I wasn't a normal teenager) and while I really liked how all the different ropes* worked all the different sails, I was always pretty happy to get off onto land again after a few days - actually, even after a few hours.  I feel much the same way about caving.  It’s fun while it lasts and I can see how people love it but it’s not something I can ever see myself getting really passionate about.

This article is about a different type of sailing - Garage Sailing.  I’ve just moved about 2000km as the crow flies, halfway across a country and over a significant body of water.  My partner and I didn’t have much furniture to start out with so we got rid of it in the move and arrived at my parents’ house with 17 boxes and a car load of outdoor gear (including 3 kayaks and 2 bikes).  Facing a move into a new house, we did a tour of the op shops, the second hand furniture shops and the tip shop - only to find that you have to get there at exactly the right time or all the good stuff goes.  Also, even some of the ugly, filthy furniture we found was sort of expensive (ie, over $50), and the really cheap stuff was ugly, filthy AND broken.  After two months in North America and five months off work, we’re on a budget.

We’ll keep visiting the op shops because there are definitely some great bargains to be found, but we found a new source of decent furniture too - the auction house!  After my two hours of work last week we headed off to the auction which was absolutely packed with people.  There were some great pieces of furniture there but again, a little out of our price range - particularly the pieces being bought by (we suspected) antiques dealers.  We left empty handed but I think we’ll go back some time because there were definitely some bargains coming up.  For a day or so we thought we might have to bite the bullet and spend the money on furniture and household items such as toasters and kettles. 

Then we found Garage Sailing.

The technique is this:

  1. Garage sailing bargain 1Create a Garage Sale List. In our case this consists of almost everything, apart from cutlery, some kitchen utensils and a telephone. Fill the car with petrol.
  2. Get up early on Saturday and buy the paper, or look online if the paper’s late to the local shop or you’re feeling uncomfortable about the environment and the $1.30.
  3. Read through the Garage Sale ads and choose which you think will be most productive. We quickly learnt that some suburbs are better than others, it pays to get there early and a Moving Sale is the best, preferably overseas but interstate is ok (usually people just want to get rid of stuff without the hassle of carting it away).
  4. Create a map of Garage Sales (with opening times) and divide it into sections that house multiple sales. Make a Plan (note the capital P).
  5. Put $100 in your pocket (in 20’s if possible) and fill your pockets with the contents of the coin jar. Toss out the list you made in Step 1 - you won’t be needing it.
  6. Sail Away (Sail Away, Sail Away)!

Before we went Garage Sailing we were a bit dubious about just how productive it would be.  We have since changed our minds!

Garage sailing bargains 2After our first weekend Garage Sailing we had spent $100 and got a kitchen table, cupboard, coffee table, printer, keyboard, bread maker, casserole dish, roasting pan, bbq tool set, compost bin, biscuit trays, bean bag, toaster, kettle, milk frother, fishing rod, 2 heaters and more.  The best part of it all is that we have basically nothing with us, so pretty much everything at these sales has a potential place in our house.  Best of all, it’s all dirt cheap and often you’re doing the people a favour by carting it away for them.

We revisited our list at the end of the first weekend and it was satisfying to cross off a good number of items, and also to write on (then cross off) some items that we didn’t know we needed until we saw them and they were only a buck (like the milk frother and the fishing rod).  The subsequent weeks were just as productive and the house is starting to look more like a home and echo a lot less.  All I can say is, it’s lucky there are still a lot of items left over on the list because Garage Sailing is our new favourite hobby.

*For tall ship sailing people who object to me calling them ropes, I KNOW there are only two ropes on a ship, it just sounds better to say ropes.

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