There is nothing quite like washing muddy clothes in a river on a multi-day hike, snapping nails and scuffing palms on a long, satisfying climb or that first stretch in a morning after a warm, cosy night wild camping. Adventures in the great outdoors can be freeing and empowering, as the restraints and oppressions of daily life fall away, when we are allowed to be entirely uninhibited, entirely ourselves.
My idea of self-care is letting my salty post-surf hair naturally air dry as I warm up by a campfire or being covered head to toe in mud after a soggy trail run. I recently started learning to solo a canoe, in training for an expedition to a white-water river in Mongolia over the summer. For me, the satisfaction of having complete control of an open boat, and taking on responsibility for my own safety, is a magical lesson in independence and in self-belief. Kneeling in my canoe, paddle in hand, I feel a power, a strength and a freedom that is intoxicating.
When we’re not in the fells or training for Mongolia, my boyfriend and I live in a converted van, which means I need light, comfy gear and a sturdy, easy-to-pack bag that I can throw together in a matter of seconds before we head out into the wilds on our adventures. Adventure is empowering, so my gear has to be too; it needs to support me, rather than hinder me. The gear also needs to be easily packed away into the limited storage area we have for our outdoor kit. The Outline shoes are the lightest and comfiest shoes I own, and they provide a welcome break from heavy hiking boots on warmer days. This spring, they’ve really come into their own as my main outdoor shoes. I trust them through all landscapes and they haven’t let me down. Similarly, the Out Day pack is perfect for when we want to head out with minimal hassle. It’s incredibly comfortable and the perfect size for storing all of my day kit. It’s also designed specifically for women and it’s surprisingly empowering to have a pack that fits my body, instead of the one-size-fits-all-men standard.
The challenges we face as women trying to break clichés and find our spaces within the outdoor community can often lead to disillusionment and frustration. I’d love to have a community of women around me, even just a small group to adventure with, to know that we aren’t alone in this fight to break the glass ceiling. I think all women deserve to have some girl power in their lives and I crave female company and support on adventures. I’d love to wild camp and have some quality mountain days with a group of diverse, happy, motivated women, hear their stories, share my own and feel proud to be a strong, soft, fierce, kind woman in adventure.
20 May 2019 by George Fisher
5 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District to be completed in 5 hours Challenge
10 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District to be completed in 10 hours.
Julie Carter will be joining us for an evening talk on THE ART OF ADVENTURE