Recently, a hot topic among outdoor women is whether or not they 'belong' in the outdoors. This is usually conceived by one type of outdoor woman being copied and pasted across social media outlets instead of the beautiful diverse outdoor women that truly exist in the real world. A common misconception is that in order to be considered a true outdoor woman, or even an adventure mom, us women have to meet a certain undefined standard. Like an invisible line drawn at the highest elevation guarantees a badge of true wildness. Let's break down that wall and come to a true understanding of what it means to be an outdoor woman.
An outdoor woman explores herself just as she explores the wilderness before her. She gives herself permission to take it slow in life, just as she does on the trail. She brushes herself off when she takes a tumble, standing back up again with a spirit of motivation and determination. An outdoor woman goes at her own pace, gaining strength every day. An outdoor woman doesn't fit into one mold of shape, size, race, political, or sexual orientation. She is grounded in her own truth, understanding that every woman on the trail with her has her own truths as well, and she celebrates them. An adventure mom is a protector of tiny humans. She uses her guardianship to explore life with her children in every way possible. Whether she takes weekly trips to the neighborhood park or summits the tallest mountains with her babies strapped to her back, she is the definition of an adventure mom. She fiercely protects her babies while still allowing them to touch, smell, taste and see Mother Earth. She teaches them about bravery. An adventure mom demonstrates what it's like to be brave when she tries new and (sometimes) scary things. An adventure mom teaches her children about all the wonderful things the world has to offer. She opens up opportunities for her children to learn about a variety of ecosystems, countries, cultures, and religions. An adventure mom whole-heartedly wants her children to learn through experience! An outdoor woman seeks the advice and inspiration from other outdoor women different than her. She encourages those around her on the trail and in life. She never sets foot on the trail with the intention of being better than anyone but herself. When she sees another outdoor woman struggling, she puts her own agenda aside to better the experience of the other. She is selfless. An outdoor woman accepts herself at her worst and celebrates herself at her best. She is empowered by the feeling of her body sweating and aching as she pushes herself to be better than she was before.
An outdoor woman could exhibit all of these qualities, or could be starting from ground zero with no idea where she stands. That's okay. All outdoor women start at the trailhead with different ideas, capabilities and experiences that will inevitably carry them up the mountain. All outdoor women bring something to the trail that no other woman brought before her. We are all united with the inner fire that burns within our hearts to always keep going.
Written by Lindsay Helm