Every human being who has spent time outside has been challenged by the outdoors. From unexpected thunder storms on a camping trip, to the satisfaction of scaling a rock wall, the challenges are part of why we get out there — they give us a sense of accomplishment, and stories that stick with us.
But not all challenges are created equal. And when any group of people is offered less respect, less representation, or taken less seriously than another, it makes it harder to enjoy the unexpected challenges that we all seek to embrace.
Women who work, recreate, and compete in outdoor spaces are one of many intersecting groups who have not always been welcomed with open arms. Here’s a random assortment of examples throughout history:
- Women weren’t allowed to climb Mt. Fuji until 1912.
- Mountaineer Arlene Blum was told women weren’t allowed past the kitchen at Denali base camp before taking a team of women to the top.
- In 1967, a male official tried to push Kathryn Switzer off the Boston Marathon course, because women weren’t allowed to compete.
- A survey of National Park employees conducted in 2000 revealed that over half of female rangers had experienced sexual harassment on the job.
- In 2016, GQ published a shockingly sexist climbing piece that depicted women as stylish accessories to the men who show off their bouldering skills.
- Just last year, Outside Magazine found that 53% of women have been sexually harassed while recreating outdoors.
This past year saw inequality between the sexes resurface, and long overdue acknowledgement that it’s never gone away. From the #MeToo movement, to the backlash faced by Outside when they addressed sexism in the outdoors, we’ve seen brave honesty, painful reckonings, and difficult conversations, all of which are necessary to keep us moving forward — hopefully, faster than before.
The Dyrt Magazine Issue 01: Women in the Outdoors
Here at The Dyrt, we know there’s a lot of work to be done in fostering an outdoor community that embraces and encourages everyone, equally. In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating women in the outdoors, from the co-workers we sit next to and the friends we go camping with, to the athletes winning gold medals and breaking records in our favorite outdoor sports.
Dive in to our very first digital issue. And come back for more! We’ll be sharing stories about women in the outdoors, all month long.
13 Inspiring Women You Can Quote Instead of John Muir
John Muir is frequently quoted about the outdoors. Turns out, he said some really bad stuff, too. Let’s turn to these inspiring women instead, for poetic words and stirring insight that makes us want to get outside. Read the article here.
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How Snow Science Empowered me as a BackCountry Skier
Megan Walsh explores how an AIARE course empowered her and made her more cautious in the mountains. Read the article here.
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9 Outdoor Women’s Groups You Can Join Throughout the Country
Women are gathering to run, paddle, ski and more with groups of other women across the country. Find one near you. Read the article here.
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Strangers in the Desert
Britany Robinson takes a solo road trip to Death Valley, and tries to decide if all those warnings about traveling alone are really necessary. Read the article here.
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These 6 Women-Led Outdoor Brands Are Sticking to Their Values
From Alaskan fisheries to public lands, you’ll support great causes by supporting these women-run outdoor brands. Read the article here.
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My Latest Project: Embracing Fear on the Climbing Wall
A fear of falling is a common problem for new climbers. Here’s how one woman is choosing to face that fear and continue her journey in the climbing community. Read the article here.
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The Evolution of Women’s Outdoor Gear (+ do we even need it?)
The outdoor industry is finally catching up to the demand for high-quality, high-performance outdoor gear for women. Let’s take a look at the history, the details, and where we’re at now. Read the article.
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Stay tuned for more stories about women in the outdoors, all month long.
Do you have your own story about overcoming obstacles while recreating, working, or competing outside as a woman? Or do you want to brag about a woman you admire? Share a photo and story, along with the hashtag #StillSheGoes on Instagram to join our celebration of women who love the outdoors.