Women in the outdoors haven’t always been as widely represented as they are becoming in today’s Outdoor Industry. Extreme sports and outdoor recreation have, for ages, been marketed towards and dominated by men. Growing up surfing, for the longest time, I was the only girl paddling out into a crowd of guys. Finding fellow female, in the line-up, was as equally rare as finding the end of a rainbow – it happened, but not often. Don’t believe me? Go watch Valley Uprising and just count the girl climbers you see highlighted in the film [a grand total of one].
Today, though, I can go to the beach and practically expect to see a younger group of girls charging it. Things are changing and, if you’re asking me, it has something to do with groups of outdoorswomen, who grew up being called tomboys, that have decided it is about time that nickname was laid to rest. And thanks to the Interwebs, they have been successful. Groups of outdoorswomen, from all around, are using their social influences to show their fellow women that standards are changing. We can shred, charge, climb and rough it just like the boys. The tomboy has died and the outdoorswoman has been born.
Reading through Misadventure Magazine was, for me, a clear sign that said "tomboy" had officially resigned. After scrambling through the magazine stand in Barnes and Noble, I pulled Issue 2 – The How To (Survive) Issue off the shelf. Of course, many other talented outdoorswomen have been working to forge the way with online blogs and social platforms long before this magazine. But, holding a printed publication, written and published by outdoorswomen, for outdoorswomen said something powerful. It said that there were enough women, interested in the content, that they could successfully publish and sell an outdoor, adventure magazine for women.
I left the checkout line, hopped in my car and cracked open the front cover. The moment of truth; Was their content actually useful? Did they truly dedicate to providing outdoor based stories and resources? Or, was it just another women’s magazine cluttered with advertisements and cute outfits?
By page 12, I was sold. Author, Julie Holtz, shared an article titled “Hacking the System: Warming up your current sleep system without breaking the bank.” Yes! Useful!
The pages following only continued to encourage the low-key fist pumps I was performing - alone in my car. The magazine was full of adventure stories and advice from inspirational outdoorswomen. My heart throbbed at the interview by Paige Fulton with Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, and I even gagged a little over the incredibly descriptive "How-To" on wilderness self-amputation. [Here's hoping that never becomes useful.]
Of course, there were a few outfits and advertisements – but noone ever said an outdoorswoman couldn’t dress cute. However, if you ever catch me buying gear based on keeping to a color scheme; I give you permission to pinch me.
Two thumbs up to Misadventure Magazine and an even bigger Heck Ya to my fellow outdoorswomen. Sorry namecallers, the "Tomboy" has left the building.