Divas on Trail
Women have been exploring and enjoying the outdoors as long as anyone. Still, stereotypes sometimes persist, like girls don’t like to get dirty or the woods aren't a safe place for a woman.
Of course, we all know this is absolutely absurd.
As do the hundreds of women who have packed REI's recent "Diva Night" series of discussions aimed at educating and empowering women in the outdoors. In recent months, I've participated in three of REI's Diva Nights, representing WTA's outreach program. The women I met were excited to get outside. Many hike several times a month already with friends and family. Others were just getting started.
Even though the Diva Nights were geared towards women, I heard plenty of questions not unlike those I hear from new hikers all the time. Can you suggest a great beginner hike? How do I find a hiking club in my area? What gear do I need to get started?
And issues specific to women were brought up, too. Is it safe for me to hike alone in wilderness? Should I stick to gear items specifically designed for women? The Diva Nights gave these gals a forum for sharing concerns, experiences, advice and encouragement.
Missed Diva Night? Check out WTA's Answers to Women's Common Hiking Questions, originally published in Washington Trails magazine. Look up a book on women in the outdoors. Or, join us at the next Diva Night -- October 27 at the Issaquah REI store.