As a female hiker that has a tendency to hike alone, with the exception of my dog, I often get the question, ‘Why don’t you hike with a partner?‘ or sometimes people just flat-out say ‘It’s really not safe out there, you should bring someone with you, preferably a guy.‘
If I’m being totally honest, I hate that! I’m perfectly capable of handling things on my own. I guess, more than anything, I find myself increasingly frustrated with the mindset that I’m not as strong or capable simply because I’m female. Disparaging comments often drown out the words of encouragement because I let it get to me. Having been to college in small, conservative town in the North Georgia mountains, I’m no stranger to the old mindset. I spent five years in a town where most people believed that women should marry out of college and settle down to be a housewife. That lifestyle isn’t for me, and that often set me apart from the crowd. I’m starting to wonder what it’s going to take to change this mindset. We’re in the 21st century, women are taking the world by storm! And yet, people balk at the idea that I hike alone!
I’ve seen many articles in recent months that are targeting the bias in the outdoor industry. Articles have ranged from the durability and usability of women’s outdoor clothing to the attitudes of people towards female hikers. We need more voices out there! There are so many incredible role models for us, and so many have set records. But why aren’t their names more mainstream? Why are people disregarding their records?
Sorry for the rant today guys. I just get frustrated by people’s responses sometimes. I do my best to brush it off, but it does get to me every once in a while. I promise to follow up this post with some inspiring women adventurers!