Setting My Default to Happy – The Name that Changed My Life

The first time I truly enjoyed myself on a camping trip was two months ago in Moab. I have loved camping and backpacking my whole life, and I often experienced joy on these adventures, but underlying that happiness I always felt anxious, scared, or stressed. The quiet of wild spaces that most people find to…Read more Setting My Default to Happy – The Name that Changed My Life

Ditching the Mascara is not a Prerequisite for Outdoors[wo]manship

I grew up thinking that confident women almost never wore makeup, especially not while doing outdoor activities or playing sports. While I don't judge the adults in my life at all for imparting on me this ideology - their intentions were good (as were those of many '90s parents who wanted to raise strong, confident daughters)…Read more Ditching the Mascara is not a Prerequisite for Outdoors[wo]manship

The Mountains: Not Yet Cool Enough

I grew up in Atlanta myself, and understand the unavailability of the outdoors and lack of connection with the outdoors for many multicultural urban youth. And it doesn't seem to be getting better. One thing I did connect with was hip-hop. Atlanta is a music city. Hip-hop influenced every aspect of my life in one way or another. At six years old, I had three main influences: my friends, popular trends, and my favorite rapper, Lil Wayne.

Imperfect Progress is Progress Nonetheless – “Welcome to the conversation, REI!”

This campaign is neither the start nor the finish of the discussion concerning gender equality and diversity in the outdoors, and we as a community have a lot of work to do. I am glad, however, to have one of the major outdoor gear outfitters onboard, and using its enormous platform to call attention to these issues. Imperfect progress is still progress. In climbing a peak, I would rather take one shaky step up and slide halfway back, then to stand paralyzed, waiting for the perfection, while looking at the summit from far below.

“Be careful!” – Longboarding and Gendered Risk Taking

By guest blogger, Liana R. There’s an arbitrary expectation in athletics: girls should avoid getting hurt, but not boys. Why should girls avoid the same risks that boys are encouraged to face? Typically, the more “extreme” or higher risk a sport, the more male-dominated it is (e.g. longboarding, skateboarding, BMX, long-distance hiking).  But in reality,…Read more “Be careful!” – Longboarding and Gendered Risk Taking

Keeping Score: Females on the Field

By guest blogger, Loraina Stinson It wasn't until recently that I started playing coed sports. As early as fifth grade, I started participating in female sports teams. Synchronized swimming and field hockey. I ran track my junior year of high school and we'd practice with the boys team, but I goofed off with my best…Read more Keeping Score: Females on the Field

A List of Books for Summer Adventures (… and a request for recommendations)

With backpacking/rafting/camping/kayaking season coming up (or in many places - already here), I wanted to compile a list of books that have helped me learn a lot this year, and get recommendations from others of books that have helped them learn and grow. The authors on this list are talented, brave, thought-provoking artists, and each book made…Read more A List of Books for Summer Adventures (… and a request for recommendations)