For women


Outdoor fitness & training for the female athlete

By Alexandra Lev / June 22, 2020 /

Since I never played sports in high school or college and since I don’t enjoy conventional forms of working out, I’ve never really considered myself an athlete. Yet everything I do in the mountains is a form of athleticism and requires training, especially as my mountain goals have become more technical and challenging. The first…

Tips for handling harassment on the trail

By Alexandra Lev / May 21, 2020 /

While hiking alone on a trail, has a man ever slowed down a little when walking past you, and perhaps even brushed your shoulders ever so slightly, giving you that uneasy feeling and prompting you to look over your shoulder the rest of the way? Or how about a man on the trail who asks…

Women-specific gear: What’s the difference, and do you need it?

By Teresa Hagerty / May 13, 2020 /

On my first backpacking trip, I used a rented backpack, a massively unwieldy sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad better suited for a guest room. My pack must have weighed over 50 pounds.  In the years that followed, I have gained hands-on knowledge with almost every gear category, and I have bought and replaced a…

Face Your Fears: The real risk of wild animals & injuries for women

By Teresa Hagerty / May 5, 2020 /

As a female outdoor leader, guide, and mentor, I hear a wide range of worries that women have about being outdoors. Wild animals and injuries are two of the most common. I’m here to tell you that women are no more vulnerable than anyone else outdoors.  Real vs. Perceived Risks The first night I camped…

Should women hike solo?

By Alexandra Lev / April 28, 2020 /

It’s always been natural for me to be alone, including on the trail. Sadly, society has conditioned us to think that it is unsafe for women to recreate outdoors solo. This attitude is wrong and perpetuates negative stereotypes about women– hiking, running, and camping alone can be both safe and rewarding. So it’s time to…

women rock climbers high-fiving on rock

Outdoor Women: How to Find Your Community

By Alexandra Lev and Teresa Hagerty / April 20, 2020 /

This is for the incredible women still seeking their outdoor community. I’ve been there too. This is the article I wish I’d found years ago to support my search for my own female adventure partners. Allow me to provide you with the map to your outdoor sisterhood. The destination is worth the journey. When I…

How is backpacking different for women than men? Series intro

By Andrew Skurka / April 13, 2020 /

While reorganizing and streamlining the blog categories late last year, I found two lonely posts that demanded their own section — For women — and that also highlighted the need for more related content. On this website I generally stick to subjects about which I’m an expert, so historically it’s been light on female-specific subjects…

FAQ for female backpackers: Menstruation, #1 & #2, group dynamics, and clothing & gear

By Andrew Skurka / June 5, 2018 /

Jessica Winters and Mary Cochenour, who will be helping Alan Dixon and me guide trips next month in Rocky Mountain National Park, recently fielded questions from our clients about a few female-specific topics, including menstruation, #1 and #2, group dynamics, and clothing. Rather than share the answers only with our groups, I thought they’d have greater value if…

Female hygiene: a backcountry guide and tips

By Trinity Ludwig / March 11, 2013 /

Introduction from Skurka: I’m qualified to write about many backpacking matters. Female hygiene best practices is not one of them. For this topic, I asked Trinity Ludwig to share her wisdom, figuring she must have a few pointers — in September 2012 she and her two hiking partners, Shelley and Sarah, finished an 11-month 1,785-mile…