Enter our FFTW (Females For the Win) Giveaway on our Instagram today! Win $50 from Wylder Goods (founded and run by and for women), $50 from Hipcamp (also founded and run by a woman!) and a Hipcamp x Rachel Pohl sticker pack.
In anticipation of International Women’s Day, we asked our community about the women who inspire them in the outdoors—from thought leaders and activists, to mothers, sisters, wives and friends. What we’ve compiled here is by no means an exhaustive list; to honor all the women who inspire and empower others in the outdoors would be impossible. Rather, we consider this a nod to some pretty rad ladies who are making waves—either as leaders in the outdoor industry, or simply by inspiring those closest to them.
Ever since falling in love with wild places on a trip to Joshua Tree in college, Grace has dedicated her life to increasing participation in the outdoors. Grace has worked for NOLS, GirlVentures, Conservacion Patagonica and the Sierra Club. Today, Grace is the marketing coordinator for the Center for Jackson Hole, a non-profit organization devoted to protecting public lands. Grace helps organize their annual SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) Festival and manages their Emerging Leaders program. She is also a badass climber and helped organized the first ever all African-American expedition team to attempt Denali! And lucky for us, Grace is a great friend and provides invaluable advice Hipcamp.
“Maegen is the definition of a badass. She is always looking for a new adventure and will go by herself if no one wants to join! Her knowledge of the outdoors makes me feel safe and secure when we’re braving new places. She is always pushing herself and taking up new activities likes skinning, rock climbing, or building out a platform for her truck. She inspires me to be more of a badass every day!”—Chelsea Stalling
Chelsea is a badass woman in her own right! Learn more about her in her Hipcamper of the Week profile.
In the fall of 2017, Hannah and Elyse planned the first-ever LGBTQ Outdoors Summit in Seattle. The event was 100% sold-out, and there’s another summit planned for October 2018 in San Francisco. (More details here!) You can read about the Seattle event in a recap from Roz Posley, a Hipcamp Field Scout who participated in the event.
Miho Aido is an outdoor educator, environmentalist and filmmaker. Her debut film, “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins: Gwich’in Women Speak,” documents the Native American women’s efforts in the conservation of public lands. In addition to being an outdoor science educator and instructor, Miho is an outspoken advocate and champion of inclusivity within the outdoor industry and conservation movement. Read more about her in her Outside Magazine profile.
“She is a rockstar!!! She works nights as a nurse, which is super rough. Yet still when it comes down to adventuring and making plans to do things, she shows up. Regardless if she was able to get to sleep the night before.”—Katelynn Ingraham
Jessica Wahl is one of the outdoor industry’s best allies in Washington D.C. After working for several years in the Department of Interior under President Obama, Jessica now works for the Outdoor Industry Association as the Government Affairs Manager. She focuses on promoting positive recreation policy goals and promote the outdoor industry’s agenda in Washington. A total politics junkie, she also loves to kayak, climb, hike, run and get outside as much as possible!
“Christy isn’t a professional athlete or anything, but in my eyes she is a woman of many talents. She rock climbs, hikes, surfs, camps and does archery. Inspired by her experiences outdoors, she even paints and wood burns awesome pieces. We both got into hiking in college as a stress outlet and she’s still my go-to partner when it comes to last minute trips to any kind of wilderness 9 years later. Her drive to get outside is such an inspiration to me. Driving through the night or working remotely from a campsite, she makes it happen. She’s collected so many stories and memories of the outdoors that have gotten others excited about experiences through her social media.”—Ania Alam
Rue is the founder of Outdoor Afro, a nationwide nonprofit organization that grew out of Rue’s personal blog that she started in 2009. Through social events, education and media, Outdoor Afro’s mission is to encourage African American participation in outdoor recreation and conservation. Today, Outdoor Afro has robust networks in almost 30 states and Rue is considered one of the most influential leaders in promoting diversity in the outdoors. Learn more about Outdoor Afro.
“My grandma Kay blossomed into a painter & poet after my grandpa’s passing. She continued her long, solitary walks in the North Carolina woods, painting barns and landscapes along the way. She always marveled in the tiny details of natural patterns, using her imagination to recreate them later in mixed media collages. Upon her passing, poetry took root in me. My entire Instagram is dedicated to patterns of nature and the words that flows thru me. I thank Nana Kay for honoring herself as a Woman Who Wilds, and for inspiring me to be a Woman Who Wilds.”—Zeezel
Sick and tired of never seeing any women in her favorite adventure films, Aisha founded an all women’s adventure film festival, No Man’s Land, to create a space to showcase women athletes and artists.
Ever had trouble finding stylish and functional outdoors wear? As a woman, you may know the struggle of sifting through piles of odd purple-colored base layers is real. Enter: Wylder Goods. Founded by Lyndsey Elliot and Jainee Dial, Wylder curates goods that are designed for and by women, from sustainable brands that have transparent positive social impacts—and yes, that also balance beauty with functionality.
Rachel is one talented lady based out of Bozeman, MT. Inspired by the mountains, Rachel has made it her life’s work to share beautiful places through her artwork. Read our interview with Rachel.
“I met Tara on an Outward Bound instructor course and ever since she has been a constant reminder of what a strong, independent woman can mean in the outdoor industry and the backcountry. Surprisingly, the outdoor industry and outdoor education specifically can be extremely lopsided with regards to gender and I have actually experienced the most severe sexism in this industry. The outdoors are exclusive to a lot of people: minorities, low income, women, disabled, the list goes on; but I observe Tara working every day to try and chip away at this exclusivity. She is welcoming and warm and instantly makes everyone who meets her feel included. It’s a gift that I feel so lucky to be around. Not to mention she is a badass climbing chic (leads trad and teaches others climbing).”—Natalie Acheatel
Danielle Williams may be one of the most badass women on the planet. After graduating from Harvard in 2008, Danielle served with combat deployments in US Army for a decade. Since, she has founded Melanin Base Camp, Team Blackstar Skydivers, and is also a key organizer of Diversify Outdoors. Herself a disabled skydiver, Danielle is dedicated to increasing ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA participation in adventure sports. Currently, she has over 600 jumps under her belt!!!
Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate and author of more than 20 books. She is a leader of the “alter-globalization” movement, a social movement that supports global interaction and cooperation.
“Not only is she one of the boldest women I know, she doesn’t let anyone run her over. She is powerful and truly herself. She doesn’t conform to what the people around her or society wants her to be. She is so strong. She also started her own longboard company @cascoboards and taught herself how to build them from the ground up. She shapes the wood and does all the design. We have backpacked together and led kids in the wilderness and I am always in awe of what a good role model she is for young women. They look up to her and she is such a source of raw beauty and power. She is individual and bold yet kind and sensitive. She is thoughtful yet a badass wild woman. She encompasses all these amazing feminine qualities and has also completely changed my view of what feminine can mean. Feminine doesn’t have to be flowers and pink and frills, Chapin has taught me that feminine can be dirty and muscles and standing up for what you believe in no matter what other people will think. She is such a contradiction of what our society has defined as feminine and it is truly a breath of fresh air.”—Natalie Acheatel
“Sophia is one of the most passionate, hardcore and unapologetically ‘herself’ people I know. After retiring as a mogul skier for the US Ski Team, Sophia is now a big mountain skier in Jackson, WY. Between her many side hustles, Sophia always makes time for her friends—whether she’s writing training and recovery plans for Ultimate teammates back at Dartmouth, or being my personal life coach. Beyond her big mountain dreams, Sophia is an aspiring physical therapist and started a really awesome initiative 99 Days of Skier and Snowboarder Women, which—as you may have guessed—highlights women in skiing and snowboarding.”—Julie Kukral
“Artist nature babe extrordinaire! She is a siren that sings the songs written wildly by the rivers. She harvests the essence of the mountains and shares it with the world through her paint brush. She sees that I am also of Earth and she beckons me home.”—@misswalrus
Perhaps it was growing up as the only girl in a family of eight boys, but Teresa Baker is a force of nature. In the past few years, Teresa has been behind some of the most significant events in the movement to diversify the outdoors—from a retracing of the Buffalo Soldier trail to the Hike Like a Girl campaign. For Teresa, inclusion goes hand-in-hand with conservation: “The larger concern is that if we don’t start creating welcoming environments in the outdoors for people of color, in 20 years when the majority demographic in this country is black and brown faces, no one will be around to care about these open spaces. That’s the urgency of this issue.” In between her many initiatives, Teresa also provides invaluable advice to Hipcamp. Thanks, Teresa!
Adriana, a Hipcamp Field Scout, was nominated by 10 different friends for this award. Here’s what some of them said about Adriana:
“Adriana is a shaker and a mover. She’s not afraid of a challenge. She always up for an adventure. She has a passion for photography ,rock climbing and so many other things. She is a inspiration to many generations.”
“She if my wife. She is my angel. She is a wild wild rockstar.”
“She motivates me to socialize, laugh, see the great outdoors and be a great person. She’s wild for sure, but where it matters most.”
Brianna Madia is a vanlife influencer, freelance writer, dog mama and lover of the outdoors. You may recognize her iconic orange van, Bertha, or her two dogs, Dagwood and Bucket from Instagram.
“She strives to live a full life appreciating the outdoors for all the beauty they hold. She allows her dogs to be free roaming and never leaves them behind on her adventures. She fights to preserve natural lands and climbs on them regularly. She is one of the greatest outdoor advocates there is.”—Nataly Adowd
“My wife Is the perfect example of an amazing wild woman! My wife is teaching our kids constantly about the outdoors, and camping and flowers and always planning an adventure for us! She has taught our kids and me so much about life outside of screens! She plans our weekends around a new dirt road or a hot spring on a map she wants to go check out. Not only does she plan daily activities to get us outside and explore but we always have an amazing picnic to go with it. Sometimes the kids can be harder to persuade but she looks up ideas and things for them to find, like a scavenger hunt to keep it enjoyable! It’s not easy to get outside with kids but she makes it look so easy, whether it’s sunny or snowing! I’ve been at work and she sends pictures of their adventures. She sent me a picture of them paddle boarding together, she had to carry the board, the lunch, and make sure the kids were taken care of (2 and 5 years old)! Not easy! I couldn’t have done that. She has patience and is kind and only wants the best for the kids and our family. She’s my wild woman.”—Milan Salva
Tania is the communications director at the Outdoor Alliance, an organization comprised of paddlers, mountain bikers, hikers, climbers and backcountry skiers, united to protect and conserve the human-powered experience on public lands. Tania is a jack of all trades, and as communications director, she is in charge of finding, telling and amplifying stories of outdoor enthusiasts, sharing their successes, as well as inviting other people to unite in the fight to protect public lands. This past year, Tania was fundamental in helping kill a bill that proposed the sell-off of 3.3 million acres of public lands. Want to know how? Read her play-by-play in an interview with Jess Wahl of the Outdoor Industry Association (another one of our 2018 Women Who Wild!).
Gale Straub, founding editor-in-chief of She-Explores created a digital movement and place of empowerment for women of all backgrounds who seek the outdoors. Since creating her blog, she has since produced a short film, Venturous Voices (featuring Hipcamp founder, Alyssa!), and now has not one, but two podcasts that you can listen to on your next adventure.”
In addition to being Hipcamp Field Scouts, Erin and Caroline are the Women Who Wild behind Authentic Asheville. Erin is a Squarespace web designer who has worked with brands like REI, Subaru, Columbia Sportswear and the National Parks Foundation. Caroline in a photographer, writer and brand identity specialist, who also founded Hole Doughnuts. Life, business and adventure partners, Erin and Caroline explore the US in the Toyota Chinook, can always sniff out the best ramen, and have a strong craft beer game.
Sasha Cox realized that everything she knew about the outdoors she had learned from men, and set out to create a place where women can teach and learn about the outdoors from other women. Enter Trail Mavens! Described as “outdoor adventures for urban women,” Trail Maven’s mission is to get women outdoors and to empower them to “be the fire-starters, the tent-pitchers, and the map-readers.” Sasha has truly lowered the barriers to getting outside, and has created a space where women can be inspired by one another and can build relationships around a shared love of the outdoors.
“I met Sarah a few months ago because we were the only two girls in a surf squad of 6 guys. Ever since then we have camped, surfed multiple days in a row and she is the perfect example of someone who is always down for a camping trip no matter – her camping gear is always in the car! Not only does she inspire me to take advantage of the beauty around me, but she is a strong, independent, amazing woman that encourages me to always do me!”—Megan Karbowski
Ruby is the Executive Project Coordinator of Latino Outdoors, a nationwide organization whose mission is to increase Latino participation and leadership in the outdoor community. Ruby found a connection to the outdoors as many do—in Yosemite Valley—and later majored in recreation administration in college. “I wouldn’t be the empowered woman I am today without my unbreakable connection to nature. I couldn’t love myself, my children, or my community the way I do without having climbed this mountain. I believe in humankind’s capacity for growth, because I did it. Through my work I seek to create this opportunity for others.”