Let me preface this blog by first saying I am a homeschooler and my social skills are “eh” as I am actually relatively shy. In the past I’ve always gravitated towards male friends and was raised a tomboy, which I was totally fine with till about two years ago. I was craving female companionship.
A desire I didn’t realize, till I had binge watched all six seasons of “Sex and the City.” But I didn’t want friends to shop, I wanted to make friends with an interest in traveling, adventure and sports. I have a best friend, Heather, (we’ve known each other since kindergarten) and we travel as much as we can together but with the distance (Heather being in Indiana and myself residing in California) it is impossible for us to do day or even weekend trips. Our adventures are limited by our vacation time, bank accounts and sadly, sometimes our boyfriends. So I set out to find local adventure girls, which proved to be more difficult than expected.
I watched as my friend Kye swiped through California girls on Tinder. There were hundreds of females with “wanderlust” and “I LoOoove hiking ” written all over their profile. As a female, I was immediately able to see what these girls were doing. Just because they wrote I love hiking, traveling and adventures in their bio doesn’t actually mean they did these things. Its trendy to say wanderlust, while simultaneously making themselves more alluring in an attempt to attract the
attention of outdoorsy, athletic (in shape) males. Clever ladies, I see you. But seriously, no wonder guys are so confused with the female species. Haha Half these girls thought taking the stairs at the mall could be classified as hiking and camping consisted of a four star hotel with room service. While scrolling through the popular page on Instagram, I found what I was looking for… Positive female based communities of outdoor women. These accounts each had something different to offer a girl with true wanderlust. I quickly followed multiple accounts and started interacting with adventurers both local and around the world. Ecstatic with my discovery of these online networks featuring girl power, sisterhood and a bonding love for nature, I couldn’t help feeling a strong sense of togetherness even though I had yet to meet any of these women.
Now, when I go on adventures, most recently on my road trip home from Alaska, I know girls in every state I stop. DM’ing or texting with my new friends and meeting up with dope ladies to hike, climb or even just exchange stories and travel tips over a beer or three. With each exchange, I felt more a part of a female sisterhood than if I had been a society girl in college. Each interaction was positive, encouraging and empowering. I wrote this blog with the hopes that any girl reading this who might feel isolated or alone, can find other genuine, kind hearted, free spirited, nature loving ladies who are ready to welcome you into the girls club with arms wide open.
@Outdoorwomen was one of the first Instagram accounts that I followed. “The Outdoor Women’s Alliance is a volunteer-run nonprofit media and adventure collective that engages, educates, and empowers females worldwide. Through the lens of human-powered adventure, we work to inspire confidence and leadership in women of all ages, believing that confident women have the power to build healthy communities and – quite literally – change the world.” WOW! What more could a girl ask for? Their website outdoorwomensalliance.com explains their nonprofit mission of building communities through grassroots teams focusing on “education and experiential, skill-building activities for women” who want to enjoy nature, while helping youths gain confidence in themselves through outdoor adventure.
@Alpinebabes features bad ass girls in alpine locations of course. With 180K following their IG it is an awesome place to draw inspiration for your bucket list and meet new friends. @Mountaingirls is another account with more than 1,000 inspiring posts of girls getting after it in the mountains. They are currently hosting another event in California at Snow Summit, August 26-28th. There will be mountain biking, yoga, golf and more. Check it out and if you don’t have plans come join the crew. I can’t begin to tell you how many adventure girls I have started following, met up with on my travels and become friends with because of these two Instagram accounts! Just into hiking? That’s cool too. Look into @womenwhohike and become a member of the empowering all female hiking club. The accounts founder, Nicole, makes regular posts about well organized, trail meet-ups on womenwhohike.com. They also encourage you to share your story using the hashtag #womenwhohike.
@andshesdopetoo – I came across their IG two years ago and fell in love with it; Everything from their black and teal logo to their motto “Keep it Wild.” And She’s Dope Too was started by Jenn and her husband Taylor and the story behind how they came up with the name is priceless. Taylor explains, “When being told by a colleague of mine after first meeting Jenn, “your wife is really hot man,” my immediate response wasn’t just to agree, rather my immediate response was to explain how my wife was “DOPE TOO”! That she tried to live her life to the fullest…a doer of things! That she was an amazing mother, business partner, spouse and life-partner! I realized at that moment that most women are still being categorized by simply how they look, and I wanted to let everybody know that my wife wasn’t just another pretty face, she was dope too.”
They host rendezvous and meet ups year round for women of all skill levels to encourage maximum participation. It is all about the ladies feeling comfortable and accepted even if it is their first time. With activities ranging from hiking, yoga, SUP (stand up paddle board), rock climbing, trail running or mountain biking there is something to satisfy the wanderlust in everyone. This awesome women’s community strives to empower and encourage avoiding the “compare and compete” attitudes females tend to adopt now days.
And She’s Dope Too went a step further and decided to make a difference worldwide. They partnered with One Heart World Wide to provide funds for the education of Nepalese women in successful and correct birthing practices after the devastating earthquake. With 100% of profits from their Nepal Project going directly to One Heart World Wide they support birthing facilities and pre/post-natal education and care. This isn’t their only charitable work and for info and amazing shopping go to their website andshesdopetoo.com. Did I mention shopping? Yep! They have an awesome clothing line. PS: if you live in Ogden, I am super jealous of all the opportunities you have through this IG to hang out and meet rad girls.
Speaking of Rad girls, next on the list of women’s outdoor IG accounts is @radgirlscollective. They bring women together through a love of the outdoors striving to create a community that is accepting, encouraging, and genuine. Seeing a theme here? They also have a kick-a blog radgirlslife.com which is just as inspiring as their IG collective. If you’re not a big reader, perhaps you should check out @she_explores IG. Their website has an awesome podcast for creative, curious women who love the great outdoors.
Another great place to meet likeminded female explorers is @outdoorbella. This Oregon based company, is a platform for women to be heard and share their stories along with their love for the outdoors without fear of judgement. Outdoorbella shares inspiring stories of women who have been “through hell and back” and continue to keep living a positive life. “Women who have lost limbs, lost a child, had cancer, a form of health disease, just to name a few, and they have not given up on life no matter what has been thrown their way.” It is powerful, emotional and inspiring to read these stories of real life women and then be able to continue following their journey by following them on IG.
@Wearetravelgirls is more than just a brightly colored collage of beautiful women as well. Their website wearetravelgirls.com is a great resource. You can select a specific activity or destination and a range of blogs giving tips and travel suggestions will appear. I have used their website several times when attempting to pick my next adventure. They encourage the sharing of your travels with the online community so if you have a story to share contact Becky via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The diversity of the writers, perspectives and experiences is what makes this travel blog so exciting.
Once you decide on a place to travel, sometimes going alone, especially as a female isn’t always in our best interest. Safety does come in numbers and experience which is why I am so in love with @girlslovetravel. Their IG is great but the the true gem is their Facebook Page. Haley and the GLT created this sisterhood with the #1 rule being “Be Kind,” followed up with rule #3 No Boys Allowed! Hehe. This community is built to assist you with finding others to explore the world with and help to empower you with safety and support while you are traveling. I am one of the more than 74,000 members and am proud to watch this interactive community grow daily.
If you are into yoga, I would highly recommend following and getting to know the @yogogirls Michelle and Debby. These girls will inspire you with their yoga skills and supportive girl power attitudes; Don’t forget to follow their blog. Now if yoga isn’t your speed, perhaps climbing might be. @heyflashfoxy is a badass girls crew of climbers and definitely worth following. My girl Harmony Calhoun (@harmonycalhoun) created the instagram account @climbing_is_my_passion highlighting how awesome rock climbing is and building a loving community of climbers who support and encourage each other. @women.rock.climbing shares incredible photographs from talented photographers and truly impressive female rock climbers around the world. If you are running low on inspiration and motivation to climb harder routes and get outside your comfort zone, this is exactly the account to be following. @boulderingbabes is a new to the IG scene but already growing a following, featuring strong women in climbing.
@wildernessbabes is another great IG to get you connected with dope ladies. The cool thing about Wilderness Babes is that this collection of outdoor women support the National Park Foundation through Go Parks. Their IG and website wildernessbabes.com both share their mission to protect and maintain national parks while using their growing community outreach to connect people with national parks they never even knew existed, (sharing stories with the hashtags #wildernessbabes and #findyourpark) inspiring adventure enthusiasts to treat the parks with the respect they deserve so future generations can enjoy what the National Park Foundation works so hard to preserve. Their website offers opportunities for you to take action either through donations to the National Park Foundation (to protect and maintain the National Parks) or by joining their team by becoming an active advocate. They also host community hikes across the nation to raise money for the National Park Foundation which I am in full support of; Protect what you love!
If you have any other suggestions for Instagram accounts, blogs and websites like the ones mentioned please contact me. & a special thank you to the females who run the Instagram accounts, blogs and websites I have mentioned. Please know you are making a difference and your work is appreciated.
Sisterhood & Girl Power shirts by @teaseandtotes
Here’s to girls who work hard, not just to make their own lives better, but improve the lives of those around them. Silly girls. Strong girls. Brave girls. Here’s to the girls that are there for you when you need them most without ever having to ask. Here’s to the girls who lift each other up and support one another. The friends that become family and the family that grows closer. Here is to the girls who love with all their hearts and to the girls who are there to put the broken pieces back together. Individually we are strong but as sisters we are unstoppable. Here is to the women we look up to as positive role models. Strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May be raise them. Cheers!