11 Ways to Connect with Other Outdoor Women
Want to find a strong community of outdoor women to hit the trail with? Here’s 11 ways to connect with other female adventurers.
When I started getting into hiking after college, there weren’t a lot of online blogs out there that I could relate to. Mostly what I found was manly men doing only Type II fun outdoor activities and as a late outdoor bloomer, I wondered what resources and outdoor communities were out there for me.
Whether you are looking for a new female hiking buddy, a supportive group of women with which to learn a new outdoor skill, or girlfriends that will say YES to adventure, this blog post includes helpful tips for finding an awesome group of ladies to bond with over a mutual love of nature.
1) Sign up for an all-women’s class or trip
If there’s an outdoor activity that you’re interested in, but you don’t have the skill set to get out there on your own, consider joining an all-women’s course or trip.
I recently participated in a 4 day all-womens ski camp, and I went from being a scared and intimidated skier to leading my small female pack down some of the steepest runs at Alta. Imagine the things that can do for your confidence!
Here are a few companies to check that offer women-only classes and guided trips:
2) Look for outdoor women’s Facebook groups
Social media can be a powerful tool for meeting new friends. When searching for “outdoor women” on Facebook, you’ll find that there are a number of female-only Facebook groups spread all around the nation. Some are focused on interests while others are focused on destinations.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
- Outdoorsy Gals
- All Women, All Trails
- Solo Female Van Life
- Ladies of the John Muir Trail
- The Appalachian Trail: Women’s Group
- PNW Outdoor Women Group
3) Join a climbing gym
I’ve heard some women say that they met their best female friends at the climbing gym. If you want to find women to go climbing with, hit up your local climbing gym and don’t be shy.
Put your harness on and go up to the first group of women you see. Tell them you’re new at the gym and ask if one of them needs a belayer.
4) Check the bulletin board at your local yoga studio, coffee shop, or grocery coop.
Think about the common stomping grounds in your town that outdoorsy people like to hang out at and check out their bulletin board.
See what’s going on or if you’re feeling brave, leave a note that you are a woman looking for a female hiking, climbing, or biking buddy. If you’re weirded out by leaving your contact number, create a new email address just for this purpose.
5) Volunteer at a beach cleanup or trail restoration event
You’re likely to find other outdoor women at conservation-focused volunteer events. Check with your local environmental non-profits to see what events are coming up and how you can help. Then when you are at the event, mingle with the other ladies who are there and spark up a conversation about your outdoor interests.
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6) Follow women’s specific hashtags on Instagram
Just in case you don’t know how a hashtag on Instagram works, adding a hashtag to a photo is just a way to tag it with a keyword. So if you search the hashtag #outdoorwomen on Instagram, you’ll see all the photos with that hashtag. Over the past several years, a bunch of hashtags have collected millions of photos.
One that is gathering steam is #girltrek, founded by an organization that helps African American women change their lives and communities by walking outdoors together. Other popular ones are #sheexplores and #mountaingirls.
I suggest searching these hashtags and see what you find. Even if you don’t find people in your own community, you might make new friends on the web who could turn into real life friends.
I met my friend Kat Carney on the internet! I thought she was an awesome photographer, so I liked and commented on her photos, and now we’ve met up three times in person on camping trips.
7) Reach out directly to women you look up to
Reach out to your favorite local female outdoor photographer, athlete, podcast host, blogger, or any other outdoor woman you look up to. Maybe they’d be willing to meet up for a coffee or, even better, a hike?
Even if that’s not a possibility, my guess is they will be stoked to hear from you, and you can ask to be kept in the loop if they ever organize a meet-up.
8) Go to local talks by outdoor women
Check your local college or library and see if there are any outdoor or conservation talks that you might be interested in. Particularly those run by women will draw a female audience. Make sure to go up to the speaker at the end of the event and introduce yourself!
9) Contact your local chamber of commerce
It’s easy to forget that you have a local chamber of commerce whose entire job is to showcase events and groups in your community. Give them a ring and ask if they are aware of any female-focused community organizations that might be of interest. Even if they aren’t outdoor-focused, if there’s something you’re interested in, go. You never know who you’ll meet.
10) Take a hike
Want to find new women to hike with? Then go on a solo hike. Pick a trail that you are familiar with that’s not too far off the beaten path. Say hi, smile at people on the trail, and try to engage other females in conversation. Ask another girl about her backpack and whether or not she likes it. Want a picture of yourself? Skip the selfie and ask the nearest group of girls if they can snap a photo for you.
Afraid of hiking alone? Check out my tips for getting over your solo hiking fears and having a successful first solo hike!
11) Be the organizer
Normally go out to dinner with your girlfriends? Why not take charge and suggest you go on a hike next time you get together. Maybe your female outdoor community is sitting right there in front of you, and you all just don’t know it yet.
Instead of happy hour, meet up at the trailhead on a Saturday morning. Or plan a weekend camping trip – memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s a few blog posts to help you plan an outdoorsy activity:
- Car Camping Essentials (+ Printable Packing List!)
- How To Choose A Hiking Trail
- Paddleboarding for Beginners
Looking for more women-specific outdoor blog posts? Check out these gear posts:
I had one of the most amazing trips to Iceland with a group of 7 other women in March. We all knew 1 of the women and she threw it out to us to see if we’d be interested in the trip. It was amazing to have this group of women come together and get to know each other and get outdoors together. I came back from the trip so refreshed and fulfilled. It reminded me that I need to take time to connect with friends more often and to say yes to trips like this more often.
Thanks for your comment, April! You are totally right. We have to say “YES!” way more often in life! Thanks for the reminder.
As always, great trips! So glad we were able to connect as outdoor ladies!
These are great tips! I met a whole group of amazing outdoor women when I lived in Utah through sites like Meetup.com, in fact I met some of my favorite outdoor women through those meetups. Back in New England, I have had a harder time meeting some more.. rugged-okay-with-not-showering-for-three-days type of ladies. Thanks for the tips and I will be sure to use these as I expand my New England Lady Network 😉
– Katie @ Katie Wanders
I had been thinking about doing a couple of these already; mainly joining a climbing/bouldering gym or doing a backpacking trip with just women. I think even doing activities that are not specific to women can still be great opportunities to meet women – I’ve made a friend that way recently!
Another option (maybe your #12) could be Meetup.com! There are plenty of great outdoor activities that are organized through that site!
-Rachel @ Backcountry Petite
I always try to join some facebook groups and meet awesome people with passion for outdoors. Btw, thanks for great tips. I’ll try it to find more travel addicts out there 🙂
Great tips to find other woman who are like-minded. Will keep these in mind! 😀
Great tips! I always use the way “Take a hike”. I’ll try the way “Join a climbing gym” in the next time. Thanks!
Also, if you’re looking for a way to meet other women and trans folks who climb, Alpenglow Collective is a site where you can make a profile with your location, interests, goals, schedule, and message each other to meet up and climb! Especially with climbing being a mentorship-based sport, it’s great to meet other rad women / trans folks to learn from and show each other how to be leaders and confident in your own ability 🙂 http://www.alpenglowcollective.co
i started a dog friendly hiking group in greater metro NY. my core group is about 5 women and we are all over 65. sometimes men come along too but its mostly women;. i started the yahoogroup 15 years ago and it has become a wonderful resource. made lots of friends. we’ve learned a lot about hiking and trails and have gone on trips father afield…
Thank you for mentioning our #outdoorwomen hashtag! 😀 When we started that hashtag back with the introduction of our Outdoor Women’s Alliance Instagram account in 2014, we were floored with all the submissions that came flooding it; to this day, we still love seeing what we get hashtagged in.
Thank you! <3
Hey Kristen!! I love this post – thank you for sharing! I just wrote a piece about how detrimental apologies are to outdoorsy women – I would love it if you read it. You can check it out here :
Ok, I love the photos in this post! 😛 But also, I love the tip about the climbing gym. I bet you heard that from me! I’m grateful for our friendship!
Glad to see REI has embraced women in the outdoors!
Great tips and reminder to connect with other women when exploring.
Solitude is important – but it’s also hard to beat the experience of hiking with others.