Tips For Women In The Outdoors

International Women’s Day, March 8, is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day is also a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day has happened for well over a century with the first gathering being in 1911.

At Jack Wolfskin we are recognizing March as Women’s Month. Each week we are recognizing strong female leaders in the outdoor space to share their favorite tips on enjoying the outdoors.

Lauren Verzilli is the Yoga and Fitness Director at ASCEND Pittsburgh. In this position she has been able to inspire many people in the outdoor community and yoga community. Lauren is the type of person that continually surrenders to a life that is filled with unconditional love, fun, laughter, family, friends, knowledge, grace, the teachings and the practice of yoga, time well spent, meaningful connections/relationships, vitality and endless opportunity.

Lauren’s story of truly getting into the outdoors is a fun and untraditional one. She was not a big hiker, in fact she met some people at a concert that inspired her to get outdoors more. Out of curiosity, Lauren reached out to these people to gain insight and logistics about how to plan a road trip of her own. The guy she reached out to gave her lots of information and invited her on a 6 week road trip across the US. Lauren said yes, went on the road trip, made friendships and a created a lifestyle that would be with her for the rest of time.

Since going on the spontaneous road trip, Lauren has stayed an outdoor enthusiast and goes on many hikes and trips. When we asked her about tips for women (and people already in the outdoor space) she gave us some of her tricks!

Tips for Women in the Outdoor Space

Invest in Quality Products: When it comes to hiking, having a quality product vs. a cheap one can make a big difference. That is not to say that you must break the bank to find quality, but you want to invest in your gear. Think about it like this, by investing in your gear, you are investing in your personal comfort and safety. To make it easy, we currated hiking kits for the most popular hiking regions.

Have Nice Socks: Socks can be a game changer on a hike. Lauren recommended changing socks during a hike, she said she loves to do this because it makes her feel like she has just started the hike and gives her the ability to keep going in comfort.

Wear Sweat Wicking Clothing: By staying dry and cool, your body has the chance to stay hydrated. The material also does not absorb a lot which keeps it light regardless of the amount of perspiration. We make sure to include this techology in all of our fleece layers.

Use a Menstrual Cup: As a woman, hiking during your time of the month can be limited. A menstrual cup is a great option, allowing you to use the restroom without switching products, and lasts longer than most tampons. The best part is that it is reusable, a win for sustainability and a win for you.

Bring Fast Drying Underwear: This is super handy not only for the adventure itself but also for laundry and space purposes. Fast drying underwear can be washed and dried for next day use on multi-day hikes.

Have Lots of Hydration: Always, always, always bring pleanty of water. It is good to have a second form of hydrating liquid too, like Gnarly Nutrition’s hydration powder. It provides electrolytes and salt to keep you hydrated and energized.

Download Your Maps: Never rely on cell phone service. Whether you are driving, hiking, or even on a casual stroll, you never know when you may need a map. Make sure to know where you are going and have a plan in case you get lost.

Have Extra Carabiners: Carabiners are good for everything. You can attach a hat to a bag, close your trash, attach things to your belt loops, or even set up a hammock. Lauren always carries at least three on her person.

Bring a Form of Defense: This could be pepper spray, a knife, bear spray, hammer, or anything that makes you feel comfortable. The wilderness is an amazing place but it is home to animals and people of all sizes. It is important to have something on you that can use to protect yourself.

Have Quick Drying Towels: Towels are an item that you may not always use but can save the day. Here are our favorite uses: getting them wet them to keep you cool on a hot day; using them as another layer to protect you from the cold; using them to dry off from the rain. You can use them as a place to sit if you need a rest.

Always be Encouraging Others: Getting outside in general can be a transformative space. As you become more comfortable hiking and being outside, encourage others to go with you and help grow the community of hikers!