What is it about Mother Nature that draws us to be among her so much?Is it the appreciation of her beauty? The awesome majesty of her mountain peaks, valleys, waterways, forests, flora or fauna? Perhaps it is simply her serenity and ability to calm us and provide an escape from the otherwise insane pace that we endure in our ‘normal’ everyday lives.
Depending on where you might be in your life’s journey, the answer to what draws you will be slightly different to anyone else’s, as we all have a different emphasis based on what each of us crave most in our lives at any time.
My love of the great outdoors began at a very young age and I regard myself as fortunate that my earlier years were not spent in a big city but among the beautiful countryside. My friends and I spent countless times exploring, having fun and absorbing all we could about our environment. It was a healthy way to grow and enjoy such happy times.
Fast forward through a busy career, travel and some very dramatic times, my love of nature has never left me. It is like she was always there for me as a source of healing, calm and inspiration.
Literally millions of people each year connect with nature in a similar way, whether consciously or not. The incredible growth of camping, RVing, glamping, hiking, trekking, fishing, boating…the list goes on and on…continues each and every year. Tourism is no longer regarded as only catering to holidays taken for a few weeks annually and spent in hotels, motels or apartments. Indeed nature tourism is a huge business comprising those that travel to experience different places outdoors, whether this be the focus of an annual vacation or done over many weekends each year (or both!).
As the numbers of people who embrace the great outdoors continue to explode, naturally the number of facilities, assistance and resources likewise has increased to cater for the insatiable demand.
However great this growth might be for many of us who have more choices than ever before, personally I saw there was still an issue for those of us of the female persuasion.
Most would concede that the field of ‘conquering the great outdoors’ has traditionally been the domain of men. For those who may doubt this, just take a look at the past in terms of the depiction of all the great nature stories, photography, books, films and documentaries. At the forefront there are overwhelmingly men being the ones featured, all being the central focus and leading the way.
But the fact is that times are changing. And changing fast. The sheer numbers of women embracing the great outdoors is now growing at an incredible rate globally.
While this can really be seen as good news for us nature lovers, the sad truth is that most resources that support people in the great outdoors have been slow to respond. As a result, most outdoor resources are still mainly orientated to men and do not take account of women-specific needs.
I know first-hand and from networking with many women over a long time how frustrating this can be. When you are female, where can you go for some guidance on any number of issues that affect you? What resources can you easily obtain that have been uniquely created with your needs in mind? Where might there be quality information created by women to assist you to get the most out of your love for the great outdoors? Not just a resource for those of us in the United States mind you, but also for the millions of other women who lack access to such support or for those travelling beyond U.S. borders to experience nature in other parts of the world.
Hence Camping for Women was born. A website and resource created by women and for women. That is not to say men are not welcome as it is understood they may also want related information for themselves, or to pass on relevant matters to the women in their lives. No, this site is not at all about the exclusion of men. It is however totally about providing a quality resource for outdoor women adventurers.
Camping for Women is enriched for the fact that it is created by the involvement of proactive women the world over. This is not your typical blog put together based on the experience of any one person. It is a collective resource continually being built upon by women who care about their fellow outdoor sisters and want to make a difference through this global platform. Even though some contributions might be single and relatively small it is still appreciated as it forms a part of something bigger for all women to tap into. And for those contributors that provide more than most, they are featured on the site which many find to be a source of interest and even inspiration.
Going live on 23 May 2015, the website it is still a relatively young resource and continues to grow in subscribers, readers and contributors each and every month.
As a result of my involvement in founding Camping for Women, I was invited to contribute monthly to this site. I happily accepted as an opportunity to provide information relevant to those who love the outdoors as much as we do.
In future months, I plan to share some significant information on many relevant issues including outdoor safety, helpful resources, articles, videos and female-based perspectives associated with maximizing your time in nature.
It’s all a part of our broader aim of increasing the value, enjoyment and accessibility of the great outdoors. And the more we can collectively share our available knowledge and resources, the better we will all ultimately benefit.
So at Camping for Women we also invite you to play a role in being part of getting that broader message, and those corresponding benefits of the great outdoors, out to as many people as possible.
Will you join us on this wonderful adventure? I sure hope so.
Until next time, thank you for reading and take care out there.