Friday, February 4, 2011

Sorry Gals

In my comments yesterday on the subject of the other bloggers I'd like to meet, I mentioned about Rebecca Garlock that I don't personally know any outdoors women, as in, women who hunt and fish.  I had my Eureka moment last night while mulling this over.  It occurred to me that we hunters and fishers have absconded with the mantle of "Outdoorsperson", when in fact there are a lot of sports that occur outdoors.  You can all argue and piffle with me if you like over what defines an outdoors sport, but I know this- it rankles me to this day to be pigeon-holed as just a hunter, or just a fisherman.  I feel that the outdoors, and my activities throughout encompass so much more than that.  I love hiking, biking, outdoor photography.  I'm a kayakaholic and have the T-shirt to prove it.  I love to practice survival skills, knot tying, making and breaking camp. I'm an avid bird-watcher and it distressed me to no end when a friend, observing my interest in some ducks on a lake said "You know, you don't have to shoot everything."   I love outdoor cooking, long walks on the beach.. oops, wrong ad.  I have had a subscription to Outside Magazine for 18 years, but only intermittent ones to so-called "outdoor" magazines.
My Eureka moment was this- I am friends with several very good outdoors women, and it has been disrespectful of me to not think of them as such.  They love to hike, camp, canoe, kayak and some of them spend more time outdoors than I do.
Fisherman and hunters are bemoaning the loss of participation in outdoor sports, and there has been a definite movement to try to involve women, minorities and the young to try to promote the things we love.  My pledge from now on is to try to be less myopic in my view of the outdoors.  To acknowledge the validity of these other activities.  If we can think three dimensionally, broaden our own horizons, perhaps this is the key in bringing others into the sports we love.

Just a thought.


  1. I'll take that apology. I let the Yooper comments go........

  2. Trude, I hope that you know that my comments were not against all Yoopers, but against the kind of regionalistic, exclusionary thinking that led to the exchange I had up there. Supposedly we all want and need the tourism $$. I know that the UP is a special place and try to be sensitive to local environmental issues.


  3. As a yooper, I do know the kind of people you speak of. It's a carefully guarded, strange brew of "we want your tourism dollars, but we don't really want you here."

    As a female, I don't know if I've earned the term Outdoorsman, but I do love to fish. I love to float, hike and explore. I love to use my camera, and paint what I see. I love to watch wildlife, pick berries, and grow flowers. I love to spend time on beaches and go for walks with my dogs. I know many other women who do the same and more. While these are all light outdoor activities, they still gain merit for outdoor appreciation and love of creation. Outdoorsman? It's in the eye of the beholder.

    Thanks for recognizing that btw.

  4. I think I've always thought of kayaking, hiking, and camping as outdoor activities... after all they happen outdoors.
    But the term "outdoorsman" (or outdoorswoman) definitely carries the hunter/fisher connotation. It's just one of the oddities of the English language or at least our vernacular usage.
    I don't know how myopic your vision is on the matter, but I think you may still get a few strange looks if you call somebody who just goes hiking an "outdoorsman." (or outdoorswoman). I agree they are engaging in outdoor activity, but the term in question already has a pretty well established understanding of meaning.

  5. I agree with Jay: the term "outdoors(wo)man" does carry with it a traditional connotation of hunting and fishing. Other endeavors that do not involve the pursuit of furred, feathered or finned quarry seem perhaps better referred to as "outdoor recreationalists" but that still leaves room for inaccurate speculation.

    What I think we really need are more accurate labels:

    For example, I might be "one who fishes" and "one who hunts" or "one who kayaks" and "one who hikes". Or I might not, but you get the point.

    Yes, we need more accurate labeling.

  6. I guess what I'm driving at, is that I feel it's all of those activities that make me an outdoorsperson, so why exclude others my claiming that title just because they don't share the exact same palette of activities?

  7. Is taking a long nap under a shade tree in the warmth of summer considered an outdoor activity? lol I agree that the term outdoorsperson is a full encompassing term for anyone who enjoys one or more outdoor activity. If it is only one that you enjoy then surely list that one, a broader term is not needed.

  8. My wife can fell a tree and make it land where she wants it to land...and I dare anyone, man or woman to tell her she's not an outdoorswoman. Of course she is a fly fisher as well and out-fishes me most days just to prove it.