Calling All Women: We Want To Feature You! {#JustAnOutdoorGal}

It all started one year ago. At that point, I hopped up on my soapbox one afternoon and ranted and raved about a topic that truly riled me up. I sometimes do that: don’t think before I write and instead, spew brain vomit onto my blog. I guess that’s the beauty of owning your website, right?!

Truly, I was shocked by the attention that singular post received. It was shared all over the flipping place. Magazines shared it on their Facebook walls, female outdoor groups circulated it through their networks, and thousands of readers posted it wherever they could. It made me feel good to know my word vomit had resonated with people. {It even led to The Bivy issuing an explanation of sorts that was–in a word–bullshit.}


All of these photos are by my husband…but the goal is to have photos of OTHER active women!

After that whole scene, I thought about my bottom line. My final takeaway was this: stop bitching and do something. Will is fond of telling me that I can’t complain about something if I’m not actively trying to fix the problem. Even though he ruffles my feathers when I’m angry about something, he is right. But what to do?

Enter: Anagha Bharadwaj

Right around this time, Anagha emailed me, asking to be my intern. She appreciated my perspective on the topic and wanted to help me do something about it. And that’s what we’re doing now: something.

Beginning in a few weeks, Anagha and I will be featuring cool, adventurous, active, outdoorsy, badass women on my blog. These features will be once per month on Wednesday; a new version of #WCW, if you will! Instead of focusing our attention on cleavage and butt grabbing, let’s put it somewhere more deserving: women that are doing stuff.

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Who Is Eligible:

Anyone! Perhaps your neighbor is a 12-time marathoner who juggles a job, family and her running schedule? Great. Or your best friend is a mountain guide who leads guests up Denali on the regular? Fantastic. We’re looking for anyone who is doing their thing, doing it well, and inspiring others through her actions. We want to hear about all of them!

And if you’re a guy? That’s good too. If you think your story would be a great fit, I’d love to hear from you.

How to Apply: 

You can let us know in one of a few ways:

1. Shoot us an email!

2. Track us down on Facebook

3. Use the hashtag on Instagram for us to see: #JustAnOutdoorGal. We will contact you from there.

4. Leave a comment on this post, or any post really. I’m not picky!


Who Is Anagha?


Anagha is a budding writer and social justice enthusiast who drinks a little too much lemon-ginger tea. She loves to hug trees, and she’s just about convinced herself that they hug her back. The highlight of her life was the day she got within five feet of a baby deer, and he let her sit with him for a bit. She’s about 90% of the way to her yoga instructor’s certificate, and wants to eventually find a chill, social justice-oriented, environmentally-friendly studio that she can flow at. Anagha loves to leaf through the internet, get lost in novels, and reduce her carbon footprint by biking everywhere, reusing everything, and refusing to use straws or plastic micro beads that are “good for your pores.” In her spare time, she’s a law student in D.C.


She’s a strong believer in the idea that women don’t have to be naked/scantily clad in order to: run, jump, ski, throw, lift, compete, love themselves, or be on magazine covers. So often the focus is on what women look like, and people totally miss all the amazing things women are doing. It’s time to shift that focus by talking about what women do. Women are pretty amazing, and society so frequently misses the “amazing” for the “pretty;” this feels like a good time to change that.

What Do You Get Out Of It?

I’m not sure if that is really a point of interest, but figured I’d head it off anyway. No, you will not be financially compensated if interviewed….unless you consider virtual warm fuzzies as payment!

In all seriousness, the point of this project is to adjust the societal focus by focusing on awesome ladies. If you are looking for more, all I can offer is some attention. My blog isn’t massive, but it reaches 25-30k unique viewers per month {with roughly 50-55k pageviews}. Through all of my social media platforms, we’re looking at ~50k unique sets of eyeballs per month. That’s what I’ve got to offer you {and your blog, if applicable}!

How Will It Work?

Apply. Apply, apply, apply. Then nominate some other women. Maybe you know them, maybe you’re inspired by their Instagram photos. Whatever the case may be, put them on our radar!

Once that’s accomplished, we’ll compile a list and take it from there. Anagha will reach out to you for interview questions and photos. We’ll handle the rest. All you have to do is check back once your story is live!


Ready? Set? GO!



  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

    It’s alive. It’s alive! I remember our first convo about this a year ago. Can’t wait to see it take off and learn about so many other women doing kick ass things!

  • Reply Katie at

    I freaking LOVE this idea just as much as I did when you mentioned it a loooong time ago. I’d love to be a part of it 🙂 Please consider this my application!

  • Reply monkeybars2015 at

    Pick me, pick me! No, I am not a mountain guide or a 12 time marathoner (just two times!) but what I am is 51 years old, a writer (novel coming out in November!) and a Forest Service recreation planner who is committed to showing that middle-aged women are not invisible, don’t have to be told condescendingly that “I can only hope to be in the shape you are in when I am your advanced age”, or be dismissed because we are not twenty and gypsying it across the country . I am hiking the PCT in sections (almost halfway!) and I don’t consider myself badass, but who really does? Instead I want to show women that they can solo hike at ANY age. They can split their own firewood. They can mow their own lawns, for crying out loud. I’m trying to give women my age a voice. Thanks!

  • Reply Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine at

    This is so freaking cool!! I am so glad you two could come together and really make something happen. I cannot wait to read all of the posts on amazing women just kicking ass at life. Three cheers for you and Anagha!

  • Reply Lesley Glenn at

    Saw your tweet and wanted to join into the conversation. I’m not necessarily a bad ass. I don’t run marathons and haven’t trekked the entire PCT (yet) but what I have done is take my life back after being diagnosed with advance stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Which basically means I’m incurable, I will be in treatment for the rest of my life and that cancer will eventually take my life, but then again, I’m not going to let it “take” my life if you know what I mean. So back in January I decided to take up hiking and backpacking with the goal of summit ting Mt. Whitney. I was fortunate to get a lottery pick for September 21, 2015. So I trained. And guess what?!!!! I did it. I conquered Whitney and bawled my eyes out all the way to the hut. I beat the statistics that 2 out of 3 never make it on their first attempt. It was and the beginning of experiences I can’t wait to embark on…..maybe rock climbing?? I’m not sure but I’m not going to let an incurable disease rob me of living and being and doing all that I can.
    That’s my story.

    • Reply Alexandra Lev at

      Amazing Lesley! You remind me of my mom who also survived breast cancer twice and just got back from her third trekking trip in The Dolomites! Get it girl!!

      • Reply Lesley at

        Thanks Alexandra. I want to research the Dolomites now. We have our eye on base camp on Everest in the summer of 2017. But until then I’ll need a lot more training.

    • Reply Lynne at

      +1 for Lesley making the cut! Love your tenacity and spirit, Lesley!!

      • Reply Lesley at

        Thank you Lynne. Life was meant to be lived right? I’m all about that.

  • Reply Cameron Jarman at

    My wife would be perfect for this article! She is a brilliant honors high school math teacher at a low income high school in Arizona, a head cross country coach who organized the first Ragnar race for the school, the head women’s track coach, and a full time hiking companion. She is one of a kind (I’m a little bias). I will talk to her about applying!

  • Reply Logan at

    This is fantastic! I can’t wait!

  • Reply Rachel @ Betty LIVIN at

    Hi Heather- I’d love to be considered! 🙂

  • Reply KovasP at

    “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” 🙂

  • Reply KovasP at

    “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” – way to step up and act on your plan, Heather! 🙂

  • Reply Eric Eagan at

    you KNOW you gotta hit up Sheila – 50 miler – snowshoer – new mtn biker etc…. boom go get it 🙂

    love this concept.

  • Reply Hayley@healthyregardshayley at

    Heather! This is SO awesome. I would love to be a part of it, of course but will reach out to you on some other platforms as well (:

  • Reply Michelle at

    Sent you an email!

  • Reply Lilly at

    YES!!! This is awesome. I love your commitment to showing off what women can DO, not what our bodies look like. I, too, am pretty turned off by the #MTNBabes style photos and I’m so grateful to find other like-minded women!!! Let’s celebrate our achievements not our butts and boobs. Keep up the good work, Heather!

  • Reply Lindsey at

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read about and be inspired by all the amazing outdoor women!

  • Reply Kia Ruiz at

    I nominate Lori Matthews. She worked with Outward Bound then The Women’s Wilderness Institute for years and is currently adventuring around Chile.

  • Reply Heather @ FITaspire at

    What an amazing idea – i love it!! And this is my application. 🙂

  • Reply Justin La Vigne at

    Hi Heather!
    I would like to nominate my wonderful and awe inspiring wife, Patrice “Steadee” La Vigne. The best thing about her is she puts up with me and my crazy adventurous ideas. Well, sometimes the ideas are hers. But seriously, she leads a “Life Less Ordinary” and is my favorite writer/blogger. She is medical writer by trade, adventure writer by heart. She writes for Backpacker, major gear companies and her loyal blog followers. She has logged over 5000 trail miles and is about to embark on a speaking tour about her latest adventure, thru hiking the 3000K Te Araroa in New Zealand. She is one of your biggest fans and it would be an honor for her to be recognized on your awesome blog. Happy Trails, Justin “Deal” La Vigne

  • Reply Laura at

    Hello! Long time reader first time commenter 🙂 I’d love to be considered for this. Thanks!

  • Reply Alexandra Lev at

    Woohoo! This is awesome and a great idea! I just discovered your blog and love it! There are so many inspiring women in the outdoor community and it feels great when we all empower one anther. I hope I can be consider for an feature! 🙂

  • Reply Jenna at

    I would like to nominate my friend, Jen. Check out her Instagram account @mountainvalleygirl. She is an avid hiker and just loves the outdoors!

  • Reply Natalie @ Free Range Human at

    Heather, I’m going to go on record by nominating our mutual badass friend, Heidi Kumm. She inspires me daily!

  • Reply Lindsey Hagen at

    I’d love to get involved. Stoked on this!

  • Reply Andrea at

    This is a great idea, and empowering to hear about other women as passionate about “doing their thing” as I. Solo backpacker of the Colorado trail (with my pup that is), I’d love to be considered for this. Thanks for giving women this opportunity!

  • Reply Shawnté Salabert at

    This is a FANTASTIC idea!!! I look forward to nominating several awesome women (and reading about many others)!

  • Reply Bonnie at

    This is so exciting! I remember reading your initial post and response to the Mtn. Babes video and appreciate the way you approach living life outdoors as strong women without the show. 🙂 I’d like to throw my hat in for the application! Although it’s not my full time job (a personal trainer), my husband and I run a non-profit for young adult (18-39 ish) cancer survivors leading outdoor adventure trips in the summer (kayaking, sailing, canoeing and rafting) in which we use the physical challenges and community that develops in the wilderness to help them reflect, refocus and rebuild their lives post-cancer. It’s incredibly meaningful and the outdoors is the catalyst for connection and growth! We also backcountry ski in our winter weekends and hike often, squeezing in our own “mini adventures” when life is busy and we can only summit a mountain, sleep on it and then head back down to the city (we’re in Calgary). I love helping women get strong in the gym but don’t have a big community of women around me who love the outdoors, so it would be fun to virtually inspire others through this project! Thanks!

  • Reply Sandra Laflamme at

    This is just fantastic!! How awesome to be sharing strong outdoor women!! I can’t wait to see who you interview!

  • Reply Kate at

    What a cool idea! I love it, and would love to apply. I haven’t done anything extremely crazy, however, I have completely transformed my life in the past 4 years. I used to be a timid, self conscious girl who didn’t think I was capable of anything. I was not athletic. I grew up in Colorado, but had been on maybe 1 or 2 hikes. I’m still not entirely sure what motivated me to change (I think it was a series of smaller events over a few years), but I’ve now ran 11 marathons and 3 ultra-marathons including a 50 mile trail run and Pikes Peak Marathon. I’ve also hiked all over Colorado including eleven 14ers. I just absolutely love what fitness has done for my life – it’s shown me that I am capable of anything if I set my mind to it – something I never understood before!

    I will definitely be using the hashtag on Instagram from now on and notifying some of the other awesome ladies I’ve met thru social media about this exciting opportunity!

  • Reply Firewalker at

    If I may so so as a male human: I truly and absolutely love that idea. Just like the recent news that playboy decided to show women with clothes on I think that this is a really cool project of yours. Maybe I will live to see the day when I don’t have to see unneccessarily sexified advertisments, sports videos and outdoor pictures all over the place. I wish I could contribute, good luck with your project.

  • Reply Alyssa Lindsey at

    Very cool idea! I’m looking forward to reading it/seeing it! Don’t consider this an application. No one needs to see me watching Game of Thrones on my treadmill in 5 year old workout gear :). #notinspiring

  • Reply Kris at

    I’d like to nominate Jennifer Gurecki and Jenn Sheridan of Coalition Snow. They are amazing!

  • Reply Renee Patrick at

    Hey, great idea…I know many bad-ass women and I enjoy trying to live up to an adventurous life as well!

    Check out my packrafting adventures and recent thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail this year as a solo woman (also triple crown) & Here are some cool adventurous ladies too:,



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