The Importance of Allyship: A Guide for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Bridget Blake // October 25

Everyone loves a good buzzword and the term allyship seems to be popping up in every corner of the woods. What is allyship and why should we embrace it as women who love the outdoors? At its core, allyship is the investment in others, promoting inclusion through efforts.

Typically, this is for marginalized individuals of a particular group. As women, we are the fastest growing population of hunters and many other outdoor happenings. Yet, many of us still struggle to find footing in historically male-dominated activities. My lady counterparts are the raddest, but (drumroll, please) maybe we should enlist the men as allies to our cause.

The first time I camped, hiked, shot a gun, a bow, or hunted – was all with men. Some may argue that it’s part of the problem; get more women involved, right?! Yes, that is the goal. It is each of our obligations to grab a woman and get her involved. This is not about women, however. This is about men. The reality is men are outdoors. Not to mention, many men know things, a lot of things. Things that can help you become a better hunter, hiker, and/or angler.

We do ourselves a disservice by flippantly disregarding that we can learn something from them. By observing, talking, listening, and walking besides them outside, we [hopefully] come to support one another. 

Allyship in the outdoors is the most important thing for our generation.

So often, I see women trying to be, or beat, men outdoors. It causes frustrations on both ends and creates angst between the sexes. Three cheers for some friendly competition, but it's always good to remember we are in this together. I love spending time with my male comrades outside. They know that I will ask questions and make my needs known. This leads to a lot of mutual respect and even more fun.

Sometimes things need to be modified because of my size, sometimes it's my boobs, sometimes it's my hair, sometimes it's my…well, you get the picture. My point is that if I enjoy something outside, I figure out a way to do it that work for me.

{{Read:: How To Find Friends Who Love the Outdoors}}

Many times, this means that I am talking through why its difficult for me and problem-solving with… GASP…men, to figure out what we can collectively do to make it enjoyable. I do this same thing with my littles as they may not have the stamina, size, or experience to do something. We’re agile, flexible, and figure it out – together.

Through allyship we can progress our cause not only easier, but faster. Focus on the men that you know support you, and vice versa. Communicate with them what your needs as a women are. I find that people in general want to help and they may not even realize where there are obstacles. Are you passionate about something in particular related to women’s needs outside? Talk about it with men; explain to them why it is important so that it becomes a game of hot potato and they can advocate for it as well.  

That, my dear reader, is the secret sauce to allyship in the great outdoors. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join them. Am I right?!

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About the Author

Bridget Blake

Bridget Blake is a Nurse Practitioner and business consultant based out of Florida. With a life goal of a wasteLESS wilderness, she is a proponent of sustainability, natural living, and making sure her two kiddos grow up as free-range as possible. Although new to hunting, she is passionate about learning new skills and sharing them with those who also want to learn. Bridget is dedicated to becoming a wilderness expert and teaching others how to coexist with the world around them.