Women in the Outdoors: Comfort in the Details

You’ve got the basics down. You made your decision. Your deposit is confirmed and you have reservations. You are actually going to do it! You are going to go on an Adventure! Suddenly, all these questions come to mind and aren’t they silly, you tell yourself. No, they are not! There is comfort in the details and if it isn’t something you know, then it isn’t silly to ask at all!

Comfort in the details
“Necessity delivers us from the embarrassment of choice.” ~ Marquis de Vauvenargues
~ And sometimes, the view is awesome!

Some of you may have noticed a hiccup in the Women in the Outdoors series over the last few weeks… I drew a blank and had to ask others to put themselves in your place. What else would you want to know, if you were new to the Outdoors and were planning an Adventure? (with us, of course!)

It was comfort in the details…

Most of the responses I received back from friends, from all over the world, touched on hygiene. It seems that all conversations based around my own lifestyle comes back to the same things.

How long will I go without a shower? Make-up? An actual toilet? Where do I pee? Will there be men around? What if I expect to be menstruating at some point when I am with you?

You know, as funny as some questions may strike me sometimes (ok, quite often), these are not funny ones to me at all. They are all very personal concerns and completely understandable that any woman would want answered. And preferably answered in a factual manner. BEFORE you arrive.

Comfort in the Details

You may choose to “rough it” as much as you like. I choose to bring my battery operated shower and little shower tent along on my Adventures and Big Game Hunts. All of our guests seem to dig it! So, don’t worry about being clean (I hate to sleep grimy too!), anytime you want to shower, just let one of us know and we’ll heat up the water for you, as well as let you know if someone else asks the same!

As for make-up? Allow me to offer this, This is YOUR Adventure. You can wear make-up any time you like. Yes, most make-up has a scent to it. This may or may not have an effect on how close you get to wildlife; the wind and curiosity as well as alertness (your own and the wildlife!) has a lot to do with that too. As I mentioned, it isn’t a problem to heat up a pan of water to wash up with in the evenings, even if you don’t choose to shower!

Toilet facilities? In a couple of our camps, there are outhouses available, a couple more have potty seats over a hole dug into the earth. We do have a folda-camp-potty for those who need assistance in that area that can be easily taken to camp. You would also want to know what about when you are riding and out on the trail? We tend to stop a lot, a story there, pointing out a critter there, taking pictures, or just chit-chatting, but if you need to go, ya need to go! Just holler out, let me know you need to stop and we will.

Quickly or take a little break, no problem. Quickly, who ever has to go, does, taking a break, we’ll just tie up the horses and take a break, stretch our legs or have a snack. How far away one should go, from the trail? Not far- if at all. If there is something I have learned from being the only woman in the field for so many years, with so many men, is when you’ve gotta pee, you gotta pee. It’s not a strip tease.

Depending where we are, you may be able to find easy cover, just feet away. Sometimes, it’s not quite so easy for one reason or another (maybe thick bushes, after a rain or maybe there is no where to hide). I have found saying, “I have to pee, turn around.” Works like a charm. Without fail. (I still tend to hide behind my horse!)

Nighttime? Until August, dark is almost non-existent. You still don’t want to wander too far away from camp, simply to assure you do not get lost. A headlight or flashlight are always a comfort.

Men? Probably. There are a couple of us girls, but we are a special few, I suppose. I do make every effort to accompany the trips with women. Even if I am not the primary Guide, I accompany other Guides, including Master Guide Terry Overly to offer my own experience and abilities to the Adventure’s success. All I can say to you, with a genuine and sincere heart, is not one of the men, young men or boys associated in any capacity with Pioneer Outfitters, would ever deliberately disrespect and female, ever.

And finally, the scary, most disturbing thought. “What if I get my period?” Bears being attracted to women’s menstrual blood is a myth. Period. There has been a lot of research on this and it is proven that there is no link between bear attacks and women’s menstrual blood.

All tissue and paper used burned, immediately, or in the fire pit at camp. It only takes a moment, and we leave all of our areas clean. What cannot be burned is packed back out. Leave no trace.

There! I hope you are able to take comfort in some of these details. If these answers spark any new questions or wonderings, please mention them below! Someone else may just be a little too shy to ask.

If you are new here, and just discovered Women in the Outdoors, you may like these previous posts:

I really do hope this post settles some worries for you and if you think someone else may like this post, please share it!

Are YOU ready to schedule YOUR Adventure? (Yipee!)

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12 Responses to Women in the Outdoors: Comfort in the Details

  1. Hahaha..Oh Carrie..I agree with you there.
    Having spent many, many weekends primitive camping with horses on the Endurance rides and all in mixed company,(many strangers) in camp or on the trail, there seems to be respect and an unwritten code for all the necessities! I never ever had a problem or was embarrassed to do what ya got to do! There’s nothing that compares to using your horse for a privacy wall and hanging on to the reins for balance..LOL
    I’m sure you’ve eased some wondering minds by spelling it out here the way you did!

    As Always ~*~

    • Ann,
      But we ARE changing things. And I think so too, about easing minds with this post.. I think things are always bigger deals, more scary, more worrisome, when we just stir them around in our own minds. I’d rather have the facts laid out and if I have to, I’ll bull my own way through my own embarrassment- until I realize…no one cares. It was nothing. (the thing that I was worrying about)
      Personally, I use my stirrup! LOL, don’t want him swinging around at an inappropriate moment!
      Love you!
      ~ Amber-Lee

      • LOL..I’ve held the stirrup..Dingy thinks you’re getting on and takes off!!!(well not if not on a ride) But .. That’s NOT a pretty picture! I have hung on to both but ya got to let go of one sooner or later.

        and..Yes..minds have and are changing on Women in the Dudes world!


        • I’ve had horses that do that to me!
          Salt, was always ready to rock n roll, so when he felt ANY weight on his stirrup- he just presumed I was FINALLY ready to go too! LOL

          Ann…Dingy? Really? That’s just mean. LOL!
          (I love it!!)
          …and you, of course.

  2. I had to smile about the menses. There are a lot of local native lore about menses and what it does to wild life. :D I heard it a lot growing up. Perhaps one of these days I’ll be able to make it out there to visit and we can go into deeper discussion and explanation. :D Thoroughly enjoying all these posts about women in the outdoors.

    • Rochelle! I would love to talk with you about so much of what I am trying to share with everyone! Please, do try when you next come to visit. Sincerely, everyone would love what you could offer them, in way of experience, I am certain!

      I’m glad you are diggin’ it…if YOU are, knowing what you already do, having grown up here, basically… then I am hitting the right points. Don’t hesitate to bring anything up that you may think of that will help others to feel me comfortable getting out into the Outdoors.
      MUCH love…
      ~ Amber-Lee

  3. I’m glad I read this. You guys make it an enjoyable experience for sure. Yo’ve covered everything I would have asked. I never expected those answers.
    As for peeing..I think you probably get used to having people around and after the first day it probably feels normal to pee next to your horse! LOL!
    Loved this!

    • Well, I am not sure “used to” is completely accurate…. but maybe a little. The thing of it is, it is just something that can cause a worry or embarrassment, if you are totally unprepared… I think. I tried to think of the simplest things that my sister would look at me like, “ARE YOU NUTS??” and explain them, because she is a total girly-girl and more importantly, NOT a wilderness girl…so, I tried to explain some of them. If you think of anything else, no matter how silly they may sound, be sure to tell me! Because they aren’t silly, when you have never done them before.

      And THAT is the name of the game. To explain things and help others be more comfortable, in the Outdoors, and with us.
      Thank you Betsy!

  4. Amber-Lee! Thank you so much for this post. These are exactly the kinds of things I was worried about on my upcoming adventure and I feel so much better now. The shadow of the unknown only looks scary until you shine some light on it.
    It is funny isn’t it? I have dreamed about having this experience for so long; an adventure, something that is guaranteed to be so far outside of my safe, cubicle-dwelling day to day life, but I am most worried about what I will do without all the ‘little things’ that are the foundation of that routine life. Things like toilets, showers, and my iPhone. But dammit, I don’t WANT routine! I want Adventure. SO you know what? I’m ready for it all, the air, the view, the wildness and the wonder. If it means peeing while hanging onto a stirrup, I say, Bring It ON!

    • Robin!
      Yes!! For you, my dear! I am every bit as excited as you are!

      I don’t think it is strange at all, we all do it! Because they really are our foundations. But don’t you fret, you WILL have a grand Adventure! All the air, view, wildness and wonder, they are yours. To treasure forever. Once you experience them, feel the air, smell it, taste it…it is yours forever. You’ll know.

      You betcha. Bringin’ it.
      ~ Amber-Lee

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