5 Candid Perspectives on Women’s Outdoor Experiences

Updated: May 5, 2020


NAIROBI - March 8, 2020.


Climbing Life Kenya in conjunction with Rockpoint Climbing  celebrated the International Women’s Day by bringing together outdoor women from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds in Kenya for some candid conversations on their individual and collective outdoor experiences.

Here’s a summary of some of the perspectives drawn from the ensuing interactive exchanges:


1. Mental Health

The beauty of being outdoors is that you get away from your routine. You are able to think clearly, recalibrate and realise what is really important in your life and what’s not. You also end up disconnecting - thanks to all the beautiful places with no network.

It is important to constantly engage in nature or to be outdoors as a way of keeping tabs on yourself. By releasing some of that emotional weight you ultimately become a better person. 


2. Intersectionality

For some women the question of intersectionality came alive. Being black in addition to being a woman presents itself with unique challenges that come from both status – be it sexism or racism. When you are outdoors one is exposed and you have to be consciously find strength in your vulnerability in order to thrive.


3. Nature makes us natural

There is a stripping down that comes when we interact with nature. When you are in nature, you can literally start eliminating the things you do not need, even relationships. You stop being superficial and materialistic. You stop worrying about things you do not need. You get real.


4. The adventure gap

As a local person engaging in outdoor activities you are more likely than not to be an outlier - the Mzungus do not think you belong out there and your African counterparts think you are nuts.  You have to therefore be proactive and seek to be self-sufficient in order to have a fulfilling interaction with the outdoors.


5. Community action

It does not matter what your social, economic or cultural background is. What matters is the outdoors. So, if you feel that something needs to be different so as to make the outdoors a better experience for all, then you should wake up and do something about it.


6. All in all 

Men and women have different experiences in the outdoors. It is important for women to continuously recognise and embrace their uniqueness and rise above gender stereotypes, expectations and limitations in their interactions with the outdoors.


One more thing:


We leave you with these awesome quotable quotes from the Women in the Outdoors event:

  • Nature makes us natural.

  • There is a stripping down that comes when we interact with nature.

  • When you are outdoors you have to find strength in your vulnerability.

  • When engaging with the outdoors be proactive and seek to be self-sufficient in order to have a fulfilling interaction with the outdoors.

  • It does not matter what your social, economic or cultural background is. What matters is the outdoors. 

  • The beauty of being outdoors is that you are able to think clearly, to recalibrate and realise what is really important in your life and what’s not.

  • If you feel that something needs to be different so as to make the outdoors a better experience for all, then you should wake up and do something about it.



Note: The views in this summary do not necessarily denote consensus amongst all participants and are not necessarily reflective of the views of Climbing Life Kenya or Rockpoint Climbing.



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