7 Tips to Rock the Wilderness Lady Dirtbag Style

Last Updated on December 6, 2019 by foxintheforest

Phew. We did it! After practically disappearing under a rock for the past few months, Sarah and I have finally launched our book, The Lady Dirtbag’s Guide to Freedom. Not to toot my own horn here, but it’s pretty freakin rad! It has been my passion to encourage women to uncover their strength to kick ass outside. In celebration of all the awesome, I’m giving you 7 handy wilderness tips for women, cuz you deserve to rock it my lady dirtbag sister!

1. Eat What You Want

Engaging in a type II sufferfest is NOT the time to adhere to a diet. Fun fact, a 150-pound person burns around 4,000 calories throughout a tough day on the trail. It’s one of the great things about backpacking and mountaineering, you can (and should) eat whatever the hell you want. Your body needs all the sugars, carbs and fat it can handle to get that quick energy. So say goodbye to your green smoothy and hello to sugary candy!

wilderness tips for women

Meg and Sarah at your service. We wrote an awesome book geared towards getting you places in the outdoors. We also posed for cheesy photographs. It was a great time!

2. Handle Backcountry Roads Like a Boss

Many women fear driving down bumpy dirt roads. I’m here to tell you, you don’t need something flopping between your legs to be a good driver. Here are a few quick tips about driving on dirt:

  • Go fast over washboard. Those tiny, never-ending sea of ridges can rattle you into oblivion, if you drive a bit fast over them, you’ll notice that the bump and grind ain’t so bad.
  • Know how to change a flat. Stuff happens, but that doesn’t mean you will be SOL. Changing a flat is relatively simple and your car should provide you with most of the equipment you need.
  • Ride the highs. Sometimes roads get a horrible ditch carved through them from runoff. Instead of trying to run your vehicle through that rut, ride high. This often means you’ll be spinning your wheel wildly and using all the road you’ve got, but that will help stop you from high-centering.
  • Always let oncoming vehicles know how many are in your party. A fist means you’re the last or only vehicle.

3. Get Clothing that Performs for You

Women’s hiking clothing can be an endlessly frustrating experience, much like dress shopping (ugh…why!?!). But here’s the thing, your clothes can perform and it’s ok to look good too! Although outdoor companies have a long way to go, there are finally more options for different sizes and shapes. If only someone could catch on to the fact that women need pockets too (*rolls eyes*).

Choose clothing that can perform multiple functions, such as convertible pants. This will help cut down on your pack weight. Opt for contrasting colors to your landscape. This not only helps you get found should something get messy, but it also makes you pop in photos. For example, wear reds for green scenery and blues in the desert.

Here’s a look at a complete guide to women’s outdoor clothing.

backpacking tips for woman

My clothes don’t match and I look ridiculous, but everyone knows sends don’t count unless your topless? Right BRO?! 😀

4. Train Like a Boss

If you wanna hike and climb tough, you’ve gotta train smart. Good news is, this doesn’t really mean pounding it out on a treadmill until you puke. There’s a lot of value in a long, lower intensity workout. Instead of putting yourself in beast mode, spend at least one training sesh a week focusing on aerobic endurance. Your aerobic system equates to exercising for long durations. Keep the intensity low enough to have a conversation, but increase the time of this workout. Combine your aerobic workout with other, higher intensity activities.

5. Don’t Fear the Fart Joke

Loving the backcountry means you love the dirt under your fingernails and sweat in your pits. It also means you can let go of those polite “lady” things we have to do back in the boring land of concrete. Not to mention, days of backpacking food don’t really lend well to tootless bottoms. Let ’em rip and rip ’em proud. Don’t shy away from your bodily functions. We all fart. We all poop. This is your time to let loose and shine. Of course, Leave No Trace and women’s hygiene is important on the trail, so don’t forget to keep it classy while you’re gassy!

lady dirtbag guide to freedom

A lady dirtbag always offers to take the heaviest piece of group gear. Get out there and get after it!

6. Find Friends that Take You to Higher Places

One of my favorite parts of the wilderness is my dirt-loving gal pals. Find your Lady Dirtbag tribe and get after it. Lady dirtbags are an inspiring bunch. We understand the gains that are made when we get out there and push ourselves. Squirrel (my male counterpart) is often in awe of women in the outdoors. He’s amazed at how we are focused on bringing each other up to meet our inner strength. It’s something that doesn’t exist in the male world. So celebrate your awesomeness sister! Rally behind a stranger on the crag, trying for that crux move, or give high-fives to other Lady Dirtbags you pass on the trail. Keep the stoke high!

7. Freakin Believe in Your Amazing Lady Dirtbag Self!

The first rule of being a lady dirtbag is believing that you are capable of whatever it is you set out to do. You are strong. Don’t forget to give yourself the self-love you deserve. Seriously. Try it right now. Close your eyes and tell yourself you love yourself. Really mean it. Give yourself a hug. Thank your body for all the incredible things it’s capable of. Us lady dirtbag’s love to get outside because we love the feeling of growing in a breathtaking setting.

mountaineering tips for women

Cuz everyone knows, lady dirtbag’s do it better

Get the Lady Dirtbag’s Guide to Freedom

Okay, so I couldn’t help myself here, but this post is about the launch of my book after all! Maybe you’re looking to get into backpacking, climb a peak or take on a big thru-hike. This book will help you get there. We go in-depth and get real about the topics covered in this post as well as much more! Not to mention, we’ll give you a glipse at our real-world stories.

If you’re already an expert-level lady dirtbag, consider sharing this book with a greener member of our tribe. We are happy to send the book as a gift, simply email us after your purchase!

Now you’re armed with a few wilderness tips for my fellow women out there. Get on board and get your lady dirtbag on!

Do you have your eyes on a big thru-hike? Maybe a challenging mountain summit or a burly backpacking loop? Check out these wilderness tips for women, by women. Learn what it means to be a lady dirtbag and discover how you can unlock your strength in the wilderness. #outdoorwomen #outdoorskills #outdoors #mountaineering #backpacking

Picture of Meg Atteberry
Meg Atteberry

Meg is a long-time Colorado local and outdoor industry professional. She's spent the last 15 years hiking, climbing, mountaineering, and canyoneering all over Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada in search of the best views. She's written for Outside Magazine, REI, Backpacker Magazine, and appeared on the Weather Channel.

Hi There!

Meg Atteberry standing on a mountain sticking her tongue out

Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Toddler mom, queer, and neuro-spicy her favorite things to do are climb in the alpine and camp in the desert. Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure.