Inspiration for the (Female) Adventurer’s Soul

Inspiration 1

By Andrea Willingham

I confess: I’m a sucker for a good story with a strong heroine, and we’re not talking Scarlett O’Hara here. We’re talking that rare breed of female lead that somehow seems to elude most mainstream media, disproportionate to the number of male protagonists that dominate our literary landscape and cultural narratives.

Although this topic has become of great interest to me in the last few years, I have tended to shy away from addressing it, frankly because I don’t want to be pegged as some feminazi whining about the patriarchy. That’s not why I’m writing this. I am writing it because I think there are a lot of other people out there — men and women alike — who enjoy hearing the stories of female characters just as much as I do, and just as much as we all like stories about male characters.

I will be the first to admit that some of my favorite stories of all time center around the dude protagonist. Anyone who knows me knows that Into the Wild was one of my biggest inspirations for going to Alaska myself, and before that, Kingbird Highway fueled my teenage obsession with birdwatching and hitchhiking.

In my early naïveté, I wanted so badly to have the adventures that Chris McCandless and Kenn Kaufman had in their solo treks across the US, following in the legacies of even earlier explorers like Lewis & Clark and John Muir. But I was always torn between the dichotomy of being told I can accomplish anything I want, and that I am more limited because I am a woman, vulnerable by default.

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Oddly enough, I never actually experienced the gender bias myself until I moved to Alaska. Growing up in a family of strong women and graduating near the top of my class in college, nothing ever held me back, though I was aware that my privilege was unique. Yet suddenly when I embarked on my own life of adventure, everyone seemed concerned for my safety and success, probably more so than they would have if I was a big, burly dude. And for good reason.

In rural Alaska, I found myself in a man’s world. For the first time in my life, I was being called at in the streets, followed occasionally when I went out for a walk, offered drinks, sex, and even marriage, and told I was “beautiful” or “cute” by complete strangers. Most of these things are easy to avoid or ignore, but it brought to light the unique challenges faced by female travelers — challenges that possibly make their stories all the more compelling, because they are being dealt with in addition to the usual adversities of any other adventurer.

“A man on the road is solitary. A woman on the road is alone,” writes Vanessa Veselka in her essay Green Screen: The Lack of Female Road Narratives and Why it Matters, in The American Reader. She continues, “This is not cute wordplay, but a radically different social experience. Often, I was asked why was I travelling. But over time, I came to understand that the question was not ‘why,’ but ‘how.’”

My experience has been similar. When I’m in uniform as a park ranger, I’m occasionally met with surprise when people find out I’m from so far away, or that I travel just for the experience of it. “Why would you want to come all the way up to Alaska?” or “Why did you leave?” or “You’re so brave to do this by yourself.” One older lady even said to me (I kid you not), “It’s so interesting they’re letting women do this now. I met another young female park ranger this year, and I just couldn’t believe it!” A lot of people still have an antiquated view of the mustached man with pith helmet, so the idea that travelers today can be any one of us is quite a different pill to swallow.

Are female adventurers less common than their male counterparts, or simply less noticed? Sometimes I think the latter may be true, which is perhaps why I’m so intrigued by their stories when I do hear them. If you are too, check out some the following and feel free to share some of your own favorite heroine books and movies in the comments.


Book and Film | Wild

Inspiration 3“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves…” ― Cheryl Strayed

I first heard about this book in the summer of 2013, being criticized for similar reasons that Chris McCandless was criticized for in Into the Wild. In many ways, the story is the same, only this time it’s a woman who goes into the wilderness to escape demons of her past, ill-prepared and misguided in her efforts and judgment. It’s great! It’s raw and honest and lays everything out in the open. Unlike McCandless though (spoiler ahead!), author Cheryl Strayed does not succumb to the deadly forces of nature, and instead lives on to write this memoir. It’s exciting, yet a realistic look at the challenges and torture of hiking over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with no prior experience. The movie adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon came out in 2014, and did a surprisingly good job of capturing the spirit of the book. My one qualm with it was that it focused more on Strayed’s emotional grappling with her past and less with her experiences on the trail than did the book.  I would have liked to see more of her trail stories depicted, but perhaps that’s a good argument for both reading the book and seeing the movie – you can get a good taste of both that way.


Book | The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost

Inspiration 4This book far exceeded my expectations, capturing the very essence of the coming of age journey that so many young woman travelers experience. I wish I had read it about 7 years ago, when I first traveled abroad. It is the story of Rachel Friedman, a college student who finds her love of travel after spontaneously spending a summer waitressing in Ireland. There, she meets a free-spirited Australian woman who inspires Rachel to spend the next year traveling for the sake of the experience, and together they encounter wild adventurers across three continents, as the title suggests.

It’s a fun read, relatable for anyone who has ever fantasized about traveling the world with their best friend but has absolutely no idea where to start or how to do it. Instead of worrying about that though, Rachel learns to just go for it, inspiring the reader that anyone can do the same.


Inspiration 5Book | Life List 

Life List is particularly interesting because it is the true story of a woman who finds her adventurous side after raising a family and spending some 30 years as a humble housewife. At the age of 50, after being misdiagnosed with only a year left to live, Phoebe Snetsinger sets out to turn her hobby of birdwatching into the most exciting quest of her life. She ends up spending the next 18 years traveling the world in search of rarer and rarer bird species. Although she often takes guided birding tours in each place she goes, her journey is far from sheltered, as she encounters accidents, a kidnapping, and malaria among other misfortunes. But despite all this, Phoebe is never deterred and it is truly her enthusiasm, commitment, and perseverance that makes this such a compelling read.


Inspiration 6Film | Open Road

This fascinating little film tells the story of a young Brazilian artist who lives a solitary and nomadic lifestyle, on a journey of self-discovery. It has a definite independent film-vibe, excellent character development, and a dash of mystery as the story unfolds and the heroine struggles with the desire for human connections while also holding herself at a distance from others. I think it’s a common struggle for many young people who take off on their own, and this film does a good job of taking you along on the journey without revealing it all too fast. It’s a bit slow-paced and the scenes are acted out so naturally you could almost forget you’re watching a film.


Film and Book | Tracks:

Inspiration 7“The two important things that I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision.” ― Robyn Davidson

Literally, it’s a true story about a girl in the 1970s who decides to walk 1,700 miles across the Australian desert with 4 camels and her dog. What’s not to love about that? The book has been out for a long time, but I’ve only seen the movie so far and it immediately became one of my favorite movies I’ve ever seen. Like so many other stories of this caliber, it has a number of flashback scenes alluding to Robyn Davidson’s troubled past, but unlike some of the other stories, these don’t seem to completely dominate her motivation for her journey. Ultimately, she is simply on a quest to prove to herself that she can do it. As a character, Robyn is fascinating and you can’t help but empathize with her: she does what she needs to get what she wants, but rejects offers from others to accompany her on her trip because she wants to have the experience alone. Without giving too much away (because you really HAVE to watch this film), she finds that in some sense, shared experiences are what make life worthwhile — and survivable.


While I am continuously building up my personal library of strong heroine stories, I will leave you with these for now. I invite others to share their favorite heroine stories as well — and most of all, I hope you will be inspired to go out and live your own. Adventure on!

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Enjoyed this article by Andrea?  You can see more of her work on her website.


Happy Second Birthday Camping for Women

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By Nicole Anderson

Camping for Women is now officially 2! So we are marking our ‘happy second birthday’ with this brief message.

The website went live with its first blog post on 23 May 2015 and it’s hard to believe that was two years ago.

We had a very busy second year as we built on the foundations laid in the first year.

Top 10 achievements for this past year include:

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  • Published The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook for hikers, campers and glampers
  • Launched an online shopping portal: The Global Outdoor Adventure Store in conjunction with Amazon
  • Produced checklists for hikers, backpackers, campers, and RVers for free download
  • Built on our library of 91 articles written by outdoor women adventurers to over 250
  • Launched a Travel and Adventure tab on the site to include specific travel content
  • Increased regularity of free article posts for subscribers and facilitated comments for these
  • Partnered with Brown Gal Trekker on the International Film Project to promote outdoor women based on the piece ‘Don’t Date a Woman Who Treks’
  • Expanded recognition of regular contributors through dedicated pages and contributor logo
  • Promoted other women outdoor adventure blogs of interest to readers and subscribers
  • Recognised with the Versatile Bloggers Award given by bloggers for quality content

So much done, but so much still to do…

So what’s being planned next for year 3?

Well, we have a few things that we are working toward right now including:

  • Launch of an exciting new video show addressing all outdoor women issues where subscribers can ask questions to have answered by a columnist in conjunction with another fabulous outdoor women’s group
  • Launch of ‘The 4 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook’ following the successful first publication
  • Completing specialist guides being written on Canyoneering, RVing and stress reduction
  • Continue to build a bank of useful articles, tips and information for women who love the great outdoors delivered via our free subscription
  • Providing a service to assist women produce and share videos with other women

Check out our second year video here:

As we hope you join in wishing Camping for Women a happy second birthday, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas for what you would like to see for the future. Just send us a message on the ‘Contact’ page of the website or email us:

Here’s to another great year serving fellow outdoor women adventurers everywhere…

Help us celebrate a happy second birthday:

So we hope you might join us in briefly celebrating our second milestone by perhaps making a comment or two below.  We always love to hear from you.

But most of all we want to again take the opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone for your wonderful support and ongoing encouragement to continue to develop the best global resource possible.


The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

By Nicole Anderson

Camping for Women has just received the Versatile Blogger Award, recognizing the efforts of everyone involved with its blog.

So what is the Versatile Blogger Award?

Versatile Blogger Award 1It is a peer award where bloggers nominate other bloggers who they believe deserve some recognition for their high quality standard of writing, images, uniqueness of the bloggers content, passion and love displayed throughout the website.

In this case, Camping for Women was recognized for all its efforts made to benefit our subscribers and readership. We especially want to make mention of all our wonderful contributors who provide so much value and are passionate in their love of the outdoors.

Who nominated Camping for Women?

Logan & Kallsy Page are a United States couple in their late twenties with a passion for adventure and experiences. Being a medical student and a teacher, they mostly focus on budget travel in iconic locations. This spring and summer you can find them road trippin’ around the Southeastern USA with their dog, Bentley. They love finding a blend of new experiences in urban cities and the great outdoors.  They are the couple behind the blog Pages of Travel.

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Part of the nomination acceptance process is for the award recipient to tell the nominator 7 things about themselves that they may not know.  So the team at Camping for Women selected founder Nicole Anderson to outline 7 things about her.

7 Things you may not know about Nicole Anderson

  1. For the most part, Nicole grew up in regional Australia – her family came from the rural town of Bendigo, in the state of Victoria.
  2. Nicole spent part of her schooling in Japan where she learnt fluent spoken and written Japanese.
  3. Nicole is a breast cancer survivor and a member of the Dragons Abreast Dragon Boating Sport, and has represented her club in regional and international regattas in Australia and North America.
  4. She is now engaged to be married, having been proposed to by her partner James while they were on holiday in Tahiti in January this year.
  5. Nicole has had the travel bug for some time and has now explored many countries in 5 of 7 of the world’s continents. She has not seen anything of Africa or Antarctica (as yet!).
  6. When Nicole decided that she wanted to get a dog as she moved into her new home, she decided on a name first before seeing the dog. The dog’s name was to be Flannigan.
  7. Nicole and her partner James have just built a brand new 4 bedroom home in the beautiful and famous Gold Coast, where they have chosen to live.


When you only have a maximum of 15 blogs you can nominate among all the fabulous blogs that exist in the world, this can be a really hard task.

However, we had to draw the line somewhere and go with some that are our favorites.

So here they are our nominees, presented in alphabetical order…

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Born to be Adventurous

Versatile Blogger Award 4To founder Annika Mang, having a baby didn’t mean the end of adventures; instead it was the beginning of grander ones.  Born To Be Adventurous was created as a platform to share and inspire families to get outdoors and adventure with their kids with an eco-focus. Annika shares her family’s and other families outdoor adventure stories and tips and activities. She also runs a green up challenge where her family reduces their waste to a single jar. She encourage followers to choose a green up goal for the month to reduce their families waste. Goals can be as big as reducing their waste to a single jar or choosing a smaller goal like using reusable coffee mugs


Brazen Backpacker

Versatile Blogger Award 5Brazen Backpacker is the adventure-seeking, poetic, and often humorous blog of Emily Pennington. Started in 2016, it is already making waves with content syndicated on The Outdoor Project, Camping for Women, Women Who Explore, and many others. The site features Emily’s ramblings on everything the adventuresome soul might desire – from gear suggestions to stories of expeditions gone horribly awry, to tales of falling in love in a National Park, all illustrated perfectly with her colorful travel photography. If you’re in need of inspiration for your next trip or daydream, this website is the perfect place to start.


Brown Gal Trekker

Versatile Blogger Award 7Brown Gal Trekker blog was launched in September 2016. In addition to being focused on the outdoors, it further aims to address unconventional or seldom talked about topics in the world of hiking.  Marinel, the person behind Brown Gal Trekker, is an avid hiker and global explorer.  Along with her social enterprise, Peak Explorations, her blog aims to promote women and diversity in the outdoors. Her blog often shares her journeys in off the beaten path trekking destinations, practical advice to assist fellow hikers, and her insight on the outdoors world that can range from why we should hire mountain fanatics to why one shouldn’t date a girl who treks. No matter the topic, Brown Gal Trekker focuses on inspiring and empowering readers to pursue anything and everything that their hearts desire.


Female Traveler

Versatile Blogger Award 8Female Traveler is a travel and lifestyle blog featuring destinations, travel tips and inspiration from around the world. Ira of Female Traveler blogs all about her adventures all over the world, but it’s her extensive coverage of Europe that keeps readers coming back for more. Many love reading about her adventures in places that they know and love. Her site has been described like a treasure trove of things to do, places to see, and plenty of inspiration to just keep going and live your dreams



Get Camping Wild

Versatile Blogger Award is a place where campers can share everything they have learned along the (sometimes prickly) way in the wilderness. It’s a place where new explorers can find out everything need-to-know about those first few steps into the great outdoors. The blog is run by experienced camper Lucy Gomez and aims to gather all the best camping tips to inspire and improve camping for all adventurers! Whether you’re an established starlight-sleeper or a first time pop-up-tent, Lucy and her team aim to help you make all your future camping trips stress-free but unforgettable.



Mountain Mom and Tots

Versatile Blogger Award 10Mountain Mom and Tots is an outdoor family blog that’s all about helping families explore outdoors. With an emphasis on hiking, biking, camping and skiing with kids, creator Mountain Mom shares how she adventures outdoors with three young kids.  Susan, a Mountain Mom who lives with her husband and three young kids near Sundance, Utah. When they are not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, Susan spends her time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 her family travelled 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.



My Perfectly Damaged Life

Versatile Blogger Award 11My Perfectly Damaged life is an adventure/travel/photography blog.  Perfectly Damaged, which started simply as Jennifer Hewitt’s photography name but has since morphed into her blog and social media brand, is based on the concept that nothing is perfect and we are all damaged.  Despite this, we can live a life that is perfect for us despite the damage, Perfectly Damaged!  Jennifer’s hope with her blog is that her readers will see that she is just an average woman getting out there experiencing life, mishaps and all, and as a result get out there as well.



My Wild Kitchen

Versatile Bloggers Award shares unique but simple home-cooked meals for venison, wild game, and wild desserts, too (think blackberries!). All the recipes Noel shares at use easy to find ingredients, and are designed to reconnect the hunter (or hunter’s spouse) with the wild game they’ve harvested. At you will find recipes for venison, feral hog, wild turkey, dove, freshwater fish, and even squirrel, all presented with full-color, step-by-step photos of each part of the cooking process, making it a breeze to follow along no matter the difficulty level of the recipe.



Revolving Compass

Versatile Blogger Award 13Neha & Abhishek are a couple travel blogger based in Bangalore, India. Revolving Compass is born out of their love for travel and their enthusiasm to share this travel experience with the rest of the world. The couple believes that every travel has a lot of soul enriching experiences hidden in it and they thrive to bring these out to the world through their travel stories, as they travel the world along with their little kiddo. Apart from the travel stories, Revolving Compass covers family travel tips, destination guides, best possible travel itineraries, travel friendly products and talks about how to overcome the challenges of traveling with a toddler and enjoy it to the best extent possible



Solo Passport

Versatile Blogger Award 14Raksha Prasad is an IT professional who craves and breathes travel. She love exploring new places and meeting new people and mostly travels alone or with any of her travel buddies. ‘Solopassport’ is all about showcasing her experiences and photographs taken along her travel journey.




Versatile Blogger Award 15Teakisi (pronounced Tee-ki-si), creates a space for African women to empower and celebrate each other, and to unite through their stories. A Teakisi woman has many names: Mukadzi in Shona, Obinrin in Yoruba, Umugore in Kinyarwanda, Daaku in Luo, Aberu in Ateso, Minga in Beti, the list is endless. Teakisi women are vibrant and empowered Africans, with a love to empower others. Teakisi is here to share the voices of these African women. Teakisi stands out for several reasons, but what truly makes it special is that it’s a platform dedicated to the everyday African woman. Most of our contributors are not “professional” bloggers/writers, they’re just everyday women with a story to tell and wisdom to share.



The Modern Outdoors

Versatile Blogger Award 16The Modern Outdoors is an honest look at life in the wild. Nicole Atkins, the founder of MO, has over 25 years of experience and isn’t afraid to push boundaries. The result is a blog that offers practical knowledge articulated with humor and irreverence.



Waboose Adventures

Versatile Blogger Award 17Waboose Adventures is an award-winning blog that brings you into the backcountry where every portage takes you deeper, and every step takes you further into the wilderness. Cobi Sharpe shares her adventures in nature through writing and her award-winning photography.




Wandering Lights

Versatile Blogger Award 18Writing and photography has been the vice for of creator Danielle Dorrie for years – and she took this is to the next level with her blog Wandering Lights. Check out all of her thoughts, then head on over to her Adventure Blog – That’s where she talks about the current risky adventures that she has as she grows and invites people to follow her in her journey.  She encourages comments on her work and likes to engage with creative minds and enjoy other blogs in the process.



Whits Wilderness

Whit’s WildVersatile Blogger Award 19erness is an outdoors lifestyle blog for Texas women, where 6th generation Texan and blogger Whitney shares her tips for hiking, hunting, camping, outdoor cooking, and shooting sports. Her guidance entails what to wear (she calls it “field fashion”), the best trails to hike, tips for a glamorous camping experience, recipes, and comprehensive “Girl’s Guides” to various activities. Her goal is to inspire Texas women to get outdoors and enjoy this beautiful natural world we live in!



So there are our nominees.  They all have quite different strengths and qualities and we hope you will have as much fun exploring and learning from these blogs as we did.


Nominees, Here’s Your Mission:

The next step in the Versatile Bloggers Award process, mean nominees are similarly required to:

  • Thank your Versatile Blogger Award nominator/presenter on your blog and link their site.
  • Select 8-15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly that deserve this awesome award. It is best to make sure they accept the award and can nominate 8-15 other bloggers too.
  • Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself. Have fun with this and take advantage of the opportunity for your readers to learn more about you!
  • Display the Versatile Blogger Award on your blog by including it in your post!


So many wonderful blogs out there, so little time…


The Exhilarating World of Women Camping: What Is Your Style?

Camping: What is your style?

By Iris West

As summer comes to a dramatic but scintillating close, it wouldn’t hurt to squeeze in a last-minute camping venture into the great outdoors. Well, there’s something alluring about a woman’s camping experience. Maybe it’s a wonderful way to get that sun-kissed, summer tan that is the envy of all your friends. Or perhaps a chance to get away from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday doldrums of life and work. No matter what your reason to get real up close with nature, camping is a sure-fire way to kick back and relax. And, boy, we certainly deserve it.

Here’s the thing you need to know before packing your backpacks with camping essentials: not all camping is actually created equal. In fact, I get forwarded this question now and then: what is the best style of camping out there? Right off the bat, I’ll have to say that it boils down to personal preference.

Nonetheless, below I will walk you through the different types of camping. The good news is that any kind can get you that adrenaline-packed adventure and thrill or that rest and relaxation that you need before wintry months kick in. Let’s get started, shall we?

Camping: What is Your Style?

#1. Backpacking Camping

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Backpacking is perhaps the most extreme type of camping out there. Here, hiking is what I figured for the longest time to be the name of the game. So, if you love hiking and would like to garner an awesome camping experience, backpacking could be a slice of heaven. For this type of camping, however, a nice pair of hiking boots is essential. Here’s a no-brainer tip for any backpacker: pack efficiently but lightly, only bringing stuff that will last you for your hiking adventure. Packing too many things can get a little hectic, if not downright overwhelming out there. In essence, here is a backpackers’ packing list:

  • Light, mostly dried foods found in camping store aisles
  • Bear canisters to keep bears at bay
  • Wealthy supply of clean water
  • Backpackers guide tailored for your hiking destination

#2. Car Camping

The second type of camping is what many American families consider a “real” camping holiday. Car camping encompasses exactly what you are thinking: taking your friends, family or colleagues out in a car to a campsite. Once there, you can pitch a tent, from where you can make day hikes, swimming, play camp games, sports, and a raft of other exciting camping activities. The allure of car camping style lies in its straightforward and no hassle manner. It’s modestly safe and can make for an excellent group camping experience. Day hikes are the highlight of camping, though. This means you can go for nature walks, summit climbing, and so forth. A campfire can also make your nightlife exciting. With it, you can roast marshmallows while enjoying “monster stories” and cold/hot beverages.

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#3. Trail Camping

Before you even ask, trail camping entails traveling from point A to B on a ‘trail.” When it comes to trail camping, anything and everything goes. Most trail campers spend many days out in the wild transcending mountains, hillocks, thickets, and so forth. Of course, trail camping is more than a camp. It can be an indispensable way to shed a few pounds while at it. Much akin to meditation, trail camping can help campers find their “inner selves” and “real meaning in life.” No matter what your reason for trail camping, this type of camping can be fun. A lot of fun.

#4. Cabin Camping

Simply put, cabin camping is much like rustic hotel camping. More often than not, this type of camping has been associated with most baby boomers and retirees. Well, they are dead right on the point on this one. Cabin camping takes camping experience to a whole new and exciting level. If you like as much contact with the great outdoors as possible, however, this is not your camping style. Try something like trail camping. Nonetheless, cabin camping provides decent opportunity to mingle with the wild.

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Of more importance, however, is the fact that cabin campers can bring a truckload of food supply – groceries, hamburgers, beverages, water, condiments, and so on. That is the magical allure of cabin camping and the reason why it has gained increased traction with city dwellers and vacationers looking to find a teensy bit of quiet and peace away from their lousy jobs and fast-paced lives.

#5. And, finally….. RV Camping

As you might expect, RV camping is uncannily similar to cabin camping style, but you get to sleep and rest in a 5th wheel or RV. Again, this style isn’t for people looking for good contact with the wild and outdoors. It’s for individuals who need a small nature walk and hike just to breathe in that ambient and alpine air. Nonetheless, RV camping can be the ultimate fun. You can select a rustic spot to enjoy fishing, campfires, outdoor grilling, and much more. Some RV campers tug along a boat equipped with all fishing essentials.

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There you are – five types of camping styles.  So when it comes to camping: what is your style? With all these options, there’s always a camping style for everyone.


33 Top Rated Hiking and Camping Gear on Amazon

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By Kelly Price

This Top Rated list compiled for women outdoor adventurers only features products with at least 4.3/5 stars and 25+ reviews on the global Amazon platform.

When you’re out in the wilderness, it’s just you, Mother Nature and your gear. It’s critical for every product you bring with you to (1) do its job perfectly and (2) leave the smallest footprint possible. The gear on this list has been put to the test by thousands of explorers just like you, and they’ve all performed better than the rest.


1. A collapsible kettle that takes up very little room

Top Rated 1

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (30+ reviews)

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Reviewers say: “I tested it over my propane grill and it did an amazing job heating the water. When it is collapsed it is about the size of a dessert plate so it saves space in my gear.”


2. A tiny but effective fire starter

Top Rated 2

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (1,400+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “A fantastic little tool, really throws some good sparks! Fairly large rod should last a long time, well made, comfortable finger grips, light weight, small enough to fit into any camping / survival kit.”


3. A pocket-sized outdoor blanket

Top Rated 3

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (50+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Easy to carry and can fit in one hand, strong and durable, yet big enough for 2/3 people to lounge around on. We were able to use it as a base for inflatable airpads, or simply pull it out for additional friends to lay on it.”


4. A lightweight-yet-warm double sleeping bag

Top Rated 4

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (40+ reviews)

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Reviewers say: “This thing is awesome! We’re a big camping family (cheap vacation!) and all have our own sleeping bags. However, I loved the idea of a sleeping bag I could share with my husband and this is the perfect fit. It’s not too much bulkier than an average size sleeping bag, but once you open it up the inside is very spacious! The material is soft and definitely will keep us warm on a chilly summer/fall night.”


5. An ultra soft microfiber towel

Top Rated 5

Average rating: 4.9/5 stars (140+ reviews)

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Reviewers say: “I bought this towel for camping. It is lightweight and folds up very small for its size. The texture is sort of like a chamois, soft and kinda “rubbery”, for lack of a better word. It will absorb a ton of water. Far more than it needs to to dry you off after a shower. It does dry very quickly if you hang it in a breeze. Much quicker than a standard cotton towel.”


6. A hand crank power bank with a radio, flashlight, and USB charger

Top Rated 6

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (340+ reviews)

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Reviewers say: “This little jewel would provide invaluable during emergencies. It will provide 50 lumen LED light, AM/FM/NOAA radio and even a way to charge phones.”


7. A personal water filter

Top Rated 7

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “As soon as I got this thing in the mail I went straight to the nastiest, most contaminated thing I could find. There just happened to be a sink full of soaking dishes that worked just fine. Couldnt taste a thing. I even spit some of the water out and it was nice and clear.”


8. A spork with a bottle opener

Top Rated 8

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (1,700+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Well made. Just right for eating that emergency can of pork and beans on the road. Clipped it to the key ring on my car’s AA Maglite along with the P-38 can opener and Gerber 1 1/2″ pocket knife. Too big for a pant’s pocket but just right for a coat’s. Of course it can be clipped to a purse or pack too.”


9. All-purpose nylon paracord

Top Rated 9

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (1,700+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Worked great! I brought this with me whenever I went camping or had other outdoor adventures. I used it pretty much every time. The hardest load I put on it was a hammock, which I only had to double the string from the tree to the hammock.”


10. A completely waterproof dry bag

Top Rated 10

Average rating: 4.9/5 stars (750+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “We used this dry bag on a trip to French Polynesia. Brought it everywhere-on a boat (standing on outside observation deck in tropical rain), a jet ski tour, a shark excursion, and lunch IN the water. Our stuff stayed totally dry. It’s a good looking bag, people asked where we got it. 10LB green bag, perfect size.”


11. A portable personal cooking system

Top Rated 11

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (600+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “In the military this was extremely helpful when we had to be out in the woods for weeks on end. We got really creative in what we can make in the jetboil. We used the hot water for shaving, making coffee, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, hot dogs, hot chocolate, if you can make something with boiling water, we made it.”


12. A bottle of versatile 18-in-1 soap

Top Rated 12

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (4,900+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I use this soap for shampoo, body wash, face wash, I put it in my bath, I’ve used it to clean my counters, I’ve used it to clean dishes.”


13. A water bottle that will keep liquid cold for 24 hours

Top Rated 13

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (2,600+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “1) Unbelievably effective at holding temperature. Have yet to see an occasion when there is not still ice at the end of the day, no matter how hot it’s been: sitting in a hot car, going through a double class of Bikram yoga (4hrs in 105 degree room!)
2) Incredibly well made. We have had other metal water bottles; they dent; paint chips or peels. Not this one; my son’s still looks brand new after hanging off his backpack, banging around for the past 3 months.”


14. A lightweight, durable backpack for day hikes

Top Rated 14

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (5,500+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I needed a packable, waterproof backpack for my trip to Brazil and this was perfect! I wore it while hiking through the jungle in Iguassu Falls, where weather was unpredictable, and it kept all my belongings dry. At one point, I was able to fit a change of clothes, sunscreen, towel, and a bunch of other items.”


15. And a bigger, more robust backpack for camping

Top Rated 15

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (1,500+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “It has endured some serious abuse and keeps on taking it. I would recommend this pack to anyone at this point. As to the pack itself, it has tons of little features. It has locking mechanisms on the lumbar straps, 2 outside pockets that are literally the perfect size for a Nalgene, It has a pocket on the top for random things (I used it for flint and my back up plan of 9V battery and steel wool), At the bottom it has a place for your sleeping bag. All in all a fantastic pack for the price.”


16. A ventilated shoe for warm & wet hikes

Top Rated 16

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (4,300+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I just used these as my primary shoe for a ten day hiking/white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. I used them for the 7 1/2 mile hike from the upper rim to the lower rim while carrying a 35 lb. pack and they performed exceptionally. My feet never got sore and my toes didn’t get bruised, despite the constant decline of the trail. I also used them during day hikes. Even when crossing streams, they dried relatively quickly and were still comfortable even when wet.”


17. And a heavier duty hiking boot for longer hauls

Top Rated 17

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (4,30+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I pretty much submerged these boots in water ENTIRELY, and they are definitely WATERPROOF. They were also incredibly comfortable – I had multiple days of hiking for 12+ hours consecutively, and I cannot stress how comfortable they were. They seem pretty light-weight, great support, solid traction on all sorts of terrain.”


18. Fill them shoes with Darn Tough high performance socks

Top Rated 18

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (40+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I am on my feet 12 hours a day wearing steel-toed boots and these help greatly with making my feet comfortable. I have gifted a few pairs to my coworkers and they have purchased several pairs afterwards. They are a bit pricey but I have a few pairs that have lasted 4+ years, if you wear them out, mail them to Darn Tough and they will send you a new pair.”


19. The classic Swiss Army Knife

Top Rated 19

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (4,600+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I think that this item should be standard issue to everyone. I have several and if I don’t have a reason to use it daily, someone around me does.”


20. A compact 10-piece cookset

Top Rated 20

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (2,300+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This has to be the most complete camping cookware set I have ever purchased. Well finished, fine quality product, pretty solid and tight cookware, no rattling noise when you shake them. It includes a pot with a cover, a frying pan, 2 bowls for drinking water or soup, a soup spoon, bamboo handle spoon, a cleaning loofah and a stainless steel spork, and even though it does not contain a knife, the spork its strong enough to cut through meat, potatoes or carrots.”


21. A lightweight yet complete first aid kit

Top Rated 21

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (180+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This one is a terrific size and weight for hiking. It fits anywhere in or on my backpack.”


22. A pair of lightweight convertible hiking pants

Top Rated 22

Average rating: 4.4/5 stars (460+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “These are great fitting, light weight, comfortable pants, perfect for hiking in. I will never wear jeans to hike in again. They have a nice straight leg (not wide at all) that fits my body perfectly, and I feel skinny and cute in them too! They also dry incredibly fast. I took these pants to hike around in Switzerland and didn’t want to wear any other pants, I loved these so much.”


23. An ultra compact sleeping pad

Top Rated 23

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (100+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Great bang for your buck. Inflates with about 15 breaths. Comfortable on the ground. Shields you from feeling every little leaf and twig under you. Obviously not best for very cold weather camping if you’re needing this to help insulate you from cold ground. But for basic camping and down to about 45-50 degrees it works.”


24. A handy headlamp

Top Rated 24

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (200+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “I have had several Petzl headlamps which have evolved positively in functionality (e.g. operating the switch with a gloved hand) and the Tikkina is, in my opinion, the perfect end result. The default “on” is bright enough for almost any pre-dawn trekking, approach, or climbing, without fear of running the batteries down. And if you occasionally need extra light, it is available with an extra click.”


25. A bottle of water treatment drops

Top Rated 25

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “There are many ways to get clean water these days. Filters, UV lights, charged salts, chlorine, iodine, etc. They all have PROs and CONs. I prefer the Aquamira drops over the other methods because I never have to worry about dead batteries, dead UV bulbs, broken equipment, foul tastes, or clogged filters. I keep several sets of these around.”


26. A state-of-the-art GPS watch

Top Rated 26

Average rating: 4.7/5 stars (340+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Did a lot of research on a device that can track my ocean swims, bike rides, runs, heart rate, etc. I have gone on an ocean swim, and it worked like a champ. Mapped my swim, calculated the distance and generated a SWOLF score. The hr sensor was working in the water, but I did go with a hrm-tri strap for better accuracy. Did a 15mi bike ride and it synced easily with my garmin cadence and speed sensor. Post workout data gave me every detail on my ride.”


27. A portable high capacity power bank

Top Rated 27

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (900+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This is personally the best portable battery I have purchased in my life. For the iPhone 6s a full charge lasts me a good 4 full charges, its small so its very compact and fits in the pocket nicely when you want to go places and it doesn’t bother you so much when walking around or running around.”


28. A 10-liter camping kitchen sink

Top Rated 28

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (75+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “If you do any camping at all, you soon discover the need for something that holds water. Sometimes it’s for washing dishes, other times it’s for moving water up to camp so you can filter it, sometimes it’s just for washing the dust off your face. It’s always for keeping “dirty” water away from otherwise clean water sources, unless you’re into making someone else sick or messing up the environment.”


29. A pack of No Rinse bathing wipes

Top Rated 29

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (35+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “Went on a 2.5 trekking trip through Nepal where you couldn’t shower every day – TMI, I know. These were a great alternative. One wipe is plenty for the whole body – remember you can use the other side. Plus, they packed really flat/neatly into my backpack. There really wasn’t a scent, I felt refreshed and it got the sunblock/insect repellant off surprisingly well.”


30. A waterproof notebook

Top Rated 30

Average rating: 4.8/5 stars (160+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “This is the best pad out there. I have carried one of these in my cargo pocket through training and now months in Afghanistan. I keep a daily journal in one and use another for important notes. I will always have one of these with me.”


31. A pair of low gaiters

Top Rated 31

Average rating: 4.3/5 stars (65+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “The gaiters were used over some 10 year old waterproof hiking boots on a route following paths cut by snow-melt fed streams that took us in and out of rocky scree, gravel, tundra grasses and 3 inches of fresh snow. I lost track of the number of low water stream crossings, but my feet stayed warm and dry thanks to the gaiters–can’t say the same for my companions. Product was also highly effective at keeping debris out of my boots.”


32. A pair of waterproof binoculars

Top Rated 32

Average rating: 4.6/5 stars (800+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “The clarity and magnification is pretty remarkable. They are really compact and light weight for what they are. Magnification is about the limit of what you can hold steady by hand without a rest. I went to a football game sitting in the nosebleeds and let a couple strangers next to me use them, they were blown away and ordered a pair on the spot!”


33. For extreme emergencies – a personal locator beacon

Top Rated 33

Average rating: 4.5/5 stars (180+ reviews)

Top Rated 34

Reviewers say: “My boat capsized offshore at 11:31 am. I turned on the signal. The colonel from the coast guard called my wife in the next 2-3 minutes to confirm that I was out fishing. The coast guard helicopter was sent to my location immediately. The helicopter was there very soon.”


To discover more top rated products on Amazon or to get in touch with the author, visit – a new product curation site that hand selects the highest-rated products on Amazon.


Camping and Hiking on your Period

Period 1

By Oceana Setaysha

Don’t let your period slow you down!

If you’re an active, outdoorsy type, there’s nothing more annoying than trying to schedule your hiking and camping around your period. It always seems to arrive at the least opportune time, and nobody wants to miss out on their fix of outdoor adventures.

But who says you have to miss anything?

It’s actually totally possible to both camp and hike while you’re on your period, and there’s no reason to cancel or reschedule a trip just because you happen to be on ‘shark week’. Here are some simple tips for dealing with your period on an outdoors trip.

Choose An Appropriate Sanitary Option

Period 2The first thing you need to do is choose a sanitary option that is going to work for you. Now you pretty much have three choices: pads, tampons and menstrual cups. The one that you use is going to be dependent on your personal preference above all, but it’s also important to consider how long your trip is. When we’re thinking about tampons and pads they obviously create waste when they are changed that cannot be burned or buried so it needs to be carried with you, which might not be appropriate for a longer trip. On the other hand a menstrual cup is reusable and simply needs to be cleaned, but in wild areas with lots of animal activity you will need to bury your period blood away from your camp and at depth.

Bring Lots Of Unscented Wet Wipes

Period 3If you’re hiking and camping in an area where there isn’t a lot of water it makes sense to take unscented wet wipes. You want to be able to stay hygienic during your trip, and these are a great way to do this. Despite some wet wipe companies advertising that they are biodegradable, many are not and should not be disposed of outdoors. Unless you can find a reputable, natural material based wet wipe you will also need to carry that waste with you. Alternatively you could take a cloth that could be used to clean yourself at the end of the day, and then rinsed and dried for use again the next day.

Take Ziploc Bags For Waste

period 4It’s not pretty to think about but the pads, tampons and wet wipes that you’re taking with you need to be disposed of. In most places that don’t provide rubbish disposal along the trail or in camping spots, you’ll need to carry them yourself. Obviously these items will start to smell very quickly, so a smart idea would be to take a number of Ziploc bags. Small Ziploc bags are great for each item of waste (i.e. one tampon or pad) but you should also bring a larger bag to contain these smaller bags. Remember to pack the waste in tightly, and squeeze the air out, so that you aren’t loosing too much space.

Pack Carefully

When you need to carry extra items like pads, tampons and wet wipes you may need to sacrifice space in your pack, particularly for extended hikes. Take some time in your trip preparation to really think about what is going into you pack to make sure you aren’t overburdening yourself. Consider whether you can cut out some of the larger clothing items you’re bringing and wash overnight, or other space saving ideas. Remember that as well as the menstrual items, you’ll need to leave enough space for your waste bag which, on a longer trip, can get big very quickly.

Consider Your Privacy

period 5One thing that you might need to think about, particularly if you’re hiking with others, is your own privacy when hiking and camping on your period. Although there’s a lot to like about sleeping with nothing more than a mosquito fly or a hammock, you’ll be grateful for your own privacy if you’re on a trip during your period. Remember, you’ll want some space to organise your trash bag, clean yourself up, and change your sanitary items in peace.

Bring Extra Underpants

The one thing that you shouldn’t be worried about bringing too many of is underpants. If you happen to dirty your underpants you want to change them as quickly as possible to avoid smell, insect activity and infection. You may not end up using your spare underwear, but it’s still a great idea to have it and it’s absolutely worth packing even just for a shorter trip.

Extended Hiking Options

If you’re planning on taking an extended trip, and by extended we mean several months of hiking and camping, perhaps in the pursuit of one of the many stunning monster trails the world over, you may need to think beyond your monthly period. You can choose to go on birth control, which can be used to artificially avoid periods. Some birth control options like the pill can be a lot to carry, but others like the implant or injections, can be taken care of before you leave and will halt your period.

period 6

Packing for Camp and the Outdoors

packing for camp 1

By Lucy Gomez

Packing for camp should be thought about carefully.  Planning for a camping trip can be hard work, as camping requires a lot of gear to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Your list should obviously start with the basic necessities, that being food, water, and warm clothes, among a lot of other things, but there are also quite a few more items that you may not realize you are going to need.

What Do I Need With Camping?

Depending on the type of camping trip you are planning to have, there are multiple different categories of items, supplies, and other miscellaneous items that are going to be necessary for your trip.

Shelter Items

packing for camp 2For starters, you are going to need shelter items, unless you have a cabin that you will be staying in. You will need a tent, stakes and a few extra, a dust brush and pan, ground tarp or cloth, a small mat for the entrance, a hammer or an ax for the stakes, and rope, poles, and a shade tarp.

Bedding Items

packing for camp 3If you are bringing your own tent, then you will most definitely need bedding to sleep on. Also, if you are bringing an air mattress or a cot with you, you’re going to need a sleeping pad, pillow, sheets, blankets, an air pump, and a repair kit, just in case any damage occurs while camping. However, if you are just bringing a sleeping bag, then all you will need is a pillow, an extra blanket, and a sleeping pad. A utility bag is also a good item to bring, as well.

Cooking Supplies

packing for camp 4Just bringing food items is not enough, especially if you are going with a larger group of people:

  • Water bucket and a large jug
  • Ice and a cooler
  • Thermos, you may need more than one depending on how large your group is
  • Lighter or a box of matches
  • Buddy burner, firewood, or charcoal
  • BBQ grill or a campfire grill, which will be something similar to an oven rack
  • Newspaper or any other fire starter
  • Clips, thumb tacks, and tablecloth, if there are picnic benches where you are camping, or if you are bringing your own table
  • Measuring cups
  • Aluminum foil, heavy-duty
  • Paper plates and bowls with plastic cutlery
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags for cleanup
  • Potholders and oven mitts
  • Frying pans and pots with their lids
  • Skewers, grill forks, tongs, can opener, bottle opener, and any other utensils you may need that are not cutlery
  • Tupperware or containers for storage of food
  • Brillo, scrub pad, sponge
  • Dish towels and rags

Hygienic/Personal Items

packing for camp 6For the next checklist, you are going to need all of your hygiene and personal items, which is an especially important essential when going camping. You will need washcloths, towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, a portable camping shower or pump shower if you do not have access to one, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, a brush and/or a comb, flip flops or shower shoes, medications, razor, and any other personal item that you deem necessary to bring.

Clothing Items

Camping and any style of retreat in the outdoors will require essential clothing that you will need to bring with you. You will need warm sweaters, jeans track pants, and coats, long johns if necessary, hats, gloves, scarves, a dirty laundry bag, a swim suit, beach towel, rain gear, boots, and extra warm clothing.

Miscellaneous Items

packing for camp 7The following are random, miscellaneous items that you might want to include when packing for camp:

  • GPS or compass
  • Lantern with mantles or fuel
  • Chopstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Water purifier or filters
  • Bug candles and/or repellent
  • Chairs for sitting
  • Sunglasses
  • Radio
  • Fishing bait, license, and gear
  • Fanny pack and backpack
  • Random tools, including utility knife
  • Candles
  • Books, Kindle, or magazines
  • Camera and/or video camera
  • Games that will cater to a summer camp for toddlers
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kits, always bring more than one
  • Hershey bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows to make smores
  • Bungee straps and cords
  • Coffee pot, water bottle, and a spare canteen

Packing for Camp: Having a Successful Camping Trip or Retreat

By ensuring you have all of the items in this checklist, plus the extra items that you deem necessary, you will have a fun, successful camping trip!

What are your favorite things to include when packing for camp?

packing for camp 8

Our Special Christmas GIFT GIVEAWAY

Get our Christmas GIFT GIVEAWAY now before things get too crazy!

Camping Cuisine Cookbook Front Cover-page-001Right now, while many are buying presents for loved ones, Camping for Women is running a very special Christmas Gift Giveaway.

From now until December 25, we are doing a special giving away of The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook.

This applies to everyone who makes a purchase from the Global Outdoor Adventure Store

The digital version of this fabulous resource normal sells for $17.00.  But it is yours free when you purchase anything (large or small) before Christmas.

This Christmas Gift Giveaway is our way of saying a very big thank you to all our website visitors, readers and subscribers that we exist to serve.

So what’s included in The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook?

Written by Sharon Maree, a qualified caterer, nutritionist and seasoned camper, this book includes:

  • Camping CuisineHow to put together tasty and nutritious food that provide high levels of energy needed for hiking.
  • Simple ways to prepare beautiful dishes for people of all ages. Also dishes that cater to people with specific dietary requirements like vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and lactose free.
  • The little-known way to prepare great variety of food useful for hikes.  That is day hikes as well as food best suited to longer hikes and trekking.
  • Proven steps to produce tried and tested recipes for all meals.  Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner (including starters), light meals, main meals, desserts.  It even has baking treats you can prepare before leaving home.
  • Campfire Cooking 2Simple keys to plan and utilize numerous options that are simple to create.  Meets the needs of vegetarians (40 dishes), Vegan (24 dishes), Gluten Free (31 Dishes) and Lactose Free (40 dishes).
  • AMAZING! Discover in a matter of minutes how to choose the best options for your family with 43 dishes that are proven favorites with children.
  • Proven strategies for ensuring food safety while out in the great outdoors.  Includes 11 tips for storing meat and other perishables, another 11 tips for storing fruit and vegetables and lists of fruit and vegetables that do not require refrigeration. Presented together with information on how long you should expect food to last.

But that’s not all!  There’s also…

  • Camping Cuisine 2Many tips and tricks for applying variations to most of the recipes featured throughout the book.  This allows you the flexibility to be able to creatively alter dishes in a number of ways.  Hence you can easily cater to differing tastes while changing the feel and presentation as you like.
  • A dirt-cheap way to savor so many delightful and quick options within this full color publication.  Features professional photos of each finished dish in hiking, camping and glamping environments.
  • A free and easy way to prepare multiple and diverse dishes.  Follow a well laid out format comprising all the ingredients, steps and methods.  You will be producing wholesome, delicious and satisfying food in no time!
  • campfire cookingDiscover how to implement 34 safety tips while away in the wilderness.  Also 19 clean up tips and a Bibliography listing a number of other sources for great food and food-related ideas.
  • How to use 10 practical food ideas for hiking in addition to using hiking recipes.
  • REVEALED! The hidden truth behind the secrets of a seasoned woman camper with qualifications in commercial cookery and nutrition.  She is a cookery teacher who has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience across two continents.

So what do you need to do to get your free copy?

All anyone needs to do is to purchase anything from the shopping tab on Camping for Women dot com .

Global Outdoor Adventure Store 9There is a massive selection of hundreds of items within multiple categories.  Any purchase entitles you to receive The 3 in 1 Camping Cuisine Cookbook for free.

There is no minimum purchase amount to qualify and this offer is only valid until Christmas.

As soon as we hear you have made a purchase we will send you this amazing resource.  A resource designed to be your secret weapon for looking like a foodie/chef in front of your fellow campers!

The Global Outdoor Adventure Store  is run in conjunction with the world’s largest online retailer Amazon.  The store simply has the widest selection of products for the great outdoors – more than exists in any physical store.

Global Outdoor Adventure Store 19

So take advantage of our Christmas Gift Giveaway promotion today!

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Happy shopping…


Why Every Woman Should Try Camping At Least Once

Why Every Woman Should Try Camping At Least Once

By Whitney Klenzendorf

Camping: an activity where you pack up all your things in a car, drive to an open piece of land, unpack all of the things you just packed an hour ago, make a temporary home out of a small tent, use public restrooms, sweat, and then at the end of the weekend, pack it all back up and head home.

Appealing, isn’t it?

But in the end, it wasn’t the experience of hauling a spatula into the woods that made camping one of America’s most beloved past times. There are bigger, better reasons why so many people love camping. Without fail, every time I go camping, a moment always comes along when I feel buoyed by the combined forces of the camping experience and say to myself, Why don’t I do this more often?

Try Camping 1

You could say I love camping for the stars, the scenery, or the s’mores (talk about motivation!), but I believe the motivation is deeper than that.

What to Love About Camping

1. It’s a simple experience, and the simplicity is a healthy change from everyday life. You are required to pare life down to the simplest of things, only that which you need for a few days. When you arrive, you have your small amount of things, but you are surrounded by this big landscape, which dwarfs you and your possessions and any issues you may be facing at home or work.

Try Camping 2

2. Kids love it. I love watching kids run around a campsite and get engaged in activities they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to partake in. Of course it’s important for kids to get outdoors so they will learn about the natural world, but I also think the simple freedom that comes with being outside is an important experience for them. Finally, it’s ok for them to get wet and muddy and stay that way all day!

Try Camping 3

3. Intense, unparalleled bonding. I’m a social being, so I love how close this activity brings me to my fellow campers, but those seeking solitude also benefit from the bonding that occurs when camping—both with God, or the spiritual being you believe in, and with oneself. My solitary moments in nature have given me the most powerful bonding moments with God I’ve ever experienced, by seeing his incredible creation around me and by having the quiet moments to listen to Him.

Try Camping 4

On the social front, it is no coincidence that the majority of my most treasured moments with friends and family—many which occurred over two decades ago but which stick out in my mind today with crystal clarity—were outside.

Backpacking with my family in the Rocky Mountains when I was just five or six, sleeping out in the open under the stars at camp, racing horses through apple orchards with my friend Leila, camping in state parks with my sister and brother in laws and their daughters, or even times as simple as sitting on a dock fishing with my grandfather, all are treasured memories. I know that the highlight reel of my life (the real highlight reel, not just the “highlight reel” of social media) includes these moments.

Try Camping 5

And, as anyone who has ever set up a tent with another person knows, you can’t not get to know someone when you set up a tent with them! Just try it and you will know what I mean. (Same goes for field dressing an animal together…you can’t help but experience a kinship over a such a unique experience.)

I hope you feel encouraged to try camping, and if you need tips feel free to check out the “Glamping” section of Whit’s Wilderness. May you have many fun camp outs in your future.

Benefits of the Camping Experience for Women

Benefits 1

By Iris West

When people ask how I manage to always look so vibrant and energetic even in the middle of stressful situations, I smile and say, “camping.” For a leisure activity that can appear so dull and out of place in the technological world, I know that answer always comes out as a surprise, and probably a joke to some. Camping, however, has a great deal of benefits for you as a woman.

Relaxation/cut off stress

Benefits 2From the busy work schedules, to bodily woes and the stresses of life, every once in a while, it is recommended that you take a few moments and unwind.

For me, I cannot do that while at home; somehow, something always comes up and relaxing is put on hold.

Camping provides the opportunity, time and much needed space for relaxation, providing many benefits including giving ample time to concentrate and meditate on one’s life.


Benefits 8There is not a single place in the world better for inspiration, than where nature resides. With nature there is exploration, heightened curiosity and a peace that drives you deep into thought, where those great ideas come from.

Camping gives you the ideal scenarios for you to be in touch with nature. It is while camping that I had most of my best ideas and made the greatest decisions of my life.


Benefits 4Is it not hard for you to go an entire hour without checking at least one electronic device? Such is the world we live in nowadays and you would be surprised at the effects of these devices to us. Besides time wastage, there is impulse behavior and heightened stress levels among others.

I often leave every device back at home when I go camping. This is primarily because camping is the one place I get that much needed opportunity to unplug.

Exercise benefits

Benefits 5If you wish to burn those calories in a way that does not feel constricting or restrictive, then you need to go camping.

All that walking, hiking, trekking and carrying around the weight in your bag, is a great deal of exercise. I guarantee you that a few days of camping could be the game changer for your weight loss routine.

Better sleeping patterns

Benefits 6This is usually tied down to the fact that you are offline and away from all the distractions. A woman needs her beauty sleep and unfortunately, for one reason or the other, we do not get enough of that.

Going camping however, helps you maintain a steady and healthy sleeping pattern that keeps you rejuvenated and calm, besides relieving the stress that comes with exhaustion.

Get rid of the mood swings

Benefits 10Research has shown that nature can work wonders for your mental health, especially if you live in the city. A study conducted at Michigan University cited that walking outdoors even for a few minutes can reduce depression symptoms.

Another study conducted at Stanford University found that walking in nature has the ability to overcome the trend by people to obsess over negative thoughts, which could increase the risk of mental health issues.

No screens

Benefits 3One of the biggest advantages of camping for women that I’ve discovered is that there are absolutely no screens. Sometimes all a woman needs is to shut themselves from cyberspace and simply connect with nature. And what better way to achieve that than go camping?

Too much screens aren’t good for health and it’s sometimes important to power down. And without screens, you get so much more done in the way of connecting with friends, family and loved ones.

Departure from daily life at little or no cost

Benefits 9It would be great for everyone to travel and take a vacation if they have a few savings. But who said you have to go on holiday to escape your fast-paced life?

After all, today’s economy doesn’t allow most of us to travel to a different city or country to get away. There are plenty of expenses to think about including meals, restaurants, hotel rooms, passport, the attractions and more. When it comes to camping, I can get away and for very little cost too.

Take a shortcut to mindfulness

Benefits 7If you are one of those people like me for whom formal meditation doesn’t work, camping can work wonders for you. Of course, sometimes I can do simple meditations but at other times the sitting gets tough. Camping necessitates mindfulness because we have to be there to camp and secondly, there’s no technology distracting us. In the woods, you get to hear the buzz of insects, the crackle of the fire as well as the song of a bird without the distracting noises of passing cars, cat fights in the night, fighting couples, and general urbanity. Camping raises awareness to the present and brings your attention to the present moment. And when night falls, your world reduces to the fire.

There are many more benefits of camping for women, but they can only be truly experienced if you take the step to actually go camping.