Film Project: Don’t Date A Girl Who Treks

Marinel de Jesus 1

By Marinel de Jesus

Editor note: Click here if you haven’t yet read the original post ‘Don’t Date A Girl Who Treks’.

And now to announce a very exciting film project to promote women who love the great outdoors, Marinel shares this exciting development in her own words…



A few months ago, I attended an outdoor film festival in Washington, DC that focused on the adventure films that were produced by artists from all over the world. The work presented was certainly admirable. I was inspired. A few months later, I watched yet another outdoor film festival and found myself, yet again, inspired.

However, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of disconnect. The first time around I felt the same feeling but couldn’t understand what it was about. It was after the second film festival event that it became evident to me that the past two showings I watched were lacking in two things that mattered to me: (1) hiking or wilderness backpacking and (2) women. It was at that point that I vividly recall noting this concern to my male friends who shared their honest opinion that filming an activity that focuses only on hiking isn’t as exciting or “sexy enough” as climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and all these other adrenaline filled sports.

“Okay, they have a point,” I begrudgingly said to myself.

Months later I was trekking with three guys in the Caucasus Mountains of the Republic of Georgia who were from Egypt, France and Sweden, respectively. I raised the same question as to why there’s a lack of hiking or backpacking film documentaries at such events. The answer was similar to the first.

I never asked my male friends about the women aspect. After all, I was already dismayed at the responses dismissing the idea that pure hiking or wilderness backpacking as the subject of a film fails to even meet the standards that would compel any filmmaker to produce such kind of film. So, I pushed the idea aside… but ONLY for a moment.

Film Project

Hiking with women trail leaders on the Kilimanjaro trail, Tanzania.

Don’t Date a Girl Who Treks

Film Project 3I was in China’s remote trekking trails in yet to be discovered Tibetan Autonomous Region of the country when I met May. She was from Thailand who once trekked up the Everest Base Camp in Nepal. As money was an issue, trekking or traveling for her was a major expense. By fate, May and I met in some of the most remote trekking regions in Sichuan Province of China. We ventured out to do the 30 kilometer high altitude pilgrimage trek in Yading Nature Reserve. It was a trekking region that has yet to be fully explored by trekkers from the western world. You can read our adventure in full HERE.

The piece, Don’t Date a Girl Who Treks, was inspired by May and all the wonderful solo women trekkers I’ve met in over a decade of trekking in the U.S. and abroad. To be clear, the piece is not so much about dating, but rather it’s meant to be a way to celebrate women and their love for the mountain trails.  May was one of them. To not be able to pursue her passion as often as she would want given the location of her home in Thailand that is devoid of mountain trails is a disappointing reality, to which I can fully relate. In the small city she lives in, life is simple and money is difficult to come by. For someone like May, it’s a devastating notion to accept the fact that she is unable to pursue her passion as easily as she would like due to her responsibilities in taking care of family members and the lack of finances to afford traveling to hike up mountains. Personally, I would go crazy without regular access to mountains!

Our meeting was in 2014. Yet, even now, May still reminisces about our pilgrimage trek in China. In her correspondence, she often dreams about hiking up mountains, whether within her home country or outside of it. I figured if May cannot trek an actual mountain, then I can bring the mountains to her from all corners of the world – thru the film project that is now underway.


Just shortly after writing Don’t Date a Girl Who Treks, I decided in September of 2016 to open my Brown Gal Trekker blog to the public. I soon came to find out that the world seems to agree that women certainly must be celebrated for their passion and commitment to the outdoors. I was thrilled to learn that the world echoes the same sentiment that I’ve had all along, and as a result, Don’t Date a Girl Who Treks was published by Dave’s Travel Corner (a pioneer website for independent-minded backpackers), Huffington Post and WHOA Mag (a publication that promotes women in the outdoors). At the same time, the piece was promoted by various leading entities in the hiking world including and Hike Like a Woman.

Film Project 4You can find the publications via the following links:

Dave’s Travel Corner

Huffington Post

Whoa Mag

Women Who Explore

In late October, 2016, Bernard Chen, an award-winning photographer who I met months ago as part of the Great Himalaya Project (which still is currently a project via Brown Gal Trekker), reached out to me regarding ideas for future projects. I then brought up to him the idea that has been brewing in my head, which is to create a short film based on Don’t Date a Girl Who Treks by showcasing women trekkers globally through a collage of photos and videos submitted by the trekkers themselves. Bernard was thrilled at the idea. We both agreed it’s a perfect means of promoting outdoor women from all walks of life and their presence in the media.

As the idea sank in my head that day, I recalled the earlier conversations about the boring nature of a film on hiking. Then, my mind redirected me back to the feeling of disconnectedness that I experienced from the lack of female hikers depicted in the media. But then, I felt  a surge of excitement knowing that the landscape of the outdoor media world will change, soon enough. That change is right within our control. We just need to make it happen.

Film Project 2


This FILM PROJECT is a collaborative endeavor that is made possible through the help and support of female trekkers worldwide and various leading female-led outdoors entities such as Hike Like a Woman, Animosa, Fat Girls Hiking, Women Who Explore, Adventure Some Women & Camping for Women.

Hence, if you’re a female trekker who has photos or videos that you wish to submit, please send them to [email protected]

In addition, please provide us with the following:

  1. Your name
  2. Short background story on your photo
  3. Short answer to the question, “What does hiking or wilderness backpacking mean to you?”
  4. Your blog site (if you’re a blogger)

You’ll be notified when your piece is selected via e-mail. Credit will be given to your submission. You can subscribe to BGT’s blog if you wish to get updates on the project.

Also, we are raising funds to create the film. Your donations are welcome!

Start by clicking here to check out some really cool T-Shirts that highlight the film project.


And also check out Marinel’s company that take adventurous women on some very impressive treks across the globe:

Peak Explorations


Camping for WomenCamping for Women is a proud supporter of the Date Date A Girl Who Treks film project.

We see this as a significant project to showcase the many amazing, diverse and talented outdoor women all over the world.

We are encouraging as many of our subscribers and readers as possible to take a proactive role in supporting this wonderful initiative. Just can’t wait to see many of your images featured in the film!


Multiple Contributor at | Website

Brown Gal Trekker (Marinel de Jesus) is a nomad at heart who survives the mountains to write about them.

She launched her social enterprise, Peak Explorations, in 2016 to market lesser-known mountain regions globally as trekking destinations with a focus on solo travellers while supporting local sustainable tourism.

Along with her blog, Brown Gal Trekker, Peak Explorations aims to promote women and diversity in the outdoors.

28 thoughts on “Film Project: Don’t Date A Girl Who Treks

  • March 30, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I’m a low key country walk type of person, but seeing your post, trekking looks amazing especially from your photos, how empowering! ☺️

  • March 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I love everything about this!! Hiking is one of my favorite activities, but living in the super flat city of Chicago, there aren’t many places I can hike without jumping on a plane. Hoping to make more of an effort to hike this year though. This project is so inspirational to women (and everyone)!

    • April 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks! It’d be tough to get outdoors if you live in a city like Chicago but when on travels I’m sure you can make time for it 🙂

  • March 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    A fantastic project! Would love to be more active and enjoy camping and hiking more! My new years resolution is to keep challenging myself and putting myself out there in our travels! This has inspired me more!!!

  • March 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

    This looks like such a great collaboration – and will surely be a collection of fearless, strong women by the time you have finished.

  • March 26, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Congratulations on this initiative. Women’s passions in general should be celebrated.

  • March 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    This is such a great project to be part of – I think hiking is every bit as exciting as the extreme sports you mentioned and should get bigger coverage in the media – hopefully with the project it will get more recognition!

  • March 26, 2017 at 5:58 am

    What a meaningful project and kudos for starting this conversation. It’s not just about doing things that would enable you to pursue passion. It is also about supporting other women out there who are doing something to inspire others, or pursuing their own passion themselves! I would love to see this film project!

  • March 26, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Yessss I love this!! I grew up hiking, although just small few hour hikes in the mountains in Seattle, nothing too crazy. Nevertheless I love it and applaud you for doing this! Very interesting

  • March 25, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I love trekking although I can’t do it as often I would want due to my work. 🙂 True that women may not be as well-recognized as men in doing outdoor activity but in fact there are many of woman trekkers. I will try to submit few photos of mine later. 🙂

  • March 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    This sounds like a really unique project and I applaud you for promoting outdoor activity to the sisterhood! I recently did some hiking in Patagonia and have come to realise that I’m not quite the city girl I once though I was…. I also hiked the Inca Trail with my mum last weekend… exhausted isn’t the word!

    I could be tempted to submit something for the project, but even if I don’t, I wish you the best of luck on its success.

    • April 1, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      You’re very welcome to submit. We’re still collecting material. Patagonia and Inca trail are great treks – some of my favorites.

  • March 25, 2017 at 9:08 am

    That sounds like a great project. I d love to get to know more about girls who hike. I love hiking and I am thinking if I ll submit something on your project 🙂

  • March 25, 2017 at 4:03 am

    This sounds like a fantastic piece that is worth the doing. The outdoors set me free and helped me come into my womanhood. I grew up a literal debutante in suburban Denver. We skied often and I was part of the ski team. Tragedy struck my family and my dad died very young. I became with drawn and pensive. After high school, my mom move to California and I stayed behind of a gap year of skiing. That gap year turned into a twenty year ski career where I got to explore some amazing ski mountains in the Western US. The outdoors helped me learn who I really was. I will definitely be submitting for your project.

    • April 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      HI Jenn- Thanks for such an honest comment. Glad you’re submitting and partaking in the project. I’m sure your story will connect with others as each of us has a unique story to tell. I agree- the outdoors provides healing…there’s no doubt about that.

  • March 25, 2017 at 2:54 am

    This is such a cool interesting project with so much depth behind it. Its wonderful that so many people can be involved promoting a great cause.

    • April 1, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks! Lots of work but we are motivated to change the way media is for the women in the outdoors.


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