I’m reasonably certain that most people reading this site are already down with the outdoor lifestyle. I don’t really think that this site is the second stop on the daily blog catchup for people whose first landing page is the Robb Report. I’m pretty much preaching to the choir, here. Still, on the off chance that there’s anyone out there who doesn’t understand why outdoor women are rad, I’ve assembled a brief list of considerations for those considering pursuing one of us for dating and/or relationship purposes.
1. Low level-of-difficulty undergarments.
This one just has to be number one on the list. The technical underclothes favored by outdoors athletes are blessedly free of snaps, hooks, extra straps, and complex configurations. Some might refer to them as “practical” and there’s nothing wrong with that, particularly when they’re just in the way.
2. Hard body (probably).
Is anyone’s body perfect? No (yes). But you’ve got a higher likelihood of hot-bodiness if you hang with people who actually use theirs for stuff on a regular basis. Someone told me that you could judge the season in Ouray solely based on the body types of people in the hot springs, and after seeing the ORV crowd last year, I don’t think this is an exaggeration.
3. Love of (or at least appreciation for) beer.
No blue drinks here! Well, not “none,” that’s too limiting. But we all understand that “summit beer” is a lot more low-maintenance than “summit Sidecar.” Most outdoor women are tough enough to open our own twist-off and aren’t so stressed about our fingernails that we won’t open a can, either. Pro tip, though, guys, it’s gallant even in the most dirtbag circles to open your date’s beer for her before you pass it over. That’s the outdoor equivalent of door-holding and such.
4. Dirt tolerance.
Speaking of dirt, we’re okay with it.
5. Practical footwear.
I don’t know how city guys do it. How do they tolerate mincing along at 5-inch-stiletto pace? Outdoor-minded women are only hampered by their footwear when they prefer their rock shoes too tight for walking (or, in the case of one of my partners, even standing. Ouch). When it’s time to move with purpose, go with the women who can stride out.
I suppose I should mention some of them, at least in the interest of full disclosure. I don’t want anyone to get any unpleasant surprises, or think that this is all a one-sided deal. There are pros and cons just like everything else (but the underwear thing, that can’t be beat, can it?), so here are a few:
1. We’re going to do stuff without you.
Outdoorsy women are not the joined-at-the-hip type. If you wake up late, delicately moaning that you’re tired and want to sleep in and don’t feel like going outside that day, you’re going to get left behind. We won’t be back on time for dinner and the worst thing? We won’t even miss you. We’re too busy having fun doing what we love.
2. Chances are you’ll get schooled at something.
So we like to do outdoors stuff, and a lot of us are pretty good at what we do. If you’re not in possession of the New Renaissance Man’s Trifecta (absolute mastery of skiing, climbing, and mountain biking), you’ll have to be okay with your girlfriend being better than you at something. Which, frankly, if you’re not okay with, you’re lame anyway. Go get some confidence and don’t come back until you do.
Ah, there’s the mud! You know, some people believe that Shakespeare was a woman. If this were true, she’d have to have had a serious backbone to take on the theater establishment in those days (even female roles were played by men; it was a total boys’ club), so I doubt she’d have Lady MacBeth fretting over a little stained skin. We may never know. In any case, if you go out with an outdoorsy woman, you, too, will have to cope with a little dirt. Our hands and feet will not be model-perfect, we sweat and stink after a trip, and we get dirt under our fingernails like everyone else. If you think women should always be sweet-smelling, plastic-looking models of pristine perfection, do us all a favor and look elsewhere for your dates. We’ll tolerate your dirt, but you have to overlook ours as well.
4. We can’t be impressed by the usual stuff.
I can’t be the only one who has had the experience of a man trying to impress me with things I don’t care about. We don’t typically give a crap what someone does for a living, their familial lineage, the car they drive or their collection of their preferred high end vodka. Yes, to be worthy of consideration you do have to be supporting yourself and be reasonably stable, but the superficial stuff is just not important to outdoorsy women. Be genuine, capable, warm-hearted, and fun, and that will go a lot farther than showing off your blinged out Escalade or fancy slopeside condo (though that last thing…uh…might be useful, I admit).
5. Male friends.
I have concluded that there’s just no way around it. My dates are going to have to be okay with the fact that most of my adventure partners are dudes. I, like other outdoors women who put their adventures at the top of their lists every day, can’t really tolerate a lot of baseless drama and jealousy. The sad fact is that guys can go out and play more than women, and women who spend time in the outdoors end up with male partners for a lot of their activities. If this freaks you out, don’t bother with outdoors-oriented women. It will drive you mental and chase her away faster than you can say “ice screw”.
So there you have it. The choice is yours. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.