When it comes to outdoor sports and hobbies there is a common stigma that men are much stronger, more reliable, and consistent in their success with outdoor sports and adventures. However, this is just simply not the case.
Let’s review a few common myths and put them to rest with real, reliable statistics and science as well as common sense!
THE TRUTH ABOUT MENSTRUATION AND BEARS
1) When women menstruate, they dramatically increase the likelihood that bears will come seeking them out or hunt them like a shark does to a drop of blood hundreds of yards away in the ocean. The reality is, per studies conducted, that this is just not realistic. In fact, through studies conducted both with live women hiking on menstruation, as well as ‘bear traps’ that were used tampons, the majority if not all bears showed absolutely no added interest. It’s important to appreciate, that in reality, most bears and other wildlife throughout your hiking trips do not have the slightest interest in you, as you have no unusually profitable benefit to them, and in fact you are in their environment so if anything, they’re wondering if there’s anything they can do for you, or what you’re doing there. Irritating, invading, or upsetting wildlife is an entirely different dynamic, and should not be equated in these examples or this point.
WOMEN ARE NOT AS TOUGH AS MEN
2) Women don’t play as hard, and will quit hiking trips sooner than men. The truth is, when gauging and reviewing competitive races and serious sports such as marathons and triathlons, women statistically play just as, if not sometimes harder than men. In fact, according to the Outdoor Foundation Backpacking Event Magazine, women travel just as far as men on average hiking trips. However, gauging the emotional or longitudinal physical response and capabilities of a woman versus a man is very difficult, since it ultimately will come down to science. In other words, personal fitness training, diet, practice, conditioning, and experience. To try to generalize a common denominator in what gender hikes more or is more successful than the other, is like trying to gauge who will excel more in yoga, a woman or a man. While a sport or activity might be more popular amongst a specific gender, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the dominating (gender) in this case is going to be the most successful or efficient in doing so.
WOMEN CAN’T BACKPACK ALONE
3) Women handle loneliness worse than men do on long-distance hiking trips or adventures. Again, as mentioned above, it’s very difficult to apply one stigma to an entire gender regarding capabilities or sports-related and behavioral tendencies. However, since in many states and provinces Hiking tends to statistically be dominated by males, one might speculate that males are more proficient at such. However, since there are more males than female long-distance hikers or climbers in most places, it’s very difficult to gauge or compare one to the other. There’s professionals in different sports and hobby’s of all shapes and sizes. In the end, it’s most important to appreciate and consider what you’re best at, how willing you are to commit to it, and how well you’re going to succeed based on your drive like anything in life!
Another issues women face when backpacking alone is safety. These expert tips will help you reduce any potential risk and stay safe on the trail.
Susan Whick is a contributor to The Camping Canuck. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Susan is based in Toronto and writes travel pieces for the site. In addition to her severe Cinnabon addiction, Susan is a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and avid paddler.