Singing in the Grand Canyon; (photo/@LindseyMulcare

International Women’s Day: An Ode to the Women Outdoors

Happy International Women’s Day! This one goes out to the women in wild places, whatever that means to you.

To the women who know they belong in all spaces,
Whether you shoot a bow or compete in ski races,

Mirna Valeria trail running in Utah; (photo/@TheMirnavator)

Whether you pack horses in the mountains
Or an infant on your back,
Whether you run miles in the wild
Or haul out an elk rack,

You fish and you bike,
You tackle a thru-hike.
You climb and you raft.
Some days, you may even
deliver a calf.

Whatever you do,
you do it with panache.

To the women who try,
To the women who know,
To the women who wonder
Just where they should go,

To the women who are artists, scientists, and pilots,
To the women who seek space, joy, peace, and quiet,
To the ones who find solace in a city park,
To others freediving and swimming with sharks,

To women donning boots for the very first time,

Today is your day to be a woman outside!

international womens day
Allie D’Andrea bowhunting in Idaho; (photo/@outdoorsallie)

There is no right way to go,
No right way to be.
No size to strive for,
No approval to seek.

There is simply you and the Great Outdoors.
An unlimited expanse for you to explore.
The oceans, the mountains, the rivers, and woods,
The gardens and paths of your neighborhoods —

They await to show you the path to your power.
Whether you’ve got 10 minutes or 24 hours.
However you’re born, whatever you try,

Today is your day to be a woman outside!

international womens day
@ValentineThomas swimming with sharks; (photo/John Kowitz)

Between grief and joy, sadness and mirth,
You’re born from the stars and built from this earth.

Wear your pride like a pack.
Wear your joy like a sail.
Wear your heart on your sleeve.
Wear your scars when you fail.

Whatever you do, you do it all from the heart.
Strive big, strive bold, strive to create your own art
Of being and seeing and moving and doing
Of learning, understanding, building, and renewing.

To women outside and women within,
To women who are and the women who’ve been,
This day is for you to be, to seek, and to dream
Of all the adventures awaiting downstream.

So many places to run, so many places to find —

Today is your day to be a woman outside!

— Poem by Nicole Qualtieri, GearJunkie’s Hunt and Fish Editor

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Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.