As a female backpacker with over 15 years of experience I could have used this guidebook when I first began exploring the backcountry. Instead, I had to figure things out the hard way, or by stumbling over my words as I tried to ask questions to my male counterparts (most of whom were always trying to do things for me, rather than let me learn). I wish a book like this had come along earlier, but I’m certainly happy it’s here now!
A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook by Ruby McConnell, is great for both the novice and the intermediate camper/backpacker. It is wonderfully written, beautifully illustrated, and refreshingly honest about “girl things.”
Chapter categories include:
What to Bring: Day trip essentials, packing for comfort, the difference between car camping needs and backpacking needs, and more.
Lady Matters: Bathing, swimming, outdoor hair management, how to pee in the woods, menstruation, and more. I loved this chapter. It was so refreshing to read straightforward, honest information about the topics that seem to be taboo for every other guidebook.
Getting Your Grub On: Securing your food from animals, keeping the camp kitchen, water purification, stove types, cooking, and even some very simple recipes to get you started. I loved the recipes; this was a bonus surprise indeed. I think my favorites were the Easy Banana Walnut Hotcakes and the Fire Baked Pears. All the recipes are easy to follow with very clear instructions on how to’s.
First Aid and Safety: Car trouble, personal safety, first aid kits, sunburns, blisters, bugs, aches and pains, and more.
Navigation: Navigation tools, map basics, using a compass, elevation, topography and more. I was so excited to see non-electronic navigation given so much love in this book – I am a firm believer of map and compass skills and never leave home without them … because you never know when those GPS batteries are going to die!
Minding your Manners: This is all about the Leave No Trace etiquette. Manners are a must to keep our wilderness lands beautiful for generations to come.
Some of the additional fun things included are the checklists in each category. There are also expert notes in each category and even a test to make sure you understand navigation basics before you get lost in the woods. Bonus!
Gals, if you are looking for a comprehensive guidebook just for you, then A Woman’s Guide to the Wild is your go-to book. It will answer many of your questions and help make your first or next outdoor experience its best.