In my first year of university I was greeted with a brand new perspective. Upon telling a new friend that I was in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership program I was told that I had “lost points in his books” because what guy could be interested in a girl who could one up him on a camping trip? I have carried this with me, never allowing it to sway my education path, but reflecting on it every once and a while. It was when I read an article online recently called Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels that I was inspired to write something along those lines – I wanted to write about exactly why people should avoid dating a woman who works and plays outside.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s far too adventurous. You might have a hard time getting her to sit still for any length of time. She is always looking for the next adventure, no matter what the size. It could be an afternoon hiking, or a two week trip abroad. You might have to beg her to settle down and spend a night in on the couch.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s way too easy-going. She can recognize a truly bad situation, so she won’t sweat the small stuff. She won’t let bad weather or broken gear slow her down. She doesn’t spook easily and she understands the human body, although, she might still giggle when you pass each other on the path to the thunder box. She knows how tough the daily grind can be and she is comforted by simply escaping to the outdoors. She’ll probably drag you along.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s up for trying new things. It comes with her adventurous nature. If she is a weekend warrior you will find her at work on a Wednesday dreaming of new gear and rivers to run. She will happily hop in the car and take off to anywhere with you for the weekend – she was probably already booking campsites when you asked.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s tanned in the summer from the sun, not a tanning bed. She’s probably covered in freckles and has dirt under her nails. She likely only bathed in the lake all summer; she didn’t spend enough time inside to even consider a shower. You won’t find her in heels. You’ll often find her barefoot, wearing a grin from ear to ear, soaking in every moment of sunlight she can because she knows the tripping months are short.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. Her constant focus will be on the joy-factor. She will always be considering the moods of the people around her and how she can help them make the most out of their days. She will turn everything into a game, make light of situations when she can, and can easily entertain a crowd.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s experienced. She’s a leader. She will likely show you up on a portage trail. She has sea kayaked, ran white water, and has spent days hiking and canoeing. She can tie bowlines, make shelters from snow or sticks, wrap ankles, cook on a fire she built herself and make a kick-ass campfire coffee. She can lead the masses and keep them all happy.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s well prepared. She knows exactly what to pack for any outing, and will rarely be found without a lighter. She carries a purse to make sure she has everything she needs with her. She always has snacks.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s not materialistic. She has spent days without air conditioning, hot showers, ovens and electricity. She has come to appreciate the comforts of everyday life. She will choose experiences over gifts. She’ll be wearing burn bracelets instead of expensive jewelry and her favourite accessory is likely a Buff.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s fiercely individual and independent. She knows what she wants and who she wants to be. She’s on a path, but she likely doesn’t know where it ends. That’s part of the adventure. She won’t need you. But she will want you. This woman will be able to take care of herself; she can cook, portage, pay her own bills, and set her own anchors. But she will love your company.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. She’s extremely supportive. She understands you are two different people, and she has dreams and ambitions just like you. She will push you to take leaps and accept challenges the same way she keeps you motivated on 2 km portages. She just wants you to be as happy as she is. She’s going to give you, like every other commitment in her life, 110%.

Don’t date an outdoor woman. No matter what you do she’ll always be a little wild, and don’t you dare try to tame her.


Author Bryn Wilgress

Bryn is passionate about building communities of good people, making great meals, and finding the fun in everything she does. Bryn is finishing up the university chapter of her life in Ontario and writing for fun in between the research papers. Find her enjoying yoga, climbing, hiking, paddling, French fries, and laughing.

More posts by Bryn Wilgress
  • Jerre

    That’s the reasons to date an outdoor girl.. Who woudn’t want someone to share an lifetime of small and big adventures with?

    • NerdGirl

      …..far too many >_>
      However…if that person states ‘you’ve lost points in my book’ its time to thank them, because they just saved you a LOT of time on deciding whether or not they’re worth your efforts.

      • Jim McIntosh

        hi outside girl, You obvisiouly have your feet well planted . You sound like a wonderful person and a good friend to have. I don’t hear of many like you and I am sure you have already figured it out. Live free travel well love life. My gift is photography, not spelling, not put photography. travel well friend!

  • Rebecca

    I loved the last line “she’ll always be a little wild, and don’t you dare try to tame her.” Perfect.

  • Shaun

    Yeah don’t date her….marry her haha

    • NerdGirl


  • Jo

    You’re describing le woman of my dreams. The day I met such a girl, I’d be the happiest fool in the world !

    • Trilby McTip

      *tips le fedora*

  • Ellie

    I hate how people keep ripping off “Don’t Date a Girl Who Reads”. This is bullshit – you didn’t describe anything unique to “outdoor girls”. I’ve known outdoor girls who were sloppy, slovenly, rude, and stupid. ~*~*~*LuvvVVin’ Nature~**~*~ doesn’t make you superior to other women. In fact, if you feel the need to write an entire essay about how you’re better than other women, you’re just sending a HUGE message that you are truly insecure. Especially beside us homebodies who wouldn’t go kayaking if you paid us… 🙂

    • Chiefparker

      kill -joy : a person who deliberately spoils the enjoyment of others…

      • Ellie

        I’m a killjoy, yes – I’m also very, very sorry you feel so poorly about yourself you have to actually assign personality traits to the activity of going outside to make yourself seem interesting.

        • SammieK

          Just want you to know that I head a department as Director for a large global company. I manage with my fantastic husband and a four mth old baby. And I am an outdoor woman

        • Amy Bluestar

          Sorry you have to be so boring that you can’t get off the couch and go do something fun!

      • rollins3490

        generalizations are harmful, regardless of the temporary emotion they may bring

    • Robbie

      It’s only a fun article, don’t take it to heart, Ellie….

    • hejweepeach

      Hi Ellie the writer Bryn didn’t use the word ‘hate’ or ‘bullshit’ nor did she say she was creating anything’unique’ nor suggest she was superior to other women or anyone else. I suggest you re-read your post and afterwards, get a life x

      • Ellie

        Reread the post.. and yeah, it’s still as lame. It implies that women who like the outdoors somehow possess traits that women who don’t like the outdoors don’t have. I’m saying in my experience, these girls have been irresponsible (can’t get a stable job because they want 2 weekends a month off to camp), non hygienic, and worst of all, carried this “better than you” attitude. I honestly just thought that it was my particular experience that I had met people like this, but after reading this article it’s clear that you ACTUALLY think you’re superior.

        How does listing a bunch of attributes (leader, prepared, individual, independent, supportive) that describe the perfect girlfriend, then tracing the origin of said attributes to being an outdoors girl NOT imply she thinks she’s better? The point of this article suggests that outdoors girls have those traits (which is completely laughable) and if you’re an indoors person, you can’t possibly have those traits. Otherwise, there would be no point to this article.

    • April

      The writer said “understands you are two different people and will accept it”.
      The writer NEVER said outdoor girls are any better than homebodies; in fact it’s a sarcastic article and I think you may be taking a bit too seriously?
      You’re saying we’re insecure for ‘defending’ ourselves and then you continue defending yourself. My point bring that if you disagree with this, why are you reading the nature forum thing and why must you comment. Nobody forced this upon you so there’s truly almost no reason for you to call this ‘bullshit’ and be rude to the author.

      • Ellie

        This article just popped up on my Facebook, I didn’t do any digging to get here…Did I say anyone forced me to comment? No, I saw an article I disagree with so I’m going to comment on it. If you can’t handle this phenomenon then perhaps the internet is not for you.

        The writer said “understands you are two different people and accepts it.” and implies that this is because she likes to go outside (which really makes no sense when you think about it), implying that you do not possess this trait if you don’t share her hobbies. If you don’t like to do what the author does, you can’t have these positive traits.

        Again, the point of the article is to highlight ways in which a certain type of woman is “better” than another. It’s not a fun article, it’s another example of women beating down other women to appear better in the eyes of men. NONE of these traits are even kind of linked to any particular hobby.

        It’s lazy authorship because she stylistically ripped off of another artist’s work. Yes, doing the SAME thing and just switching out a few words IS plagiarism. She stole the whole “flavour” of the piece, called “Don’t Date a Girl Who Reads” (Reading of course, the domain of ~Gasp! INDOOR GIRLS). It doesn’t make for good reading. Bashing other women to make yourself look better for men is never a good look.

        • Sammiek

          You seem so bitter. Hugs 🙂

          • Ellie

            I hope you get to a place in your life where you don’t receive your validation as a woman from internet articles. Hugs 🙂

        • brynwil

          Hi Ellie,
          You raise some valid points – thanks for sharing.
          First off, I have to say that the fact that this popped up on your news feed made me so happy – this is the first piece I’ve written and I am so excited about people sharing it.
          That being said, I feel the needs to explain myself. It wasn’t my intent to bash other women, and I’m sorry if it came across as such. I was just trying to poke fun at those people (like my friend from first year) who say outdoorsy women are not worth dating (because we get sorted into a stereotype that pegs us as not being able to hold jobs and smelling bad).
          I merely was pointing out that some of us have good traits the same as everyone else – not that we are better! That’s was my intent behind the line “understands you are two different people and accepts it”.
          Ellie, have you ever read outside? Nothing better than a good book dockside or in a hammock! Soaking up the sun while immersing yourself in a good read -nothing compares! A great combination of the 2 worlds.
          I enjoyed writing this article because I hoped some women would identify. I know I have identified with lines from several similar articles inspired from that piece, including the ‘Don’t Date a Girl Who Reads”.
          I hope this clears up some of the distaste for what I’ve written. If not, that’s alright too! I accept your differences.

          • Angeline

            Nice response Bryn but Internet trolls dont deserve the attention this one got. If she needs an audience so badly she should try doing something difficult and worthy like writing a provoking article and getting it published. (She had to ride your coattails.) Move on and leave her in your adventurous, life affirming dust.

          • brynwil

            That phrase is so lovely: “adventurous, life affirming dust”. Thank you!

          • Ellie

            The point is, is that its unnecessary to bash other women to “combat stereotypes”. If this was your intention, you would by example instead of insinuating that if you DON’T like to go outside, that you’re not adventurous, not supportive, not spontaneous, not original, not worth dating. People (especially young people) read it and either take away a sense of “I’m better because I do X” or “I’m not going enough because I don’t do X.” It leads to bullying and strife between people outside of the internet. I’ve lost numerous friends because I’d didn’t want to drop everything with them and go hike in the mountains – they laugh behind my back about how I’m not “adventurous” and how I’ll “die without ever having tasted life”. Or maybe I’m just allergic to every pollen on this fucking Earth and don’t want to spend a day with my sinus cavity on fire.

            To everyone who calls me bitter: I grew up in the country surrounding by such people, “outdoorsy folk”. There is serious condescension and derision in such communities among people who prefer different pursuits.

            There is already such derision among women about being “better” than others – it’s all a competition in the eyes of men. Tearing other women down for the audience of men is ALWAYS going to go over distastefully.

            And to anyone who says I’m a troll; its a sad day when anyone who disagrees with Internet hive mind is automatically branded a “troll”.

          • NerdGirl

            Granted its been a while…but you’re only proving your own point…division between the types of personalities, is only perpetuated by insinuating the argument in self defense, is the same as putting others down.
            I have MANY friends, and married a guy, who CAN’T go outdoors like I do, due to allergies, physical malfunctions etc, but I don’t even once claim its because they’re lazy or boring.
            The only way you’ll ever see a happier day in this subject, is to stop being so defensive about it.
            We outdoorsy women are simply sick of being told to calm down, wear makeup, look pretty, and be ‘less manly’ ….

          • Eliza

            First off, wow!! Bryn, that was a really lovely response!! Thanks for the peace in your reply. Anddd congratulations on your first piece’s success!

            Secondly, Ellie, I don’t think anyone would criticize your disagreement if your tone was nicer. They might still disagree though.

            To address your point: Building up one type of woman (for a fun internet article) is not the same thing as tearing down all other types of women. Your argument is illogical and unfortunately seems steeped in insecurity ironically. You were the only person here calling any women dumb, unhygienic, or slovenly. You suggest that this article implies the superiority of outdoor women, but it really is just trying to celebrate a group of women sometimes marginalized in a misogynistic society that limits women rather than embraces the beautiful variety of their interests. Ellie, you were the only one here to directly bash or tear down any women, whether if you believe the article was indirectly doing so or not. Please recognize that.

            Lastly, have some respect for people who create content. It’s a lot easier to rip it apart than it is to generate it. Even if you thought the article was really awful, lend some grace and patience in a civilized, indoorsy manor. You’re not a wild beast.

          • Denice


          • csanderslaw

            Why pander to angry cranks, instead of telling them they are angry cranks? It might actually help her face her demons.

          • NerdGirl

            side note Bryn, your article is STILL circulating Facebook 🙂

        • ltcasey13 .

          I think implying that an entire group of females is unhygienic and can’t hold jobs is bashing women.

          Many “outdoors women” take seasonal field jobs so they can explore while building their resume. Full time outdoors jobs are hard to come by and you have to have a lot of experience to get them. It has nothing to do with the ability to hold a job. I admire what they have to do to get where they want to be in life.

          Beautiful article. I loved it. Thank you.

    • Rebecca

      I didn’t really read it as a “look at how much better I am than all those other normal, BASIC girls. Yuck!” I thought it was more of a retaliation to the comment about “losing points” for being outdoorsy. For what it’s worth though, I agree with you. I hate when women say things “I’m not like other girls” or “I only hang out with guys because there’s less drama.” Statements like that I think are rooted in misogyny and the skewed view that women are meant to compete with each other.

    • Edmon

      Wow, don’t date a bitter, angry woman. And that’s actual advice, not sarcasm.

      • Ellie

        I’m bitter because I disagree? Do you think I go about my entire life with this tone? Or am I obligated to kiss your ass while pointing out what’s wrong with a particular article?

    • Rue

      Don’t date an Outdoor girl because they’re smug about their Outdoorness, they use it to identify themselves, and they’re mighty mighty different to all those Indoor girls.

      • NerdGirl

        You’ve clearly met a few too many women who have felt the need to show off, because they’re tired of being treated as a wimp by gender classification…
        Try to put yourself in their world, before judging them as smug or snidy.
        In the same sense, those you’ve met should also understand that not everyone is out to put them down, and chest-puffing isn’t necessary…

  • Josie

    Can you post link to the reasons not to date a girl who travels?

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  • Robbie

    Hard to find any other sort of girl in a ski resort…..

  • ErikBaard

    She has body hair and it’s sexy. This is too confusing after seeing mainstream porn and major media messaging.

    • NerdGirl

      look out, there’s often dried mud on her leg, possibly grease on her elbow, and stains on her clothes …

  • Jake Adrian sluosruolaeh

    This describes me perfectly. This would be my perfect relationship if i found a girl like this

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  • Paula

    You only forgot one thing…an outdoor girls always carries a knife! Thanks for this too-true article.

    • NerdGirl

      meh, we’re “always prepared” …I think knife fits in that line pretty well 😉

  • Matt Morin

    Don’t date her; marry her.

    I’m marrying my outdoorsy girl in about a month in the white mountains. Every moment is an adventure.

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  • Victoria

    The feels I get from reading this… (Mm)

  • NerdGirl

    I was laughing the whole way through…and my coworker/best friend was nodding in agreeance to ALL of it….except the purse thing…we don’t carry purses…we carry BACKPACKS.
    COME ON.

    other than that…you described me perfectly XD

  • 1patsfan4eva

    Men are attracted to her, but then they can’t keep up with her…’s been my experience, and the older I get the more it happens with men my age. They want to be around me because it “makes them feel young and alive”. I would love to meet a man my age who is the same way..

  • Kaz Johnson

    This describes me to a “T’! great article, I love being free and single!

  • alex delarge

    Entertaining article, but it’s really just a lot of clichés linked together with some transition. Those clichés make the author sound like Supergirl with a chip on her shoulder. Kind of off-putting.

  • Voulke

    Despite your attempt at irony, you did just convince me not to date outdoor women.

  • mr.muffins muffins

    Stop describing the perfect woman, you’re making me sad that I don’t know her.