Katherine Donnelly | 06.22.2018

As part of Outdoor Project's Women In the Wild series this summer, I have had the honor of working with outdoor women from all over the industry to dig a bit deeper into who they are, how they got to where they are now, how they approach the outdoors, and more. These women are all rad in their own right, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or how "badass" they might be. Whether they're mothers, daughters, sisters, professional athletes, beginners, weekend warriors, "instafamous," or anywhere in-between, their unique stories, journeys, opinions, and perspectives are incredibly valuable and insightful as Outdoor Project - and the industry as a whole - progresses and evolves to become more inclusive to every type of outdoors person. 

Through in-depth and often thought-provoking interviews, I hope to highlight these women's stories, their work, their adventures, and so much more with an eye toward giving them their well-deserved share of the spotlight while inspiring and empowering even more women to get outside!

In this feature we talk to Jainee Dial.

You may already be familiar with her through her work with Wylder Goods, and it's been a blast to get to know more about this Woman In The Wild. Growing up between Utah and Wyoming, the outdoors is in her blood, and her passion for nature shines through in everything that she does. Get the full scoop below.

Photo by Abbi Hearne.

OP: When did you first know that you were going to spend your life in the outdoors?

Jainee Dial: I never had a choice! My family has property in eastern Utah on the Duchesne River, where I grew up fishing, exploring, and playing in the mountains. On my mother’s side we have a cattle ranch in Wyoming in the Uintas. So while I had a home base in Salt Lake City, nearly every weekend in the summers were spent at one property or the other. We got into a lot of trouble and were pretty free-range kids. I did observe my cousin rip his nipple off when he drove into a barbed wire fence on his four-wheeler! Fun fact: I never broke a bone or had stitches until I was an adult, which is kind of a miracle. 

OP: What has the outdoors done for you, and how do you pay it back?

Jainee Dial: I don’t know how else to put it, but the “outdoors” IS ME. What I mean by that is humans are not separate from nature, but are in fact an intrinsic part of it. The outdoors isn’t a place I go. It’s who I am. I don’t believe in a Judeo-Christian origin story - that we were “put” here and Adam and Eve began the lineage of homo sapiens. On the contrary, we have evolved and grown from our earth, so in that sense, I align more closely with the ideology of earth as mother. The notion that we are somehow separate from what we were born from seems ludicrous to me. 

Being in nature or “outside” and simply paying attention restores me to a level of deep trust and integrity in my own human nature. It’s a place where I am the most sane, free from the barrage of distractions, and untouched by anxiety about the meaning and purpose of my life. I don’t believe our planet expects “payment back” per se, but in many ways there is a toll to pay for our actions and the resources we extract. I pay that toll through mindfulness around what I eat, how I make purchases, and through using my business, my voice, and my words to bring attention to people and organizations fighting to protect sacred spaces on this planet - the only home that any of us will ever know. 

OP: What mantra or set of words do you live by? 

Jainee Dial: I have this quote by Anais Nin on my mirror: "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." It serves as a constant reminder for me to be brave, which is easier said than done. I have found that life expands and grows when I have a big picture vision and don’t get stuck in the day-to-day grind of petty distractions. I think each of us has a profound capacity for self-fulfilling prophecies and dreams. It’s a much easier game to play small with low-risk stakes, which has a kind of mesmerizing quality. Safety feels good, but it’s an illusion. When I muster up the courage to zoom out from small-minded thinking and ask harder questions of myself, my life does in fact expand, and I am able to see the value and unique talents I can bring. From that vantage point, I’m better able to map a trajectory and commit to it.

OP: What is one thing that you never leave home without? 

Jainee Dial: My dog, Hawkeye. He’s like another limb to me at this point. I hadn’t understood my capacity for loving an animal so deeply until I met this furry dude, and he goes nearly everywhere I do.

OP: In a world seemingly run by online personas, how do you approach social media, and how does it play into your lifestyle - both work and play? 

Jainee Dial: Discipline and sincerity are the two key factors for having a healthy relationship with online platforms. I take long breaks from social media if it starts to feel insincere, and I try to stay disciplined about how much I’m capable of engaging. We’re all trying to find our way in this new mode of communication. It’s a strange new landscape with no defined rules of engagement, and at this point I think we have a fairly low moral literacy for dealing with other humans through screens.

OP: Tell us one thing about yourself that no one knows.

Jainee Dial: I found a five-leaf clover when I was eight! I pull it out every once in a while to make wishes, which is totally nerdy and completely at odds with my rational nature. I guess we all need good luck charms in life.

Learn more about Jainee by following her on Instagram, plus make sure to check out Wylder Goods - and have your chance at winning awesome prizes from Wylder in the Women In The Wild giveaways!

Feature image by Jo Savage.


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