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!
Josie Gutierrez: A young-at-heart mom and grandmother with a passion for exploring the outdoors. I love road trips that lead to new adventures.
Josie Gutierrez: I knew I enjoyed spending time outside, but it wasn’t until I became an Ambassador for Latino Outdoors in 2015 that I knew I wanted and needed more.
Josie Gutierrez: It is exciting and empowering. It is a wonderful time to be a Woman in the Wild. Outdoor companies are highlighting the female voice, and why not use that to our advantage? “We are women, hear us roar!”
Josie Gutierrez: The outdoors has given me a place to be fully present mentally and physically. I just recently turned 50 "over the hill," as they say. Well, why not just go “over that hill” and around it and back again. The outdoors gives me space to continue to grow, and I pay it back by making sure I provide opportunities for others any chance I get. I am a Program Coordinator for Latino Outdoors and have been since 2015. This wonderful organization has given me a bigger platform to highlight events I put together in and around San Antonio.
Josie Gutierrez: When I first started visiting parks, I realized very quickly that it was something I needed more in my life, and I could do my part on the trails or rivers. You can’t expect people to want to protect or care about something they know nothing about. The more they understand, the more they will want to protect our parks. I think one can never have enough conversations on conservation and the outdoors.
Josie Gutierrez: My daughters as little girls and my daughters as adult women. I loved seeing their little faces playing on the river and exploring trails as children. They are now the strong women who tell me how proud they are of me as I head out on a new adventure. I can’t leave out my 7-year old granddaughter, who makes me feel ageless with her never-ending energy and wonderment in the wild.
Josie Gutierrez: A new challenge, trail or activity in the outdoors. Heck, the next 50 years will be an adventure for me, haha.
Josie Gutierrez: Being fearless in life and letting your voice be heard.
Josie Gutierrez: My career is not the outdoors because I never knew the outdoor space was a possibility to make a career. I make sure that the young kids at our outings understand that the outdoors can be their future. I volunteer with Latino Outdoors and dedicate our group to one outdoor activity a month, and more if allowed. I fulfill my passions on given weekends with our group and on any other weekend I am usually exploring with friends, family, or solo. For anyone looking to do the same, I would say check your local outdoor events and just start attending them. You will find your tribe and maybe even more.
Josie Gutierrez: A woman to me is like a flower. She stands out immediately in many colors and shapes.
Josie Gutierrez: “Love what you live.”
Josie Gutierrez: I love seeing diversity in the wild. The faces, the colors, the shapes, the sizes, the language and the the cultured clothing. In a perfect world, everyone is happy in the outdoor space. A place for all to explore with no judgments. Outdoor brands should be more aware of changing this narrative and really become more inviting in the images that are shared and the clothing they brand.
Josie Gutierrez: Hydration.
Josie Gutierrez: I look for gear that is affordable and comfortable regardless of the brand. I can’t say I have been too happy with unisex products. I do love shopping at REI for specific gear and they do have great sales. I love how they have incorporated more diversity in the way they are marketing.
Josie Gutierrez: Listen to your body. I ran my first full marathon in my 40s, and I really learned how to safely challenge my mind and body to complete the run. This has helped me on longer and harder hikes. When to push myself or slow down. Knowing what your body can do is empowerment.
Josie Gutierrez: I came into Latino Outdoors with an open mind and a need to feed my flame for the outdoors.
Josie Gutierrez: I do what I love. I will only share and partake in activities that I feel align with me or what I represent. My persona on social media is me both at work and play. I manage the Latino Outdoor San Antonio Facebook page and take great pride in making sure our group has access to events locally.
Josie Gutierrez: I always put into the universe where I would like to travel to and what adventures are next. So, more travels and growth in the trails I keep finding myself on.
Josie Gutierrez: Fifty, Fun and Into the Wild
Josie Gutierrez: A butterfly. Small, pretty and free to explore the world.
Josie Gutierrez: I tend to be a little clumsy at times.
Josie Gutierrez: Be present in your own life and take moments to breathe as you continue to always take your soul on adventures.
Women in the Wild is a movement that recognizes the amazing women athletes and enthusiasts who enrich the outdoor community with their passions, inspirations, and accomplishments every day. With support from OluKai, KEEN, and Mountain Hardwear and many more organizations, Outdoor Project is proud to grow this campaign in 2018 and to be a platform for the incredible stories and photography of women throughout our community. From in-depth interviews to female-focused content from the community to phenomenal gear and travel giveaway packages, each and every article is a celebration of the fortitude, strength, and camaraderie that comes with being part of Women in the Wild.