Image of a girl climbing and hiking outdoors, as the cover image for a blog interview about Gorpygirls0utside

Boot Bananas Interview: Gorpygirls0utside

It should come as no surprise that we’re big fans of people that get outdoors, chase adventures, and live an active lifestyle. We love them, and love shouting out about them too. We recently connected with Amber and El, two inspirational women who are doing some pretty great things with their new outdoor initiative, Gorpygirls0utside. Check out our interview with them below, and follow them on Instagram to keep up with all their exciting updates!

Image of the Gorpygirls0utside logo, as the cover image for a blog interview about Gorpygirls0utside

Obvious question first up – what exactly is gorpygirls0utside?

Gorpygirls0utside is a community of women with one thing we all have in common – we all love the outdoors. GORP stands for “good old raisins and peanuts” and is a term that has been used to represent outdoorsy fashion. We stand for all things feminine and all things outdoors.

Where is gorpygirls0utside based, and how does someone join?

We were founded in South Wales but our community is from all over the UK, with international girls slowly but surely joining too! We have an all-girls Discord server – the best girly group chat on earth – as well as our Instagram page gorpygirls0utside where everybody is welcome to come and support us! Send us a DM on Instagram for the link to join the Discord server.

How did it all start?

I (El) had struggled to make girl friends with similar interests for years. All my adventures I was very much surrounded by lads. Nothing wrong with that, but where are all the girls? Slowly I made more friends online until I met Amber. We started talking about this as a shared experience, and we can’t be the only ones who struggle to find the girls they’re looking for.

We decided to build a solution together and the community was born. It was an immediate success, with hundred of girls joining us in the first few weeks.

Tell us about yourselves – who are Amber and El?

We joke with each other that Amber is the beauty and I (El) am the brains behind the operation. We have different skillsets and different experiences in the outdoors that made us form such a strong team to bring this vision to life.

Amber is 21, she has a stunning sense of style, brilliant skills in graphic design and making stuff look cool, and an appetite to learn that I hope inspires the rest of our girls to want to learn to be the most skilled versions of themselves in the outdoors.

I (El) am 27, and have committed my free time and money for the last decade to becoming a competent mountaineer and knowledgeable all-round adventurer. I am a DofE leader and trainee mountain leader, and all the knowledge I’ve learned I am dedicated to sharing. I firmly believe that education is the answer to most of the worlds problems – in this case, people who engage with the outdoors are more likely to feel inspired to protect and conserve it.

What are the biggest challenges women hikers / adventurers face, and how does gorpygirls0utside help solve those challenges?

“You can’t be what you can’t see”

As a thought experiment, stop for a moment and think about 5 adventurous men who inspire you. I can reel off 20+ with ease. Now, think of 5 adventurous women who inspire you. Even for me, a person with a lifetime obsession with the outdoors, these come less easily.

One current example that disappointed me was the “Arctic Ascent with Alex Honnold” that Nat Geo recently published. You wouldn’t know from the posters or even really any of the promotional material, but there was a female climber with him on the journey. Hazel Findlay (one of my most inspiring icons) was an equal member of that team, but got none of the representation.

I think many women feel intimidated joining mixed group hikes etc, possibly because they feel they won’t be fit enough or fast enough or dressed well enough. We want to create a space where women can see other women doing their thing in the outdoors, and where everybody of every ability feels welcome.

What are the core philosophies behind gorpygirls0utside?

1) Women supporting women – our group chat is full of women who want to support your sponsored hike, buy from your small business, share tips and advice.

2) No judgement zone – your true self is the only version we are interested in.

3) Love the earth and leave no trace – needs no explanation.

What are some of the most positive or surprising things you’ve noticed since forming gorpygirls0utside?

We both agree that by far the most enjoyable part of this project has been the positive feedback we have had from girls who have joined. So many messages saying how they also struggle to make outdoorsy girl friends, how grateful they are to have a space made specifically for them, and lovely stories of girls who have already met each other through our group.

It feels embarrassing to put yourself out there and try to create something like this, until you start to see success. We were blessed in that the reaction was strong from the first day. Please take this as your sign to be brave and start sharing your experiences! You might be shocked at how many other people are in the same boat.

What does the future hold for gorpygirls0utside? Where would you like to see it go?

We have only just completed our first month so we are still very much taking it week by week. But, we are trying our absolute best to give what we can to this community. We are aiming for a giveaway every month, we share community posts weekly on our Insta to showcase what our community has been up to, and we have our first group hike and camp planned for the end of March.

Despite anything else, our main goal for the future is to see that our culture is spreading. We want to see girls embracing the outdoors and being unashamedly themselves, whatever that looks like.

Any top hiking or outdoor tips for girls and women?

There are absolutely millions of tips we could share, but we wanted to give some basic advice to the ladies who want to start enjoying the outdoors more and need a place to start.

Hikes don’t have to be up mountains, they can be local and flat and short and uncomplicated and still give you just as much personal benefit.

Going solo is nothing to be afraid of – take normal precautions like letting someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. If your concern is other people, rest assured, most people out in nature are also just there to enjoy their surroundings.

It’s really worth finding a topic you can obsess over – I really enjoy foraging while Amber is super knowledgeable about birds of prey. It is satisfying to learn in any case but while you’re out walking in the woods anyway, it can be great to find interesting new ways to engage with the environment around you.

Last question (we promise)… It’s International Women’s Day today – which women have inspired you on your own journeys, and why?

El – Gwen Moffat is a trailblazer and a true inspiration to me. She was the first female mountain guide in Britain and she often climbed barefoot, which is something I love to do. Shauna Coxsey and Hazel Findley are also both climbers I follow closely and feel inspired by regularly.

Amber – in terms of the outdoors, I will say El. Since starting the group and way before, she has educated me which has taught me valuable skills that I will use and be able to pass on for life!! In terms of life, my mum. She has taught me to be kind, compassionate and always be true to my self.

Keen to be part of this growing, thriving group of Gorpy girls? Get in touch with Amber or El via the gorpygirls0utside Instagram channel today!

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