Katie Tunn on Staying Safe in the Outdoors – #IWD2020

This International Women’s Day we want to celebrate women in the outdoors and empower more women to get outside and feel free to explore what the great outdoors has to offer. You don’t have to climb a mountain or trek across a desert but just getting out in the fresh air every so often can be a huge natural stress reliever and is something we should all try to fit into our lives.

We asked Katie Tunn—Marine Mammal Medic, artist, and Ordnance Survey #GetOutside champion—what advice she would give to women wanting to get outside, particularly for those wanting to give wild camping a go.

When it comes to getting outside, I spend most of my time solo. For me, it’s about getting some peace away from the pressures of social media, work and the expectations of modern life. On your own there’s time to relax, there’s no judgement, nature doesn’t care what you look like or what gender you are. It’s about rediscovering freedom.

A lot of women ask me for advice on getting outside as a woman on your own. The big question is, “Is it safe?”

My answer is always YES! I spend a huge amount of time outside in places I’ve never been before and I feel much safer in these wild areas than anywhere else.

That said, it is always important to follow a few basic safety guidelines if you’re out camping alone:

PLANNING

If you’re nervous about your first time camping alone it might help to choose somewhere that you’re familiar with. Wherever you choose, always tell someone where you’re going and make sure that you have a phone/GPS or means of contact in case of emergencies.

LOCATION

When choosing a camping spot, make sure it is out of sight of roads, paths or parking areas. Even though unwanted attention is rare, it’s better not to advertise your location to passers-by.
Doing this also means you get a bit more privacy. I prefer to stay in places where I know I won’t meet anyone else

SOCIAL MEDIA

I often post pictures of my adventures on social media but it’s a good idea to delay posting until after you’ve packed up and left your camping spot. That way you’re not broadcasting where you are to strangers who might decide to pay a visit.

For anyone who is reading this, please remember that not everyone you come across outdoors is similarly confident. Even if you mean well it can be a frightening thing being approached in the dark by a stranger, especially if you’re on your first solo outing! Give a friendly shout and a wave if you’re heading over to say hello.

The great outdoors makes no distinction, everyone is equal, and it’s a wonderful place for women to find peace.

After all, Mother Nature is one of us.

 

If you would like to follow Katie on her latest challenge #82islands then you can follow her over on Instagram and check out her blog.

There are plenty of articles providing advice across the internet about safety in the outdoors and we recommend consulting official advice pages for local areas before setting out on an adventure. Have a read of some of our suggested articles to help you find a safe way to enjoy the great outdoors whether by yourself or in a group.

Ordnance Survey – Championing Women in the Outdoors

Lake District – Walking Safety Tips 

 

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