A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook – Book Review

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I have a big trip coming up next month and I’ve been spending the last few weeks with my nose buried in travel books and scanning websites to get ready. There’s only so much you can read about your travel destinations so it’s been nice to browse a new book called A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook.

Book Review - A Womans Guide to the Wild by Ruby McConnell for the outdoor adventurer in your life - Campfire Chic

Have you noticed when you express interest in a certain topic that everybody in your life seems to buy you books on that topic? Alex and I have more outdoor books than I know what to do with…and I noticed that any advice for women is either written by a man or only talks about menstruation.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s really important to have a plan if you have your period while in the backcountry. There are different options and it’s nice to hear from other women who can tell you about that time they had to create their own privacy screen when there wasn’t a tree to hide behind to take care of business. (For the record, this is why wearing layers is important! You don’t know when you’ll want to use a jacket to create some privacy for yourself).

But there’s so much more to being a woman outdoors! 

Ruby McConnell, the author of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild, knows that being a woman comes with a few additional concerns for new and seasoned adventurers. In one chapter, titled Lady Matters, Ruby covers topics like:

  • Getting dressed and undressed in the woods (or a campground with lots of people)
  • Peeing in the woods (she totally covers the different ways)
  • Bathing when there isn’t a shower around
  • Sleeping comfortably if this is your first time away from your bed
  • Getting ‘busy’ outdoors

Honestly, one topic I wish we talked about more? Hair! Mine is okay for a few days if I don’t wear a hat, but of course I’m going to wear a hat! Ruby suggests a hair management plan and there is a wonderfully illustrated guide to French braiding your own hair. It may sound vain/elementary, but this was a particularly interesting section for me, personally.

Additional topics covered:

  • Where to go – types of campgrounds, suggestions for places in different states, and types of recreational areas
  • What to bring – Daytrips, car camping, backpacking, and more. This chapter includes handy checklists, how to pack your backpack, and the importance of an excellent sports bra
  • Setting up camp – the basics, tips for selecting undeveloped sites, the different types of types, and a fun DIY project
  • Building a fire
  • Eating – camp kitchen essentials, cooking and eating in bear country, recipes for breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert
  • First aid and safety – keeping yourself safe from others, keeping your friends safe, blisters and chafing (very serious business for those of us with sturdy thighs), car trouble, and knowing when to turn back
  • Weather & Navigation
  • Outdoor etiquette and preserving the wilderness

All in all, this is a great book if you’re looking to learn more before hitting the trail. There are useful DIY projects and recipes to try and checklists to use when perfecting your own packing lists. This is the book I wish I was given years ago when I started going on camping trips without my family.

You can purchase a copy of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook from Amazon.com (Kindle and Paperback).

Thank you to Sasquatch Books for providing me with a copy of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild for possible review. I only suggest products and services to Campfire Chic readers that I try/use and think are beneficial. The links used in this post are affiliate links to Amazon.com.

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