The Next Generation

Years ago, when I was writing A Woman’s Guide to the Wild, I knew that I wanted to include the knowledge, stories, and voices of other outdoor women throughout the book. What I didn’t know was just how hard it would be to find and connect with them-how few there really were. I found this to be especially true when looking for women-owned outdoor businesses and woman-centered and designed products to showcase. What I wanted was to give women choices outside of the male-dominated mainstream, products better suited to their tastes and needs, and the opportunity to support women-owned businesses. What I found, was not a lot.
Then I met Kate Blazar of Animosa, an outdoor company dedicated to equipping and empowering women to explore.
At the point that I met Kate, Animosa, like my book, didn’t really exist yet. It was a vision of a larger, outside the masculine-norm box of outdoor life and the gear that comes with it that was rooted in a topic that no one at the time besides myself and Kate were willing to tackle- menstruation.
Let me say it again, M-E-N-S-T-R-U-A-T-I-O-N.
See? That wasn’t so bad. In fact, in the two years since the release of the book, I’ve gotten pretty good at calmly bringing up menstruation, the bear myth, and any other number of once-hidden in the outdoor industry bodily functions, the removal of which from outdoor literature largely served to terrorize and alienate women from the wilderness experience. It’s a topic that is popular. It seems to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds, including fathers, brothers and men in training and leadership roles. All of them looking for a way into the topic and into the outdoors.
It didn’t come easy to me. I never intended to be a crusader for female functions. I just thought that eventually, someone in the industry needed to start telling it like it is. That person, really, was Kate Blazar. When I met Kate she sat down and told me one of the most cringe-worthy stories of outdoor menstruation I’ve ever heard. It was honest and personal and entirely selfless and the inspiration for the flagship product of Animosa, the Go With Your Flow pack. She was determined to craft a discreet, water and animal-safe kit for outdoor menstruation that would just…make it easier. I loved her story and her product so much, I put her in the book.
Two years later, it’s Kate’s story above any of the other contributors that’s mentioned to me. Women come to me at events with the page marked, telling me how their hearts broke for the woman whose used product got strewn everywhere on a group trip, whose Dad didn’t know what to say or how to help as her body changed. It was an every-woman story.
Animosa, and the Go With your Flow pack exist now, along with a growing line of other products the all-woman business is developing. It’s a testament to bravery, to the identification of needs, and the setting of goals. It’s a woman’s business, for women. And it’s about time.
Find Animosa products and more at www.animosa.co and follow them @animosagear

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