Women's Marches: Inspiration For The Outdoor Community

America is undergoing a whirlwind of political change and never has it been more important to reaffirm the notions of equality, diversity, environmental protection and social justice. That’s why Outdoor Research stands and hikes in solidarity with today’s Women’s Marches. All weekend long on Facebook, we’ll be posting a marathon of our best stories by and about women in the outdoors. Many of our esteemed coworkers and brand ambassadors will also be out there today, marching in Seattle and their respective cities. We caught up with a few of them on what the outdoor community can learn from this movement. Here's what they had to say.

I'm standing with my sisters this weekend—standing for them at the Women’s March on NYC. I’m remembering that less than 100 years ago in the U.S., women couldn't even vote—that together we’ve accomplished great progress and change. Let's not forget what we can accomplish when we stand and work together. Remember the Civil Rights Movement? It didn’t come easily—it was made of people standing up for their rights and people reaching out to help their brothers and sisters. If we’re serious about equal rights for all and for protecting our public lands, it’s time to get to work. –Hilary Oliver

Having been a professional climber for my entire adult life, I've been fortunate to pursue my dreams with little interruption. However, this time in my life is ending. Now, more than ever, I feel obligated to stand up for my values and the values that will benefit us for generations to come. For the first time in my life, I've called my congressman and senators, and this Saturday, I'm marching in California. I'm marching to show my son that if we all take a little time out of our lives, we can go a long way in preserving the environment and equal rights for women and minorities. The outdoor community is full of passion and dedication. Let's all come together on this. A little from a lot goes a very long way. –Beth Rodden

We find strength when we climb. One thing we can do with that strength is use our voice to protest any injustice we see, and struggle for equality for everyone. –Madaleine Sorkin

The outdoor community is in a period of change. It is no longer about the sickest van, the lightest puffy, or the gnarliest send. It’s no longer just go hike, ski, or climb. Our federal lands are being threatened by drilling. Climate change is being questioned. Pieces like, “When Feminism Has Gone Too Far” invoke misogynistic commentary and divide us. It’s clear there’s much work to be done, and now is the time to do it. Women’s rights are human rights, are equal rights, and are our rights. Today we march nationwide, for women, people of color, and folks from all different backgrounds and stories, for protecting the places we play, and for science. Together we are a force. –Paulina Dao

Change can only happen when a group of people work together toward a common vision or a goal. And while I’ll be out guiding today, I support the hundreds of thousands of people marching in the name of change; change for equal rights, equal opportunities, and inclusion of all, irrespective of race, gender, or religion. Acting to achieve social and global change happens when you’re willing to take a risk, willing to stand up for what you believe in, and willing to make your voice heard for those that don’t have one. –Emilie Drinkwater

It's important for the outdoor community to show solidarity with the Women's Marches because we are all connected through our surroundings. Our differences in where we are from and who we are make us stronger as a community and country. –Jessa Goebel

The Women’s March today is an expression of solidarity to uphold freedom and basic human rights. Any one of us in the outdoor community who cares to see the ones we love empowered, heard, and respected—regardless of their religious beliefs, ethnicity, income, or gender orientation—should support this expression. It is vital now, to activate and protect these principles together. In a country so frequently labeled as “polarized,” I am honored to stand in solidarity with a million women (and men) today that are dedicated to upholding basic human freedoms. –Jewell Lund


Want to see it for yourself? You can watch the March On Washington live here. Want to help out? Consider donating to the marches directly or supporting one of many excellent outdoor women's groups like Camber Outdoors, SheJumps, and Outdoor Women's Alliance, to name a few.

*Photos by (in order of appearance): Corey Rich, Brendan Leonard, Jeremiah Watt, Marisa Jarae, Erik Osterholm, Tara Kerzhner, Matt Hage