Woodsy Women

Woman in the WoodsWoman in the Woods

Submitter: While I am not a librarian, I do think I’m qualified as a historian to declare this book a rather wondrous find!

Holly: While maybe the information is still valid, who is going to get past the premise of “hey girls, you too can like the outdoors?” I can already feel women everywhere cringing!  Please, please, please: weed this if it is on your shelves.

Retaining Femininity

Definitions of femininity


  1. Glad to know that once I’m done my chores I’m supposed to go pitch horseshoes.

  2. Since I started camping at age 4 and I spent a week alone on a mountain a year after I completed Outward Bound in 1975, I am certain that I would have been highly offended by this book in 1976.

  3. Good editors are so sadly undervalued. For the sake of goodness, could nobody convince our author that a “Definitions of Femininity” section would be unnecessary and even a little ridiculous in a book about camping and hiking? “Femininity is how a woman sees herself”? “Femininity is the ability to rise above present problems and to project an inner calm over those around you”?? I cannot wait for the “*Mother* Nature” theme inevitably to follow.

    (The top of page 80 is particularly obnoxious. We’re finishing off an anecdote in which a woman’s naturally nurturing nature helps her reassure an injured fellow climber, near as I can tell. A woman’s touch. They’re natural nurses. Gah.)

  4. See, I’m not the least bit offended at all. I’ve been dragged off kicking and screaming to go camping since BEFORE I was born. That’s right, mom camped while pregnant with me! I hate how I end up smelling like fish no matter how much I scrub. The dirt. The bugs. The shared showers that are never powerful enough to really get clean. How badly I always nick myself while shaving my legs in those cramped communial showers.

    Maybe if I had a book like this I would’ve learned to enjoy camping. But I didn’t have one so the constant sacrifice of my more feminine side made me hate camping. I may be somewhat tomboyish due to being the only girl in four kids and the youngest, but I enjoy being a girly-girl. Not a smelly, itchy, bleeding woodsy girl!

  5. I wonder what sort of tips the “How To Feel Feminine Outdoors” section has. Maybe how to use berries and beeswax to make lipstick?

    1. They’re huge sunglasses. You may recognize them from college campuses today. Inexplicable fashion trend #…. I lost count, but it’s one of them.

  6. So if I chose to wear makeup while camping, by this book’s standards, would I be confused about whether or not I like boys?

  7. Read – check. Sew – check. Play bridge? really? Actually, there’s a bridge club with its own building down the street.

    Glad no one let me know about this as a kid. I was happily running wild through the woods near us with my sister and I’m pretty sure no one called me a “tomboy.” I don’t think I’d have minded if they did. At least no one expected me to throw horseshoes. *phew*

  8. Someone needs to take my ‘woman card’ away from me. I climb mountains, hike and have no idea how to play bridge, change a diaper, or unclog a drain.

  9. “… feeling queasy, squeamish or faint are tricks to get your own way.”

    Good to know. Next time I’m out hiking and feel faint, I’ll just remind myself of that and keep going.

  10. In 1976 I had been living in the woods without plumbing or electricity for 2 years.

  11. Two friends and I celebrated college graduation in the 1970s by taking a camping trip. We were the artsy and scholarly kind of girls who had never camped. We could have used a manual for the assembling the used canvas tent that was missing half its stakes. We needed advice on what to do when campground managers Ralph and Rhoda Redneck refused to allow us in because we were three single women sans parental supervision and ergo wanton. Or what to do when one of us wore Olaf Daughters wood clogs to hike and broke her leg. Or what to do when drunks threatened to burn our tent down with us in it if we did not let them in to rape us (the invalid’s crutches made excellent weapons). Somehow, I think this book would not have saved the day.

  12. Next time I wash the car and mow the lawn and pull weeds in the garden and dig post holes for a new fence I’ll be sure and remember that it’s a man’s job! Geez, kill this one already.

  13. At least the title clarifies the two occasions when its okay for me to be Woman in the Woods: when I’m “alone or with someone”.

  14. As a rather fay man I’m horrified to find that I should have been out doing all that huntin’, shootin’ & fishin’. I always stayed in the city looking after those outdoorsmen’s girlfriends.

    Unbelievable that a woman could write such sexist drivel – definitely one for the Time Capsule.

  15. I’ve been following this blog for awhile now, and always knew this would happen – a book so brilliant I would have to get straight onto Amazon to buy it. This is the book & I can’t wait for it to arrive! My life is going to be TRANSFORMED.

    Err, I’ve just bought the copy you’ve just thrown away, haven’t I?

  16. In my last girls-only camping trip (1985), it started raining so we went to the mall. I call that resourceful!

  17. I’ve often used “outdated” camping/outdoors books for lots of good advice from the days before people decided they had to take thousands of dollars worth of equipment with them. Thought this might be one of them (cover photo and font is similar to some excellent books), and was going to make a plug for it, but then I saw the inside! Aaack.

  18. Oh dear….My husband and I have been camping since we first started dating 10 years ago! I don’t really like bugs or dirt, but I love the fresh air and greenery! And I’ve seen more than a few women expertly style their hair in the communal bathroom mirror. You can be outdoorsy and feminine, unless you’re lazy like me 🙂

  19. I recently bought this book as a gag gift, and it is indeed horrendous. Imagine my delight today when I was googling, trying to find an image of it to share with a friend and I found it here.

    If you folks can find this in a store, don’t pass it by, it will fill your lives with laughter and delight at every turn of the page.

Comments are closed.