Guest: Natalia Dutt is Outside and Thriving


on Mar 12, 2021

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Natalia Dutt

My relationship with the outdoors has ebbed and flowed throughout the years. In my experience, I so often felt like I had to fit a certain mold in order to be able to claim the outdoors as my home. When I think about “outdoorsy” women I automatically picture people with flowing hair, a trendy wide brim hat, and the hiking boots you see in all of the ads. Social media at times tends to primarily shed light on the glamorous side of nature. You know the scene, the one with the background of an alpine lake that seems perfectly curated as the person in the picture looks absolutely flawless after a long hike. HOW DO THEY DO IT? Like seriously, could someone please teach me? When I first started being drawn towards nature I felt like an imposter because I don’t fit that mold, and my Instagram, no matter how hard I try, never looks that perfectly curated. 

Instead, after two years of becoming a wild, wildly warrior, I realized that that portrayal of an outdoorsy woman is not entirely true. The reality for me is wearing the same outfit for almost weeks at a time. It is forever struggling to keep dirt out from under my fingernails. It is keeping my hair in braids for days at a time because it is the only logical way to manage the curls. It is cleaning my diva cup with snow. It is humbly recognizing your limits and allowing yourself to be okay to ask for help. It is standing up for yourself. It is finding a #girlgang to go on adventures where you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. 

Being a woman who worked in wilderness therapy I realized that it is a powerful thing. I recognized that the vulnerability and confidence to be a woman in groups of all men show that we are not weak. The outdoor industry was one that can at times be entirely intimidating. It is an industry that at times can make me feel less than. When working on trail crews my abilities were doubted because of my gender. 

When I entered the world of wilderness therapy, I doubted my own strength. However, after two years, spent off and on I reclaimed my power. I found my power in building a shelter from a tarp. I found my voice while hiking miles on end with a pack that was over half of my body weight. I found my power learning how to adapt to my surroundings. For me, the outdoors has always been healing. It is my hope that any woman reading this doesn’t get discouraged by the outdoors. While our experiences may be vastly different, we must support one another in this space. My hope is that they continue to find the beauty of being able to be their authentic self. 

*For more on Natalia's adventure see her website.

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on Mar 12, 2021

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