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#200804 - 04/23/10 02:20 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Krista]
Jesselp Offline
What's Next?
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 262
Loc: New York
I'm not a woman, nor do I play one on TV. I am, however, an avid cyclist, and I've taken many a female friend shopping for her first "adult" bicycle.

I highly recommend the "woman specific frames" that are out there. They are almost universally more comfortable for the women I know who ride, due to the differences in frame geometry discussed above (and I'm not talking about step-through frames - these look just like "normal" road bikes.) In my experience, Trek, Cannondale, and I believe Specialized all make mid-to-high end production bikes with frames designed for women. NO need to go bespoke.

Additionally, though this is a particularly personal decision, there are many bicycle saddles (the seat) designed specifically for women, with padding or cutouts in different places than on those designed for men. There is no way to predict which saddle is going to work best for your specific anatomy without trying them out, but I can tell you that taking the time to find the right one will make a world of difference! If you plan on using your bike for more than short rides around the neighborhood, find a sales person you're comfortable with and tell them EXACTLY where your saddle is causing discomfort, and they may be able to recommend something different. This is somewhere that working with a female sales person is likely a good idea, as she'll have more experience with what works for her and her friends.

As for other gear, my wife sleeps in the same tent as me, and when she decided she wanted to go backpacking, I took her to Campmor where they kitted her out with gear that fit, adjusting it specifically to her when necessary. Her pack is the same brand as mine, but smaller than mine, but then so is she. She has the same Asolo boots as I do, and our cargo pants and rain gear look pretty much the same. She makes me do all the cooking, but mostly because she's terrified of my white gas stove!
_________________________
http://spligovia.blogspot.com
A blog about adventure
in and around New York

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#200815 - 04/23/10 03:54 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Jesselp]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
The recent thread on the poor woman who succumbed after trying to hike out in muddy conditions prompted me to start this thread. Having appropriate footwear in your vehicle for the season and the location you are in, could make a big difference in a situation where you find yourself on foot. If your feet get wet and it turns cold, you’re in big trouble in a hurry.

Over the years I’ve experimented with various hiking boots and gaiter combinations as well as the tall Muck Boots.

In the PNW, my three season 'go to' boots are the Muck boot Tack classic in the high. I have a couple of horses and the shape of the foot bed also offers some protection around hooved animals. They are just very comfortable for me to wear and walk in-I walk my dogs with them usually at least a couple miles per day, with the exception of slick or icy conditions.

For those conditions I prefer hiking boots with gaiters. I always carry a pair of the Muck boots in my SUV along with hiking boots suitable for the season and that includes gaiters in fall thru spring.

My winter hiking boots are Keen winter boots and they are very toasty and comfy but I’ve had some issues with them not being durable. Same durability issues with both the Keen and Merrell ventilated summer boots. I’ve had great luck with the Cabelas all leather Rimrock hikers as far as holding up well and getting the most wear, they are great boots unless the weather is really cold or hot and reasonably priced as well.

All of our feet are a bit different but I'd love to hear what's worked well for other women.

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#200816 - 04/23/10 04:05 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Krista]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: Krista

PS- Dagny: for some reason I thought you were a guy. wink


Ha - must've seen me in a guy's LL Bean jacket.

:-)



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#200822 - 04/23/10 04:24 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: rebwa
The NRA has some good reading materials on safety that you might check out. They have a minimal charge for some of their brochures but well worth it in my opinion.


In the early 1990s, the NRA began a program originally geared to women called "Refuse To Be A Victim." I was privileged to attend the inaugural public session.

I very highly recommend attending a session, or more. There are now licensed instructors around the country you can access via the website at the link below. RTBAV is pointedly silent on the subject of gun ownership or use.

A couple of RTBAV points I picked up which I credit with saving me a few years later when I was attacked walking home from work at 7:00p (a dark November night):

1) if carrying a purse or other bag, carry it on your shoulder adjacent to a wall or fence. This way a smash-and-grab is more difficult.

2) if attacked, yell "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" as loud as you can.

3) And do not -- absolutely do not -- let them drag you into an alley, building or vehicle. Fall to the ground and fake a seizure if you have to (it's not easy to pick up off the ground someone who does not want to be picked up).

Especially in an urban area, people can become inured to screams or are too scared to help. But hearing "FIRE!" gets people concerned about their own property so they are more likely to respond or at least call 911. In my case, a man walking the opposite direction had been suspicious of a guy walking in the street a few parked cars behind me. The bystander stopped to watch as I walked past and saw the guy turn the corner after I did. He was already walking my direction when he then saw the stalker start running and subsequently heard me yelling. After I started yelling, several people came running out of the houses in front of which I was attacked.

By the way, I had pepper spray in my pocket when the attacker tackled me from behind and tried to pry my arms apart (which were clutching my purse). Pepper spray does no good when it's in your pocket. Now if I'm walking at night I have pepper spray in my hand, finger over the trigger.

Krista -- you should see if your husband's military base has security training for women.
If they don't have something akin to the Refuse To Be A Victim course, ask if it's possible to get it offered. If you have enough friends (men and women) who would be interested you could contact a local instructor on your own and set up a private session.

A couple of years ago as part of National Crime Prevention Month (October), I convinced my workplace to offer two lunchtime Refuse To Be A Victim sessions.

RTBAV has expanded its scope to include Internet security and workplace security. It can save you money as well as save your life.

And it's not for women only.


http://www.nrahq.org/rtbav/

Home Security
Personal Security
Automobile Security
Workplace Security
Technological Security

Through a four-hour seminar (shorter presentations are available) called Refuse To Be A Victim®, you can learn the personal safety tips and techniques you need to avoid dangerous situations and avoid becoming a victim.

Hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials across the country have implemented Refuse To Be A Victim® into their crime prevention and community policing initiatives.



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#200826 - 04/23/10 04:49 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC
Other security notes, useful for all but especially for women -- who male predators consider easy targets:

1) situational awareness -- you don't have it if you're concentrating on a phone call or are listening to your i-Pod.

2) if walking, jogging or biking alone -- make sure you let someone know where you are going, when you are going, and when you expect to be back. And touch base with them when you are back. A friend of mine lives out in the 'burbs and during the week wants to walk in a park. If going alone, she e-mails me before and after.

3) carry pepper spray and a whistle. Have the pepper spray in your hand or quickly accessible. When hiking I have a canister of bear spray in a holster on my backpack's hip belt. When walking my dog I have pepper spray clipped to a small shoulder bag which also holds Gidget's poop bags and my cell phone. In both instances, a Fox-40 whistle is on a chain around my neck (along with Doug Ritter's e-PICO light). The pepper spray is also to protect my dog from other off-leash dogs.

4) lock your car doors before putting the key in the ignition.

5) Have self-defense within reach in your car. I have a few items within reach of the driver's seat -- including pepper spray in a drink holder. Other items: hickory "tire knocker," large wrench (which is for my trailer hitch but also a formidable weapon at close range) and a baseball bat (legal everywhere that I know of -- baseball being "America's past-time" and all). I live in Washington, D.C. where carrying loaded weapons is strictly verbotten and even possessing them in your home is strictly regulated.

Again a personal experience impressed on me how important it is to not be defenseless in the car. A few years ago, I had a Mazda Miata (a diminutive vehicle, to say the least) and had pulled in behind a taxi-cab on my way home. About a half-block later while crossing an interesection the taxi stopped, leaving me sitting in the intersection. At first I thought he was going to pick up a fare as people were standing on the corner, but then he got out of his car and walked back toward me. I then assumed his car had broken down. He approached my window, which I obligingly rolled down. He then berated me to "stop following" him as he alleged that I had been tailing him for miles. It was a bizarre harangue, to say the least. It's not like my Miata looked like an undercover FBI vehicle, and I had only been behind him for barely half a block. But I sat there, a sitting duck -- cars behind me, to the side and in front. Fortunately, he was content with the verbal abuse and got back into his car. Now if that happened I'd have pepper spray in one hand, my hand rolling up the window with the other and cell phone on hands-free for 911. You just never know.


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#200827 - 04/23/10 04:59 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: rebwa
Having appropriate footwear in your vehicle for the season and the location you are in, could make a big difference in a situation where you find yourself on foot. If your feet get wet and it turns cold, you’re in big trouble in a hurry.


You have highlighted a gaping inadequacy in my car (Honda Element) preparedness: no boots or socks. And I am going to rectify that momentarily when I stock it with a pair of Lowe hiking boots and a couple pair of hiking socks.

I'd already put gaiters, water proof hats, gloves and four different jackets in. I've been keeping more and more hiking and camping gear in the car. It's got the room (hidden from prying eyes) and is as good a place as any to store it.

These Lowe Renegades have been my go-to hiking boot for over a decade. Comfortable from the get-go. Hundreds of hard and often wet miles have been put on these boots (have had a few pair of them) from here to Hawaii.

These boots combined with these gaiters (which I've had since 1995), kept my feet and lower legs dry through hours upon hours of trekking through and standing in the snow we had this past winter.

Lowe Renegade GTX
http://www.rei.com/product/796065

Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters
http://www.rei.com/product/725915


Attachments
lowa.jpg

gaiters.jpg



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#200830 - 04/23/10 05:35 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC
Clothing recommendations. These all roll up nice and small and I have one of most of these in the car at all times. They can be found at various times on sale for 30% or more off.

Unfortunately, Marmot is among the worst for saddling women with girly colors. But they usually have black.


Marmot Dri-Clime Windshirt
http://www.rei.com/product/794868

A friend got me onto the Marmot Dri-Clime Windshirt a decade ago when she came back from her first Himalayan trek. She said the most experienced trekkers and climbers had the Dri-Clime and swore by it as a layer on the coldest days and a light jacket on milder days. I now have several. Seriously, several. It's a great jacket into the 60s over a t-shirt or tank and great over fleece during vigorous hiking down into the 30s. I also have a vest version of this jacket which I wear alone around the house as well as biking and under winter parkas.


Marmot PreCip Rain Jacket - Women's
http://www.rei.com/product/718308

Another Marmot that I've collected like M&Ms -- many great colors, my favorite being this brown one below. There are other great waterproof parkas (an LL Bean version has served me well for many years) but this Marmot PreCip is my go-to. I keep a green one in the car.


Marmot PreCip Full-Zip Rain Pants - Women's

http://www.rei.com/product/738816

A New England trip a few years ago turned into a soggy saga as a raging torrent of record-breaking rain closed roads. An Oregon friend was with me and being an experienced Pacific Northwest backpacker she did not flinch from hiking in downpours so we went on with our itinerary. These Marmot rain pants and the OR gaiters and Lowe Renegade GTX boots and an LL Bean parka mentioned previously kept me dry.


HATS
-- I have got dozens of hats. Golf, Tilley, fleece, OR sombrero and on and on. I like hats to shade my eyes from the sun, rain and to keep my hair from blowing. How many dozens I don't know. Lots. My favorite rain hats -- unlined and fleece-lined -- are no longer carried by REI (was their brand). In the interest of mentioning men's gear that I've appropriated to my usage, here's an LL Bean men's hat that I love and have in dark brown and dark green. They're waxed cotton and I just love waxed cotton. It's not for hot weather but great for 40s-50s. And I see now that Bean is saying it's for men and women. I know it was originally men-only but apparently it's now unisex. Great hat at a great price.

Waxed Cotton Packer Hat
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/47349?pag...7-sub2&np=Y


Attachments
Marmot dri-clime windshirt.jpg

Marmot preCip.jpg

Marmot pants.jpg

hat.jpg



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#200832 - 04/23/10 05:37 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: Dagny]
rebwa Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 295
Thanks!! I'm going to try on a pair of the Lowe Renegade GTX. That's great that they work well in different temps and hold up. I tried them on several years back and liked them, the local store only carried the black color is what stopped me then. I've had some major durability issues with keens and merrells after one season in like one winter or one summer.

I recently looked at the OR high Gaiters, as my ancient short ones have seen better days. The high ones are the way to go in my opinion.

I've always thought more emphasis should be given to footwear for the car kit by most sites, especially when most only recommend 'sturdy shoes', which won't cut it in wet or cold conditions.

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#200833 - 04/23/10 05:42 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC

An aspect of the Lowa Renegade that hooked me is the tread. These things stick like glue to the smooth boulders in the Shenandoahs.

There are other great boots, no doubt, but the Lowa Renegade has worked so well for me that I just stay with them because I know they work and they are comfortable for me.

My sister is partial to Merrells.


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#200834 - 04/23/10 05:45 PM Re: Women-Specific Gear & Concerns [Re: rebwa]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: rebwa
I've always thought more emphasis should be given to footwear for the car kit by most sites, especially when most only recommend 'sturdy shoes', which won't cut it in wet or cold conditions.


So true. If your feet ache are blistered or frozen, you are going to be absolutely miserable and your mobility will be greatly reduced.

We should all have at least a couple of pair of hiking socks in the car and waterproof hiking boots.

And blister First Aid.






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