How To Survive Being The Only Woman In Hunting Camp
Sereena Thompson 08.24.20
It’s no secret that the number of female hunters is rapidly growing, making it the fastest growing demographic within the outdoor community. More women are wanting to not only learn where their food is coming from, but we also want to be able to provide the food ourselves for our families. So buckle up boys, the girls are coming to camp!
As women, hunting camp can be intimidating for some of us. If you’ve ever walked into a camp full of men and got the weird looks and stares – maybe even a few rude comments – then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Men don’t always see the big picture when women dressed in camouflage and packing a weapon walk into camp. Some think we’re just there to ruin all their fun, which for a dedicated hunter like myself, couldn’t be farther from the truth.
I’m writing this article to equip you with the right tools and insight to have a successful hunting trip – even if you have to share camp with the guys.
As someone who has been the only woman in a camp full of men many times, I’ve definitely learned what to do and not do. Throughout this article I hope to give you inspiration, as well as tips and tricks to survive being the only women in camp, and how you can win over the hearts of all the men without being the camp cook. Because dang-it we’re there to hunt!
Trust me, I’ve been the only lady in camp multiple times, and I know what it’s like to have to prove myself and that I am worthy of being in hunting camp. It wasn’t that long ago – and some still do it this way today – when women came to camp only to cook and clean for the men who were out hunting all day. I’ll be the first to tell you, this has NEVER been and will NEVER be me. Any camp I’m in, the cooking and cleaning gets shared evenly among all attending camp. Unless you can’t cook. Then you get a free pass because I’m not eating burnt hot dogs and cold soup from a can!
Here are my top 7 tips for surviving a male dominated hunting camp:
Be prepared – There’s nothing worse than not being prepared when you hunting by yourself, except not being prepared when you’re hunting with a bunch of guys. Apparently, they can forget stuff, but man if we forget anything, we never hear the end of it. When I’m heading out, I check my list twice and then double check that three more times…get my point?
Try not to be too sensitive – Guys are wired way different than us. They say things differently than how they actually mean it; we take it the wrong way and boom we’re not talking the rest of the day. So, don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll have a much better time if you just go with the flow and hunt.
Pack double the snacks in your pack – Now you’re probably thinking; ‘Sereena this is common sense, of course I’m going to pack enough snacks!’ But hear me out. Guys are terrible snack packers and we’re terrible at sharing snacks, well at least I am! So if we pack twice the snacks, then we don’t have to share the ones we brought only for ourselves. See where I’m going with this? Every guy I have hunted with always tries to steal my snacks, so I learned early on to just pack extra.
Help where help is needed – In a co-ed hunting camp all cleaning, cooking and camp chores are shared equally. Make sure to do your part, treat camp with the guys as if you were camping by yourself…there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do camping by yourself like getting firewood so don’t stop now just because the guys are around. I will add though, if a guy says he’ll trade you getting firewood for cooking and you hate getting firewood then take the deal! Work smarter not harder right!
Join in on the fun and work – If someone harvests an animal, especially a big game animal it’s only right to ask if they want help field dressing and packing out. They don’t have to take your help, but don’t be the only one not helping. Packing out is defiantly work, but it’s a lot of fun and gives you the chance to join in on the harvest of an animal, whether it’s yours or not.
Don’t complain or argue – Remember YOU want and deserve to be here so don’t give them any reason to think otherwise.
Don’t cater to the men in camp – You don’t want to be rude, but definitely don’t let them push you around by cooking everything and cleaning up. I know it’s hard as women because well we like cleanliness, however that gets thrown out at hunting camp. If they want to leave their mess out, let them, clean up yours and let them take care of their own. I look at it as time off from doing the regular chores that I don’t let go at my own house. Clean up after yourself and then kick back, remember your not there to be anyone’s mom.
And lastly, always bring cookies and I mean ALWAYS! Guys can’t resist fresh baked cookies. A simple gooey chocolate chip cookie right as you walk into camp can do wonders for them accepting you. It may seem dumb or pointless, but it’s sure to start you out on the right foot right off the bat.
Now that you have all of my tips and tricks to surviving a male dominated hunting camp, it’s time to get out there and go hunting with the guys. These tips and tricks are bound to make you a favorite in camp!