Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 16, 2013.

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Girl Gone Wild is filled with personal stories and practical advice on how to hike, camp, cook, and even have sex in the wild.

What is Girl Gone Wild?

Girl Gone Wild is an outdoor guide geared specifically towards women, their interests, needs, and perspective.  More than that, Girl Gone Wild tells my story of becoming an outdoors woman from hiking, birding, and camping as a kid to backpacking the Grand Canyon as a geology graduate student and learning the real value of a good bed pad in my thirties.  Girl Gone Wild does what other guide books do not; looks at the female outdoor experience as both unique and valid and provides information and stories tailored to fit our needs and interests.

How is Girl Gone Wild Different from Other Guidebooks?

Girl Gone Wild offers more than just helpful hints, it presents comprehensive information on first aid, field-tested recipes, and an entire chapter on maps and navigation based on my own college-level curriculum.  It also talks about all the things that have never made it into the other guides, tackling topics from self defense to menstruation and sex.  Girl Gone Wild is not a satire and does not condescend, it offers a real look into what it takes to make it in the outdoors and a background to the natural systems and how they work.

"Weather basically exists because the movement of the Earth and the heat from the sun causes air and water to move around, freeze, evaporate, and condense. Cold air comes from the poles, because they spend part of the year pointed away from the sun. Warm air comes from the equator because it receives the suns radiation throughout the year. Paying attention to season and local and regional weather patterns can help inform you on the trail. The most important thing is to look up, notice the sky, notice changes in the air, what's moving and how fast."

Girl Gone Wild is readable.  The instructional information is presented alongside personal stories and my unique experience in the wild from the perspective of an Earth-systems scientist and the text is loaded with pictures from some of the most spectacular and remote locations in the world including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, the Swiss Alps, and the erupting vent of Mt. St. Helens.

Monument Valley, Arizona
Monument Valley, Arizona

Why Do Women Need Their Own Guide?

For all the same reasons we need our own clothing stores.  The differences between men and women are not diminished in the wild, but amplified.  Outside, everything comes down to the basics, how much you can carry, whether or not you are warm, and whether or not you feel safe.  Most guides never bother to address gender-specific issues in the wild, leaving most women to learn things the hard way.

"While learning to backpack, camp, and hunt are considered important rites of passage for our American boys, American girls are more likely to learn an art or craft, how to cook or play a sport before they are taught how to pitch a tent or use a compass. And certainly no one is going to go out of their way to tell us what to do if we have to menstruate in the woods, more likely we're terrified by stories of attracting bears and agonize over the prospect of having to pack out our used sanitary napkins.

For the approval of men, I have gone on trips in places and climates for which I was terribly unsuited, chugging, overweight, through canyon country or scrambling the edges of ice fields dressed for an easy day hike. I, a fully competent river rafter, have nearly drowned on several occasions because I was too timid to assert myself and take the stern. I have spent sleepless nights, freezing because a male companion forgot the bedding, or simply brought a light blanket. I have sat and fretted for hours near a campfire being fed dangerous amounts of fuel and wood in the dry days of August. I have stayed up nights, worrying before a trip, hoping I could keep up, hoping I could cook, hoping the weather would hold out, worried that expressing my doubts would cast me as unqualified for the adventure.

What I ultimately discovered is that men are no better or worse equipped than women to survive in the wilderness."

Similarly, most writing about nature and the wilderness experience is from the male perspective.  Voices like Leopold, Abbey, and Thoreau are familiar to us but nature writing from American women is largely confined to the urban or domestic outdoors.  But women are, in fact, in the outdoors in growing numbers and they want to hear from voices that more closely echo their own experiences.  This is what Girl Gone Wild strives to do.

"The wilderness restores me. Not just in the way that fresh air and light raise your spirits and clear your head; it has always been the thing to which I turn in the troubled times of my life. To walk in the woods, to feel what it is to be a part of the larger systems of the world, to see myself as just another animal in the wild, one that can commune with the birds, watch the fish jump, track the stars across the sky, has always worked to calm my mind and put into perspective the trials of my life. I have walked out heartbreak over miles and miles of trails."

How Will My Donation Help?

Your donation will allow me to finish the text and image production for the book and prepare a book proposal.  The majority of Girl Gone Wild is complete, but it needs more focused attention than I have been able to give it while working more than full-time.

Your support will enable me to focus on completing and publishing Girl Gone Wild.

Your contributions will go toward:

  • Content development and editing
  • Copy editing
  • Photograph and figure editing
  • Internal design
  • Promotion

Also, you will receive some great, personalized Rewards:

For $10 or less receive my gratitude on Facebook and Twitter.

For $15 receive a personalized postcard with an image from the book and an advance digital chapter from Girl Gone Wild.

Postcard Image: Repose
Postcard Image: Repose

For $30 receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calendar of images from the book, and an advance digital chapter from Girl Gone Wild.

Grand Falls, Flowing
Grand Falls, Flowing

For $75 receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a digital sample chapter, a wall calendar with images from the book, and a signed copy of the book upon publication.

For $150 receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calender with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a signed copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a day hike in one of three Oregon locations, the Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Limited space available. Dates are the 9th, 16th, and 23rd of August.

Oregon's Coastal Forest
Oregon's Coastal Forest

For $300 receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calender with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a signed copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a small-group (less than ten) day hike in one of three Oregon locations, the Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Limited space available. Dates are the 10th, 17th, and 24th of August.

Central Oregon
Central Oregon

For $500 receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calender with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a signed copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a small-group (less than ten) day hike in one of three Oregon locations, the Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Limited space available. Dates are the 10th, 17th, and 24th of August. AND receive a 30 minute private phone conversation with Ruby to discuss the outdoors, nature, or Earth sciences.

The Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge

For $1000 receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calender with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a signed copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a small-group (less than ten) day hike in one of three Oregon locations, the Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Limited space available. Dates are the 10th, 17th, and 24th of August. ALSO receive special thank on Ruby's website www.rubygonewild.com and in the acknowledgements of Girl Gone Wild.

Can I Read Examples of Your Work?

Sure thing! To read my blog:

http://littlemissgonewild.blogspot.com/

To read my 3rd place essay in the Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest:

http://www.oregonquarterly.com/summer2013/web_extra_4.php

Special Thanks

To Victor St. Petersburg and Star Esparza of Black Magdalene for the use of their track Draped in Furs on my video.  Visit Black Magdalene at 

http://www.blackmagdalene.com/

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge to Girl Gone Wild is time. Even with funding through your support I will still have bills to pay and classrooms full of students waiting for me. There will still be errands to run and all the other things that come with a busy working life. My goal is to finish the text and images and book proposal by April of next year. I have completed approximately half of what I expect to be a 200 page text and am confident that with your support I can finish the text by the goal date.

FAQ

  • Crowdfunding is all about the numbers so the best way to help is to get the word out! Post the link to the Kickstarter on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, tell friends and family that might be interested about it, or send out an email with the link. The more people that provide backing the more successful the project can be. Thanks!

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  • Yes! Every dollar counts, especially because the goal amount has to be met in order for me to receive any of the funds from the Kickstarter. Small donations are great because they encourage others to do the same and they keep interest in the project by showing that it is alive and active. So go on, toss in that two dollar bill!

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  • Of course! But just be sure that you specify your preference to me via email. Digital copies may be in PDF format.

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  • You've got to do it online. This is for all sorts of good reasons from tax reporting to the analytics of how and where the project is listed on the Kickstarter website. The more traffic to the project site, the higher in the list the project is posted, so becoming a real live online backer is important. That being said, if you need help with the process or would like to work with a proxy (someone you know who will pledge for you) let me know and I will see how I can help.

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  • The field trips are designed to be fun and safe, but you participate at your own risk and expense. The rewards in this category are about getting time in the outdoors with an experienced field guide. Someplace you want to go? Ask me, maybe I'll be up for it.

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  • I'm not sure, but have a question in to the Kickstarter folks, until then, you can always email me via my website, http://www.rubygonewild.com/.

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    Receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calendar with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a day hike in one of three Oregon locations, Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Dates are the 9th, 16th, and 23rd of August.

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    Receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calender with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a signed copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a small-group (less than ten) day hike in one of three Oregon locations, Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Dates are the 10th, 17th, and 24rd of August. AND receive a 30 minute private phone conversation with Ruby to discuss the outdoors, nature, or Earth sciences.

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    Receive a personalized post card with an image from the book, a wall calender with images from the book, a digital sample chapter and a signed copy of the book upon publication. Also join Ruby for a small-group (less than ten) day hike in one of three Oregon locations, Central Oregon lava fields, the Columbia River Gorge, or the Oregon Coast. Limited space available. Dates are the 10th, 17th, and 24th of August. ALSO receive special thank on Ruby's website www.rubygonewild.com and in the acknowledgements of Girl Gone Wild.

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Funding period

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