You may remember last month we caught up with Lucy Shepherd and spoke with her about her adventures and expeditions, you can find a link to the interview at the bottom of this page.
Lucy is a 25 year old adventurer on a mission, she is constantly pushing herself, whilst at the same time documenting her every move through video, photography and blogging. Lucy is a shining example that the unlikely person can do extraordinary things. Often feeling underestimated, it has become somewhat of a hobby for Lucy to go above and beyond the expectations that people put on her.
She is often the only women within a team of men, and has learnt to adapt and deal with the situation brilliantly. Never letting this hold her back, Lucy shares her Top Ten Tips for being the only women on an expedition team…
- Don’t be afraid.
First things first. To be the only girl on an expedition you have to say yes in the first place. There really is nothing to be afraid of by accepting an invitation or asking male only team mates to join you on an adventure. It shouldn’t be a barrier nor an excuse. It’s become a regular occurrence that I am the only female and never do I give it a second thought. I do understand that it could be a daunting thought at first but never let it stop you.
- Forget privacy
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to go and hide in a bush or leave the tent because you’re not confident enough to use your tent pee bottle. Get the upper hand on this one. On longer adventures the option of privacy is unlikely so to avoid embarrassment, have no fear from the word go. Day one, relieve yourself very obviously not far from the group. You’ve already set that boundary and got rid of the shock factor from both fronts so there’s nothing to worry about any more. You and they must get over it and this is the catalyst. Like ripping off a band aid (too much time in the states) and you can all do your business freely and equally!
- Voice your opinion and take control
It can be easy to feel singled out if you don’t have the loudest voice of the group. Every voice should be heard so if you have a problem with the way things are going, take the lead. A good team will listen to everyone and leadership can come from a variety of ways.
- Expect ‘banter’ but of course not Trump locker talk
Boys and girls like to joke about a whole load of different things, sometimes you may think what others joke about is dumb, stupid, and not relevant in that moment of time. Take it in your stride at the same time as feeling able to speak up if you don’t agree. Guys may forget they are in your company and talk about things you would prefer to not know, but you’ve become one of the ‘lads’. This is all relative speaking as we know the limits.
- Don’t pack the same quantities of food
One thing I am sure of is that guys tend to eat more. When packing your snack bags don’t take the same quantities as them, make it personal otherwise you’re just taking unwanted weight and that in turn is weighing you down!
6. Use it to motivate your training
We are constantly told as women that men are faster and stronger. That may or may not be the case in your group but I use it to motivate my training so that I do that little bit more. Feed off it.
7. Train together before hand
Get to know the group dynamics prior to your big adventure. It will only make things easier in the field!
- Be patient with ‘bad days’
This sounds like I’m stereotyping, and I really don’t mean to. On SOME occasions I’ve witnessed that guys like to shut off to a group when they’re having a bad day. Leave them to get on with it, it wont last for ever.
- If the chaps want to carry extra – let them!
I really don’t have a problem with my ego if someone else offers to carry more and nor should you especially if it helps the team as a whole.
- Enjoy it.
At the end of the day, you’re all part of the same team and on an incredible adventure together. The memories will last forever and the only people that will ever fully understand what you’ve been through, are those on the team itself. So enjoy every second and don’t let it ever stop you from taking opportunities!
Read more about Lucy in her WAExpo interview.
You can also find out more about her adventures on her website