The Bad-ass Challenge

About a month or so ago, I was reading through the May issue of Backpacker magazine.  There was an article about one of the writers and his quest to qualify and be accepted as a mountain guide (something that’s very hard to do).  In that article, there were these side-boxes that discussed the most physically taxing jobs in the outdoors field to qualify for and perform.  Among them were Navy Seal, Wildlife Biologist, Sherpa, etc…

As I sat in Vesuvio, a bar and cafe and old haunt of mine in the North Beach district of San Francisco, an idea was born.  This whole blog has been and is devoted to opening the wide world of sports to women, making it more accessible so that more women get involved.  As a tangent, sometimes I talk about other male dominated fields like barbecued foods, bacon, beer, bourbon, rock and roll, working out and the outdoors.  So now, you will get to read about this new idea: the bad-ass challenge.  

Here is the challenge, and I choose to accept and have as many of you follow my lead and participate as well.  I want to simulate qualifying exam test conditions for the entrance exams for the most bad-ass outdoors jobs a person could have.  Backpacker magazine has them all listed and I’ll follow as closely as I can.  And I will do these within one year.  They are: (details to follow)

Backcountry Ranger

Smokejumper and Wildland Firefighter

Gurkha Soldier

Wildlife Biologist

River Raft Guide

Outward Bound Instructor


Navy Seal

Backpacker magazine talks about Mountain Guide training as well and I’ll try to figure out how to fit that one in as closely as possible.  This all stemmed from the Tough Guy Challenge that Backpacker magazine, which I have also entered.

Challenge accepted.

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