2023 In’s and Out’s

This week on the blog, our West Coast Ambassador, Ibby, is sharing her In’s and Out’s for 2023. Disclaimer: this blog is full of some hot takes.

In a world according to me, the new year doesn’t really start until February 1st, at least. In my world, January is actually a month of regrouping, existing only in no man’s land, where you pack up your Christmas decorations and look back at the previous year in a “holy shit, I can’t believe all of that happened” manner. February, the actual start of the year, is when you make good on some new resolutions, tidy things up, and rebrand yourself completely. In honor of the new year (Ibby’s New Year™), I thought I would share some of my “In’s and Out’s” for 2023. 

DISCLAIMER: The following paragraphs reflect the opinions of Ibby Selman, Backcountry Squatters West Coast Ambassador, NOT the entirety of Backcountry Squatters Nonprofit. Everything you read beyond this point is conjecture in a world, according to Ibby. 


Out – Ditching your friends for your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/lover
In 2023, ditching your friends for your significant other is OUT. This is a social faux pas. You would feel bad about ditching one friend for another friend, so you should feel bad about ditching your friends for your romantic interests. The most intimate and longstanding relationships you will have in your life are your friendships, especially your friendships with other women. Invest in those friendships the same way you would your ambiguous situationship or long-term partner. Commit to being there and present for your friends. If I could tell my eighteen-year-old self anything, it might be this; In five years, you will regret ditching your friends to hang out with that boy, he won’t be around, but they will.

Out- Strava
As a recovering Strava addict, I can tell you that this app is a menace to your mental health and a tool for toxic outdoor elitism. Ditch it or set your activities to private. There is no reason for our outdoor activities to be a form of social media. For generations, athletes kept track of their mile splits and workouts without their ex-D3 cross-country teammates giving them virtual kudos. Comparison is the thief of joy, and so is Strava. I recently lost my wallet on a walk, and Strava’d myself retracing my steps to find it, which can only be considered a compulsion. Normalize not Strava-ing, in 2023.

Out- Hating your body
Hating your body is so early-2000’s. In 2023, we honor the vessels that we live in and reward them for all that they do for us. Lying awake at night, reviewing your calories, and measuring your waist does nothing for you except make yourself miserable. Beating yourself up for how you perceive your own body is a toxic cycle that you deserve to break. When your friends tell you how strong you are, take the compliment graciously. When your pants get uncomfortably tight, don’t punish yourself; buy new ones or tailor the old ones to fit. Let’s all commit to celebrating our bodies and using them to the best of our abilities in 2023.

Out- Influenced Consumption
In 2023, I want to commit to more purposeful consumption. Unless you are someone that is entirely offline, you are constantly being bombarded with advertising content. So much of this content is subtly and aptly placed, most of which is dishonest. It is my quest in 2023 to be de-influenced by everything that content creators push my way. You don’t need the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Foundation or the new HalfDays colors. That Amazon kitchen gadget is going to be used once before going to die in the dark and lonely corner of your kitchen cabinet. You probably already have enough outdoor voices exercise dresses, Chacos, Patagonia synchillas, and lulu sports bras to last a lifetime. These new gets will not improve your life and self-esteem or the void inside of you. Please, we are killing the planet. This year, I will work on making what I have work for me.

Out- Stalking your ex’s new girlfriend’s Spotify
…. Guilty. Please stop refreshing Amanda’s Spotify to see if she is listening to the new BoyGenius album or to see if they added Everywhere, Everything by Noah Kahan to their shared playlist. You are actively thwarting your peace of mind and healing process. Piecing together closure through glimpses at your ex’s new life will do nothing for you. Take it from me. Make a playlist for your friends instead. Protect your peace in 2023.

Out- Virtue Signaling in the outdoor industry
In 2023 and beyond, we are going to hold brands and the entire outdoor industry accountable for the statements that they make about supporting women, differently abled outdoors people, and people of color. If a brand has profited off of virtue signaling its support for women in the outdoors but stood by silently when women were stripped of their right to choose, they do not deserve your business. If a brand profits from tokenizing athletes of color in advertising but does not compensate said athletes fairly, they do not deserve your business. They do, however, deserve to be held accountable for the commitments they have made public to support these communities. It’s 2023, and the outdoor industry is capable of going beyond hollow representation.


In-Bone Conducting Headphones
I am obsessed with these. If you are an #outdoorsgirly that frequently uses headphones on the trails, you will benefit from these headphones. I am about to pitch these headphones to you like my life depended on it, but they are THAT good. Bone Conducting headphones transmit music through vibrations on the bones of the head and jaw rather than playing it into your ears. That means you can be aware on the trails AND listen to your hot girl pops. As a woman that runs, bikes, skis, and hikes alone often, these give me so much peace of mind about wildlife, trail traffic, and general stranger danger. I love any gear that simultaneously facilitates my safety and the vibes.

In- Investing in your female friendships
With each year, I become more aware of how vital our relationships with other women are. We need them for survival and growth. There is empirical scientific evidence that the close relationships that women have with one another are crucial for wellness and long-term health. In 2023, I am stepping into my era of honoring that importance and watering those connections. My female friends taught me what love is outside of family, held me accountable, and encouraged my personal growth. Your girlfriends will lie down in the snow with you when you’re struggling to ski a new line and laugh with you through your suffering when no one else will. 2023 is the year that I prioritize calling my long-distance besties, making space for my friends even when it’s not convenient for me, and focusing on quality time with my girls.

In- Saying ‘Hello’ to everyone on the trail
This year, I want to continue the practice of being welcoming and engaging with others on the trails and encouraging everyone else to do the same. The outdoor community is SO much better when we make it a friendly and welcoming space for all. Smiling and saying hello, even when you feel crummy, is such a small way to make others feel comfortable in an environment that might be daunting to some. I hope that more people commit to this too. A friendly face can make a massive difference towards inclusion in the outdoors, a goal we can all get behind.

In-Writing Letters
I am on a personal crusade to bring back writing letters in 2023. A handwritten letter or note is such a wholesome act of love and care that costs you virtually nothing and can be a forever keepsake. This year, I am going to work on expressing my thoughts, feelings, and appreciation on pen and paper rather than over text. At this very moment, there is a shoebox under my bed filled with notes and cards people have given me over the years that I hope I can always keep around for a little pick-me-up. We can all benefit from more offline interactions, written communications being one of them. Write a letter to your mom, your ex-boyfriend, your senators, your best friend, your nemesis, your Backcountry Squatters Ambassador (cough, cough).

In- Upcycling
As our climate crisis worsens, the need to lessen our consumption and keep items out of landfill grows. Rather than purchasing new ski bibs, see if you can upcycle the old ones with patches, stitching, and Nikwax weatherproofing. Maybe your old bike chain can be revamped into a piece of art for your living room. Those hand-me-down bike shorts can be taken in to fit you properly. That broken ski can definitely be mended and recycled into a shotski. The possibilities are endless. In 2023, I am trying to breathe new life into the items I have that still have functional use. Rather than buying a new water belt, I installed a new zipper and stitched the rips in my old one. I rit dyed some old running shirts that have a few stains, or I have outgrown the color. This is saving me money and the planet and feeding a creative part of myself that I don’t get to use very often.

In- Being a joiner
One goal for myself for 2023 is to be more of a joiner. Admittedly, I have never been someone with a ton of school spirit or the drive to join organizations (even though I started a Backcountry Squatters chapter at my university, lol). Still, I am determined to change that in 2023. When I see a flier for a free all-ladies bike night, I am going to commit to showing up, rather than telling myself that I will catch the next one. When my friends invite me to a get-together where I don’t know anyone, I will force myself to go, rather than psyching myself out. Typically, when I force myself to step outside of my comfort zone by attending an event or a group, I have a good time, learn something new, or make a connection that I otherwise wouldn’t. If I never try, I’ll never know. For example, if I hadn’t stepped outside my comfort zone by starting a Squatters chapter, so many wonderful things that have happened to me in my life over the past five years because of Squatters would have never happened.

In- Hot Girl Walks AND Miserable Girl Strolls
The year of the Hot Girl Walk continues with 2023. For those that are unaware, the hot girl walk is a fun little walk that you do at your leisure, where you are only allowed to think about your goals, things you are grateful for, and how hot you are. I, for one, am a huge fan of the hot girl walk/ski/run/bike/swim. I am also a major fan of the miserable girl strolls, where you might be a little grumpy or entirely miserable but you force yourself outside in pursuit of fresh air and movement. This is a major IN for 2023. Anytime you can get yourself outside and/or moving, is a win, whether you’re feeling hot or not.

While New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken and it is entirely unreasonable to reinvent your life when the clock strikes twelve, we can all try to implement fun, spicy changes into our lives this year. In the same way that you would adopt Tik Tok’s latest skincare trend into your routine, you can try to adopt new “trends” to your life, and axe those that have become outdated. This year, it is my hope that everyone wears their sunscreen and commits to their own personal lists of in’s and out’s. Have a fantastic 2023 Squatters!

XOXO, Ibby

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