In the male-dominated sport of adventure racing, co-ed teams of four race unsupported through rugged, wild terrain. To compete, each team must have at least one woman. Due to this rule, in the adventure racing world, women are often referred to as “mandatory gear” for competition.
In Expedition Oregon, North America’s toughest race, three women and one man flip that script and compete as a reverse co-ed team. Over the course of five days, Team Journey/Bend Racing challenges stereotypes—and themselves—as they navigate, trek, packraft, mountain bike, rappel and more through Central Oregon’s wilderness. Throughout, they must work as a team to overcome physical, mental and emotional obstacles to complete the race and discover what’s possible with a mostly-female team.
“Mandatory Gear” pushes back on gender stereotypes; explores what makes competing on a reverse co-ed team different; and celebrates and inspires female empowerment and gender equity in sports and the outdoors.