A Wise Man once told me the rules for better half bliss when it comes to outdoor activities:
Rule #1 There is no reason you should ever be on better equipment than your wife/girlfriend
NOTE: this is a no brainer when you think about it...
Rule #2 When trying to figure out what to say during the tough parts of the activity, think of what you would say to your bro and say the opposite
Rule #3 Do not "push". Encourage, empathize but do not "push"
Rule #4 Go at her pace and on her terrain, not yours. Remember, you want her to like this activity
Rule #5 If the first four rules don't work, push her until she breaks, ridicule her failure and she will never want to do it again with you thus freeing you up to do it with your bros.
Obviously Rule #5 is in jest but there is a lot of wisdom in Rules 1- 4. I once watched a pretty cool documentary about a few Eco-challenge teams. One was a all male team and the other was an all female team. The interaction between teammates was a stark contrast. The female team responded well to encouragement and support while the male team responded well to challenges from teammates.
Granted, I'm making some gross over-generalizations here but the fundamental fact is that we're all hardwired differently and sometimes gender plays a big role in that. In the end, as with anything, it comes down to know your audience and tailoring the message to be most effective. Apologies if anyone finds this sexist but to ignore the differences that gender makes is just stupid.