Have you ever looked at a hiking feed on Instagram and felt overwhelmed? Then thought to yourself, "Whoa, I could never do that!". Honestly, I am thankful that hiking wasn't as relevant on social media when I first began my journey. I don't know if I would've had the courage to get started they way I did.
I come across a lot of people that say they need to train or get in shape to hike. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most anyone can hike. Hiking doesn't have to be a 5, 7, 10 or 12 mile day hike with a substantial gain in elevation. It can be a short 1 or 3 mile hike in your very own neighborhood canyon trails. You do that hike consistently and in time you will be craving your next adventure. You'll be craving that 5, 7, 10 or 12 mile hike. Everyone starts somewhere and that place will be different for every hiker. The key for me initially, was challenging myself in an environment where I felt most confident. For you, getting started might be your garage treadmill, for me getting started was my local canyon trails with girlfriends. Community became a big part of hiking and my journey. Read on to learn about a few of my favorites, but really I have many!
Girls Who Hike
At over 50K members strong, Girls Who Hike is a national hiking organization for women that empower each other to hit the trail regardless of your experience. You'll find badass women that backpack regularly and rock climb hiking alongside women that have never hiked more than 5 miles or camped a day in their life. It's an amazing sight to see all these women come together to rally for one another. Both Kristen and I are honored to be Ambassadors for the San Diego and Orange County local chapters. We both lead hikes at least once a month for our respective chapter. Pictured below is a Girls Who Hike SD group hike at Mother Miguel Mountain in Chula Vista, San Diego County. Click this link to search by your region to find your local chapter www.girlswhohike.net
52 Hike Challenge
52 hike challengeis another national hiking organization, but for both men and women. It is a global movement designed to take you on a personal journey to discover the physical, mental and spiritual benefits gained by hiking once a week for an entire year. The 52 hike challenge movement is what motivated me to complete 52 hikes in 2015. This challenge healed me. It empowered me. I feel like I have been able to accomplish so much in respect to the outdoors because of the confidence I gained throughout this challenge. It has been one of my most rewarding experiences to date. Pictured below is my 52nd hike joined by many family and friends at Iron Mountain in Poway, San Diego County. Learn more about this amazing movement at www.52hikechallenge.com
REI 10K Women Project
I believe everyone needs a little bit of encouragement to find their passion for the outdoors.The 10K Women Trail Project does just that by encouraging women and girls all across North America to bring female friends and family on a trail at least once a month. As a Trailblazer for this project, I have teamed up with the ladies from Hike it Baby for this project that is funded by the REI Force of Nature grant. Follow this link to learn more and join the challenge www.10KWomenTrailProject.org
These communities attract persons of every skill level and every life stage. You will most likely find someone that's ready to start their journey alongside you because no matter who you are or what your adventure, we all have the power to inspire one another!
Thanks for reading and happy trails!