LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR COVER GIRL
LORI ROBERTS INSIDE!
hike like a woman
Volume 4: December 2017
A COMMUNITY OF OUTDOOR WOMEN
OF INSPIRATION FROM THE TRAIL
Page 1: Poem: Carrying Gran by Michelle Carner Long
Page 2: Traditionally Non-Traditional by Marianne Hoffman
Page 3: Recipe: Not Your Traditional Margarita by Marianne Hoffman
Page 4: The Osborn Sandman Tradition by Crystal Osborn
Page 5: Gear Review: Camelbak Kids Mini M.U.L.E by Jacquelyn O'Connor
Page 7: New Years In The Wilderness by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg
Page 9: Recipe: Jill's Sugar Cookies by Jill Norcross Dunbar
Page 11: New Traditions by Jill Norcross Dunbar
Page 13: Gear Review: Ahnu Sugarpines by Jessica Hubbard
Page 14: Family Tradition by Jessica Hubbard
Page 15: Recipe: Campfire Cornbread by Jessica Hubbard
Page 16: Meet Our Cover Girl: Lori Roberts
Page 17: Reader's Traditions
Page 18: Taking Time For Yourself by Lorna Doone
Page 20: Gear Review: Women's Kelty Coyote 70 by April McPherson
Page 21: The Importance of Old (And New) Traditions by Sarah Kyllo
Page 22: Book Review: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Laura Friesen
Page 23: Lori's Hiking Tradition by Lori Roberts
Page 24: Thank You To Our Sponsors
Page 25: Field Journal by Rebecca Walsh
I guess I’m just one of those people that could never really embrace much in the way of traditions! They feel too constricting and confining and make me feel anxious. How can I ever replicate the perfect Holiday party year after year!? Is it possible to make the Thanksgiving turkey moist and succulent and delicious time and time again? I envy those of you that pull this off year after year and decade after decade. I’m hopeless...
This all started years ago. The year we found the perfect Christmas tree. Brought it home and hacked it off to fit the superior tree stand we just invested in. We filled the water reservoir and got that beautiful fresh tree all straight and tall. We took all evening to perfectly place the small twinkly lights and mishmash of ornaments. It was sparkly and festive and we were proud. A few days later, one strand of lights went out. Never could find the culprit bulb and didn’t have time to unwind and replace that irritating string of darkness. A week later the needles started to fall off that majestic green tree...despite a full drink of water each morning. That tree was a turning point and a definite tradition killer!
The following year I came across a “blow-up” Christmas tree in a novelty store. You know, like a large beach ball. Ohhhh, no trunk sawing, no fancy tree stand, no carpet full of dead needles.
So, I pulled out my wallet and made that purchase. Hubs blew the tree up with his air compressor. It was a glaring true green color and even came complete with bright, yellow, fake looking stars already attached. I loved that tree! My kids hated it...and sort of hated me as well for bringing it home! But blowing up that tree gave me extra time to bake cookies and wrap fancy packages and actually do the stuff I liked doing. Sadly, the following year during the “blow-up” process it sprung a leak. I thought the duct tape remedy was pretty clever, but I was the only one happy with that and so next year it was on to a new search for something “non-traditional”.
Another sad reality in my inner circle...no one really likes turkey! Still, I persisted...a huge butterball that was never completely cooked on time. Next, a local fresh, never frozen turkey...overcooked and dry as a desert breeze. How about trying a heritage turkey, free-range, no hormones or antibiotics, costing just over 100 bones? Gave it a shot on the rotisserie on the backyard barbeque...the results? Dismal, dry, half cooked, half raw, FRUSTRATING!
What do we really like? “Traditional” Mexican food. So the following year the iconic turkey was retired and replaced with very successful green chili verde and cheesy enchiladas. Margaritas made with a bit of cranberry juice and top shelf tequila and zingy salted rims. It was perfect and non-traditional and everyone celebrated and toasted with those ruby icy margaritas! Who knows what will be on the menu this year!
So, I’ve officially thrown in the towel on traditions! I’m going to be spontaneous from now on. I loved the quiet Winter Solstice excursion up a snowy canyon in the dark with slim, brightly lit Santa Lucia candles and drinking spiced wine. But, not sure I’ll do it this year! Something else may pop up. I also loved a blizzardy hike on New Year's Day out on a desolate island in a salty lake.
I’m not good at tradition and I’m comfortable with that. But sometimes I still feel a twinge when I see that splendid, perfectly decked out tree and a juicy, perfectly cooked turkey…
Chances are though, you’ll find me out wandering in quiet solitude in a pair of hiking boots and realizing there isn’t a right or a wrong! It’s whatever works for you...and that’s the beauty of it all...
by Marianne Hoffman
The sound that her feet make
shuffling through fallen leaves
stops at the gate.
Replaced for a moment with the
metal on metal screech.
Even after all these years
her hand automatically pushes back
to make sure it's closed.
She brushes away a stray hair from her face.
Tugs her coat in tightly, crunches through the leaves,
up the step and to the doorway.
And pauses. And listens.
It's too quiet, this house. Empty now.
She remembers running inside as a child. Breathless.
Into the kitchen
And up on the stool. Grandpa yelling about "letting the door slam"
while she and Gran share a grin.
Just between them.
It was always like that with Gran.
She smiles at the memory and knows
it is still just between them.
She carries Gran always.
She has her eyes, Humor and kindness
She carries Gran always
She has her nose, Joy and strength.
Gran gave her her voice.
She straightens her back
and holds her head high.
Lets out a sigh.
Smiles and opens the door.
-Michelle Carner Long
5 - cups of Cranberry Juice
1 and ½ - cups Tequila
½ - cup of Triple Sec
½ - cup of lime juice
1 - cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 - limes, sliced
Pink Himalayan Salt to rim the glasses (It’s pretty and tastes nice!)
Mix all ingredients (except the salt) in a large pitcher.
Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and dip in the pink salt.
Not Your Traditional Margarita
The Osborn Sandman Tradition
by Crystal Osborn
I grew up with so many traditions during the holiday season. From putting up all our decorations, tree, and lights the day after Thanksgiving. To watching all the Christmas specials, and opening one gift on Christmas Eve! But, for my husband this was not the case. He really didn’t have any traditions that stuck every single year. But he always wanted to have a tradition. That’s when we set out to start our own family tradition. One that would live on for years and years, something we could look forward to, and one that could grow as we had our own family to share it with. After much thought and searching we came up with a wonderful tradition that we’ve now been doing for 4 years!!!
Being from Florida, we don’t get snow, well we did a few times but it melted as soon as it hit the ground. But, one thing we do have a lot of is sand and beaches. So we figured, with sand instead of snow we would build our Annual Osborn Sandman! It’s been an interesting experience every year building our sandmen.
The first year we thought it would be quick and easy. We didn’t even bring all the tools we needed. We quickly realized that sand doesn’t mold like snow does, and the base of the sandman had to be a lot wider than expected to support the top.
But we figured it out, put the three layers together, decorated him with a hat, sunglasses and scarf then took a photo. It was our very first Sandman! People would stop and ask to take pictures with him and everything. It was so much fun.
The following year we built one, it was only in the 30’s outside and super windy. So here I am, in Florida, wearing my snow jacket, boots, and mask trying to build a sandman on the beach. This was a year that was full of dedication. I was determined to keep this tradition going no matter how terrible the conditions were. On top of that we decided to build not one but two sandmen (this was the last year we built two). By the time we were done the sun was setting, the wind was not dying but picking up, we were exhausted and covered in beach sand. However, we
The Holiday’s are coming which mean the stress of trying to find the perfect gift for those loved ones in your life. When it comes to outdoor gear we tend to think of this as something to only get adults. My recommendation is actually for that outdoor child in your life. If you have a child who loves to hit the trail with you, but you hate having to stop every few minutes to get them a drink, then I have the perfect gift.
The CamelBak Kids Mini M.U.L.E has been a lifesaver on the trail for my daughter and I. With this backpack she can carry her own water and get a drink whenever she wants without having to have frequent stops. It is lightweight so she does not complain about carrying it and she can carry her own snack or anything else she may want to bring with her. I highly recommend this backpack for anyone who has a child ages five and up who loves to hike with you.
Click HERE for an affiliate link to the backpack !
by Jacquelyn O'Connor
THE CAMELBAK KIDS MINI M.U.L.E
had our Mr and Mrs Sandman. We brought better decorations this year from hats to wigs and even a handmade crochet skirt I made for the Mrs Sandman!
Our most recent one was created with a helping hand. Our friend Mike decided to come out and help us build our annual Sandman. The crazy thing about FL is the weather. The previous year it was freezing outside, but not this year. It was almost 90 degrees outside. So here we were building a sandman on Christmas Eve in shorts and t-shirts! It turned out amazing, and with the extra hand we were able to complete the sandman in record time! We even had our picture on the local news station that year with the sandman!
It may not be a “normal” tradition but it’s our tradition. For us it’s just another way to get outdoors during the holiday season and bring a little snowy winter wonderland to the Florida shore! We can’t wait to build one this year with our daughter. I just hope she doesn’t knock it over before we are done! Happy Holidays everyone!
new years EVE
In the wilderness
Each year me and my husband backpack through snowy wilderness to celebrate the new year. Winter is our season, and the brand new year is an exciting clean slate that represents new adventures and opportunity. It’s our special time to be alone in the ultimate peace. In the deep snow, there is endless solitude. The night is nearly pitch black. The stars come out early and dazzle us. It feels like they shine and sparkle for us alone. Two people in the middle of nowhere, in love and excited to be alive.
We’ve had two years together. It may not seem like much, but the tradition is very much there. We both come from traditionless homes and our “normal life” is crazy and busy and always changing. Our New Year backpacking trips have become a special time. We don’t bring phones and we go to new places that are challenging and unique.
This year we plan to celebrate the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 with a backpacking trip in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Majestic views, deep snow and high speed winds. A severe landscape that is beautiful and harsh. This is a special year for us, because it is the first year we’ve spent living in our dream home, nestled deep in the high mountains. It will be a trip of reflection and celebration. And i truly cannot wait.
As I plan and prepare for this coming trip, I reflect on our past trips. The simple and romantic moments that bond us and make us see quite clearly what an unconventional relationship we have. In our very non-traditional relationship, this tradition means so much!
I’d love to share the stories of our first two New Years backpacking trips with you all. Let’s begin, shall we?
2015-2016 Porcupine Mountains
During our first New Year together, we backpacked miles into the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The UP. This is a popular area in the summer and fall. In the winter this place is empty. The snow was very deep and the old growth forest swallowed us up. We wandered for hours in the wilderness before finding the perfect place to pitch our tent, set up our stove and carve out the inside of our home. We used our hot tent set up for this trip, using Bivy’s to keep us dry and using snow to create shelves and shallow sleeping nooks.
We played each day for hours on end. Finding time to chop wood and perfect our set up between hikes up those small mountains we were immersed in. The sun was bright each day and the nights were quiet. When we’d return to the tent in the evenings, snuggled deep into our sleeping bags, nestled in the snow, we’d get our stove going and sip on tea before slipping into a tranquil snooze. It was perfection.
2016-2017 Oberg Mountain
Our second New Year trip was to Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota. It was pretty frigid out, as we arrived at night and snowshoed a few miles in. The north woods were home to us and we felt so comfortable near our lake. It had been a massive year of change and struggle and growth. And this was to be our last camping trip in Minnesota for a very long time- we would be moving to Colorado in one month. So it was not just a welcoming of 2017, it was a goodbye to the place we’d fallen in love. In love with the frigid bleak landscape, and in love with one another. Our third date was a camping trip in this area. So this little celebration carried a lot of meaning and a lot of heart.
We snowshoed during the days and retired early each night. We talked endlessly about the past and the future. How far we’d come in such a microscopic amount of time. We reminisced about our favorite adventures in the BWCAW and further north; this place was hard to say goodbye to. When it was time to leave, we did so slowly. Soaking in everything. The scent of the trees, the crispness of the northern snow. The sounds of waves crashing on Lake Superior. The starkness of it all. The safety and comfort of it all. I could talk endlessly about what this trip meant, but I won't. It meant too much for words.
We may not celebrate much. No Christmas or Hanukkah. No Halloween or Thanksgiving. No Easter or big birthday bashes. But celebrating the New Year with an adventure is our tradition. It’s our time to celebrate life. To reflect hard on everything. And it’s so very special.
by Deirdre Denali Rosenberg
Christmas time always seems to bring back memories of my childhood. Decking the halls with my family. Baking sweet candies and cookies with my Great Aunt Glady. Relatives showing up at the door. Festive parties. Midnight church services. All of these special moments are embedded in my soul with the sights, smells and sounds of the season.
I especially look forward to the season as I get to break out traditional recipes I bake for my family. Gingerbread Men, Peanut Brittle, Fudge, Divinity, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Candy Cane Cookies and my very favorite, Soft Sugar Cookies. My mother’s mother, Grandma Bea, made the most delicious soft puffy sugar cookies, ever! I inherited the recipe and now bake these glorious concoctions every year around the holidays.
This recipe has been around for as long as I can remember. I really don’t know where it originated. I used to come home from school, ride my bike to my grandparent’s house to be greeted with a plate full of sugar cookies and a tall, cold glass of milk. Grandma and I would sit at the counter, eat cookies, drink milk and talk about our day.
I’m sharing this recipe with you all in hopes you will do the same for your family. I kick these cookies up a notch by icing the cookies for special occasions. I use Royal Icing for the tops. There are various videos on YouTube you can use as tutorials and for icing ideas.
JILL'S SUGAR COOKIES
Grandma Bea’s Soft Sugar Cookies
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour milk*
*1 cup milk + 1 T cider vinegar mixed and let sit until curdled*
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
5-6 cups flour
Sift together dry ingredients, starting with 5 cups flour. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs and mix well. Add vanilla. Mix remaining ingredients, alternating dry mixture with sour milk. Mix until dough is sticky ~ adding more flour, if necessary. Chill dough for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out cookie dough to ¼” thickness. Cut desired shapes. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden crust starts to appear around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
Store in an airtight container. I like to make these ahead of time, store them in a gallon size freezer bag in the freezer, then take them out to decorate as I need them.
3 T meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
5 T warm water
Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
For thin icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.
by Jill Norcross Dunbar
By Jill Norcross Dunbar
A few years ago, my family’s traditions started changing. My oldest son got married and soon it was evident that I would have to share him with another family. The family traditions we enjoyed at each holiday disappeared as our extended family grew. I found myself having to let go of those time-honored events and find a way to create new ones for our ever growing family.
In 2013, I was flipping through a magazine when an article caught my eye. It was written by a woman who had a tablecloth that traveled to every family gathering. The woman’s mother had started the tradition of everyone signing the tablecloth. They wrote a short story, make a diagram or jotted down a thought about the celebration they were attending. They signed and dated the tablecloth with a Sharpie. The woman then took the tablecloth home and embroidered the writing.
I have a beautiful white linen tablecloth that was passed down from my grandmother to my mother. I am now in charge of the cloth. I had always wondered what secrets the tablecloth held ~ if it could talk, what stories would it tell us? The article gave me the idea to write the stories on the tablecloth so they could be re-lived by those sitting around the table.
I found myself taking my cherished tablecloth to all special occasions ~ birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other family gatherings. Gradually the signatures and stories began to develop. There is the outline of a two-year old’s hand ~ he is now six. There are signatures of those who are no longer with us. There is a drawing of a turkey. There is wine stain that won’t come out which was made by my mother. She circled the stain, signed it and wrote that it was her.
Everyone enjoyed signing the tablecloth. At first, people were a little taken aback about writing on a antique white linen tablecloth with a marker. But, after the initial shock wore off, the stories and signatures started flowing. The tablecloth became a journal of events. The authors were the guests themselves.
I started embroidering some of the signatures, slowly chipping away at the stories that represent my family. I realize the tablecloth will never be completed. It will always be in constant motion. Every year, at every special occasion, the tablecloth accumulates the tale of our gatherings. It is always fun to pull it out and read the stories that flow from its threads. I still have a lot of embroidering to do to preserve the signatures, but by using permanent pens, I’m buying myself a little more time.
By Jessica Hubbard
"It’s comfortable, it’s us,
it’s our family tradition."
Tried, Tested and True
By Jessica Hubbard
We crowd into my mom and stepdad’s small, one story house.
Cars are parked out front along the street while three or four manage to secure a spot in the narrow driveway. There aren’t a lot of us here, our numbers usually range from six to upwards of twelve. One holiday season there was a whopping fifteen of us crammed into the tiny spaces that make up the living room and dining area.
Some of us are related, while a few are friends of family members who have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We’re an eclectic mix of young and old and somewhere in between.
We manage to fit ourselves in the chairs squeezed together at the too-small table. Good china, silverware and expensive wine glasses are placed carefully on a linen tablecloth.
Everybody brings a favorite dish or two, not a typical holiday dinner. Homemade soups, guacamole, brisket, ciabatta bread made from scratch, lasagna, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and lemon ginger cookies adorn the table. Mixed nuts, boiled shrimp and homemade salsa for appetizers.
Everyone grazes while we wait for a dish to finish baking or a soup to simmer. I’m almost always too stuffed to eat any of the main courses, but I usually manage at least a spoonful of each on my plate.
I do allow myself to eat with less guilt this time of year which means I make sure to wear pants that are a little more loose and a comfy shirt, my own holiday tradition.
After everyone gets their fill we catch up on the busyness that is life. How is the new job? Are classes going well this semester? Anyone planning a trip anytime soon?
Voices lift and fall as several different conversations circle around the room. I pipe up and ask if anyone is up for a hike around the neighborhood. It’s a good way to work my way out of the food fog that always seems to settle around me after a big meal.
There’s most always a few takers willing to brave the cold. The walks are leisurely and help clear my head, and of course helps make more room for the desserts that are waiting back at the house.
This is the way it has been in my family for the last twenty five years. We’ve seen people come and go over time. Marriages have dissolved, children have been born, family members have battled cancer, we’ve lost loved ones and had long-distance phone calls with those who can’t make it home for the holiday season. We’ve weathered countless ups and downs along the way. Through it all though, my parents’ home has been a constant. It’s where we come to gather together where everyone is welcome. It’s comfortable, it’s us, it’s our family tradition.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...comfortable, cute, durable, supportive, waterproof, and did I mention, cute?
What more could you ask for in hiking footwear? Ahnu Sugarpines by Teva are my go to hiking boot. Short hikes, long hikes, cold or warm weather, wet or dry, Sugarpines are up to the task. You’ll pay a bit more, around a $140, but they’re well worth it.
I ordered mine online, so I didn’t have the opportunity to try them on before buying, yikes!
The fit was remarkable though, like they were made just for me. I wear a 7.5 and they fit perfectly. A return postage sticker was also included with the delivery in case I needed to send them back for any reason. And, free shipping on full priced orders, so it was a win-win either way.
Sugarpines come in a variety of color combinations and work great with everyday outfits. I love when I can wear my hiking gear interchangeably with my everyday wardrobe. Plus, they’re light-weight, and easy to clean. Teva recommends using a soft-bristled brush to whisk away dirt and dust. For more tough stains, a damp cloth usually does the trick.
These are one of the most versatile pieces of hiking footwear I’ve owned. So, if comfort, low-maintenance, and style are what you’re looking for, then Sugarpines are the boots for you.
Click here for our affiliate link and to more about the Sugarpines.
"HLAW is going in an amazing direction and it can only get better. I love how all our ideas are welcomed and celebrated. It can only get better and better. It's a healthy place to be."
Cornbread is just one of those things that you can’t go wrong with whether you pair it with a bowl of homemade chili, or ala carte slathered in butter and sweet honey. This is one of my favorite recipes and uses honey instead of sugar.
2 large eggs
½ cup honey
½ stick butter (melted, or you can substitute 3 TBSP olive oil for ½ stick butter)
1 cup coconut or almond milk (rice milk will work too or dairy if you prefer)
1 TBSP baking powder
1 cup flour (or almond meal)
1 cup cornmeal
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in microwave or on stove.
Combine all ingredients and stir. Prepare 8x8 baking dish or cast iron skillet with a coating of olive oil. Pour ingredients into baking dish. If using a cast iron skillet over the campfire, cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then check for doneness with toothpick.When toothpick is clean, cornbread is done. If needed, continue to bake and check at 5 minute intervals.
Let cool for 5 minutes, slice, serve and enjoy.
MEET OUR COVER GIRL!!!
by Jessica Hubbard
How did you get started hiking? I used to hike with my dad years ago and then stopped. One day I took a road trip to meet my mom's birth family to a Northern town surrounded in mountains and I saw a glacier that made me feel I needed to climb/hike mountains.
What does Hike Like A Woman mean to you? HLAW has been such an amazing experience so far. I never thought Rebecca would choose me. I'm honored and feel very proud to tell people about it. I don't want it to end.
Where do you hope to see Hike Like A Woman in 5 years? I love what HLAW represents. I hope we continue to inspire woman to get out and hike no matter what. To continue to grow and maybe have chapters all over the world; like a franchise.
Why is it important that women encourage each other in the outdoor community? I want woman to know you can get outdoors if you are slow, over weight, injured, and so on...We need to inspire each other. Nature is so powerful and so are women!
How did you find Hike Like A Woman? I saw HLAW on FB and started reading all about it. Then I poured my heart and soul into how I feel when I'm outdoors and hit the send button.
What does being an ambassador mean to you? Being an ambassador introduced me to a community of amazing women who love the outdoors as much as me. I have been learning some new skills and writing some fun blogs. This has been so rewarding, one of my most precious gifts life has given me. If I can inspire just one woman then I feel like a true ambassador.
What is something most people don't know about you? I'd love to wear my wedding dress with my hiking boots on a hike and marry my boyfriend on a mountain. I was never ever planning on dating again or getting married until I found my guy one day while hiking...
What is a special tradition of yours? I'd love to have a day each year where we do trail maintenance. It feels great giving back.
Do you have any outdoor/ hiking/ personal resolutions for 2018? I always want to be less afraid and try more things when mountaineering. I have an intense fear of heights so I am always working on that. Mostly I want to saunter more and really be in the moment while hiking. Take pictures, touch the trees.
TAKING TIME FOR YOURSELF
by Lorna radcliff
Tara Guenther-Wertz Thanksgiving at Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Camping and hiking with our dogs. We loved it so much it is now our annual tradition. Can’t wait!
Stephanie Kelly For a few years, my sons would visit their father for Christmas Day. So my daughter and I would go hiking at the Mohonk Preserve near Split Rock (a summer swimming hole) for a mother/daughter hike.
Andrea Vance We put our secret recipe spaghetti sauce in the crockpot to simmer all day and go snowshoeing or XC skiing all day on Christmas. Then we feast on spaghetti when we get home. It’s the best!
Cheri Myers I'm not sure if it's considered a hike.. but my family heads out to the back 30 of our farm to cut down a cedar tree for our Christmas tree every year.
Julia Kent We started hiking on Thanksgiving, a hike on Christmas, and new years. But we'll have to up our game-these ideas are awesome!
Terri Kimbrough Usually we do a First Day Hike on New Year’s Day.
We have been doing this for at least 15 years. My core group usually hike then cookout after and do some planning of activities for the new year.
Cathy Emerson My birthday falls on Christmas Eve and the past few years I have requested a family hike that day as my main present.
Bobbi Borders Mileham A walk in the redwoods up at RED. NAT'L PK. With our NOW 85 yr old neighbor, kids and forester husband. The men enjoy hashing out timber stories from two separate perspectives.
We take along sandwiches from holiday meat, bag of chips and jar of pickles. It's like a lunch at home, but watching elk instead of tv.
Adventures of Fox in the Forest On Dec 24th my brother and I always do something outside. From snowmobiling to backcountry snowboarding. On Jan 1 I watch the sunrise with my partner deep in the mountains.
Moriah Butler On the day after Christmas, my entire extended family goes for a hike on the frozen river behind my parents house. When we get back, we all enjoy hot chocolate and coffee.
Robin Englehart-Bagley When we lived outside of Custer, SD & my daughter was still at home, we would do a hike into the forest near our home with a thermos of hot cocoa & a bag of homemade Christmas cookies. And since we always had a dog or two with us, we had treats for the pups as well.
Ashley Nippert Yoggerst Hiking the day after thanksgiving. Which also happens to be our daughters birthday this yr she will be 3.
Bethany A. Renaud Every year on Christmas Day when the presents are done we head out on a hike, it’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions.
Elizabeth Knapp We hike a local state park on Christmas Eve, and grill our Christmas dinner. Nothing like freezing your butt off outside, then coming in for Christmas dinner!
Tiffany Shuler My daughter and I try to always do at least a short hike Thanksgiving day, we#optoutsidethe day after and can't forget#firstdayhike!
Jennifer Meese Becker The past few years we’ve gone to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to hike along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Heidi Karr Sleper We hike instead of shopping on Friday.
Jenny Krueger My husband and I hate football so we always go hiking on Superbowl Sunday. No one around for miles!
Faith LeeAnn Taylor We always go on a hunt for the perfect Christmas tree the first Saturday of December.
Susan Melcher We start every New Year with a hike!
Brenda Yamen My friends and I celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving on top of a mountain (this year was Northstar Mountain, a Colorado 13er). We bring stoves and cook turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, etc. There is also usually a hot drink of some kind, (this year we brought Tim Horton's coffee), and pie or nanaimo bars. We leave no trace, and have a great time.
How many of us are people pleasers? Raise your hands high. As women, we tend to get caught up in trying to make sure everyone around us is happy. We make sure our significant other is not just satisfied, but truly feels special. We want our kids happy, to the point we burn out because who really ever makes their kids happy all the time? We try to make sure that extended family, friends and everyone else gets what they need.
We expect that someone will do the same for us.
We expect that they know exactly what we want.
We get disappointed when we don’t get what we need or want most from someone else.
Let’s stop all the silliness. We need to learn to take care of ourselves. We can’t do for everyone else and never take time to do the things that make us feel good. We need to spoil ourselves on a regular basis too.
Life is hectic sometimes, but here are some quick and simple ways to care for yourself, especially in the upcoming months when life can get out of hands it seems trying to be everywhere, see everyone and please everyone.
WHAT ARE SOME OF OUR READERS TRADITIONS???
By April McPherson
GET AWAY. Even if it is a short local hike or bike ride, just get away and escape for an hour. Enjoy nature and clear your mind. A brisk walk can reset your whole outlook on your life. We allow ourselves to get so caught up in taking on so much that we lose focus on what is most important. Get away and refocus, re-prioritize and recharge.
EAT HEALTHY. We tend to get so busy during this time of year that we settle for whatever is convenient. Don’t settle for food that will just make you feel worse in the end. Take the time to prep food for the week so that quick and easy meals and snacks are available for you. Choose options that are going to fuel your body, not drag it down. And if you do make a poor choice, don’t kick yourself for it…instead realize that you recognized it was a poor choice and commend yourself; then choose wisely next time.
PAMPER YOURSELF. Take a long hot bath instead of a quick shower. Soak your feet and give yourself a pedicure. Put on some mood music and just relax. Light a pretty-smelling candle or spray a scent that fills your senses with pleasant memories. I have two fond memories associated with smell: one is the smell of the outdoors – a good piney scent; two is the smell of my Mom’s perfume that she used to where when I was a child. Both scents warm my heart instantly. I am sure you have your favorite scents also, take time to enjoy them.
Let’s all take time this winter to appreciate ourselves a little more. It is okay to make yourself the priority during the day. Journal over the next couple months and see what it is that you do from day to day that uplifts you or drains you. Take time and do more to uplift yourself.
I have a feeling that finding a comfortably fitting pack, whilst one that is functional, is a struggle most of us face. Until this last summer I had taken advantage of cost-effective outdoor gear rentals including a backpacking pack from my local university. Sure this was great (who can complain about a $6/day rental on a $200 pack?!), but it can be limiting – especially on women’s packs.
After much research, Amazon and Backcountry searching and comparing, I finally settled on the Kelty Coyote 70L pack. I knew I wanted a pack that was at least 60 liters, and keeping in mind my critiques on the former North Face Banchee pack I rented, I wanted to make sure my new pack would have plenty of outer pockets (and ones that made sense as to placement), was still lightweight enough, and was adjustable – all whilst fit for a woman. I took a trip up to Salt Lake City and visited the Backcountry retail warehouse (a real treat if you’re in the area!), to try on the pack and really check it out in person.Upon first look, I loved all the adjustments, pockets, and the overall structure of the pack. It has an adjustable suspension system, HDPE (high density polyethylene) frame-sheet and reinforced waist belt, along with a hex mesh incorporated throughout for comfort. This may seem silly but my two favorite things about this pack are a neat little elastic near the plastic buckles on the straps the allows you to roll up excess strap with ease and the two-pocket detachable top lid that can be used as a sling pack for shorter day trips – love it! Again, these may seem like simple elements but I think they are genius additions!
Now to the real review – my first trip with this pack was a 16 mile or so, single-night trip into Great Basin National Park. A (beautiful) trip that included A LOT of uphill climbing, elevation change, and unpredictable weather. I found the Coyote pack quite comfortable! I do think over time it will feel less “stiff,” but for a first trek out it did well! I do wish that the waist belt was a tad longer (possibly eliminating excess strap) as the pockets there seemed a little too far back for me - I felt like I had to reach back for them slightly when reaching for snacks, map, etc. - but honestly that has to be the only major critique I have about this pack as of now. As mentioned, I do hope and expect the straps and mesh components do become less stiff over time, but if you’re in the market for a durable and functional pack designed for a woman – this may be a fit!
Women's Kelty Coyote 70
THE IMPORTANCE OF OLD (AND NEW) TRADITIONS
By Sarah Kyllo
trips. I started a blog about my travels and outdoor adventures. And now, I’m an ambassador for HLAW. I’m still not fast, I still don’t hike every day, but I call myself a hiker now and I make space in my life for something that brings me happiness. It’s funny what happens when you start actually listening to yourself.
Big Magic helps us shift our perspective, reassess what matters to us, and overcome the challenges we face. The book is certainly aimed at writers – many of the chapters reference Gilbert’s writing process, inspiration, and her theory on how ideas come and go – but I believe that the lessons at the heart of the book can apply to anyone. Gilbert argues that all humans are inherently creative creatures, and I tend to agree. Whether you express your creativity through words, photos, or actions (like hiking!),Big Magic can help you reconnect with your inner creative and live a more mindful and fulfilled life.
Once the leaves start to change and fall, I automatically start to think about the upcoming holiday season and reflect on traditions of the past. Traditions are one of the ways in which we can try to re-create events with others to keep community. It is a way to feel that you have control by bridging the divide between what has happened before and the unknowns of the future.
There is no actual way to ensure that you will have the same emotions and feelings on one specific day, like Thanksgiving, or ringing in the New Year, but there is the sense that if you keep following the feel-good traditions of the past, you might.
As a child, I remember really loving traditions and I can vividly recall being about 10 years old and sitting in my room and writing a long list of “What happens before Christmas”. This included everything from “When we setup the tree and decorate”, “When Frosty the Snowman is on T.V.”, and “When we have our annual Christmas Party”. I loved all of it and looked forward to each event that signaled a special time of year. Eventually, I grew up and went to college and moved 1200 miles from home and my sister grew up and got married and had 3 babies. Our traditions changed and evolved. Some of the Christmas traditions stay the same but now we have new ones, like appetizers on Christmas Eve while we open presents and then play board games and a late opening of stockings on the day after. My mom and I have made traditions of our own for when I am back home, such as getting fancy drinks at our favorite downtown place and having a night of pizza and present wrapping.
Since I don’t have a family of my own to pass down traditions, I make a point to create them with my group of friends. In the last 3 years, I have hosted a fall cider tasting party, a pizza making party, cookie decorating and I have friends who always host a pumpkin carving brunch. Some friends and I always go out to do wine tasting on Thanksgiving Weekend and plan a hike to our favorite winery in the summer. These events signal a change of season and a reminder to continue to connect and build community.
Last year a friend of mine started what will likely become a new tradition of snowshoeing in January out to a snow shelter for a group potluck. I have also started a tradition I hope to keep of going on a hike on my birthday, to reflect on the past year and plan for the next. I plan to sign up for a 5k on Thanksgiving Day and try to do that each year from now on. I have started to try to make new traditions that involve the outdoors, since this is such an important part of my life and what I am passionate about.
I would encourage you, this year, to think of what new traditions you can bring to your friends and/or family. Go sledding or snowshoeing with a stop for hot chocolate, work on handmade presents, try a new recipe, challenge yourself in a new sport or hobby, go on a winter hike with a new friend. While the past can be great to recreate, there is a danger in missing out on so many new fun things to try and explore. You get to be the one in charge of which traditions you keep and which ones you create.
One example that Gilbert references in the book is Susan, the forty-year-old figure skater. She tells us how Susan skated competitively in her teen years and then moved away from the sport as she entered adulthood. She stopped skating because she thought that if she couldn’t be the best and go on to higher competition levels, there was no point in skating at all. After turning forty, Susan returned to skating simply because she enjoyed doing it, because she missed it. She didn’t go on to enter or win competitions. She didn’t become world famous. She just got up, went down to the rink, and skated. Purely because it brought her joy.
I liked this story because it reminds me of myself. For years I thought that I wasn’t “a hiker.” I wasn’t a hiker because I didn’t hike epic trails. I wasn’t a hiker because I was always the slowest one on the trail. I wasn’t a hiker because I didn’t hike every day. I didn’t make a point of incorporating more hiking into my life because, well, I wasn’t a hiker. Or at least I didn’t think I was a hiker. At some point I realized how much being outdoors helped me – mentally, physically, and emotionally. I started planning holidays around backpacking trips.
By Laura Friesen
BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR
BY ELIZABETH GILBERT
You may be wondering why I chose to review Big Magic for the Hike Like a Woman Magazine. It’s not an adventure novel, it’s not a guide to getting outside more, and it’s not a memoir of someone’s epic thru-hike. It’s a book about living a more creative life – something that undoubtedly conjures up images of someone toiling away at a keyboard or painting a masterpiece. But Gilbert makes clear that her advice and words can apply to much more than the traditional art-based version of creativity.
Early on in the book, creative living is defined as “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” It’s about uncovering the things that light you up and then doing more of that. The advice Gilbert gives addresses things like fear, self-doubt, overcoming perfectionism, being persistent and staying motivated. In my experience, the Hike Like a Woman community faces all of these obstacles, each one of us in our own way, and I think we could each learn something from Big Magic that applies to our unique situations. Whether you apply it to hiking or any other creative endeavors in your life, Big Magic is a great read for anyone.
By Lori Roberts
TRaditions are all different and each one is amazing!
LORI'S HIKING TRADITION
THANK YOU TO OUR 12 TRAILS OF CHRISTMAS SPONSORS!
Traditions are all so different and unique. It’s something you do that you love and invite people along making it a yearly event. Perhaps it’s an annual potluck or going away; traditions are all different and each one is amazing. It gives you something to look forward to. To see the changes in the environment and how people have grown.
Each New Year’s Eve while most will get dressed up and party the night away, I pack my backpack full of all the items I will need to stay hydrated, warm, dry, nourished and safe. Those people will likely stay in bed or lounge around the house the next day, but I will wake up early as it’s our yearly Christmas break tradition to head off for our favorite snowshoe trek up Zoa Peak. There’s something about Zoa, she’s spectacular. It’s a 3-hour drive to the trail-head and the SS is quite steep so an early rise is necessary to make it to the summit.
We’ve been doing this for years and even managed to inspire new people to join us. We even have traditions within traditions. We always take jumping pictures, pose with mustaches or make snow angels.
Last year I was sad as the weather forecast was looking like it was too cold, and roads were unsafe for us to make our annual snowshoe to Zoa Peak. My girlfriend said it didn’t matter if we couldn’t go there as our tradition could be just being together. I love that! Luckily the forecast cleared enough to be able to go.
Traditions are fun and it’s ok if they change slightly…Maybe people will no longer be able to come, or perhaps you’ll start new traditions.
I love my snowshoe tradition but if the weather doesn’t cooperate perhaps we will all just meet and be in each other’s company. That sounds like a great tradition to me.
Happy Holidays from the Hike Like A Woman team.
For us this is a season full of friendship, love and kindness.
It’s a season of giving and a season of reflecting on the past.
One year ago I was cross-country skiing with my family into Yellowstone National Park on Thanksgiving Day.
The snow was cold and fresh.
The sun was shining.
It was a perfect morning.
As my skis slid along the snow, I felt so grateful for the beauty of the world, for a strong healthy body, for children who were following me on their pint-sized skis and a spouse who supports the crazy train that is my life.
After our ski I made a goal last year to be better at taking care of myself.
To sleep more.
To eat less junk food.
To be kinder, more tolerant and more patient.
But then something happened, we left Yellowstone and came back to the chaos of life and I found myself again burdened with all of the tasks on my endless “to-do” list.
It wasn’t until this September that I made a real, honest to goodness commitment to myself that things started to change.
I started to say “No” more to negative people, negative, self-defeating thoughts and things that would take my time and energy and keep me from reaching my goals.
Instead I started saying “Yes” to more exercise, more sunshine, more fresh air, more community, more authentic connections with people who I love and “Yes” to time set aside every day to take care of me.
As we head into this crazy holiday season I hope that you’ll take a little bit of time out of your busy life to take care of you, and remind yourself that you are worth it.
Here’s to hot cocoa, moonlight skiing and lots of warm snuggles and high fives this holiday season.
hike like a woman
by rebecca walsh /founder of hike like a woman