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Thanks for giving me an opportunity to tell you a bit about myself.
I will also explain how I am able to share the best hiking tips and lots of how to hike advice for female hikers on this website.
And why I had enough hiking tips to write a book:
First off, my hiking credentials.
I grew up in a very small rural town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Surrounded by forests and lakes, and as an only child for 10 years, I spent most of my time playing in the dirt while developing a keen eye for plants, animals, weather patterns, and anything else related to being outside of four walls.
Back then, I was called a "tomboy".
I still am! And proud of it!
My initial hiking experience as a Yooper tomboy developed over several consecutive summers of attending a youth camp.
During the long cold winters between summer camp, I devoured books on rocks & minerals, animals, insects, and botany, trying to find answers to all of my questions.
I couldn't wait for spring sunshine, to go exploring in the woods behind my house.
By the time July rolled around, I was more than ready to go back to camp for more hikes.
From these quick little nature strolls, I graduated to week long backpacking expeditions with organized groups, including the Girl Scouts of America.
Organized trips prepared me to go off with just a trail buddy or two, for extended trips to tackle more adventurous terrain.
Looking back at how naive and unprepared I was for the challenges and unexpected hurdles on the trail, I'm thankful to be here!
After I moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest 20+ years ago, my hiking knowledge expanded by huge leaps and bounds.
I became a strong day hiker, meeting and conquering the challenges of weather, terrain, insects, navigation, safety, and animal encounters.
I met people who challenged me to go into the back country and melt into Mother Nature, leaving no trace.
At this point, I've hiked in many places in the USA:
I've also hiked in the Canadian Rockies and the Yukon, as well as East Greenland. I picked up different skill sets according to the terrain and climate I find myself in.
I'm eager to expand my knowledge base in my hiking travels over the coming years, and will report back faithfully on this website.
You can come along on my hikes with me (in a virtual sort of way)!
I don't consider myself an elite hiker, just a motivated middle aged woman who wants to maximize her trail time and satisfy her curiosity.
My bookshelves are groaning beneath the load of my field guides, identification manuals, and trail reports.
Being an acknowledged book addict, I don't allow myself to wander into the Nature/Science section of book stores too often!
And my e-reader? Stuffed full of hiking stories, guides and testimonials to the fantastic sport of hiking.
My other credentials for creating this website are also related to my insatiable thirst for answers.
Over the span of 3 decades, I've accumulated several degrees in human biology, natural health care, education and environmental science.
Many years were spent in clinical labs, research labs, classrooms, and offices, first as a student, then as a researcher, care provider, and teacher.
But all those years indoors, trapped in my head, never blunted my thirst for the wild places... and now I use my science and health background and research skills to dip into medical literature and pull out helpful facts about living optimally in a female hiker's body.
Another important "credential", if you could call it that, is my gender.
Women approach hiking differently than men, both psychologically and physically.
Being outdoors means many different things to women, somewhat dependent on where they find themselves in the natural progression of the life cycle, but also on what their hiking attitudes are based upon.
As a female hiker, I've hiked solo, with single trail buddies of either gender, and in groups.
I've hiked with kids, with dogs, with cats (yes, that's got a good story behind it), all the while taking note of what it's like to share the environment with other life forms a bit less domesticated:
foxes, black and brown (grizzly) bears, moose, all sorts of deer, bison, elk, musk ox, wolves, coyotes, snakes, insects, arthropods, an assortment of birds, mountain goats & sheep, caribou, weasels, marmots, bobcats, cougars, and ground squirrels ... in no particular order.
I love them all! (and fear a few of them)
I try to hike every weekend (it's called snowshoeing for part of the year).
And through all of those hours planning hikes, gathering observations on the trail, and processing what I've learned, I've become a good resource for hiking information for hiking women.
And I would be honored to share what I know about hiking with you.
If you find only one thing useful or entertaining on this website, I will feel deeply satisfied.
Even better! If this information motivates you to pull on a pair of hiking boots and charge off into the unknown, or gives you tools to strengthen your hiking skills, then you've made me one happy hiker.
Happy Trails always!
Diane Spicer, Hiking For Her
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If you like what you read, and feel the urge to make a donation to keep this site up and running, you can do so here.
Your support will allow all of this hiking information to stay freely available to all.
My motivation in writing down all of the tips and tricks I've learned over decades of hiking is simply this:
"...in a time lacking in truth and certainty
and filled with anguish and despair,
no woman should be shamefaced
in attempting to give back to the world,
through her work,
a portion of its lost heart."
- Louise Bogan
I appreciate your visit to my website, and sincerely hope you found some great hiking tips to make your trail time more enjoyable.
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