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August Hiking Update
August 25, 2020

August 2020: A Note From Diane

Hello! Here I am, back from my mid summer hiatus.

Glad to be here with you, sharing all the good stuff I found since the last edition of Happy Trails.

Think of me as your little squirrel buddy, gathering juicy blackberries (they’re ripe right now in my neck of the woods) and then leading you right to the stash.

Not a squirrel fan?

Then consider me your trusted hiking resource, ready to share all the best stuff with you. Between 700+ pages on the Hiking For Her website and this newsletter, I’ve gotcha covered.

And if not, send me your questions! Unlike squirrels, I can type.

Now on to this month’s update.


If you’re looking for a new backpack, keep this in mind: Gregory has teamed up with actual female hikers (gasp!) to design a line of backpacks for 2021 that fit our curves.

It won’t be released for awhile, but I’m hopeful that a company which really understands backpacks, combined with women's voices, will get this right.

Here’s the press release: Gregory 2021 Line

More gear update news, this time from Osprey. I’m not sure this is good news, as their Aether/Ariel series of backpacks work well for many of us right now, but I remain hopeful for improvements.

Read about it here: Osprey Updates

Bugged by bugs? I’m hearing from lots of hikers that biting insects are quite pesky this summer. Now there’s hope that you can repel insects but avoid nasty chemicals.

A new active ingredient in yellow cedar trees and grapefruit (called nootkatone), discovered and developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in insect repellents.

CDC’s licensed partner, Evolva, is working with pest control companies for possible commercial partnerships. Stay tuned! I’d rather smell like a grapefruit than a vat of chemicals any day, right?

Nootkatone Registed With EPA


California condors may be a part of your hiking amazement list, but for those of us who can’t hike there, there’s this Seqoia National Park story: Condors Are Amazing

Josh Lane is a thoughtful voice for paying attention when you’re outdoors. He shares from the heart. If you’re seeking peace and connection during these turbulent times, read how he allowed a mink to be his teacher. Minks Are Amazing

I found a bird’s nest on the ground the other day, and wanted to know who crafted such an intricate work of art: grasses, mud, lichen covered twigs bent into a bowl shape.

So I used this Cornell U. Ornithology Lab website to figure it out by answering just a few quick questions. Bird Nests Are Amazing

This resource is a goldmine if you’re interested in knowing more about what you see, hear and find along U.S. trails!

Here's a question for you: Have you noticed how quiet the trails get in terms of bird activity this time of year?

This article explains why that is, and it’s just one more reason to be amazed at our feathered friends: Birds Are Amazing Even When They Hide


How’s this for a new twist on hiking? A silent bat hike!

Although you cannot sign up for this specific hike, I think the description (bat vocalization detecting equipment!!) sounds like a really good time! What do you think?

Sign Me Up, Bat Girl!

Seriously, if you’re up for it, try night hiking. It brings your trail time to an entirely new level.

My article details how to get started:

Try Night Hiking


Times are tough, and no end in sight (yet), so nurture yourself a little.

Start with this Soundcloud recording of “one square inch of silence” which is devoid of human noises: something very hard to find, but available to intrepid hikers on the Olympic Peninsula in WA State:

Rainforest Silence In Washington

Wondering why quiet places are so important to the health of the human community? Yale University has some ideas. Go Somewhere Quiet And Read This

Nothing is more nurturing than finding someone who understands your need to hike, IMHO.

Hiking is not a hobby, it’s not just something you do to pass the time. It’s a real need.

I get it!

That’s why I started the Over Forty Hiker community, a private space for discussions (no social media interference, no spamming or trolling).

Read more about the nurturing it may offer you here: Join Our Over Forty Hiker Community

Here’s a peek at what we’ve done together in August, beyond posting photos and sharing our hikes:

-We took a poll on how trail etiquette has changed this summer, and were surprised by some of what we're seeing.

-We shared a ton of experience with finding the perfect sports bra (or at least one that works). Yes, names were named.

-We started a weekly “help the newbies find the best gear” thread. So far, we’ve covered backpacks and hydration options. So much trail wisdom!

Lots more, too. Please consider joining us, whether or not you’ve achieved the magical, wonderful and wise age of 40.

Yes, that’s how we look at aging – it’s something to celebrate! Wouldn't you like to hang out with hikers like that? We'd love to meet you!

Back to a regular monthly schedule

Very excited to be bringing you monthly newsletters again, so thanks for reading and I'll connect with you again soon.

Meanwhile, send me your hiking photos, trail humor, gear questions or just an old fashioned howdy. You'll get a reply, I promise :)

Happy Trails to you,

Diane a.k.a. Happy Hiker

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