Back to Back Issues Page
December News For Hikers
December 15, 2023

December 2023: A Note From Diane

Oh, December, why do hikers love you?

Perhaps that's a personal question. I'll go ahead and answer it from the perspective of North America, western Washington State.

December brings the snow that brings winter hikers (a.k.a. snowshoers) into the mountains and away from the hustle bustle of holidays.

What does December bring to your hiking life?

While you're pondering your answer, let's take a look at this month's hiking news.


I’m all about preventing an injury, rather than spending months rehabbing it.

The first step is acknowledging you have a problem. Denial ain’t nobody’s friend on the trail.

Get started thinking along those lines here:

Hiking injuries

I also came across some good tips that go beyond mine:

Injury prevention tips specific to plus size hikers

In January I’ll be reviewing a water bottle + filter combo that can remove viruses.

That is something to be deeply excited about, if you hike in the front country (especially the AT) or travel to international hiking destinations.

Contaminated water sources are one of those dangers that you might not be able to avoid unless you have the right technology.

The full detailed review will be available next month for you!


Have you ever seen this elusive creature? I’ve only seen tracks going across a snow field while snowshoeing. (Thanks, December.)

If you’ve seen one, I’d love to hear all the enviable details - hit reply, please.

There were 2 mentions of wolverines lately that make good reading.

The first one highlights an interesting hiking area in Idaho, which I've had the pleasure of exploring years ago:

Is that a wolverine??

The second article has a great photo portraying the fierce, nearly mythical beast. Not a face you'd forget if you were lucky enough to encounter one!

Federal protection for wolverines


The Ice Age, New England and North Country National Scenic trails have become part of the National Park System.

Why is that important for hikers?

These trails are now eligible for National Park Service (NPS) resources, funding and media mentions. More hikers will hear about them, use them, fall in love with them and teach the next generation to protect them!

Here’s a good article outlining what it took to get the Ice Age Trail on the map (hint: lots of volunteers):

Ice Age Trail now part of NPS


I'm trying something new as we head into the New Year. See if it resonates with you!

This month's tip is to be proactive by building a lightweight survival kit that you will NEVER have to take out of your backpack (fingers and toes crossed) but will LOVE knowing it's there.

I call it the approach to hiking.

Here's how to do it:

Survival kits for hikers


There is a big trend afoot that hikers need to pay attention to when visiting national parks: getting in has gotten harder.

Whether you agree with this trend or not, we all have to abide by it.

So continuing our theme of being proactive, here's what you need to know about Glacier National Park and Yosemite National Park entrance rules for 2024:

Glacier Park backpacking lottery

Yosemite timed entry permits


Every month I bump into so many innovative products that I'd love to share with you.

Every month I decide the newsletter is too long to include them.

Not any more! Starting with this issue of Happy Trails I'll be sharing new stuff that is worth your attention.

Up first: dehydrated backpacking meals featuring traditional Mexican flavors.

Martha Díaz, founder of Itacate Foods, used REI's accelerator program (designed to diversify the outdoor industry) to get started.

One more reason to feel good when you shop at REI, knowing that small business women are helped with the tricky initial phase of bringing a great idea to market.

Meet her here:

The Díaz backstory

She has three offerings right now, including chilaquiles verdes and two spicy soups. Get them here!


Find an organized hike near you -or- go your own way on January first, but be proactive and set a hiking intention for 2024.

Either way, treat yourself to an amazing snack and a thermos of something hot and tasty!

Find a First Day hike near you by searching “first day hike 2024” + your state.

Or use this state park resource


You still have today (12/15/2023) to enter the HFH giveaway that offers you prevention for hiking blisters: high tech socks from ArmaSkin.

Hiking For Her Giveaway Details


If you buy an America the Beautiful pass for 2024, there will be only one signature line.

In other words, you can’t share the pass with any other hiker. This is a major change from 2023, so plan accordingly if you share passes with hiking buddies.

Read why I recommend, and own, this pass here:

Why A National Parks Pass Makes Sense For Hikers

2024: are you ready?

I'm making it my mission to make sure you're ready for whatever hiking adventures await you! This newsletter is a great start, but please utilize the 700+ pages of free hiking tips on the Hiking For Her website.

Detailed, trail tested tips and recommendations based on fact, that's how we roll around here! I just can't put my name on those fluffy "10 Best Whatevers" or "280 Ways To Be A Real Hiker" articles that the Google algorithms favor as "helpful content".

Wishing you the absolute best start to the New Year, with a pinch of proactive thinking and some peaceful trail time.

You're a hiker, you're already the best ;)

Happy Holiday Trails,

Diane a.k.a. Happy Hiker

Looking for the best deals on hiking and camping gear, apparel, destinations and fun stuff? Here's my constantly updated page to save you time and money: Best Current Deals For Hikers

Did you receive this newsletter from a friend?

Sign up for your own free monthly subscription.

Back Issues for Happy Trails

Stop by these HFH pages for a little hiking inspiration! Likes, comments and shares are always appreciated.

Hiking For Her

HFH Pinterest

HFH Amazon Author Page

HFH Goodreads Author

Some of the links in this newsletter and on the Hiking For Her website may be affiliate links.

What does this mean for you?

You create a small miracle when you buy hiking gear through those links, by allowing a modest percentage of your purchase price to flow into the HFH coffers.

What's so miraculous about that?

You receive great gear that has been trail tested and approved by a seasoned hiker. You pay nothing extra. AND you help keep the free hiking tips flowing to your virtual trail buddies around the globe.


And a sincere Thank You for your vote of confidence in Hiking For Her. It means a lot!

Back to Back Issues Page