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August Curiosities for Hikers
August 26, 2016

August 2016: A Note From Diane

August greetings to you!

Lots of good stuff to share with you this month, so without further ado, let me bring you the latest collection of hiking news to pique your curiosity!

Armaskin Anti-blister Sock Winners

Wondering who they are?

The winners are Cora Kirkpatrick from Oregon and Ellen Upton from Texas. Best wishes for many happy hikes in these unique socks!

Curious about why these socks are so unique?

Read my review.

Thanks to everyone who left a Facebook comment or posted a hiking trip report as a way to enter the give-away for these socks.

More give-aways coming soon!

Happy Birthday, National Park Service

Choose your favorite trail and enjoy the NPS birthday bash with fee-free days, August 25 – 28, 2016.

I hope I look that good when I turn 100 :)

Gorgeous Panoramas

My husband is a big fan of shooting panoramas on our hikes, and then spending an afternoon at the computer stitching them together into eye-popping scenes.

(He's discovered a fast, reliable way to do that. Email me if you want his secret.)

So he and I were both curious about a website that shares panoramas of some of the most spectacular American hiking destinations, including Mt. Rainier, Kings Canyon, Crater Lake, Yosemite, Banff, Zion, The Three Sisters, the John Muir Trail and more.

What a fantastic opportunity to virtually explore places that I'd love to visit, but know in my heart that I won't. At least I can share them with you by giving you this link to Virtual Parks.

The photos at the top of the home page alone are wonderful, but you can filter the results to arrive at exactly what you want to see: alphabetical, geography, time and more.

Their tag line is wonderful, too: The art of geography: making the “sense of place” visible.


Another Take On Repelling Insects Naturally

I had an email from a reader who shared an article that compared DEET-based repellents with others on the market. Turns out that Cutter's Lemon-Eucalyptus oil-based repellent did as good of a job as the DEET-based repellents.

Heather also pointed out that purchasing essential oils, as I suggested in the July 2016 newsletter, can get expensive in a hurry.

After using the Cutter's repellent (and only paying $8/bottle for it) she was pleased to report that it did a good job for her.

She did note that the smell is quite strong, so I'd caution you to wash it off with unscented soap at the end of the day if you're backpacking in bear country. (I use Dr. Bronner's and find it doesn't dry out my skin.)

I used Cutter's back in the ancient days of learning to backpack (1970s), and was happy to see them still in business and moving away from the nasty chemicals. Thanks for the tip, Heather!

If you're curious about which brands were compared, you can read a summary along with information on how to access the original research here.

REI Garage Sale

Have you noticed what REI gear coop just did?

They opened up a “garage”, and eliminated the “outlet” section, on their website.

What's the difference? They purchase clothing and gear specifically for the garage, so you won't see left over junk or anything in a weird color or style that needs to be marked way down (outlet) to get your attention.

That translates into the very best deals on unused end-of-season close out and previous year items. They use their huge buying power to sniff out these items, and pass along savings to their loyal customers.

I was surprised to see that the garage features all of the brands I use and love, and lots of others that are tempting.

While the mark downs are eye popping, I've noticed that you have to check back often to find exactly the size, color or style that you want. Great for exercising your curiosity muscle!

Right now they have this extra incentive to visit the garage:

20% off any order over $100.

And if you can't find what you're looking for in the garage, maybe this will help: their Labor Day 30% off sale

Either way, you'll find a great deal on outdoor gear and clothing, and know that you can return it if it doesn't work out.

Speaking of Deals!

Backpackers are a hungry group of women, and it's not often that you can find freeze dried meals that are not only filling, but tasty AND healthy.

Paleo Meals To Go has figured out how to create meals for hikers who either choose to, or must, avoid grains and dairy products. I had a chance to taste test their food (I need to avoid gluten), and wow! It was really delicious.

And I don't use that word lightly. I'm a 4-decade veteran of dehydrated and freeze dried backpacking food, having seen the worst of the worst show up on my spork (or spoon attached to my pocket knife, back in the day).

Curious about why I think it's delicious and nutritious? Want to avoid ALL preservatives, artificial flavorings and food dyes, but give your taste buds a treat? Take a look at my review right here.

But wait, here's more deliciousness! Paleo Meals To Go has graciously offered a discount to Hiking For Her readers.

Use the code hfh25 to receive a 25% discount on your order.

Curious About This Role Model For Young Hikers?

Emma Gatewood is a name that Appalachian Trail and Buckeye Trail hikers will recognize.

And it's a name that has special meaning for me as well.

Back in the 1970s there were no women role models for my developing hiker self. It was considered somewhat (OK, really) weird for a young woman to voluntarily haul around a heavy backpack and get herself sweaty, dirty and bug bitten.

But Emma did it anyway during these dark ages, and she did it when she was over the age of 60. Once I heard her story, I knew that I had discovered the hidden clan of hiking women.

I'm guessing you're a member, too!

Anyway, I had a chance to read an advance copy of a children's story about her life and hiking fame, and really enjoyed it. You can read my review of When Grandma Gatewood Took A Hike, and find info on how to get your own copy, here.

It would make a nice present for little girls who like to get their boots dirty.

Or women nearing the age of 60 who are curious about life on the trail.

Emma is a great role model for all of us.

Thanks for reading!

That's all I've got for you this time. It's always a pleasure to pull together the latest hiking news to share with you. Whenever I find a juicy hiking tidbit, I smile and tuck it away until it's time to write this newsletter.

If there's anything you'd like to read about, or comment on, you know how to reach me!

And tips like the one Heather shared - wow! You are the best.

If you have a few more minutes and some curiosity about the latest topics on HFH, you can pop on over to these pages:

How to choose a bear canister

How and when to use bear spray

Hiking umbrellas: when do you need one?

And thanks for all of your emails. I can't express in words what a privilege it is to connect with hikers all around the world.

If I had the power to whisk all of us together into one room and celebrate the awesomeness that is hiking women, I'd do it in an eye blink!

Best wishes for wonderful hiking in the coming weeks.

Happy Trails Always (and All Ways),

Diane a.k.a. Happy Hiker

Hiking For Her

Or stop by these HFH pages for a little hiking inspiration:

HFH FaceBook

HFH Pinterest

HFH Amazon Author Page

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