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Happy New Year Of Hiking!
January 16, 2024

January 2024: A Note From Diane

The title "New Year" makes January sound very important, doesn't it?

A fresh start, a made over you, ambitious plans...

But that sounds like a lot of pressure to me.

As a hiker, I view January a bit differently.

As a Northern hemisphere hiker, this month provides a chance to leisurely review gear lists, thoughtfully purchase equipment and clothing that fell apart last year, and firm up hiking plans for the year.

In the Southern hemisphere? Hikers are hitting it pretty hard right now, I would imagine (if only I could join you). You don't have time to "be the best you in 2024" because you already are!

This month, let's celebrate our mutual love of hiking, North and South, by focusing on what we all need on a hike: clean water.

In this issue you'll see a hydration related giveaway, plus tips for staying in positive water balance before, during and after a hike.

Lots of hiking news, too. Here we go...


Last time, I mentioned that throughout 2024 I will share a "Tip of the Month" along with a featured new product.

In January, the giveaway, new product and tip all focus on hiking hydration.

Water-to-Go has teamed up with Hiking For Her to offer a chance to win a water bottle with a three-step filter in it. This technology gives you the best chance at removing chemicals and biologics from surface water before you swallow it.

There's a coupon that can save you 15% off your purchase, too.

The giveaway runs now through February 15, so please take a moment to see if it interests you!

Hiking For Her Giveaway Details


There are simple, low cost ways to make sure that you feel energized and eager to hike. I aim to share those this New Year here in the newsletter.

Hydration is the first one I want to focus on. It's a hiking topic that is taken for granted, ignored or hyped in the media.

Ingesting enough clean water should be a top priority regardless of how long your hike lasts.

To get started thinking about a personal hydration approach that works for your hiking style, read my review of the Water-to-Go bottle this month. It's a piece of technology that you might like to add to your gear list.

Filtration water bottle for hikers

I also updated my article on hiking with wide feet, sharing eight brands and models of hiking footwear that work well:

Hiking with wide feet


The litter box, that is.

Marlin might be the most photogenic hiker on the planet.

Judge for yourself: (warning, cute cat photos may trigger a craving for your own furry trail buddy)

Happy hiker


Use birds as a perfect way to get out on a hike and meet other folks!

Here’s a list of birding festivals coming up. Is there one near you that looks tempting?

Birding festivals 2024


You've already seen why I think hydration is an overlooked secret weapon for hikers.

These 2 articles start at ground zero to make a case for why you need enough water, how much is enough, and how to deliver it to your hardworking cells:

The importance of hiking water

Hiking hydration


To take a volunteer vacation, that is.

Here’s the 2023 recap from American Hiking Organization. It gives you a taste of what hikers between the ages of 18 and 90 enjoyed while contributing.

Yup, 90!

2023 recap of volunteer hiking vacations


A design engineer who hikes invented a way to bring his daughter with mobility restrictions on hiking trails.

Here's the backstory on how Huckleberry Hiking was born through this ingenious device.

Accessible hiking for all


Meet two women who made it into the hiking history books in Grand Teton National Park by being the first backcountry rangers (1974 - 1976): Jane Baldwin and Patty McDonald.

And it wasn't easy, as you'll read in their story:

Meet the rangers!


One of my favorite things to do as a hiker is to do nothing at all except listen.

After I hit the trail hard for a few hours, or reach my intended destination, I step off trail and sit.

Then I focus my entire attention on one task: to listen.

If I’m lucky, I don’t hear humans but I do hear wind, birds, leaves, the sound of Earth herself.

And it's a great chance to sip some water and relax.

If you can’t do that right now, here’s the next best thing: soundscapes from Olympic National Park.

Treat yourself for the next 2 minutes and 33 seconds, you’re worth it!

Nature soundscapes from Olympic National Park

My wish for you this year

May you meet yourself exactly where you are, without the burden of "I should" or "I can't".

Hike when and wherever you can in true "hike your own hike" style.

Savor each moment you spend unconfined by four walls.

Break into a big grin when you hear a bird call or the sigh of the wind, sounds you might have missed last year.

Let's enjoy 2024 together :)

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

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