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November Hiking News
November 23, 2021

November 2021: A Note From Diane


Huh. How did that happen?

Another year almost wrapped up, and hopefully one that was filled with as much outdoor time as you could possibly squeeze into your life.

This month's newsletter celebrates two amazing elder hikers plus eleven wilderness women, gives you some suggestions for what to wrap up for those you love, and raises some interesting questions about social media's influence on hiking.

Lots more, too! Thanks for being here :)


Here’s an interesting project centered on Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. (I've hiked there, and the sandstone and waterfalls are really beautiful.)

Two college students have designed a website and mobile app to provide practical information for park visitors, along with opportunities for responsible hiking such as recycling stations.

It's great to see young people working on ways to encourage appropriate use of our shared resources.

Starved Rock Student Project


We'll take the "youngster" first, 83 year old Nimblewill Nomad. He now holds the record for oldest thruhiker. What I love about his story is that he's sharing what he's learned. For example, here is his gear list:

2021 Gear List

Now let's meet 93 year old Margaret Mathis. She hikes every week, even in winter. Wish I could say that!!

Margaret Mathis


Maybe you've heard of some of the eleven women on this list, but have you ever hiked in the areas they loved? It would make a fantastic hiking bucket list!

Wilderness Women


There is still time until December 1, 2021 to sign up for your chance to win a copy of my Best Tips For Women Dayhikers: Everything You Need To Know To Hit The Trail.

Here's the link to my description of the paperback version of the book (there is also a Kindle version), to help you decide if it could be useful to you:

HFH Dayhiking Tips Book

And here's how to sign up for the giveaway.

Hiking For Her Giveaway Details


Actually, this next article is more in line with "if a hiker doesn't take a picture, did it happen?"

The title is "Pics Or It Didn’t Happen: Is Social Media Ruining Thru-Hiking?"

Is Social Media Ruining Hiking?

My two cents: I started backpacking in the 1970’s. Nobody else cared how hard or how far I hiked. In fact, my family thought I had lost my mind.

Star Trek tricorders were the closest device that could act as a personal phone + camera + navigation device, science fiction in other words.

So it’s impossible for me to get into the head space of folks who have to document their every trail move for consumption by others. Is it driven by thirst for bragging rights? Social approval?

What do you think? Hit reply and let me know what I’m missing here.


Seems like most of us hikers are willing to admit that we feel uncomfortable about the risk of getting lost on a hike.

But how to handle the discomfort?

In our Over Forty Hiker community, we just started a new course entitled "What Could Go Wrong?"

We're reading recent case studies of hikers who got lost, to discuss how decisions, gear and circumstances played a role in outcomes.

It's a valuable discussion to have! And it will lead to safer, more prepared hiking.

If you'd like to join us, find the link at the bottom of this newsletter to request an invitation.

To avoid all work and no play, we celebrated National Take A Hike Day by doing something fun: we tallied up our hiking mileage and made a donation to the Leave No Trace Organization. Feels great to give back, and what a wonderful excuse to ... you know.


I'll bet your inbox is awash in gift guides. Without adding (too much) to the madness, here are the hiking gear, food and clothing picks that I gift to those I love, and put on my own wish list.

Why? Because I know they're trail worthy.

I hope they help you find just the right thing for holiday gift gifting (or a treat for yourself).

Self Care Gifts For Hikers

Patagonia Provisions Trail Food

Top Picks For Hikers And Campers

'Bye for now

Signing off for now, but will keep gathering hiking news and amusing tidbits to share with you next month.

Don't let the holiday season keep you inside one minute more than you have to! Fresh air and dirt on your boots = holiday happiness.

Happy Trails,

Diane a.k.a. Happy Hiker

Please consider this invitation:

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

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What's so miraculous about that?

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