Thanks for giving me an opportunity to tell you a bit about myself as the creator and founder of Hiking For Her.
I'll also explain how I am able to share the best hiking tips and lots of trustworthy how to hike advice for female hikers on this website.
And why I had enough hiking tips to write a book:
If you're looking for the fastest way to get in touch with me, use this CONTACT link.
First off, my hiking credentials.
I grew up in a very small rural town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Surrounded by forests and lakes, and as an only child for 10 years, I spent most of my time playing in the dirt while developing a keen eye for plants, animals, weather patterns, and anything else related to being outside of four walls.
Back then, I was called a "tomboy".
I still am! And proud of that as well!
My initial hiking experience as a Yooper tomboy developed over several consecutive summers of attending a youth camp.
During the long cold winters between summer camp, I devoured books on rocks & minerals, animals, insects, and botany, trying to find answers to all of my questions.
I couldn't wait for spring sunshine, to go exploring in the woods behind my house.
By the time July rolled around, I was more than ready to go back to camp for more hikes.
From these quick little nature strolls, I graduated to week long backpacking expeditions with organized groups, including the Girl Scouts of America.
These organized trips prepared me to go off with just a trail buddy or two, for extended trips to tackle more adventurous terrain.
Looking back at how naive and unprepared I was for the challenges and unexpected hurdles on the trail, I'm thankful to be here!
After I moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest 20+ years ago, my hiking knowledge expanded by huge leaps and bounds.
I became a strong day hiker, meeting and conquering the challenges of weather, terrain, insects, navigation, safety, and animal encounters.
I met people who challenged me to go into the back country and melt into Mother Nature, leaving no trace.
At this point, I've hiked in many places in the USA:
I've also hiked in the Canadian Rockies, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, as well as East Greenland.
I pick up different skill sets according to the terrain and climate I find myself in.
I'm eager to expand my knowledge base in my hiking travels over the coming years, and will report back faithfully on this website.
You can come along on my hikes with me (in a virtual sort of way)!
I don't consider myself an elite hiker, just a motivated older woman who wants to maximize her trail time and satisfy her curiosity.
My bookshelves are groaning beneath the load of my field guides, identification manuals, and trail reports.
Being an acknowledged book addict, I don't allow myself to wander into the Nature/Science section of book stores too often!
And my e-reader? Stuffed full of hiking stories, guides and testimonials to the fantastic sport of hiking.
My other credentials for creating this website are also related to my insatiable thirst for answers.
Over the span of 3 decades, I've accumulated several degrees in human biology, environmental science, natural health care, and education:
Many years were spent in clinical labs, research labs, classrooms, first as a student, then as a researcher, care provider, and professor.
But all those years indoors, trapped in my head, never blunted my thirst for the wild places... and now I use my science and health background and research skills to dip into medical literature and pull out helpful facts about living optimally in a female hiker's body.
All of the tips and trail advice I share is based upon that solid science foundation, tempered with real life experience.
Another important "credential", if you could call it that, is my gender.
Women approach hiking differently than men, both psychologically and physically.
Being outdoors means many different things to women, somewhat dependent on where they find themselves in the natural progression of the life cycle, but also on what their hiking attitudes are based upon.
As a female hiker, I've hiked solo, with single trail buddies of either gender, and in groups.
I've hiked with kids, with dogs, with cats (yes, that's got a good story behind it), all the while taking note of what it's like to share the environment with other life forms a bit less domesticated:
foxes, black and brown (grizzly) bears, moose, all sorts of deer, bison, elk, musk ox, wolves, coyotes, snakes, insects, arthropods, an assortment of birds, mountain goats, Dall sheep, caribou, weasels, marmots, bobcats, cougars, and ground squirrels ... in no particular order.
I love them all! (and fear a few of them)
Looking at the hundreds and hundreds of pages I've published on Hiking For Her inspired me to gather together my recommendations for day hiking tips and put them into a book:
Curious about what others are saying about Hiking For Her?
Or interviews with me?
Through all of those hours planning hikes, gathering observations on the trail, processing what I've learned into web pages and a book, and talking about hiking in interviews, podcasts, and more, I've become a good resource for hiking information for hiking women.
If you find only one small thing useful or entertaining on this website, I will feel deeply satisfied.
If this information motivates you to pull on a pair of hiking boots and charge off into the unknown, or gives you tools to strengthen your hiking skills, then you've made me one happy hiker.
Happy Trails always!
Diane Spicer, creator of Hiking For Her
Wondering about how I support this website?
Wondering how I can help you get ready for a big hiking trip? Use one of these options:
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I appreciate your visit to my website, and sincerely hope you found some great hiking tips to make your trail time more enjoyable.
My motivation in writing down all of the tips and tricks I've learned over decades of hiking is simply this:
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Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer.
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