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By Diane Spicer
Book cover photo courtesy of Susan Alcorn
This Walk, Hike, Saunter book review showcases Susan Alcorn's latest book.
And her topic is right up Hiking For Her's
alley hiking trail: female hikers.
That's right! An entire book filled to the brim with hiking tips and stories from seasoned (age 45+) women who would love to see you hit the trail, too.
A goldmine of hiking information, in other words.
I (Diane Spicer) am one of the women featured in this book, and I received a free copy from the author.
There are no affiliate or financial agreements between us.
We have never hiked together (sadly).
You can use this link to buy a copy from Amazon.
Wins all around!
I think you'll enjoy the unique format of Walk, Hike, Saunter.
It's based on a set of 16 questions the author sent to over 30 female hikers she knew, didn't know, or wanted to get to know.
As she puts it:
"I didn't make the selections scientifically. I wanted a range of participants... I wanted the stories to be like those that are shared..."
And she mentions typical places female hikers share advice and thoughts about hiking:
Each woman in this book is introduced in alphabetical order, and a photo is included.
Answers to the questions have a topic (in bold). This makes it easy to spot which ones you want to sit up and pay attention to, or bookmark for later.
Amazon will deliver a paperback or a Kindle version, your choice.
I enjoyed the paperback format.
First, the feel of a real book is something special these days.
It was a perfect chance to use up my sticky notes, marking websites to visit.
I also highlighted answers which sparked my curiosity and invited further research.
(Please tell me I'm not the only one on the planet who still uses a highlighter!!)
That depends upon who you are!
And that's the usefulness baked into this book.
Here are a few examples to illustrate what I mean.
Many of the women highlighted in this book didn't get started with the sport of hiking until later in life.
Others shelved their hiking plans for decades to attend to career and family obligations. Their stories are about how they are now rediscovering all that hiking has to offer them.
So if you're tempted but timid to take a hike, let these women inspire you!
Their honesty and humor will warm your heart. And get you thinking about how to make room for hiking in your particular circumstances.
There's no denying that our bodies change with each passing decade.
This book doesn't try to hide that fact. Instead, hiking in an aging body is talked about honestly.
Are you coming back from an injury?
Over or near the age of 40?
Getting (back) into shape for vigorous exercise?
Longing to leave your couch behind?
Let these women share their wisdom with you.
You're not going to find such a wide ranging collection of hiking wisdom in any other book!
In this book you'll meet women who hike all over the world.
Sometimes they choose famous United States trails: Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail.
Or they hike on "obscure" but beloved trails in their own backyards.
Sometimes you can find them on the Camino, in the U.K., Europe, the Canadian wilderness, Tibet and beyond.
One fun thing to do with this book is to make a list of all the hiking destinations mentioned.
Then dream a little.
Who wouldn't want to hike vicariously with these women??
One of the premises of Hiking For Her is that female hikers do things differently than male hikers.
No judgment, just a fact.
So if you're male and have a female hiking buddy, this book gives you insight into what makes us tick.
You might also identify with some of the men who are at home, waiting for their adventurous hiking women to return.
The mission of Hiking For Her has always been to put solid information into the hands of females around the globe.
Anyone who has even an inkling of wanting to take a hike is the reason this website exists.
So I was delighted when Susan told me about her desire to write this book.
And thrilled that she included me in its pages.
This book review highlights Susan's invitation to female hikers to "spill the beans".
The book reads like a fireside chat with a circle of experienced hiking women. That's the "seasoned" part.
They share their love of the trail clearly on every page.
They share their hard won tips on how to manage the hazards, challenges and logistics of hiking.
Savor it, one hiker at a time, through the long winter months when your boots and hiking poles are hanging up.
Once you've met the nearly 3 dozen hikers, there's more to enjoy in the Walk, Hike, Saunter book.
In other words, plenty of information to satisfy your curiosity and point you in the right direction (small hiking pun).
With each added birthday candle, women might hear messages like these:
"You're too old to start."
"Take it easy in retirement."
"Women don't do that, it's too risky".
This book flies in the face of well meant, but faulty, advice.
If these women can do it, and keep on doing it, so can you!
Give copies to your trail buddies for birthdays (especially milestones).
And then discuss which women you identified with, and those who inspired you.
Also send a virtual hug to Susan Alcorn. She worked hard to pull this book together into such an enticing format.
You can see her author page (and her previous books) on Amazon here (not an affiliate link).
You've pulled together a splendid repository of hiking treasure for all hikers to enjoy.
Walk, Hike, Saunter Book Review