Hiking Tips For Women:
Explore Four Important Facets
To Deepen Your Trail Time

by Diane Spicer

Meet Hiking For Her's Diane

Hiking For Her offers tips for female hikers to explore all four facets of yourself on a hike. #hikingforher #femalehikers #hikingwomen #hikingtips

When you hear "best hiking tips for women", I'll bet you expect some common sense recommendations about boots and packs and hiking clothing.

No surprise!

Use those links to find more helpful tips than you can shake your trekking pole at, as well as this site map.

Here, if you're up for it, let's talk about hiking tips for women that focus on other, less often discussed facets of hiking.

Here's the question to consider:

Do you approach your trail time from

all four perspectives?


Hikers have four facets?

You might not have noticed that you have 4 facets to "you" as a hiker:

  • spiritual 
  • emotional
  • mental
  • physical

But indeed, you do!

These best hiking tips for women hikers will get you thinking about all 4 dimensions of yourself.

And the four different perspectives you can use to enjoy a hike.

  • Because being a one-dimensional hiker who concentrates solely on the physical aspect of hiking is rather boring, don't you agree?
  • It's like looking at a map but never exploring the entire trail.

Let's start off with the facet many hikers never discuss.

Feel free to skip to the next category, but I'm hoping you'll be enticed into reading a bit.


Spiritual perspective for hikers
to ponder

I am not about to tell you which religion is best, or which spiritual leader or book or movement is THE way.

That's a deeply personal decision.

But I do want to share with you how important it is to have passion and purpose in your life.

For me, hiking unlocks my spiritual dimension because it touches a dimensionless space inside of me.

It also puts me in touch with a deep commitment to the planet, and to my fellow travelers in time, which leads to thoughts of service and compassion.

Not a bad head space to be in, I hope you'll agree.

To explore what I mean, here's a question for you:

Have you ever allowed yourself some space and time to just sit beneath a tree and breathe slowly?

You might not think of this as a spiritual exercise, but you'd be surprised what you might learn about yourself!

Here's the trick

It's simple, but not easy.

Empty your mind and focus on just one thing: breathing with the tree.

Lean against it, or lie beneath it and look up at its branches.

Acknowledge that both of you are fellow Earth travelers.

  • The tree is breathing out oxygen.
  • You are breathing out carbon dioxide.
  • Together, you complete a cycle of gas exchange to remain alive.
  • Breathing together also renews vital components for life far beyond where you are sitting, thanks to the ocean of air surrounding the planet.

Try my tree-breathing tip for a few minutes and then get back on the trail, refreshed and energized.

If the spiritual aspect didn't surface, at least your red blood cells are oxygenated and your muscles are relaxed!


Nature therapy for hiking women

I also highly recommend that you try a little Nature Therapy to ground yourself.

You could also consider hiking as a spiritual pilgrimage.

  • Read one female hiker's story of the Camino de Santiago here.
Log bridge and quote


Emotional aspect of hiking

Hiking tips to address the emotional aspects of being a strong, confident, committed hiker begin with identifying your emotions.

This sounds deceptively simple.

But I find it very hard to nail exactly what I'm feeling sometimes. The rush and tumble of the workaday world drowns out what I'm feeling.

  • I tend to blur the line between annoyance and flat out anger.
  • I allow irritations to build up until a volcano of upset and hurt spews forth, scorching everything in its path.

So, based upon personal experience, I advise you to isolate each emotion as it arises within a thought or a memory.

Now here's the hard part: examine it dispassionately to decode what it's trying to say to you.


Try this on your next hike

A long day's hike is the perfect place for this!

Decode the message(s) in your emotions by asking yourself:

  • Which feelings are surfacing right now, and why? 
  • Is this a pattern? 
  • Is it an habitual reaction to a particular person or event? 
  • Is it useful? 
  • Is it painful or damaging to you or others?
  • Does it consume or control you?
  • Would you like to let it go?


Emotions are energy

I can't speak for you, but I'm committed to working on my emotions, unpacking the truth within them.

  • Then using that truth to become more stable and centered.

I find this work to be easier while I'm hiking, probably because I'm not distracted by emails, phone, to do lists, and other interruptions.

Long stretches of trail time give me mental space to go back over my latest emotional upset, and analyze it.

A solo hike devoted to emotional detoxing is one way to go.

In a group, it helps if your trail companions are not chatty through the entire hike.

  • If they are, fall back a bit to clear some mental space for yourself.


Try this for yourself on your next hike

Set an intention to work on your emotional perspective as a hiker.

Devote your thoughts to working out why you feel the way you feel when your uncomfortable feelings surface.

A trained mental health professional will assist you if you would like to go deeper into this work.

Why would I suggest you do this?

Because dark, heavy emotions rob you of energy.

Wouldn't you rather have that energy directed to your passions in life, like hiking? 

Bright pink monkey flowers along a hiking trailThese pink monkey flowers are whispering hiking tips to center yourself on the trail. Are you listening?


Mental hiking tips for women hikers:
do try this!

Mental hiking tips for women begin with the energy theme, too.

To use another personal example:

If I have a long list of things waiting to be accomplished back home, I don't enjoy my hike to the fullest.

But if I allow it to, hiking pulls me out of my head and away from my troubles and looming chores.

The rhythm of the trail creates space to become peaceful and un-filled-up with my "to do" lists.

In a sense, I claim my power and utilize it for the hiking trail.

Those chores will be waiting for me when I get home, so why spend my precious outdoor time stewing about them?


Try this on the trail

The next time you catch yourself in the mental churn cycle, consciously disrupt it by focusing on how much you are loving being on the trail!

  • Focus your energy on having a great hiking trip, not on how you're going to cross off every item on the chore list tomorrow.
  • Be in the moment, not preoccupied by past or future events. Trail moments are to be savored, right?
  • If you catch yourself caught up in a thought, bring yourself back to the feeling of your backpack, your boots, your breath.
  • Allow your senses to open and welcome what the trail has to offer without labeling it as good or bad, hard or easy. 
  • Send gratitude to the fragrant trees, the sparkling water, to whatever catches your attention.

Physical hiking tips
for women

At last we get to the hiking tips for your physical hiker's body, which so many blogosphere writers can share with you.

And Hiking For Her has a lot to share, too.

I hope you've already had a chance to look around at the nutrition information and the healthy hiking tips on this website.


Something a little different

Here, I'd like to drop a small challenge into your lap after you answer these questions:

  • Are you serious about building & maintaining a strong hiker's body?
  • Have you set yourself a goal, and are working toward it?

Now choose one facet of your physical hiking body to improve, strengthen or focus on for the next hiking season. These tips can give you some ideas to implement:


The pay off from this challenge

By building solid physical habits, your trail time will be enhanced a thousand-fold because you won't be as prone to the usual trail issues:

And that means you will be able to enjoy every moment of each and every hike!

  • And keep on enjoying your trail time with dedicated, disciplined hiker self care.


Have you met all 
four facets of yourself yet?

After reading these hiking tips for women, do you have a few new ideas to toss around on your next hike, in the privacy of your mind?

Or were you re-invigorated to make the most of trail time with fresh eyes and an eagerness you've been missing?

Either way, best wishes for great hiking!

Every trail has its secrets to offer you, and you'll be able to unlock them now that you're tuned into your wonderful four facets as a hiker.

 

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About the author

Diane is the founder of Hiking For Her.

She's been on a hiking trail somewhere in the world for 5+ decades & loves to share her best hiking tips right here.


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Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer except where noted.


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